Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Another weaves update

Happy Canada Day! Canada is 142 years young today!

Wall-e has still been crossing over his feet when he single-strides the channel weaves (open at 4"). We had experimented with WAM's, but at the easy angle the WAM's were at, they weren't helping him with his single-striding, and I didn't want to decrease the angle because I knew that he would pop out if I did. So we went back to channels, but he was still crossing over his feet, and I really don't know if the problem would have fixed itself. We've been working on weaves every day or every second day for a month now, and he still didn't have consistent striding.

So today I said, what the heck, let's just try the narrow WAM's with the slight angle that's supposed to help dogs with their single-striding. I took out the hammer and "transformed" the channel weaves into WAM's. (The beauty of stick-in-the-ground poles!) To help him stay in the poles, guide wires were attached onto every pole. The WAM's were set. These WAM's would be the closest Wall-e had ever gotten to real weaving.

For his first several reps in the WAM's, he wasn't really sure what to do so he started trotting through the WAM's and then popped out and jumped over a guide wire. That told me that the WAM's were a bit too narrow for him, so every time he popped out I increased the angle of the poles in that area. So eventually, the WAM's were perfect -- not too hard, but still at an angle that would let me really analyze his striding.

And...Wall-e started hopping!! He's never, ever hopped before, but with these WAM's that had a very slight angle, he did! So, that's what he'll probably end up doing in straight poles. I don't mind, I really don't. He was probably crossing over his feet because his legs weren't long enough to reach from pole to pole through the whole set. I don't believe in forcing a dog to do a specific striding -- so now that Wall-e is hopping, I won't try to change him back to single-striding.

I'm looking forward to taking a video of his weaves in the narrow WAM's so I can really analyze his striding in slow motion!



  1. Interesting how Wall-e's weaves are evolving. Nothing wrong with hopping but the single-striding for a sheltie was cool!

  2. Well Wall-e is single-striding again now, lol! We had another weave session and this time he chose to single-stride for 3 out of 5 reps!


  3. Neat watching dogs figure out what's most comfortable for them. Lucy hops and Walter single strides, yet they both learned with WAMs. I agree with you about letting the dog decide on their own footwork and not forcing the issue one way or the other.

    PS I'm so jealous you have a whole summer off! :P