Over the past year, I got back into agility with our hovies. It’s been a lot of fun working with our younger dogs. What wasn’t so great is how expensive agility equipment can be if you want to practice at home.
Take weave poles for example. Sure you can make a set out of PVC, but that gets a bit complicated if you want to have anything other than poles that are completely vertical. Not to mention the need to move the poles frequently so that the grass beneath them remains healthy. I don’t want patches of dead grass in the shape of weaves poles bases in our yard!
Then I had an idea. What about garden fence posts? They’re cheap, easy to manipulate, and grass friendly.
Tips for Weave Pole Skill Work
When we first started working on weaves in agility class, we only used two poles. The focus was on getting your dog to drive through the pair of poles via shaping.
1. Set up two poles far enough apart so that your dog can easily move between them.
2. Click and treat when your dog moves through the poles (or in our case, toss the ball because Zoe LOVES her ball). Patience is definitely the key when using shaping.
3. Repeat from different approaches / angles.
4. Add another pair of poles. Reward your dog after she goes through both pairs.
In time, you can work up to a traditional weave pole setup and build in a cue word.