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blueangele 07-02-2014 10:17 AM

Weave pole and teeter training
Hello, Zeph and I are exploring the world of Agility, we are doing great so far, we do jumps, go through tunnels, pause on a pause table, etc. We also have a teeter and some weave poles and we are struggling. The teeter he just keeps 'falling' off (he CAN get on it, he had done it several times) and the poles are a mystery to me. I have seen several videos on youtube and read a few things, but I just want to ask people who have GSD and understand the challenges (such as the fact that they are huge ;-) ) and see if anyone has a favorite video or link to help me with those two things. I have also looked at bowwowflicks, but at this time just can not afford it.

Liesje 07-02-2014 02:51 PM

There are several methods people use for weave poles, such as channels, 2x2s, weave-o-matics, or a combination of the above. I have used channels and 2x2 and the 2x2 method is my favorite. You can get the DVD, I believe it's Susan Garret. You can't just watch the whole thing on YouTube unless it's pirated. You probably need to see the whole program or work with a trainer/class that uses the method you want to use.

kbella999 07-02-2014 02:57 PM

You can watch the Susan Garret 2x2 weave pole dvd. I personally like that method the best but there are other methods that may work better for your dog. An experienced teacher may be better able to help you decide which one. As for the teeter, you really need to have someone help you with that. If your dog becomes afraid of the teeter then you will spend countless hours trying to correct that problem. Do you have any agility classes in your area you could try out?

blueangele 07-02-2014 05:52 PM

nothing in our area, which is why we started our own club, but right now we are just 'playing' if we get serious we can probably find something within 2 hours, but it won't be a weekly thing. I will try to find the Susan Garret cd, thanks for the info

N Smith 07-02-2014 06:00 PM

The 2x2 method is on YouTube as well - that is the most successful way I have found to teach my dogs the weaves.

For the teeter, I taught them first by holding the collar, walking them along the plank to find the balance point them teaching them to wait for the teeter to drop before going forward. I didn't stop "helping" them until they reliably demonstrated they were confident about finding the balance point, tipping the teeter and then exiting. I would do this as slowly as the dog needs. I would rather spend extra time going through something like this for the imprinting and have confident dogs who enter and exit the teeter quickly and confidently, then rush it and have to go back or have a dog refuse the teeter entirely.

YouTube is a great resource, also if you sign up with BowWow Flix, you can rent DVD's and return them when you are done - WAY cheaper than buying them all and because I am isolated this totally works for me :)

llombardo 07-02-2014 06:19 PM

For the teeter I use a long board that is about as wide as the teeter and start with it flat on the floor. Rewarding as soon as a foot touches it, then moving on to two feet etc.

MaggieRoseLee 07-04-2014 10:58 AM

The teeter is narrow and has all that movement. I like teaching that the pup is in charge of the movement and in control. Have you heard of the teeter game (bang game)?

Treats ON THE GROUND when teaching dogwalk/teeter/aframe and the 2on/2off

Hoping you KNOW you should be using a clicker too.. so much easier and clearer for our dogs to learn all the initial agility skills.

I prefer using the channel method for weavepole training.

Please remember in ALL agility your main goal is NOT for them to do it right initially (or ever). Instead it's about them ALWAYS thinking agility is...


So whatever you need to do have them doing the training FAST and fun is what you should be thinking about. That should be our mental picture. So you make it easy in the beginning, progress and make it harder only AS THE DOG is ready


WE NEED TO LEARN TO USE A CLICKER so the dog gets the information they need when they need it.

TwoBigEars 07-07-2014 01:29 PM

Hey, I'm in Colorado too! :) 2 hours away from you though. :P But I'd be happy to help you with what I can, will PM you.

My preferred method for teaching the weaves is starting with channels and getting the dog to 12 poles with that. It gets you speed right off the bat, and it helps the dog develop good footwork. Once the dog is weaving 12 poles, then I'll go to 2x2s or even 3 or 4 poles to work on entries.

These are my dogs. Ryker (the bi-color) was actually started on 2x2s and I got him to six poles with that, then went to a channel to get 12 poles. I'm pretty sure his weaving speed and ability would be the same if I had started him on just channels. We occasionally revisit 3 poles for entry work, as he struggles with collecting for the entry (typical for a big fast dog). Solstice (the white shepherd) was trained entirely on channels, then with a bit of work on 2 or 3 poles for entries. She is not as fast as Ryker but that's just the way the my dogs are.

As for the teeter, you say your dog can do the teeter but is "falling" off. Is he falling off because he simply isn't aware of his body and losing his footing (common for many dogs, but especially big ones like ours), or is he consistently jumping off at a certain point that he is nervous about?

If it's the first one, then you need to be doing body awareness exercises. Perch work, foot targeting, walking backwards on the ground, walking backwards up stairs, walking through a ladder on the ground, etc.

If he's actually jumping off the teeter because he's nervous, then the solution would be different. Definitely check out the bang game that MRL posted. I use to use an adjustable teeter for teeter training, but am gravitating more towards the two table method. You can have success with either method though.

I disagree with the clicker comments. Yes clickers are helpful and great, but you don't NEED a clicker. If you're already using one, great. With clickers, proper application and timing is super important, because if you're clicking the wrong thing you're certainly not making progress with that either.

blueangele 07-07-2014 01:46 PM

thanks for all the replys! I would say 1) he is falling off due to not knowing where his body his, he has successfully made it to the tipping point once or twice and the movement didn't scare him or rattle him in the least, but keeping his feet on seems to be the problem. I truly believe he has 'some' vision problems (or maybe hearing) but not enough for me to worry about it (he occasionally smacks his head into things, or looks off to the side when wanting his food, but can see to play fetch, jump over jumps perfectly, etc) he almost acts like the scarecrow from the wizard of oz, all awkward angles

we have tried on and off to use the clicker, it's more me than him, he is toy and treat motivated, so I have been using those mainly

he LOVES jumping and the tunnel is his ultimate favorite, we have a hard time setting it up, both him and his 'girlyfriend' (don't worry, both fixed ;-) ) run through it while we are trying to move it, stake it down LOL.

this will take some time, but the change in his attitude while inside is amazing, he is nice and calm now, I was wondering if that would ever happen!

blueangele 07-07-2014 01:48 PM

TwoBigEars, I tried to watch your videos but they said they were private

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