So a common question I get asked in training is ‘when do we do the weaves?’
I understand the weaves are a cool piece of kit, it’s exciting watching dogs weaving in and out at top speed isn’t it?!
Truth is the weaves are one of the things in Agility that take the longest to learn, it’s a complex bit of kit – the dog has to enter a certain way and complete all 6 or 12 poles correctly despite what you are doing – that’s hard for them! There is so much else the dog needs to learn when doing agility there really is no rush to get them weaving.
Due to the nature of the movement needed in the weaves, realistically it’s not something I would start training until the dog is a year old at least , maybe older dependant on the breed and when they are fully grown.
There is no need to rush the weaves – your dog can’t compete until they are 16 months old anyway, and even when they start competing they can enter classes without the weaves in them.
If your just doing agility for fun the weaves may be something your dog will never need to learn.
Flash, my youngest is 19 months old, just started competing and he isn’t on a full set of upright weaves yet! I’m fine with that! If things are done too soon it will damage your dog for life!
My preferred method to train the weaves are the channels or swivel weaves, they can be opened up into a big channel so the dog is running through the poles on the normal ground to start with – no twisting or turning involved. It’s a great way to work on your levels of entry, direction of handler and to get your dog completing all poles while he doesn’t have to think about twisting his body in and out. Gradually over a period of months the weaves are brought in, until eventually they make a set of 12 uprights.
There are plenty of activities, games and excersises you can do to get your dog weave ready without them even seeing a set of weaves, have a look at our fitness or games workshops listed here and if your dog is a year old and fully grown then keep a eye out for our ‘Wicked Weaves’ workshops coming soon!
Enjoy your training at whatever stage your at, don’t rush, enjoy the journey together as a team!
Play….. Train….. Enjoy….. Succeed!