Monday, November 29, 2010

Weaves - Wondering Why!!

 I began teaching Beckett to do weaves by taking a two by two weaves class; I used my PVC weaves to make my own 2 x 2's at home. I also used channel weaves at the Krazy Kanines' field. By the end of the outdoor season, Beckett would do six weaves on the channel weaves but only if I popped out the second pole just a bit. If I didn't put that pole out a bit, he would enter correctly but come back in between poles 3 and 4.  Two by two's seemed to be causing him a little bit of frustration.

I e-mailed one of the better instructors in the area and asked her if I had made a mistake training with both 2 x 2's and channel weaves. She told me "no" that many people were doing just that. She also told me that many young dogs (or dogs just learning to weave) will miss poles or pop out; she said they have to find a way to "relieve the pressure".  She told me that I should reward Beckett any time he came back in between poles 2 and 3. 

I didn't really get a chance to try her advice as we had to pack up the agility field and once it started getting dark at night I couldn't even practice at home.  I have since purchased two sets of 2 x 2 weave bases and have used them in the basement now for about two weeks.  I didn't really get a chance to reward Beckett for coming back between poles 2 and 3; what I did was to start almost from the beginning with just four poles, getting Beckett to enter correctly and drive out to the second pair of poles.  We progressed rather quickly to the eight poles that you see him doing in the video.  He misses some of his entries but I think that's more my position since there's not a lot of room in the basement to work.

I was so impressed with Beckett's progress I posted this little video this past week on Facebook; but then we went to class on Sunday evening. Beckett wouldn't weave, wouldn't even try, although we were doing some pretty hard entries.  Our instructor, Jeannie, did remove all but two poles for him and when she did that he did get the entry.

We practiced again tonight and I had him doing weaves following an obstacle, a jump.  I'm hoping that will help him collect better. I also noticed that he doesn't seem to need much arm motion from me to do off side weaves. I always call it "go weave" when we're on the near side and "get out weave" for an off-side weave entry. It seems he's got that part. 

Now hopefully I can get him weaving at a location other than my basement, certainly can't run a Standard course there. If the weather holds out and we don't get snow I may try some weaves with him out in the backyard this weekend where we can try moving a bit faster.  I'm also entered in a fun trial on 11 Dec, we've been avoiding weaves at fun trials but this time I think we might just have to give them a shot.

I can see that training with 2 x 2's has had the result of a faster drive through the weaves. Tucker and Ceilidh learned on weave-a-matics and while Ceilidh was pretty fast in the weaves neither she or Tucker had independent weaves. Not good for Masters Gambles.  Two by twos are also supposed to make the entry easier for the dog.  Not sure Beckett has that quite yet, I may go back to one pair of poles and practice entries over the winter so that he nails them from any angle at any distance (well as far away as I can get in the basement).

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Close Up and Personal

Play with Me! Huh Huh Please!!

Just chillin.

I want my frisbee!

One Happy Dude

Wild Boy says, "Watch your tongue, Tucker."

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


For most of my life Remembrance Day seemed like a historical event, remembering the dead of wars past.  I had really no family or personal connection. My grandfathers were too young for the first war and too old for the second. My Mother's father was a pattern maker in the shipyards in Halifax during the second world war and so was likely also in a protected occupation. My father and uncles were all too young for the Second World War and none ever served in the Korean war either.

Major Ray Ruckpaul

Even though I was in the military, deaths of soldiers on UN Missions were few and far between and still I had no personal experience. That is until Afghanistan; now I have a personal connection with Remembrance Day. Two of the soldiers who have died on the mission in Afghanistan were colleagues and friends from my time as the Quartermaster of the Armour School in Gagetown: Maj Ray Ruckpaul and Sgt Craig Gilliam.
Sergeant Craig Gilliam

Every year I take the time to look at the photos of every person who has died while we have been Afghanistan. For those that say we should not be there, take a moment and think that there were also people who probably said we had no business taking a stand against Nazi Germany. It really is no different, oppression against a people even by their own government is still oppression.   But really for the soldier, sailor and airman; it is just the job they have sworn to do, to go into harms way when so directed by our government. So please even if you don't agree with our role, remember the courage of the men and women, this Remembrance Day, who have served and paid the ultimate price.

Craig and Ray, in addition to being soldiers, were fathers, husbands, sons and friends.

With the going down of the Sun, we will remember them.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween Humiliation???

Beckett and Tucker waiting for Mum to take the picture so they can eat the muffins.

Beckett - the Pumpkin Pirate 

Ready for the Trick or Treaters
Tucker says "Mum don't you think I'm a little old for Halloween"