I am signed up for three Fenzi classes this session, and have actually be doing a halfway decent job of keeping up with them this time around.
Bandit and I are taking Introduction to Agility, at gold, to supplement our live Foundation Agility class that I am taking here at the training building with our regular instructor.
I am signed up for the Transitions and Flow Freestyle class, at bronze, and I've been working transitions with Dean.
Finally, I am signed up for Foundation Weaves, also at bronze.
I originally signed up for the weaves class thinking that I was going to work Tessa through it to see if I could get more speed out of her. But last week at training she blasted through a set of 12 poles faster than I ever thought she had it in her to go and I decided that I think I am going to leave her weaves alone!
So, Bandit is doing the foundation work for the weaves class, which is actually somewhat similar to what we are doing in class, but there is a heck of a lot more to it!
One of the concepts that the instructor in the weaves class has been emphasizing are the "Three C's": Confidence, Commitment, and Completion.
When I first read that, I thought, "well, of course we want those things!" Now that I have been working though the class exercises a bit, it occurs to me that I have missed something critical in not focusing on these before!
The first exercise entails having the dog go back and forth through a 2 X 2. The 2 X 2 need not be an actual weave 2 X 2, and I deliberately chose not to use an actual weave 2 X 2 for this. For confidence, commitment, and completion at this stage, I looked for Bandit to be going back and forth through the object with clear purpose, enthusiasm, and an obvious understanding of what he was doing. We got that quickly and progressed to two objects.
Here is a video of our initial work with two:
By the end of the session, he has the three C's down!! Confidence, commitment, and completion!
Having gone through a good many years as an Agility competitor with one dog who was a hopeless weaver and needed a ton of help to get weaves done, another dog who was sometimes spot on and at other times seemed to have no clue about the weaves whatsoever, and another dog who is consistent in her weaves, but slow, I find this exercise quite intriguing!
First, we are considering entry. Pretty soon these objects will get turned so the dog is "entering" with the first pole on his left. Second, we are considering completion. As I vary my position, he will learn that he is to go all the way through this setup, no matter where I am or what I am doing. Finally, we are considering exit. Once we turn the poles, I will click as he passes the last pole, so he will know he has completed the exercise.
I've worked with 2 X 2's before, but I have never encountered such a thoughtful approach to weaving! I like this - confidence, commitment, and completion at every step. Sounds like a recipe for exactly what I want in a weaving dog!
Bandit and I are off and running, and I am super excited!