Since my last post I have managed 3 different training sessions with Listo. The channel is now set about 4 inches apart. First session the toy was placed at the end.
The poles are just at the point where they brush against Listo’s side. Just enough to get him to start to side step a bit. Each of the 3 sessions were all set one position closer than my last training session. Because it is narrower he needed a bit of guidance during his first attempt. What this means is that I used a combination of support with my position being slightly ahead and using both hands when needed. When using your hands it is very important to eliminate this body language as soon as possible.
The second session I continued his understanding of staying in the poles. I only use my hands to show him where I want to enter. This is also the beginning of his understanding of the cue known as “the weave pole grab”. For me, I try to interfere as little as possible. Only offering guidance if he pops out. If he pops out I start over again. If I feel he is too high I try to calm him with my voice. If he needs a little more direction than that I will say to him, “that’s enough!” When I think he is ready to try again I will go. The only assistance he gets from me is my support beside him with my motion. The toy is still at the end.
The third session I am doing everything else as previously stated but now the toy is in my hand. I will carry it in the hand furthest away and he will receive the toy for either a really good attempt with soft play or a perfect attempt gets a full out tug session! I will not reward failed attempts after he has shown me he can do it. I also do not mark this with a negative word…not his fault. I will work harder to show him the right way. Once he gets it I do a few reps on both sides of my body.
That is where we are at! He is now ready to have the poles start to close more. If you have questions about how this is progressing or you want to post comments please do so!