This time I kept the weaves at the same stage as last time. I wanted to play a bit with his understanding. He did have some impulse moments that led to mistakes. He did not get his reward (toy and tug) if this mistake happened. If it happened 2 times in a row I assessed what the problem was and changed it. Anything more than 2 times and you start to develop a pattern. When this happens and the dog doesn’t get rewarded they can shut down. Important to assess and change something to make it easier. If you have a dog that tires easily (mentally or physically), then take a break and come back. Yes it is best to end on a good note but even better to keep the experience positive!!
Listo is able to try again so I adjusted one of the wires so that it was higher. This led to success. Once we reestablished his skills in the poles, I started to test his weave command. I would set him in a sit wait and then release him and say “weave” just before entering. Once I established he would go to his entry, I started to test his knowledge. I would do this by bringing him beside me and then turning together towards the weaves. I would say “weave” and he would enter. Then I started to send him ahead of me into the poles. Joining him once he was in. After that I increased the distance. I went from 5 feet to 10 feet with him driving into the poles. Only using his release word to start and then his “weave” command.
It may seem like we did a tonne of repetitions but I would say the most we did was 15 during the session. It is important to me that he remain healthy. A Border Collie has the ability to work through physical tiredness. I always keep this in mind while training. I don’t want to “break” him. But I also want to strengthen him as well. I try to make sure I monitor how long his tongue is coming out of his mouth and that I see a sign of intelligence in his eyes and that his body language is prepared and not sagging or drooping. I have also noticed that he is hitting the poles a bit during training. I don’t want him to feel that he has to do this so I think it is time to change him to 24″. That’s for next time. For now it’s time to head to and focus on Nationals! (Apex, not Listo)