Day 71: Weave!

We got outside to practice Bailey’s new weave poles today.  I have been meaning to make poles for him for a long time, and I’m glad we finally did.  Weave poles have always been Bailey’s most challenging agility obstacle.  He never got to practice them much, and the weaving motion isn’t necessarily natural for dogs, at least in my opinion.  He has the potential to be great at them though if he has a chance to actually practice them often.  So I’m glad we have a set of them at home now.  They are so easy to set up that it is something that we can do for 5-10 minutes every day.  Pretty soon he’ll be weaving like a pro all on his own.

(The weave poles look a little wonky in the photo, but they were all in a straight line.  They were just a little slanted and the angle of the photo distorts them as well)

For anyone interested in doing agility with their own dogs, a lot of pieces of agility equipment are very cheap and easy to make on your own.  The set of 6 weave poles that we built for Bailey cost us 15 dollars in materials from home depot.  For just as cheap, if not cheaper, you can make jumps also using pvc pipe.  Bailey’s tunnel is a kids tunnel that we got from Toys R Us for like 20 dollars (great for small dogs… probably pushing it for bigger dogs unless you can find bigger kids tunnels).  His A-Frame (as seen in the previous post) was the only expensive item to build probably costing between 75-100 dollars to make because of all the wood.  If there is any interest, I could type up some “DIY Agility Equipment” instructions for certain pieces of equipment.

Our only problem now is that we are acquiring so many pieces of agility equipment and our yard isn’t big enough for them all.

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17 Comments to “Day 71: Weave!”

  1. Bailey looks so happy and focused. He must get a very proud look when he does his routines correctly! I think agility training is a wonderful thing for any dog, whether they compete or not. Lots of good discipline, exercise, and mental stimulation.

    • Yep. The classes that we take with Bailey are “Agility for Fun.” That is all we do it for. I don’t think I’ll ever compete with Bailey but it has provided us with such a great outlet for his energy and mind and has really strengthened our bond and communication.

      When I look at photos like these I am so glad that we decided to start agility with him last year. That smile on his face is priceless and you can tell that he truly loves it.

  2. I am sure Bailey will improve quickly now that you have weave poles in your backyard he can practice with. I am trying to set up an agility 101 class to offer to the Adventureweiner Club becaue I am curious if acrobat Gretel will do good. I don’t think I have the time or patience to stick with it though. It’s great for dogs and people who can. It is always fun to watch.

    • It is really a great thing to at least try out and see if your dog has any drive for it. We only do it just because Bailey enjoys it so much. We have been taking classes off and on for the past year and do some stuff at home too. Even if you don’t go die hard agility, it is a fun activity for every now and then :) I’m interested how your guys would like it if you are able to set something up :)

      • I definitely agree with Kristen — it’s such a fun game to play with your dog, even if you never plan on competing. All 4 of our dogs LOVE to play agility and it’s great mental and physical exercise. It also builds alot of confidence – Bailey became a different dog after he started agility.

        And Kristen – great photo! Bailey always managed to bring a smile to my face and he definitely is having fun.

  3. Those look complicated. Is it very hard to teach? In the wild wolves might use that skill to dodge the legs of running prey.

    • There are different ways to teach them and I’m sure the people who compete teach them differently than we do. We basically just guide him through them with our hands, and maybe with enough practice he’ll get to the point that he does them completely on his own, however he is nowhere near the level where I can just send them to the weave poles and he enters and does them all on his own.

  4. I think Bailey is spoiled, and I love spoiled. You might have to move to get a bigger yard for all of the toys for Bailey. I wish I could teach my cats this trick.

  5. Hey Bailey,

    You sure are talented to be able to weave in and out of those poles!! Way to go Buddy!

    Your pal Snoopy :)

  6. Weaves are hard for many dogs, I think cattle/herding dogs excel because they much more agile while carying their heads parallel to the ground to work sheep… so focus for them is probably different. I am really hoping my breeder will start up some evening agility classes soon at her house. Hopefully Luna will do well, or that I can get her to work to her full potential as she is very smart and agile already. most likely we will be doing the same as you and making a set of weave poles to practice around here.
    Great photo too, he looks like he is having a lot of fun
    Anna
    http://www.akginspiration.com

    • Weave poles are indeed hard for many dogs. I’m sure Luna would be great at agility. If you want any tips on making the weave poles let me know :) We used pvc pipe, caps, and a long bolt stuck through the bottom so you can just stick them in the ground.

  7. I’m impressed by all of your agility equipment! We love agility, but we’ve been concentrating on working towards our good citizenship test for now. On our runs at the beach, I usually try and find some fun obstacles though. Most recently, I discovered a line of concrete posts used to block traffic from the boardwalk, and we weaved through them at a run. I’m sure everyone thought I was kind of crazy, shouting weave! with Toki following behind. Bailey looks like he’s having a ball in this pic.

    • Yea, we took a break in our agility classes for his canine good citizen prep class. The test was being offered on the week we went to Costa Rica so we are in the process of scheduling a time for him to take his test. It is looking like he will be tested on June 12th for it. Wish us luck!

  8. I would love a do your own agility equipment! I want to put Seamus in, and I might try Reese with some of it too, although he might not like it as much.

  9. looks like fun! I’m trying to make some agility type things for my dog as well… though yours look far more professional than mine!

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