Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Weaving Update

I learned that dog biscuits are NOT high value enough to train weaving haha. I used cheese instead. :) I had my husband take a little bit of video footage to add to the final video I'll do when we're done so you can see our progress. Unfortunately the way that I've rearranged the furniture in my house there's only one spot to take a video and it's only big enough for three strides. I'll have to work on it outside I guess.

Storm did very well!! She was eager and focused. She tried to go the wrong way once, but was able to chain together about three steps. I'm of course still using the lure. I need to use the clicker or a target but I'm finding it hard to juggle treats for this one because I'm having to switch hands. If I use the clicker it won't be so important to get the treat to the dog immediately though so I think that would take some of the fumbling around out of it. We'll see how motivated I'm feeling later. I've been working long hours and that's hurting my motivation.

Jackal was spastic and totally unfocused. I was a bit disappointed in his progress today, but we haven't worked on it in a few days and it's still new so I can't be too upset. He eventually chained together about two steps, but I spent more of his session getting him calm. I'll try again tomorrow. I had an extremely stressful day at work and I think that was making me tense and impatient. Keep an eye out tomorrow for some adorable pictures of Jackal!

ETA: Okay I remembered a comment one of my wonderful (and talented!) followers left on my original post about leg weaves. Mary from Stale Cheerios gave me this link to a video of her teaching her dog Ginger this very trick. After watching the video I realized I was skipping steps and I also realized how VERY important it was to use the clicker because I wasn't being clear with my expectations. So I decided to take a step back and start with teaching them to go through one leg at a time. It went much better!

Jackal was still silly excited, but he was definitely understanding better with the clicker. He still needed the lure 100% of them time, but I was still happy with how it went. Storm on the other hand amazed me and made me so extremely proud! She is brilliant and her maturity is definitely showing over Jackal's immature enthusiasm. I could see her thinking! I did it with the lure a few times and then I just stood there and let her think it through for herself. She went through my leg with no lure!!!! She's really good at the right leg but has trouble with the left leg. I positioned myself to where she couldn't go around and just waited. I wish I had it on video because it was just incredible when the light bulb went off. She stood there for a long time looking up at my face and even tried a couple of tricks. Then finally she looked at my leg with her head cocked to the side (adorable!) and walked through like she knew exactly what to do. I gave her a jackpot and praised her big time. What an amazing dog. She reminds me why I adore Siberian Huskies. :) I'll get it on video tomorrow so I can add it to my end video. :)


  1. Good luck with teaching Jackal! My dog really loves these treat that are bite-sized and don't have too many calories. He really loves them and will do anything for them, they are from a company called Zuke's. They aren't made like cookies like most treats. I definitely recommend trying them out! As an added bonus they have healthy ingredients.

  2. I'm gald it's working out better. Thank you for checking out my blog :)

  3. Glad to hear that you're working with the dogs again! Huskys sure are smart!
    Are you sure you need a lure, or could you just use a hand target to start transitioning to a signal?

  4. I have good clips of most of teaching process.

    Unfortunately, I haven't edited them and put them online yet. I am planning on doing that at the end of this week or this weekend, when there's a bit of time.

    What helped us the most, though, was:
    --to limit the possible behaviors at the beginning by me standing almost against the wall. (so she had to go under the leg, not in front of it)
    --and, getting each leg fluent by itself, at a stand still, before combining both legs into a figure-8. then, once we had the figure-8, it's been fairly easy to progress to a figure-8 with me walking.

    I started out using a ruler as a target stick. Ginger's short, so this was easier than just luring for us. Then I faded out the ruler so it was just me holding my hand out to the side as her cue to go under.


  5. Sounds like progress to me. Working with animals is such a good stress reliever.

  6. Oh - I was going to say (before I got to the part in your post where you mentioned realising you were missing steps) - that it sounded to me like you were rushing things a bit and trying to do too much too fast and expecting too much from the dogs too soon...but it looks like you worked that out yourself! :-) I actually managed to teach Honey weaving without using clicker but I did it in a slightly different way - not sure how you're teaching it 'coz I can't see a video but I didn't teach it by luring through my legs in the walking position but first by getting her to go through my legs when I'm standing with them apart and getting her used to going through and then coming round to the front for her treat. Once she was doing this confidently - coming round both right & left sides - I started staggering my legs so that rather than being horizontally apart, one was slightly in front, the other behind...gradually more and more - until they were in the "walking position but by then, Honey was so used to going through and coming round, she naturally went into a weave through them. It's hard to explain without a video but I hope you can understand what I mean. I found that a much easier way of teaching weaving than using the lure and leading them through the legs because yes, in that case, you're fumbling around with treats, changing hands, etc...this way seemed much faster and the dog worked out what was needed quicker!



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