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Training Exercises: IFCS WAC Weaves and Discriminations

The weave entry heard 'round the world! How would you handle it? These segments fits in a small space, so give them a try! By Brenna Fender

On Sunday at the 2015 IFCS World Agility Championships, handlers fretted over a tricky weave pole entry. Try the original design and then work on other segments based on the same course layout. 

Here is the original course:

Try this first exercise, which is #6-#8, without a lead-out, as if you and your dog just completed the teeter. How can you cue your dog to take the weave poles, not the tunnel?

Exercise #1

Was your dog successful at making this weave pole entry? If not, break the exercise down. An independent weave pole entry performance would make this sequence much easier to handle. Start with a set of six poles and no other obstacles nearby. Send your dog to the poles from straight on. Then angle yourself so that you are eventually sending your dog at a 90 degree angle to the poles. Continue to move your position gradually until you can send your dog down the line of six poles to make the correct entry. It may take weeks or months of short practices to build this skill. Then start the process over again with 12 poles (it will go faster this time).

If your dog has great difficulty with this concept, it might help to make the performance of the weave poles easier. Use channel weaves (with a space down the middle, reducing the amount of collection and weaving required to complete the obstacle), or weaves with wire guides, or widen the poles to a V-set on Weave-o-matic poles, or just use a set of two poles, depending on what method you used to begin your weave training. 

After your dog has mastered the skill, then you can add in distractions, like the tunnel. But don't start with it in such a tempting position. Gradually move the tunnel into place over time.

Start now and you might be ready to join the 2016 IFCS World Agility Championships team!

Now try these other exercises based on the same course layout:

Exercise #2

Is this weave pole entry impossible? What do you think?
Exercise #3

The back-side at #3 is a big challenge. Can you get it without having an off-course at the tunnel?
Exercise #4

Same challenge, but with the additional trick of not taking #2 on the way to the tunnel. 

This article is part of USDAA's Training Tuesday series appears on USDAA's facebook page. We encourage you to discuss this exercise on our facebook and to upload videos of your class or training group trying it out. If you have a facebook account, please join in the fun here:

Brenna Fender is the editor for USDAA's newsletter, the Overview, and USDAA's news page (among other things). She can be reached at


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