Clicker Method for Teaching Dogs to Do Weave Poles

by Elton Dunn
    Slow, steady training is key to learning weave poles.

    Slow, steady training is key to learning weave poles.

    Apple Tree House/Lifesize/Getty Images

    Getting started with weave poles certainly is trickier than getting your dog to walk through a simple tunnel. The weave poles require flexibility and quick thinking. Clicker training the channel method breaks down this intermediate agility obstacle for your dog and rewards his performance while learning to weave.

    Step 1

    Set up two lines of weave poles in a straight line in your backyard, leaving about 18 inches between the poles. This forms a channel down which your dog will run as a first step.

    Step 2

    Stand with your leashed dog at one end of the channel. Walk your leashed dog from one end of the channel to the other. When you reach the end, click and treat your dog. Work from a walk up to a run over the course of two weeks, clicking and treating her after each turn through the channel. When your dog gets used to this, you may stand at one end of the channel and call her to you, so she runs on her own.

    Step 3

    Move the poles one inch closer; now your dog needs to move somewhat around the poles to run through the channel. Continue working the poles this way, clicking and treating after each run. Work this way for two weeks.

    Step 4

    Move the poles another inch closer. Keep clicking and treating your dog, who will now have to bend more to move through the poles.

    Step 5

    Continue to move the poles one inch closer together every two weeks, until the poles form a straight line. Your pooch gradually will learn to weave through the poles as they get closer together. Clicking and treating rewards the desired action of moving through the poles.

    Items You Will Need

    • Stick-in-the-ground weave poles
    • Clicker
    • Treats

    Tip

    • For best success, practice short, regular sessions several times a week.

    References

    Photo Credits

    • Apple Tree House/Lifesize/Getty Images

    About the Author

    A successful website writer since 1998, Elton Dunn has demonstrated experience with technology, information retrieval, usability and user experience, social media, cloud computing, and small business needs. Dunn holds a degree from UCSF and formerly worked as professional chef. Dunn has ghostwritten thousands of blog posts, newsletter articles, website copy, press releases and product descriptions. He specializes in developing informational articles on topics including food, nutrition, fitness, health and pets.

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