Question about weave poles. Maddie does great in weave poles at home, at the dog club, at the park and occasionally (2x) in competition. She enters correctly but always seems to pop out at weave pole ten. I thought originally, that it was because I was veering off to the next obstacle and pulling her out. This last trial I was very aware and did not do that. However, I must be doing something to cue her to bail at weave pole ten. Have any of you had this problem? And if you did have this problem what did you do to fix it. We are in open and always seem to get our one refusal on the weaves. Would rather save it for something else or run clean
It's a very common problem. It could be a number of things. Like you said, it could be something you don't realize you are doing...turning your head, twitching your shoulders, anything. The dog could be anxious to get on with it. Poles are slow and meticulous so some dogs just want to be done with them and get on to the fun stuff.
Another theory is that the poles look a lot different once the dog gets to #10. Kneel down at #1 and look down the line of poles. Now kneel down at #10. See the difference?
I would work on a couple of things. Try tossing a ball or toy at the end of the weaves to teach the dog to drive forward thru the last poles. Add a jump or tunnel at the end of the weaves, gradually moving the position from straight on to 90 degrees. Remember to run past the 12th pole, don't start turning before you have passed it. Another tip is to run with your shoulders facing the poles, awkward but it does seem work to keep the dog in. You can also try practicing with 18 poles instead of 12 so the dog doesn't learn to count poles.