“ Brand: Clix / Animals Equipment Type: Dog Toys „
~~*~~*~~ Clix Agility Weave ~~*~~*~~
Unfortunately, the adventures of Pig (chocolate Labrador of questionable intelligence) are all I seem to write about so regrettably for you discerning readers, here is yet another review on one of Pig's toys. My sincerest apologies.
Pig took up agility as an after-school activity only at the start of this year but we're progressing quite nicely - partly due to the fact that we attend all training sessions (even when severely hungover (me, not Pig (she's partial to a sherry at Christmas but nothing else))) and partly, I believe, due to the practice equipment I've purchased for the little fatty.
~~*~~ The Weave ~~*~
If you're unfamiliar with canine agility then you're probably not alone - in fact, you've almost certainly got a life and have no need to project your sporting failures onto your dog, willing them each day to achieve the level you didn't get to yourself. I digress somewhat. Dog agility is essentially an obstacle course for doggies that includes jumps and other particular pieces that each have their own rules. One of the most difficult pieces of equipment to master (though I picked it up quite quickly) is the weave - it involves poles sticking vertically out of the ground which the dog has to enter from the right and 'weave' in and out right to the 12th pole - yep, 12 poles. How on earth do you explain to something as dimwitted as a Labrador the rules of the weave? On average it takes about 6 months for a normal dog to grasp the concept, thus, I knew we were going to have a long road ahead of us and she wasn't going to pick it up by just attending training twice a week.
~~*~~ The Clix Weave ~~*~~
The first thing to note about this make of weave is that there are only 6 poles. Not exactly the end of the world because we're still practising not running past/head first into the first pole, but if you want to be a serious person then you'll need two kits. Secondly, it all comes in a lovely bag like the rest of the Clix Agility equipment. To be fair these people know how to make products for the average Joe - we have a garden that HimIndoors created as low maintenance (not a blade of grass in sight but some lovely pots of plants) - it's very nice but Pig can't practice her skills in it so we trundle down the road to the park. Because the weave set comes in a bag with a shoulder strap and a hook (yep, no expenses spared - means it can be hung out the way on the back of the door), I can carry it easily and it's very lightweight too.
~~*~~ In Out In Out ~~*~~
The set-up of the lovely weave is incredibly simple. In the bag you get 6 beautiful yellow poles along with 6 green screwy bits that the poles slot into and then you screw into the ground. Makes sense? Did to me. You also get a crappy measuring tape because the weave poles should be an exact amount apart - we can't be arsed measuring it because people are often watching us at the park and Pig is rather self conscious so we tend to take it as a pace between each. Obviously it depends how solid the ground is as to how hard it is to set up and usually we get to the fifth pole and find a ruddy great stone stuck in the way but the green screw bits are pretty hardy and will take a lot of my girly pressure. We don't bother to take the green bits off to put it away so really the set up involves merely screwing poles into the ground which makes it a pretty swift execution. The durability is somewhat in contention - I've got a Labrador - if things last more than a day, I'm impressed. She's not bent any of the poles even though she's repeatedly hit them with her head/arse. I doubt the green bits will snap as they seem very solid but who knows. I expect the bag will rip at some point as although the green bits aren't sharp, they are designed to dig in.
~~*~~ Training the Pig ~~*~~
Pig is doing incredibly well considering her special needs - stumpy legs, large arse and a gigantic tongue all combined with a tiny brain makes for a clumsy creature. I won't tell you how to train a 'weave' cos there are different ways and I don't like controversy, however, repetition features highly in all training methods: which is why I know the practice weave has come in very handily. The kit does come with a bit of cardboard that has top training tips on it but as usual we ignored these as we always do. Pig has pretty much grasped the concept now but only when on her lead - otherwise she just stands there with a fairly blank look on her face before buggering off to eat sheep poo. Training is hard work.
~~*~~ Did it break Pig's Doggy Bank? ~~*~~
Nope. It's a bargain considering the price of proper weaves that weigh a ton too. Although a woman at Pig's club said the Clix weave's were crap, I think they're great. The poles remain upright as long as the ground is pretty firm - if it's waterlogged then they will go awry when the Pig catches them with her bum but then again for £20 ish what do you expect? You can find them on ebay (of course), petplanet, pet-supply-store, amazon and the Company of Animals website. I've not seen them in any shops but then again, I don't get out much - it's pretty hard to have my own life when Iggle Piggle's trying out for the Olympics next year - I've got big plans for the bitch.
If you're even vaguely interested and would like to thank The Company of Animals for their ingenious creation then you could give them a bell on 01932 565979 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org, or if you'd prefer to write them a letter of adoration, then send it to this address: The Company of Animals Ltd, P.O Box 23, Churtsey, Surrey, KT16 9WQ. Even if you've no pooch to train, the possibilities for the weave equipment is almost endless - make a cage out of the poles to contain your children, grow tomatoes, become a morris dancer or take up javelin - just some suggestions, but feel free to send me others.
Caroline & Pig
Both wondering where Pig's real talents lie.
Review will appear elsewhere, probably.
Agility equipment designed for dog training