Guide Wire Training Tips
Guide wires have to be removed gradually/ incrementally so the dogs don’t even realize they are being weaned off of them. It is not a problem as long as the process is gradual and you make sure the dog is solid and fast before taking the next step. Some dogs go slow at first and you want to get them up to speed with motivation (whatever works for your dog — food, toys, tons of praise, etc.) before you even think about removing a wire.
Start with short sequences and build up the length as speed increases. At that point, remove the wire from only one turn in the middle of the sequence. Your dog should be so solid, that he doesn’t even notice the absence of one wire. Then put that wire back, and take off a different one (perhaps on the other side). Make sure that you don’t take off the wires on the entry or exit poles as these insure entry on the proper side and completion of the whole sequence.
Gradually (*very gradually*), after you have varied the individual wire removed, you start removing 2 at a time, again varying which two (they need not be consecutive wires at first). Then you work up to removing 3 at a time and so on. The very last wires to be removed are those on the entry poles. This can be a long process, depending on the individual dog. The key is not to rush it. If you have trouble weaning your dog from the wires it may be because the dog is not quite ready to move to the next level, or you are trying to remove too many wires too fast. (Nadia Barrett) .