Sue, at Melbourne Canine Freestyle, has been teaching Penny and me the early stages of working with canes in canine freestyle.
We started with Penny going 'around' a pole.
We moved to making a figure of eight around the pole and around me.
Next Penny wove around me and around the two poles. I confused her a few times with my poor hand signals, but she's used to the fact that in canine freestyle she's smarter than I am, so she coped.
After a while I tried putting my hands on the tops of the poles, because if I were to work with canes I'd be holding them.
Here's a clip of Richard Curtis using an umbrella instead of a cane in a routine.