heel and watch?

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Postby HappyPuppy » November 4th, 2006, 2:28 pm

Ruby thinks (and has learned) that "heel" means START walking (training class taught that). :oops: We don't really have a proper heel down - certainly not at the so-exciting start of a walk. With corrections (while saying 'heel'), I can get her back into quasi-heeling position for a few second. I have been accepting a forged heel position to far forward but now that I want a more proper heel, how to I expand heel to the proper definition and position instead of just start walking when we have stopped. By the end of the walk, however, she often leaves a loose leash.

I also want to integrate "watch" (is here a thread here on that?) - because when I make left training turns, she doesn't get it (or doesn't try - seems bored wiht training) and continually gets stepped on or makes me lose balance when my knee hits her shoulder; on right turns, she breaks the circle and tries to make straight line back to the direction we were going to shortcut. Never looks up at me unless I correct her or step on her. I know that's somewhat the idea, but we need more structure behind it.
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Postby lluksa » November 4th, 2006, 5:08 pm

On November 04 2006, HappyPuppy wrote:Ruby thinks (and has learned) that "heel" means START walking (training class taught that). :oops: We don't really have a proper heel down - certainly not at the so-exciting start of a walk. With corrections (while saying 'heel'), I can get her back into quasi-heeling position for a few second. I have been accepting a forged heel position to far forward but now that I want a more proper heel, how to I expand heel to the proper definition and position instead of just start walking when we have stopped. By the end of the walk, however, she often leaves a loose leash.

I also want to integrate "watch" (is here a thread here on that?) - because when I make left training turns, she doesn't get it (or doesn't try - seems bored wiht training) and continually gets stepped on or makes me lose balance when my knee hits her shoulder; on right turns, she breaks the circle and tries to make straight line back to the direction we were going to shortcut. Never looks up at me unless I correct her or step on her. I know that's somewhat the idea, but we need more structure behind it.


Well, I think 'watch' needs to be taught as a stationary exercise first, before you move forward AT ALL. Have lots of extra yummy cookies (hot dogs, cut up luncheon meats) and starting with the dog sitting in heel position and at least five treats in your left hand. Standing straight and tall with your arm folded, hand on your shoulder near your face and get your dogs attention with your 'watch' word, once they give you eye contact, quickly praise and treat. The idea is to keep that attention so don't allow them to look away, keep treating quickly (about five cookies) and then release with 'okay' or whatever. After you've worked on this try moving in front of the dog, while still keeping the attention and eye contact and treat accordingly.

Another fun 'watch' game...standing in front of the dog hold a treat in front of your face (with your right hand) and another treat in your left hand extended arm to your left. Give your 'watch' command and drop the piece of food that is in your left hand on the ground. You have to build up to this but eventually your dog will ignore that dropped cookie and stay focused on you.
Lisa

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Postby lluksa » November 4th, 2006, 5:40 pm

It sounds like you may need to take a step back and retrain 'heel'
'Heeling' is moving. 'Heel position' is not. Have you tried the 'find heel' game? Okay, I have time...LOL

With the dog on leash...have him/her sit. Stand in front of them and say 'heel' while luring them into 'heel position' with a cookie, using your left hand, make them turn around and sit next to you. After a while of this, your dog will jump into 'heel position' enthusiastically!
Lisa

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Postby HappyPuppy » November 5th, 2006, 4:19 pm

Thanks for the feedback. I have been fairly lax in general training tho we work on 'heeling' and trying to walk on loose leash every weekday morning on our walks. I now want more response/control and better manners, so we're going back to 'school.' I haven't even touched the home-dried liver treats I made so here's a good excuse for that stinky louciousness.
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Postby Pitcrew » November 5th, 2006, 6:49 pm

Try teaching your dog that "heel" is a position.
Heel is where your dog is (if he is in correct position) whether you are stopped or moving (forward, back, or turning), and regardless of the speed you are moving.
You need to teach him where that position is, and teach him how to be there. "Find heel" is a good game.
Some dogs find it difficult to walk and turn while looking at you, instead of where they're going. It is very un-natural. This has to be taught slowly and in steps. And the "watch" should be taught seperatly first, before combining the two (heeling and watching).
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Postby DemoDick » November 6th, 2006, 7:53 pm

I would teach the dog to watch your face first, irrespective of your position.

If you use food in training it might help to actually spit the treats (hot dog pieces work well) into the dog's mouth while he's on leash. Teach the dog to catch the treats (if he misses one move or change position and DON'T let him eat it off the ground-he must catch it to get it). It helps to purse your lips and let the dog see the treat coming. If the dog is hungry and you do this correctly, he will learn very quickly to focus on your face as a "treat machine". You can also label this behavior verbally.

Later on you can go back to heeling (with a mouthful of hot dog of course). It may help to sandwich the dog between your body and a fence or wall to help guide the dog into position (however if you do this get away from it as soon as you can). Make sure to keep treating as you teach heel even if you plan to implement corrections.

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Postby pitbullmamaliz » November 6th, 2006, 11:01 pm

Lisa, check your PM's...
"Remember - every time your dog gets somewhere on a tight leash *a fairy dies and it's all your fault.* Think of the fairies." http://www.positivepetzine.com"

http://www.pitbullzen.com
http://inaradog.wordpress.com
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