Heeling on the wrong side...
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Thread: Heeling on the wrong side...

  1. #1
    Ender's Mom's Avatar
    Ender's Mom is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultHeeling on the wrong side...

    Ok I'm not sure if this is a problem or not. I've been trying to work with Ender on walking nicely every opportunity I get and I'm HAPPY to say we have made progress.

    It gets frustrating though that we are still constantly at stop/start/stop/start but Ender is getting better at slowing down or stopping until I catch up once he hears me say "wait" or "ahhhhht" (Dweck's spelling )

    What I find interesting though is he's begun to walk on my right side at a pretty good heel position. Forget it if we talk about the left side, he's all over the place... but somehow the right side seems to "work" for him. He trots along there just fine for quite a ways before his interest in looking at me and hearing me say "good heel... good boy... all right.... good job!" and he starts going ahead of me.

    The Easy Walk has really helped us. The difference doesn't really show itself until he is actually pulling or charging forward to get a squirrel. When he charges on a flat collar it takes every ounce of strength and coordination to keep him from moving me... on an easy walk the tension is greatly reduced and I can hold him with one hand.

    I'm just not sure if we are on the right track... or if I'm actually doing something wrong by giving positive reinforcement when he is walking nicely beside me (but on the wrong side)
    ~Lindsay

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    DefaultRe: Heeling on the wrong side...

    If you have absolutely no interest in doing any form of obedience showing then I don't see any big deal with it. If walking nicely is your goal and he does much better on that side go for it. If there is even the slightest interest in showing though get him on your left because it's 10X harder to retrain something you've accepted in the past.

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    DefaultRe: Heeling on the wrong side...

    I agree with the above. Most dog competitions (obedience, field work, etc.) require a strictly left hand side heel. If you have no intention of ever competing I can't see how it will matter. If he is better on the right hand side then keep at it. Just beware that if you ever decide to have some fun doing a dog sport it might be harder to convince him to heel on the left if he has learned on the right...

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    DefaultRe: Heeling on the wrong side...

    My Elton does the same thing. He just cannot get comfortable on the left side. This drove our obedience trainer nuts, (that was when he was a 8 months old) I told her to look at the big picture here! We complied while in training, but once we were graduated, we did it how WE were comfortable. He is now almost 5 years old and has always been walked on the right side. It is my stronger arm and I believe his stronger eye! Why not just go with what works! Who cares if you both get strange looks from obedience school grads, just tell them the dog is dyslexic!

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    DefaultRe: Heeling on the wrong side...

    I agree. I started out with Sam on the right side, just trying for a loose leash. When I began taking obedience classes, he had to move to the left. That was the first time I began using the "heel" command so it wasn't a problem, but I can see if you've taught heel on the right side that it might be difficult to move it to the left.
    Better to start out how you mean to go on.....

    Frances

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    Ender's Mom's Avatar
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    DefaultRe: Heeling on the wrong side...

    Quote Originally Posted by bacatherine
    If you have absolutely no interest in doing any form of obedience showing then I don't see any big deal with it. If walking nicely is your goal and he does much better on that side go for it. If there is even the slightest interest in showing though get him on your left because it's 10X harder to retrain something you've accepted in the past.
    I have toyed with the idea of obedience but I'm not sure he and I have the motivation/drive for that.

    Hmmmm... something to ponder.
    ~Lindsay

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    DefaultRe: Heeling on the wrong side...

    Well, the good news is if you decide to work him in agility, he will be able to work from your right side...that is what Rider and I continue to struggle with.
    Dani, Rider & Rookie
    SHR Watson's Safari Rider, JH, WC, CL1-R, RA, CGC, TDI
    SHR Endeavor Put Me In Coach, RN, WC, CGC

    Member Since 6/2003

  10. #8
    WigWag Guest

    DefaultRe: Heeling on the wrong side...

    I taught Clint and Wigeon to heel and finish on both sides. This is commonly done in advanced field work so they can heel to the line with the best vantage point for a mark or marks. The left side originated so that you could hold and shoot a gun on your right with the dog on the left. There is no right or wrong and he certainly can learn both. You could have him walk on the right for walks and the left if you wanted to compete in obedience.

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    Ender's Mom's Avatar
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    DefaultRe: Heeling on the wrong side...

    WOOT!!! I think agility looks more fun anyway

    Honestly I didn't "teach" him the right side... he just started doing it and I started praising cause in my mind it was "he's not pulling... he's actually looking at me... this is GOOD"
    ~Lindsay

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    DefaultRe: Heeling on the wrong side...

    Doesn't matter if he walks on the right or left unless you are going to show him.

    For agility competitions and such they don't care which side the dog is on. Atleast that's what my trainer told me.
    <3 01/01/2006-03/18/2017 <3

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