A question on heeling
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Thread: A question on heeling

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    blackjack's Avatar
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    DefaultA question on heeling

    I know this probably isn't the right part of the board but it seems so beneath the obedience section. Anyway, BJ is in beginner obedience. When we are working on heeling, the trainer wants the treat in our left hand, along with the leash, and held about nose high. She wants them looking at us as we go forward. BJ doesn't look at the treat or me, he just goes forward. He is not pulling, but I think he is a little forward of where he should be. Any suggestions on how to get his attention? The other exercise we are having trouble with is the "twirl", turning a 360 degree circle while walking forward. He turns halfway and sits, or falls over. Maybe I am holding the treat too high?


    Rusty, Blaze & Buster Brown
    BJ - 3/9/2007 - 2/6/12 - miss you everyday
    Boomer - ? - 3/15/12 - always in my heart


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    DefaultRe: A question on heeling

    My trainer says hold treat low but he bites at my hand all way round which bloody hurts. Now ive resorted to having that left hand in my pocket and slipping him a treat every few steps and its only thing thats working but he does look at me when doing it.

    Erm have u tried standing still when he goes in front then putting him bk in position, treat then repeat lol?

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    DefaultRe: A question on heeling

    'He turns halfway and sits, or falls over.' ;D ;D ;D Can't help it.

    I am a novice. Relative to heel, here is what I got out of our class. I have worked on heel for months, seems like ages, but HK at 1 year is great and meets all 'my' desires. I would ask if BJ is food motivated? Are you using a treat he really likes/wants? Are you using a treat with a definite odor since you want him in a position right next to you and focused on you? Are you rewarding him frequently, almost constantly for maintaining position and then over time slowly increasing the time between treat? Are you talking to him in a high pitch squeaky happy voice (that was tough for me to do)? Anything to attract his head and eye to you.

    That is what the instructor at our class had us do. Also made a real strong point to not use the heel command ever when the goal is a loose lead walk. Letting them think a loose-lead position is an acceptable heel position is a tough lesson to undo. (guilty me).
    Hershey Kisses, In charge of getting Ed out to the dog park so that he gets some exercise.

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    DefaultRe: A question on heeling

    Quote Originally Posted by Endofile
    Also made a real strong point to not use the heel command ever when the goal is a loose lead walk. Letting them think a loose-lead position is an acceptable heel position is a tough lesson to undo. (guilty me).
    I dont understand what you mean? what command do you use? oops i say heel lol

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    DefaultRe: A question on heeling

    I think part of the problem last night may have been the treats. They even smelled chemically to me, but he ate them, lol. I ran out of the one I had been using so I did a fast rummage through the treat cabinet (yes sad, I have a treat cabinet) and grabbed some peanut butter ones about the size of pencil erasers. I am surprised he saw them. I think maybe we need to go back to square one, a few steps at a time, make sure he is watching, treat and repeat?


    Rusty, Blaze & Buster Brown
    BJ - 3/9/2007 - 2/6/12 - miss you everyday
    Boomer - ? - 3/15/12 - always in my heart


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    DefaultRe: A question on heeling

    Quote Originally Posted by kaznalf
    Quote Originally Posted by Endofile
    Also made a real strong point to not use the heel command ever when the goal is a loose lead walk. Letting them think a loose-lead position is an acceptable heel position is a tough lesson to undo. (guilty me).
    I dont understand what you mean? what command do you use? oops i say heel lol
    Maybe I didn't make my point well. I use heel for her to heel, i.e stay or come to my left knee, head at my knee cap.

    When I am simply walking her on lead and she has the length of the 6 foot lead to wander with and I just do not want her to pull, never use 'heel' to stop the pulling.

    Hope that explains it better.
    Hershey Kisses, In charge of getting Ed out to the dog park so that he gets some exercise.

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    DefaultRe: A question on heeling

    Quote Originally Posted by kaznalf
    My trainer says hold treat low but he bites at my hand all way round which bloody hurts. Now ive resorted to having that left hand in my pocket and slipping him a treat every few steps and its only thing thats working but he does look at me when doing it.

    Erm have u tried standing still when he goes in front then putting him bk in position, treat then repeat lol?
    Has your trainer suggested anything to correct this? When dogs in our classes did this, HK included, NO TREAT. We would stop the current exercise, have them sit, and take the treat gentle mouth, no teeth. And would work that as long as it took before rejoining the exercise with the class. It was harder to get them to be gentle when in motion, but this method they had us use seemed to work quite well.
    Hershey Kisses, In charge of getting Ed out to the dog park so that he gets some exercise.

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    DefaultRe: A question on heeling

    She wants them looking at us as we go forward. BJ doesn't look at the treat or me, he just goes forward.
    Every Lab I have owned or worked with functions this way. I think some trainers expect that Border Collie-esque style heeling from every dog. I'm sure you probably COULD train a Lab for that kind of focus but I wouldn't know where to begin. A Labs origins lie as a retriever. A dog would be pretty useless in the field if 100% of it's focus was on the handler and not on the task at hand (looking forward, waiting for the birds to fall).

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    DefaultRe: A question on heeling

    Quote Originally Posted by Trickster
    I think some trainers expect that Border Collie-esque style heeling from every dog.
    LOL, how did you know! That is exactly the dog she has and uses for an example all class! BJ is the only lab in the class. I will have to ask my DH to watch and see how the other dogs do on heel because I am too busy watching BJ, and trying not to run into the great dane in front of us.


    Rusty, Blaze & Buster Brown
    BJ - 3/9/2007 - 2/6/12 - miss you everyday
    Boomer - ? - 3/15/12 - always in my heart


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    DefaultRe: A question on heeling

    Quote Originally Posted by Endofile
    Quote Originally Posted by kaznalf
    My trainer says hold treat low but he bites at my hand all way round which bloody hurts. Now ive resorted to having that left hand in my pocket and slipping him a treat every few steps and its only thing thats working but he does look at me when doing it.

    Erm have u tried standing still when he goes in front then putting him bk in position, treat then repeat lol?
    Has your trainer suggested anything to correct this? When dogs in our classes did this, HK included, NO TREAT. We would stop the current exercise, have them sit, and take the treat gentle mouth, no teeth. And would work that as long as it took before rejoining the exercise with the class. It was harder to get them to be gentle when in motion, but this method they had us use seemed to work quite well.
    Yes i didnt give him the treat lol noway was he biting at my hand to get it

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