Starting Over
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Thread: Starting Over

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    3TailsWaggin's Avatar
    3TailsWaggin is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultStarting Over

    Starting over in training with a new pup brings back so many memories. Everytime I work Ferrari, I remember my girl Magnum. She was the first dog I trained to do anything. She was amazing. I know Ferrari will be good too, in his own way, but boy do I remember my girl.

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    So, if you've trained obedience, share some of your methods for helping the dog to learn heel position. Right now I'm at the luring stage... I use bits of cheese and the clicker and reward him for correct position. He's starting to get it... as long as we are moving he gets it. If we stop and he moves off away from me... he doesn't know what "heel" means yet to get back into position. That's okay, he's still quite young.

    What methods have you used for training heel?

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    I lure (at first), but fade out the visible treat as quickly as possible. I only reward at heel and in front-- they must be in good position though!

    I don't use clicker, just my voice and very good timing on treats. If he moves wide when you stop, make sure to step forward again and get him INTO heel and reward for that position, nothing else will do. One step at a time... Forward. Sit. treat.

    If you are using a leash, just reach your arm down to swing his butt into you if he does move wide and tell him GOOD HEEL once he's there.

    WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014

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    I don't use a clicker, very rarely use treats and only as a reward - not as a lure/bribe. Heel is a location, not necc a position. Heel can be stationary or moving, in a stand, sit, or down. If he moves away from you/away from heel when you stop, IMO the issue isn't "heel" - it's "sit." A dog that sits instantly when you stop really can't get out of position. If he takes a couple steps to check your hands for treats before sitting, then he's out of position when he sits.

    I start with very general expectations - heel means near my leg with a loose leash as frequently as possible - and I gradually increase my expectations for a dog. So what you'd be happy with from your pup at this stage isn't what you'd be happy with a year from now, but that's okay.

    To teach a dog to get back to "heel" - I start with the dog sitting at heel, then I take a step or two so I've turned 90+ degrees, tell the dog to heel and use the leash to bring them to the right place. Like the Rally-O exercises for RA/RE. Gradually I'll make it more specific where I only step a couple inches over.

    One other thought- I find dogs learn "heel" a lot quicker if I tell them "good heel" every time they're in the right place- versus saying "heel" every time they're <not> in the correct location.
    ~your decisions are only as good as the information you base them on~

    Claire DVM
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    Oh I am in the same place right now, my almost 5 month old started real classes last week. I'm a more vocal trainer than a treat trainer, but I do use treats often.

    I'm never in a hurry to do away with them, but use them less for the little things as they get older.

    Isn't it fun! So much potential in little wiggy giggly bodies that want to be with you all the time!
    'Don't grow up too quickly, lest you forget how much you love the beach.'
    ~ Michelle Held


    Rhys, Ruby and Nola

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    Thanks all. I'm having so much fun with Ferrari. It's nice to have a different breed. I still love my labs, but it's a nice change.
    We set up Rally Obedience this morning for our class. It was the first time he had "signs" to see. He really did very well. A couple of places he had very short attention span, but he is only 3.5 months old, so it's okay! He did all the signs well. He is finally getting the "around" finish. Yay!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3TailsWaggin View Post
    Thanks all. I'm having so much fun with Ferrari. It's nice to have a different breed. I still love my labs, but it's a nice change.
    I agree... I still love Labs, and my folks have a Lab pup I'm looking forward to working with/showing. But, at the same time, I really am enjoying this Australian Shepherd pup I have now. He's just so much fun and he loves to learn.
    ~your decisions are only as good as the information you base them on~

    Claire DVM
    Lijah UD GO VER RE CGC TDI ASCA-CD (7/10 UDX, 186/200 OM1 pts, 9/100 OTCH pts + UB/OB wins)
    Zen UD VER GO JH
    Boaz JH CD CGC
    Brie CD CGC
    Tara (future amazingness!)
    www.clairedvm.com

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    I teach heel off leash first
    http://andrea-agilityaddict.blogspot.com/

    “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.” H. Keller

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3TailsWaggin View Post
    It's nice to have a different breed. I still love my labs, but it's a nice change.
    Ditto! Lovin' my Curly-Girlie!
    'Don't grow up too quickly, lest you forget how much you love the beach.'
    ~ Michelle Held


    Rhys, Ruby and Nola

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