We need your very best ideas - sitting crooked
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Thread: We need your very best ideas - sitting crooked

  1. #1
    YellowJakesMom's Avatar
    YellowJakesMom is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultWe need your very best ideas - sitting crooked

    Okay, I'm at my wit's end here. Jake can do (almost) everything for Rally Advanced but he's still sitting crooked when heeling :-X

    I've tried heeling him on a board so he falls off if he sits crooked, that works - until the board isn't there. If we do the circle exercise (turn a tight, tiny circle and stop abruptly) he will sit correctly, but not when we move off the circle. If I set up a "tunnel" of poles for him to walk down, he doesn't care if he sits on any of them (this was also a problem with the ladder in agility, that stuff doesn't bother him).

    I think our problem is he looks up and watches me when we're heeling, so his butt is already a little swung out to the left to start with, when he sits he just plops it where it is when I stop. I've tried physically rearranging him, but it upsets him (jumps up from the sit, spins around, etc.). The leash behind the butt or along the body he just chases. I've tried only rewarding the few straight sits we get, but when I don't reward he begins to offer other behaviors he already knows (front, finish, down, spin, over, and on and on) he never offers a straight sit :-\

    Any ideas? I know we can get his last two RN legs with these slightly off-kilter sits, but I'd really like to move up to get a CD someday and know they won't cut it there.

    (Oh, I've checked my feet/had SO watch my body, so I don't think I'm leaning or twisted, my feet are pointing straight ahead)

    Thanks in advance - we're willing to try anything!!

    Only after the last tree has been cut down, only after the last river has been poisoned, only after the last fish has been caught, only then will you find that money cannot be eaten. - Cree prophecy

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  3. #2
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    DefaultRe: We need your very best ideas - sitting crooked

    I had this issue with Essy. What we did was lure her head out to the left with a treat as we came to a halt...where the head goes, the butt will follow. We also did a lot of heeling along a wall or curb.

    We also had to teach Essy where her butt was. We taught left pivots by holding the leash tightly behind our knees and telling her to "get it in" or whatever command you want and slowing rotating to the left just one step which tightens the leash and forces the dog to move back. We kept increasing the number of steps until we got a 360 degree pivot. Once the dog understands this you can use the command for left turns and for halts by commanding "get it in" to move the butt. Once we wean from the voice commands you can use a buggy whip or long dowel in your right hand held behind your back to tap the dog's butt as the dog makes the left turns and/or halts to remind them to move their butt.

    It's really just a matter of repetitive motion...training the body to do the same thing over and over. What you don't want to do is let him sit crooked then reposition him. You want to make him sit straight the first time otherwise he will think the command is "sit butt out, reposition butt in" or wait for you to physically position him. That's why putting a command to the positioning of the butt is good to have in your arsenal so you can correct him as he's in motion without ever laying a hand on him.

    Quote Originally Posted by yellojakesmom

    I think our problem is he looks up and watches me when we're heeling, so his butt is already a little swung out to the left to start with, when he sits he just plops it where it is when I stop.
    You could also try changing the focal point to something lower on your body like your hand for example, that way he won't have to curl so far around to see your face. Some of my training buddies use their arm band as a focal point because it is lower than their face.

    Quote Originally Posted by yellojakesmom

    Any ideas? I know we can get his last two RN legs with these slightly off-kilter sits, but I'd really like to move up to get a CD someday and know they won't cut it there.

    As I stated before, correct him before he gets into the sit position. This is completely acceptable in rally so use it to your advantage until you can get straight sits more reliably. As you halt, just remind him to "get it in".

    This will also become an issue for your RE since the back up requires the dog to stay straight and I can almost guarantee he'll want to swing his butt out as he does this exercise too.

    You can certainly get a CD with crooked sits. Depending on the severity you are only talking 1/2 to 1 pt or so for each sit. No sits are 3-5 pts and we've qualified in the 180s with several of those in one run. :-[ What you won't be able to do is score in the high 190s with this issue so it's really about what your goals are.

  4. #3
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    DefaultRe: We need your very best ideas - sitting crooked

    I had this issue with Essy. What we did was lure her head out to the left with a treat as we came to a halt...where the head goes, the butt will follow. We also did a lot of heeling along a wall or curb.

    We also had to teach Essy where her butt was. We taught left pivots by holding the leash tightly behind our knees and telling her to "get it in" or whatever command you want and slowing rotating to the left just one step which tightens the leash and forces the dog to move back. We kept increasing the number of steps until we got a 360 degree pivot. Once the dog understands this you can use the command for left turns and for halts by commanding "get it in" to move the butt. Once we wean from the voice commands you can use a buggy whip or long dowel in your right hand held behind your back to tap the dog's butt as the dog makes the left turns and/or halts to remind them to move their butt.

    It's really just a matter of repetitive motion...training the body to do the same thing over and over. What you don't want to do is let him sit crooked then reposition him. You want to make him sit straight the first time otherwise he will think the command is "sit butt out, reposition butt in" or wait for you to physically position him. That's why putting a command to the positioning of the butt is good to have in your arsenal so you can correct him as he's in motion without ever laying a hand on him.
    Ah yes, the infamous crooked sits. Henery's sits. Gah!!

    We do what Lydia does... leash behind legs, food lure to the left of snout. Long dowel didn't work for us as Henry wanted to target it (it looks freakishly similar to his target stick :) But Henry has learned well that he has a back end! Hoorah! Still working on the crooked (and rock back) sits. Agree totally that he is not to learn to sit crooked, then be repositioned.

    Other tips we've picked up so far... heeling against a wall (or curb), heeling into a mirror, and not starting the halt sequence until the dog is parallel (ie. he's not already swinging his butt around) and lowering the focal point.

    We got our CD with crooked sits. Not pretty, but I was never aiming for the 190s, or perfection. All of our scores have been in the 180s. We do, however, have MUCH work to do before Open.

    Good luck with Jake!


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    YellowJakesMom's Avatar
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    DefaultRe: We need your very best ideas - sitting crooked

    Thanks guys I'm going to try those tomorrow - I've already been repositioning him after he sat crooked :-[ but from here on out that will be no more!

    We've got a month or so to get ready before his next trial, our goal is to improve from last time (184 or 186 I can't remember) and have not as crooked sits (some were perpendicular to my outer thigh when he was getting really stressed at the end lol).

    Only after the last tree has been cut down, only after the last river has been poisoned, only after the last fish has been caught, only then will you find that money cannot be eaten. - Cree prophecy

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    debjen is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: We need your very best ideas - sitting crooked

    We've had the butt swinging out problem too and we've used the treating to the left of nose and it has straigtened Cedar's sits quite well..we also use the wall too.

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    DefaultRe: We need your very best ideas - sitting crooked

    I agree with the treat out to the left of the dog, forcing the rear in.

    BTW, how old is Henry?

    FWIW, Ruger really didn't start sitting in close and straight until recently (he just turned 6). Now he really will move his butt in on command and square up. On the contrary, Ms. Magnum would scoot her little butt in and sit perfectly square from the get go. Remington is sitting fairly square but about a foot away from my leg so we are still working on these issues as well

    Happy Training!!!!

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    DefaultRe: We need your very best ideas - sitting crooked

    BTW, how old is Henry?

    FWIW, Ruger really didn't start sitting in close and straight until recently (he just turned 6). Now he really will move his butt in on command and square up.
    Linda, he'll be 5 in a few months! Thank goodness, there's hope!! I'm quite sure it's because we got such a late start in obedience (just last year) and I never corrected his crooked sits before. Oh lah...


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    DefaultRe: We need your very best ideas - sitting crooked

    I never corrected his crooked sits before.
    I think you've hit the nail on the head with this statement. I did the same. As long as Ruger was close, I let it slide. Now that I'm working in Utility I'm demand much more from him. I make him "get it in" and he'll actually pick his butt up and reposition it, and I keep after him until it's just right, and then he gets a reward.

    A lot of what our dogs do reflect directly on what we allow them to get away with I'm a lazy trainer, and it very often bites me in the butt.


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    DefaultRe: We need your very best ideas - sitting crooked

    Before we started formal obedience, I was just thrilled if I said sit, and he plopped his butt down any which way. :-\

    Ah, I will know better for pup #2.

    We were heeling today outside and I noticed it even more so today that he really swings his butt out when he's heeling... oh lah... *sigh*


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    DefaultRe: We need your very best ideas - sitting crooked

    Quote Originally Posted by henrysmom
    \

    Ah, I will know better for pup #2.
    you are not alone in this - I can say the same thing - except now it's like oh I'll know better for pup #10 (or so -LOL) each dog teaches you - even dog 9 teaches you something new

    cheers
    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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