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Need a tip or two with Pivots...

525 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Buckyball
Ummmm Buck doesn't seem to notice me pivoting...pivoting to the left to be precise. He just continues to sit in his spot.
If I get him to turn using my hand majority of the time he ends up sitting right in front of me :-\

Any tips on how you taught your pup this one???

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I was looking for my previous posts on this subject but can't find them. :(

Pivots require the dog to understand that they have a rear end and that they control it. It isn't something that just follows them. ;)

There are several things you can do to help the dog understand they have a rear end. Lay a ladder on the ground and heel the dog over it. At first they will hit just about every rung of the ladder but they will eventually learn to place their feet between the rungs. When the dog can go thru forward, have them back thru...same premise. Also trying going at different paces.

I use a raised circle board. Start with a 36" round board (Home Depot sells them precut) and nail 1x1s underneath the edges so it doesn't tip. Sit the dog on the board in heel position. Tell the dog heel and take a step. At first the dog will step off. Put him back on and start again. This is a very slow process...one step at a time, then two steps at a time. You will heel around the outside of the board as the dog begins to pivot on the board. When he can make a full circle all the way around without stepping off, make him go backwards...again one step at a time. Then you graduate to the next smaller size...24" and start over. It will go quicker now that the dog understands what is required. Keep graduating to smaller and smaller sizes. My trainer's Mal can pivot on an 8" circle...all 4 feet are bunched up in the middle and she spins in place. This is how I taught Murray.

Another way to teach pivots is to put a buckle collar on the dog, hold the leash behind your back and in your right hand. The leash needs to be tight so the dog is snugged up to your leg..no slack. Use a treat in your left hand to lure the dog's head left while you tell the dog to "get it in" and slowly start to pivot to the left just one step. This will further tighten the leash and cause the dog to step back. Immediately loosen the leash, praise and treat. Now try it again and try to get 2 steps, then 3, until you get a full 360 degree pivot. This is how I taught Essy.

Pivots take lots of time to perfect and therefore must be done slowly...literally one step at a time.
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wow! Thanks for the explanation ;D It's going to help me out a lot!! ;D We are going to get started tonight ;D

Again, Thank you so much :)
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