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Old 02-27-2014, 12:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Proper heel position

I trained my dog how to do the heel position using a box that her front feet were on. We practiced with me going around the box until she knew to move in to the correct position. Now without the box she knows the position to go in to. The problem is that when I turn to my right she wil take a step in front of me and then step back next to my left leg. This isn't a problem when I turn left because she just backs up. Is there something I can do to help with this? When she does line up she lines up pretty well but I don't think she should be stepping in front of me and then backing up to my leg.
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I really don't get the box thing, my advice would be to use a prong collar.

I see so many people who have problems with their dog heeling.

It's one of the easiest things to teach if done right from the get go.

The best method I have found was in Lew Burke's dog training book.

It's lighting fast and your dog will be solid.
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:20 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Okin View Post
I trained my dog how to do the heel position using a box that her front feet were on. We practiced with me going around the box until she knew to move in to the correct position. Now without the box she knows the position to go in to. The problem is that when I turn to my right she wil take a step in front of me and then step back next to my left leg. This isn't a problem when I turn left because she just backs up. Is there something I can do to help with this? When she does line up she lines up pretty well but I don't think she should be stepping in front of me and then backing up to my leg.
I take it you are doing focused heeling for competition of some sort and not just walk heeling. You can go back to the box until the dog understands the position and transition better. You can make the box smaller so the dog doesn't have as much freedom of movement. You can give a negative mark at the point that the dog steps past you and reset the position and only mark for correct reps. You can over or under exaggerate the position so the dog is successful and mark correct reps. You can use leash pressure to hold the dog in position. You can use the e-collar to make a safe zone that decreases in size until the dog remains in perfect position. You can use a touch stick with the e-collar to move the dog where you need.

Lots of options.

I would recommend the Focused Heeling DVD by Michael Ellis. It teaches leash pressure work, and allows you to fine tune the dog's position with very little pressure on a prong collar.

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Old 03-01-2014, 09:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It seems like every time I kick a bush, you come running out.

How do you find the time to train?
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:13 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It seems like every time I kick a bush, you come running out.

How do you find the time to train?
I'm in Korea without a dog.

Sorry if my presence on threads you post in offends you.
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:18 AM   #6 (permalink)
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It doesn't, and I love your new avatar.

Thanks again for your service.

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Old 03-01-2014, 10:27 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks.

Got the idea from MaggieRoseLee
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:29 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Winners View Post
Thanks.

Got the idea from MaggieRoseLee
Then you know it's a great idea!
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Old 03-05-2014, 12:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Winners View Post
I take it you are doing focused heeling for competition of some sort and not just walk heeling. You can go back to the box until the dog understands the position and transition better. You can make the box smaller so the dog doesn't have as much freedom of movement. You can give a negative mark at the point that the dog steps past you and reset the position and only mark for correct reps. You can over or under exaggerate the position so the dog is successful and mark correct reps. You can use leash pressure to hold the dog in position. You can use the e-collar to make a safe zone that decreases in size until the dog remains in perfect position. You can use a touch stick with the e-collar to move the dog where you need.

Lots of options.

I would recommend the Focused Heeling DVD by Michael Ellis. It teaches leash pressure work, and allows you to fine tune the dog's position with very little pressure on a prong collar.

Michael Ellis and his Dog, Pi Demonstrating the Heeling Exercise "Find the Left Leg" - YouTube
Somehow I lost track of this thread and didn't see the reply. Thanks that is exactly what I am looking to do. Not for a competition just something to work towards. While on the box she lines up perfect because she is moving with her legs on the box. I can bring the box back in and try to really rienforce it. Maybe I need to work on this with a leash since I have been working without one. She does find the leg but she overshoots then settles back in to it. Having the leash on might help with that. So far I am not even working on really walking with her other than a few steps at a time. I do what they showed in the video and have my left leg back and then forward so she always lines up with it. I'm looking to get this part really solid before trying to get her to do extended walking in this form. Also maybe I should try to use some type of tug like they do in this video she if more driven to tugs/balls than food.

Honeslty this stuff is for me as much as it is for her. I am trying to learn how to really train my dogs as much as I am trying to get her trained. This site is really great resource with so many accomplished trainers.
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Old 03-05-2014, 12:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Deno View Post
I really don't get the box thing, my advice would be to use a prong collar.
The point of the "box thing" is to teach rear-end awareness and, later on, help the dog find the desired position from a variety of angles and approaches. Depending on the size and orientation of platforms that you use, it can also be extremely helpful in teaching correct position changes (Sit to Stand to Down and all combinations of those three basic positions) and building the dog's core strength (dogs with less core strength tend to Sit sloppily, can't hold the position as long, and may throw their front legs forward when going into a Down, instead of lowering themselves in a fixed position).

Personally I really dislike using a collar of any sort, let alone a prong, to teach heelwork. It can work, and it can work beautifully, but it's not my preferred path. I've seen dogs who did just fine with it, but a lot of other dogs trained the same way exhibited a lot of stress and avoidance behaviors, and it's just not something I want to see in my own dogs ever. It's not that difficult to teach competition heeling via shaping, platform training, and targeting; I don't see a need to use compulsion to get there.
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