The Administrator from the Great White North, eh?
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Northern British Columbia
Kaity, that's excellent advice, but I think this question is in the context of Schutzhund/Formal Obedience training.
I had the same issues with Gryffon - For some dogs being that close to you is uncomfortable, because they know that they are in your space, and they don't want to suggest that they are challenging you by pushing into you and looking into your eyes. Same as others have said, practiced teaching Gryff that coming in and pushing into me is a fun and rewarding game, and did that seperate from the formal recall.
With Gryff I did it with a tug under my chin since he is more tug motivated than food motivated. I would, for example, work on formal heeling with the tug under my armpit, then I would suddenly move backwards, calling "Heir", and put the tug under my chin. I would move backwards until he was pushing into me. Then I would stop, wait a second or two, and reward.
At first, just being in position got a reward, then later I added a sit command. You know he understands the exercise if you move backwards or sideways, and he moves to stay in position completely in front of you.
Though be careful about doing this when your dog is loaded in drive. A few weeks ago Gryff anticipated the tug release and jumped to catch it and caught my upper lip. Oh well, the scar will give me character . . .
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Keeta BH, OB1, TR1, AD
Rottweiler/Hairy Dog mix?? 2004-2015