Is my heel "correct" (schutzhund PSA??) - Page 2 - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 01-24-2014, 12:47 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Liz&Anna View Post
Wellllll lol yes, I did a tacking lesson with irondog k9's in VA, I do bite work with the mid Atlantic protection group once a week and so far I have done 2 obedience lessons (privately) with arrowwood shepherds (he won't put Anna in to group until she's 6 months old) but we haven't started the heel yet were really working on her drive and focus, I'm thinking just relationship building really.

I'm gonna work on it and ill be sure to post more videos - this kind of sloppy heel has taken me like 3 months on my own watching DVDs hahah and YouTube videos -__-


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Oh, I hope you don't think I was saying you're heel is "a mess." I meant I was a mess at first! It looks great, especially since you are learning on your own as you're going. It's so nice to have the club and TD there for the little things like head drops, proper position, etc...However, you work with what you have. :-D It looks great, sometimes doing so much so soon can be hard and have the opposite effect. Getting that 100% focus, and only continuing forward with that focus helps the dog to learn it has to maintain the position and focus to get the reward (both tug/food and forward movement).
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:50 AM   #12 (permalink)
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i personally wouldnt nitpick too much about the head drop at the beginning on a 5 month pup. the pup probably isnt completely comfortable with its body yet and just wants to see where its walking before giving focus.

with more training the dog will be more confident and trust you more and not worry that you'll walk her straight into a pole.
I believe in doing it right the first time, so you don't have to go back and fix it with compulsion later. A lot don't care, start out with luring, fix little things with compulsion, etc...I just like the perfect picture from the get go. Dog learns position and not to drop it's head right away. Then I don't have to fight a mature dog every first step, for a head dropping, possibly creating conflict in the first step. A puppy who has a foundation of 100% focus in sit before we move forward at all, won't drop that head. Anyway, just my thoughts. There are many ways to skin a cat.

Edit: I should add, the only reason I noticed is because I've had to "fix" it on one dog later on. It isn't necessarily because of not trusting the handler, it just becomes a habit to drop the head. Habits have to be broken somehow, in my case and with a couple others, it doesn't just "go away." It's incredible how quickly a dog creates a little habit like that. My first GSD looked at the ground every time I rewarded it because I dropped food TWICE and let him get it. So he just got into the habit of checking for food every.single.time I rewarded. It only took one session to create the problem, and a few to break it (by blocking/popping with the leash). I should have never created the habit, so I didn't have to correct for it later.
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:04 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I believe in doing it right the first time
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Originally Posted by DaniFani View Post
It looks great, sometimes doing so much so soon can be hard and have the opposite effect. Getting that 100% focus, and only continuing forward with that focus helps the dog to learn it has to maintain the position and focus to get the reward (both tug/food and forward movement).


I'm with Dani on this one. I would correct the head drop now so I don't have to fix it later. I personally hate the "I'll fix it later" mind set. Why create an issue if you don't have to?

I also agree with doing too much. I would personally slow down. The puppy looks a little flat to me. The last release you(OP) did when you jumped back and rewarded was great. Did you see your puppy get excited? Keep your sessions short and full of energy on your part and you will get the puppy driving you more.
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:35 AM   #14 (permalink)
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yeah there are definitely more ways than one to get competition heeling. it wasnt a "i'll fix it later" mindset. i just broke it down into parts for my dog. i started out just wanting him to heel next to me during walks. so i taught him the mechanics and positions first. i wanted him to be aware of my left leg more than anything. when i wanted to teach the focused heeling i just did it with a ball and it was a really easy. i'm sure the head drop thing could be harder to fix with treats?

i dont have any formal training so my methods are a little bit unorthodox but i THINK it works? i just held the ball near my arm pit and then asked for a heel. my dog already knows all the mechanics of it so when he gets into position and looks at the ball i immediately reward. he has to jump a little for the ball and the reward is always above him so he's always looking up. then when i can get him looking at the ball i take one step forward and then immediately reward. we did this until he was staring at the ball while we were going at different heeling speeds and turns. next while we were heeling i would take the ball and hide it behind my back for 2 seconds and then bring it back to my arm pit before rewarding. i then added more time that i hid the ball. i ALWAYS brought the ball back to my arm pit before rewarding though. thats where the dog anticipates his reward so he is constantly staring at that spot even if there is no ball there. he stares because he knows eventually that is where the reward will be. my dog has intense ball drive so it looks really good. it looks like he is intensely staring at my face and has a lot of oomph in his step (not because he likes heeling but he is excited for the ball). not sure if this would work with less ball driven dogs though.
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:48 AM   #15 (permalink)
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bommer11, please don't think I was picking on you. My remark actually had more to do with a club I was trying to help a while back. They were rewarding crappy bites I suggested they fix the bite before letting the dog win and the response was "I'll fix the grip later", instead of take the two seconds it takes to correct it now before it becomes a habit for the dog. Ever since then it has become a pet peeve of mine. I'm not saying I do it all perfectly either. i just try and avoid creating an issue I'm going to have to "fix" later.
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:49 AM   #16 (permalink)
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yeah there are definitely more ways than one to get competition heeling. it wasnt a "i'll fix it later" mindset. i just broke it down into parts for my dog. i started out just wanting him to heel next to me during walks. so i taught him the mechanics and positions first. i wanted him to be aware of my left leg more than anything. when i wanted to teach the focused heeling i just did it with a ball and it was a really easy. i'm sure the head drop thing could be harder to fix with treats?

i dont have any formal training so my methods are a little bit unorthodox but i THINK it works? i just held the ball near my arm pit and then asked for a heel. my dog already knows all the mechanics of it so when he gets into position and looks at the ball i immediately reward. he has to jump a little for the ball and the reward is always above him so he's always looking up. then when i can get him looking at the ball i take one step forward and then immediately reward. we did this until he was staring at the ball while we were going at different heeling speeds and turns. next while we were heeling i would take the ball and hide it behind my back for 2 seconds and then bring it back to my arm pit before rewarding. i then added more time that i hid the ball. i ALWAYS brought the ball back to my arm pit before rewarding though. thats where the dog anticipates his reward so he is constantly staring at that spot even if there is no ball there. he stares because he knows eventually that is where the reward will be. my dog has intense ball drive so it looks really good. it looks like he is intensely staring at my face and has a lot of oomph in his step (not because he likes heeling but he is excited for the ball). not sure if this would work with less ball driven dogs though.
I don't personally like this method (it's luring and then working the lure out). It's great if it works for you, but I don't want the dog staring at anything but me. I want him to work with and for me. If you get that great healing under distraction and it looks great on the field, etc...That's great. It's just not how I would like to work through the heal. My dog gets the reward (treat/ball/whatever) for looking at me. I want him to push ME for obedience, not the ball. I've also noticed luring in healing can take a LONG time to work the lure out. I know a lot do it, I just don't like it very much. I see a lot of crabbing and forging when luring was the main method. Like I said before, I'd rather have a great picture from the get go, even if it's a smaller step, shorter session, path.
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:55 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by boomer11 View Post
yeah there are definitely more ways than one to get competition heeling. it wasnt a "i'll fix it later" mindset. i just broke it down into parts for my dog. i started out just wanting him to heel next to me during walks. so i taught him the mechanics and positions first. i wanted him to be aware of my left leg more than anything. when i wanted to teach the focused heeling i just did it with a ball and it was a really easy. i'm sure the head drop thing could be harder to fix with treats?

i dont have any formal training so my methods are a little bit unorthodox but i THINK it works? i just held the ball near my arm pit and then asked for a heel. my dog already knows all the mechanics of it so when he gets into position and looks at the ball i immediately reward. he has to jump a little for the ball and the reward is always above him so he's always looking up. then when i can get him looking at the ball i take one step forward and then immediately reward. we did this until he was staring at the ball while we were going at different heeling speeds and turns. next while we were heeling i would take the ball and hide it behind my back for 2 seconds and then bring it back to my arm pit before rewarding. i then added more time that i hid the ball. i ALWAYS brought the ball back to my arm pit before rewarding though. thats where the dog anticipates his reward so he is constantly staring at that spot even if there is no ball there. he stares because he knows eventually that is where the reward will be. my dog has intense ball drive so it looks really good. it looks like he is intensely staring at my face and has a lot of oomph in his step (not because he likes heeling but he is excited for the ball). not sure if this would work with less ball driven dogs though.
The dog wants to just naturally drop it's head, it's a natural habit. I don't believe it has anything to do with treats or tug or ball. Your way is a lure, treat/tug/ball. A lot hold a treat in front of the dog and have the dog follow the treat. Remove the treat, lose the dog. I want the dog to equate focus on me = reward. Not just following the reward. Focus on me is the ultimate goal, so that's what I teach right away. Not focus on ball, then focus on me without the ball. I just skip the focus on ball. It's amazing how fast a dog realizes "foos" means look at me. Just catch his eyes looking at you, say command, reward. It's never taken more than one session for a dog to understand that. THen the reward only comes for focus and sitting next to me. Etc...when I can get all that, under distraction, then we move forward. If any of that makes sense lol.
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:56 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I don't personally like this method (it's luring and then working the lure out). It's great if it works for you, but I don't want the dog staring at anything but me. I want him to work with and for me. If you get that great healing under distraction and it looks great on the field, etc...That's great. It's just not how I would like to work through the heal. My dog gets the reward (treat/ball/whatever) for looking at me. I want him to push ME for obedience, not the ball. I've also noticed luring in healing can take a LONG time to work the lure out. I know a lot do it, I just don't like it very much. I see a lot of crabbing and forging when luring was the main method. Like I said before, I'd rather have a great picture from the get go, even if it's a smaller step, shorter session, path.
what is the difference between a dog looking at your face and your arm pit during a heel? the dog is just focused on a different part of the body? i could just as easily hold the ball right in front of my face to get him to focus on my face. the dog isnt staring at your face because its pretty (your face is probably pretty). its staring because it wants the reward. isnt that the same thing as staring at my arm pit?

edit- again different methods to get to the same result. its just personal preference really.

Last edited by boomer11; 01-24-2014 at 01:59 AM.
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Old 01-24-2014, 02:11 AM   #19 (permalink)
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what is the difference between a dog looking at your face and your arm pit during a heel? the dog is just focused on a different part of the body? i could just as easily hold the ball right in front of my face to get him to focus on my face. the dog isnt staring at your face because its pretty (your face is probably pretty). its staring because it wants the reward. isnt that the same thing as staring at my arm pit?

edit- again different methods to get to the same result. its just personal preference really.
Oh, I don't think it's wrong or anything. I was just trying to explain (obviously poorly lol) why I personally don't lure for the heal. I don't like the "removing the lure" step when training with a lure. It works, a lot do it. I just don't want to go through the time of removing the lure. I also want the dog to understand why/what he's doing, if that makes sense. I want him to "solve the puzzle" to get the reward. Not just follow it until it drops. Then learn he needs to follow where the reward was. I taught him to heal with the reward and now I have to reteach the
heal without the reward in his face. Sorry, I don't think I'm explaining myself very well. Your way is working for you, that's great! I like reading why/how others do things.
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Old 01-24-2014, 08:23 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Ok. the dog knows its basic commands. I would work in getting the dog more excited and into a higher state of drive during your obedience. Make it more fun for the dog. Get the dog amped to be working with you. A ball or tug helps but is not really necessary. Just really be animated and play with the dog going into the obedience session. Keep the sessions as sort as necessary to keep the dog amped and then quit the session when the dog is having the most fun. The next time you start to train, she will remember how much fun she had last time and become more excited to work wit you. As the dog matures you can increase the length of the session. To compete in IPO your dog will need to have some POP to it in obedience.
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