puppy sometimes stops during heel - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-04-2010, 04:08 AM Thread Starter
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puppy sometimes stops during heel

I have a 7 month GSD i just got back from the trainer. When i give the command "heel" he follows me but there are times when he stops dead in his tracks and looks at me, like he doesnt want to move an inch.

what should i do? give the command heel and tug him by my side? I am using a choke collar when i train him.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-04-2010, 07:00 AM
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First~ How long was this young dog with the trainer? And what did the trainer teach you to do?

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-04-2010, 07:37 AM
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Did the trainer also work with you? How far do you heel before he stops?
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-04-2010, 09:28 AM
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Maybe he's waiting for a reward? He's still a baby.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-04-2010, 09:47 AM Thread Starter
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trainer worked with gunther (my gsd) for 3 weeks. commands were transferred to me and we worked on heel, sit, stay, down, come together. gunther was following me during the transition. at home i tried continuing the training to bond with him and there are some instances were he just freezes and doesnt want to move on a heel command... an example:

were walking one direction, i stop, pivot and turn 180 to go in the opposite direction. he will pivot with me and walk a few feet then stop.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-04-2010, 10:06 AM
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Isn't 7 months that "stuborn" period where they start testing you?

When he stops, I would use a happy voice to encourage forward movement. I'm a big advocate of happy training time. My dogs tend to shut down if I'm too quiet and military-like. They start to worry that something is wrong. Since I don't know your dog's personality, its hard to say.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-04-2010, 10:16 AM
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My trainer uses a great deal of body language when working a dog. I suspect that your pup is seeing something you're doing and following through with a reaction. Like swinging your arm and your pup sees that as a finish or something and he is confused.

If I have Hondo at a heel/sit, and I lead off with my left foot he is to heel. If I lead with my right foot, he is to remain sitting and is now at the stay.

Call your trainer - I bet it has something to do with your body langauge.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-04-2010, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPuppy View Post
Isn't 7 months that "stuborn" period where they start testing you?

When he stops, I would use a happy voice to encourage forward movement. I'm a big advocate of happy training time. My dogs tend to shut down if I'm too quiet and military-like. They start to worry that something is wrong. Since I don't know your dog's personality, its hard to say.
There are also fear stages that the puppy may go through when things that are familiar and comfortable may all of a sudden cause him stress. Keep your training periods shorts and if he is hesitant, maybe consider stepping back, doing something he will do and ending the session. He is young still. You want to be aware of the various development stages at this point and learn to blend your training with some of these.
Is it possible there may be some kind of distraction where you are practicing your heeling that can be catching his attention as you make those turns.
Make sure to keep it positive and fun as you teach these exercises and always try to end on a positive and successful exercise.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-04-2010, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
trainer worked with gunther (my gsd) for 3 weeks.
Just out of curiosity.... what type of methods were used in teaching the commands?

Heeling is something that takes a long time to really master.. It can also be a command that is not so much fun for a lot of dogs..

Leesa~

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-04-2010, 11:31 PM
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I would step back a step and not work him untill he stops. When you make the turn reward him an play with him. Next time make the turn and go a couple steps then play. He will learn that the play time is coming, you can stretch it out slowly but i always like to build and then reward. Good luck
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