Am I pushing? What's his reaction saying? (heeling issue? perch trng question?) - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
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Am I pushing? What's his reaction saying? (heeling issue? perch trng question?)

Beau and I are working on basic obedience. We're in a class with a well-respected trainer who works with the rescue organization where Beau came from.

We've had Beau for about 3 months - we estimate Beau to be about 11 months old, but there's no way to be sure. He came to his foster home as a stray; don't know what his story is.

Here's what I've noticed in the past week and I'd like your input. I'll be asking the trainer the same question in our class on Sunday, but in the mean time...

We're working on heel/auto sit. He has both down - knows where he's supposed to be when we're walking and he'll auto sit when we stop, however, he's not as close to me as I'd like. He swings his butt out a bit - some times more than others - anywhere between 30-60 degrees from a straight sit.

What I've been doing to try to get him closer to me is to lean down, once he's in a sit, and try to manuever his hind end where it's supposed to be. What I'm seeing, tho, is when I'm moving him, he tucks his ears down and seems to cower a little. After observing this a couple times, I gave up my attempts because I felt I might be doing more harm than good.

So...what do you think? 1) Is his body language trying to tell me something and if so, what?? and 2) When working on a tight sit, are there some techniques to get him closer to me that I can try?

I appreciate your input....

________________________________
Beau-GSD (Rescue)
Kona-GSD (Always in our hearts...miss you)
Zeus-GSD (1999-2011)
Ica-GSD (1999-2008)
Lobo-GSD (1991-1998)
Cagney-Dobie (1990-1997)

"In dog training, jerk is a noun, not a verb."

Last edited by MaggieRoseLee; 12-15-2011 at 08:50 AM.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 08:50 PM
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He's unsure of what you are doing and what you want. I used perch work to teach Jax the position she should be in. It was easy, not stressful on her, and worked like a charm! Once they understand the position, the sit tightens up.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by law1558 View Post
.....We're working on heel/auto sit. He has both down - knows where he's supposed to be when we're walking and he'll auto sit when we stop, however, he's not as close to me as I'd like. He swings his butt out a bit - some times more than others - anywhere between 30-60 degrees from a straight sit.

What I've been doing to try to get him closer to me is to lean down, once he's in a sit, and try to manuever his hind end where it's supposed to be. What I'm seeing, tho, is when I'm moving him, he tucks his ears down and seems to cower a little. After observing this a couple times, I gave up my attempts because I felt I might be doing more harm than good.
I'm in your boat. Bails does the auto sit well, but not always straight, sometimes dang near sideways. Are you using treat rewards? We are and what was suggested to me and does work pretty well is using that treat to lure him farther ahead and pulling it slightly up to encourage him to plop his butt in a better position.

I don't think I'd move him once he's in the sit. It seems like that would be confusing. It's too long after the desired outcome, if that makes sense?

Our trainer had me deal with it this way: learn to use the treat better to get the right placement. If he still sat too far behind, or sideways, do not treat and immediately go back to heel and try again. When he did a good sit, praise heartily and treat.

I'm sure you'll get many better suggestions. This has worked pretty well so far, but we have a long way to go still!!!!!!
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jax08 View Post
He's unsure of what you are doing and what you want. I used perch work to teach Jax the position she should be in. It was easy, not stressful on her, and worked like a charm! Once they understand the position, the sit tightens up.
What's perch work? I've not heard of that - will be Googling shortly!!

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Beau-GSD (Rescue)
Kona-GSD (Always in our hearts...miss you)
Zeus-GSD (1999-2011)
Ica-GSD (1999-2008)
Lobo-GSD (1991-1998)
Cagney-Dobie (1990-1997)

"In dog training, jerk is a noun, not a verb."
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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Quote "Our trainer had me deal with it this way: learn to use the treat better to get the right placement. If he still sat too far behind, or sideways, do not treat and immediately go back to heel and try again. When he did a good sit, praise heartily and treat."

Shame on me - I found myself without treats on our latest outing - went for a run and I thought to myself, "hey...while we're here, lets try ________". Won't be doing that again!

What I ended up doing, tho, which seemed to "force" Beau into position was I'd stop at every light pole - he'd have just enough room for his butt between me and the pole - there was no room for him to swing wide.

Not ideal and I certainly have learned to always have treats in my pocket, even if we're just walking to the end of the block and back!

________________________________
Beau-GSD (Rescue)
Kona-GSD (Always in our hearts...miss you)
Zeus-GSD (1999-2011)
Ica-GSD (1999-2008)
Lobo-GSD (1991-1998)
Cagney-Dobie (1990-1997)

"In dog training, jerk is a noun, not a verb."
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 09:12 PM
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It's very easy!! Go to Tractor Supply and get a small black rubber feed dish to flip up side down.

Get him to stand in front of you with the dish in between you. Hold the treat up so he has to step on the dish to get it. Do you use a clicker? If so, click when his foot touches the dish. The first step is to get both front feet on the dish.

Next step...once he's standing on the dish, stand in front of him with the treat held in both hands directly in front of you. Like you were standing there clasping your hands together in front of you. This will draw his attention about to your hands. Take one step to the right. When he takes a step to his right to compensate, treat him. Then two steps, then three, then four...pretty soon he'll be turning so fast he'll run into your left leg! Voila...Heel position!!

You also need to teach him to Watch you (teach him to make eye contact) and teach him that he can walk with his head up. To do that, just hold your arm tight to your side and hold a treat just high enough so he has to lift his head. He does not get the treat until he walks with his head up. Again, one step at a time. If he is bothering the treat, he doesn't get rewarded. If he takes a step just watching the treat, then he gets rewarded.

When you put all three steps together...you get a really nice heel.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 09:12 PM
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when i was teaching heel i would do it against
a building, a fence, a wall when indoors. sometimes
my neighbor would line up their 2 cars with my car
and i would use the 3 cars as if they were a wall.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-15-2011, 12:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jax08 View Post
It's very easy!! Go to Tractor Supply and get a small black rubber feed dish to flip up side down.

Get him to stand in front of you with the dish in between you. Hold the treat up so he has to step on the dish to get it. Do you use a clicker? If so, click when his foot touches the dish. The first step is to get both front feet on the dish.

Next step...once he's standing on the dish, stand in front of him with the treat held in both hands directly in front of you. Like you were standing there clasping your hands together in front of you. This will draw his attention about to your hands. Take one step to the right. When he takes a step to his right to compensate, treat him. Then two steps, then three, then four...pretty soon he'll be turning so fast he'll run into your left leg! Voila...Heel position!!

You also need to teach him to Watch you (teach him to make eye contact) and teach him that he can walk with his head up. To do that, just hold your arm tight to your side and hold a treat just high enough so he has to lift his head. He does not get the treat until he walks with his head up. Again, one step at a time. If he is bothering the treat, he doesn't get rewarded. If he takes a step just watching the treat, then he gets rewarded.

When you put all three steps together...you get a really nice heel.

BEST explanation that I have ever heard on how to do this! Thanks!
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-15-2011, 01:47 AM Thread Starter
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Found a YouTube video too. Will try it. Thanks.

________________________________
Beau-GSD (Rescue)
Kona-GSD (Always in our hearts...miss you)
Zeus-GSD (1999-2011)
Ica-GSD (1999-2008)
Lobo-GSD (1991-1998)
Cagney-Dobie (1990-1997)

"In dog training, jerk is a noun, not a verb."
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-15-2011, 07:46 AM
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also to work on straight sits,,use a "wall",,in your house, outside, at your training center...You, the dog, the wall, he is close to the wall, automatic sits rather 'force' them to sit straight..

Diane
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