heeling - baby steps, comments welcome. - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-30-2012, 03:05 AM Thread Starter
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heeling - baby steps, comments welcome.

just getting started with this stuff, really appreciatte any feedback on how to improve. i have never used a leash or collar for training. i realise the dogs is "crowding" my leg. i think the dog is enjoying it. yes it is all just following the ball atm, when/how to fade?

the green stuff is grass.

guest appearences are muppets tehe.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-30-2012, 04:54 AM
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Very nice!!! I just love your boy's happy waggy tail, his drive to work, and the obvious bond and relationship he has with you. You are starting out very well, and the critique if only for minor details to polish up the final picture:

To keep his body straight, practice heeling against a wall or fence - he won't be able to swing his bum out. To help with the pushing and crowding, You are letting him push you, and you keep circling to the right to try to get him off your leg. We tend to want to set our dogs up for success, and we end up doing all the work and letting our dogs "push" us, physically and metaphorically, but make him do the work. Do lots of sudden left turns, circles to the left. Don't be afraid to bump into him as you use your body to push him off. Reward when he anticipates a left turn and moves off your leg on his own.

Another thing to help with keeping him off your leg and straightening him out, is for YOU to straighten up. I know that at this stage, you want to see where he is, where he is looking (at you), and reward the eye contact (very nice job with that), but think also or rewarding position.

I know that you were turning circles to stay in the camera's range, but to help with position and cut down on the crowding, walk straighter, and FAST! Straighten out your body, hold your shoulders straight, and start getting him used to keeping position without actually having direct eye contact with you (which he will have to do to heel in position straight while you look straight ahead). I start with just glancing up as I heel in a straight line, then looking down again and praising/rewarding. Then the glances is looking up straight ahead for a step, then two steps, and so on.


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-30-2012, 09:50 AM
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Looks like a good beginning to me. He's a happy dog who clearly enjoys working.

I agree with using a wall or fence to fix the position and picking up the speed. That was one thing I had to get used to when I started heeling was walking much faster.

One thing that I see all the time with using a ball or tug for heeling is that the dog turns its body in relation to where the reward is and where he thinks it will come from. I think that by having the reward in neutral position or hidden in the armpit/pocket/behind your back helps with teaching the dog the actual command and teaching them that they are being rewarded for looking at you, not at the ball.

So to answer your question, I would teach the dog the command by having him watch you when you give the command to heel, with the ball out of site. So he learns to look at you when you say heel and not just to follow the ball. That's just what I would do with my experience and I am in no way an expert

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-30-2012, 09:55 AM
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Adding the wall is a great idea.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 12:57 AM Thread Starter
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hey guys thanks for tips. haven't been on to reply earlier. have worked on a few things mentioned. will post an updated vid some time soon.

the feedback appreciatted.

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