Obedience for a Conformation Dog - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-09-2013, 01:11 AM Thread Starter
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Obedience for a Conformation Dog

I've had Ozzie for a month now and I'm starting him on some serious obedience work. He is two years old and a conformation champion and has had no prior training other than basic household manners type stuff. His heel work while moving is excellent and his recalls are amazing.

The problem I am having is getting him to sit at heel. Every time we stop moving, he goes into a stack. I've tried all the tricks I know for getting a heel sit and they just make his stack more 'intense'. I've tried luring with food and toys, pulling up on his leash while pressing his rear down...he just stretches out more and really leans into his stack.

He is going to be continuing his show career with another handler, so I need to be careful not to do anything that would jeopardize that.

Anyone have any suggestions?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-09-2013, 10:43 AM
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Does he do a "sit" otherwise? Does he understand what it means?

I would also make the difference between obedience and conformation very different. Heavier leash and collar for obedience. Different bait for each venue.

I would also work the sit in heel position while in motion. You are going to have to be quick enough to push him into a sit before he stops, because once he stops, he will just stand there. Keep your leash short, and when you are ready to stop, tell him sit and pull up and push down. He will be confused at first, but don't worry, he'll figure it out. Eventually he will learn that when you face forward he's supposed to sit, and when you turn into him at a halt he should stand.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-09-2013, 12:03 PM
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You could try giving a collar correction *forward* so that his oppositional reflex has him sit back, instead of correcting him up or back.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-09-2013, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Andaka View Post
Eventually he will learn that when you face forward he's supposed to sit, and when you turn into him at a halt he should stand.
That's pretty much it. It's like training a puppy, so I wouldn't start with corrections right away. Work a lot in heel position without moving.

I have been through the shift from conformation to obedience. I rarely do conformation anymore, but when I do, I need to remember to have a practice session or 2 before the show or my dog decides it's time to sit down on the job.

"And why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up."
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-10-2013, 12:01 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advise. Yes Ozzie knows sit and down and usually does them at first command, when I am in front of him. Though he's nowhere near where I want him to be, but I'm very patient and we're working on it.

The weather has been pretty crummy here the last few days so our training has been limited to short, inside sessions. What I've been trying is just getting him to sit while in heel position without any forward movement. Then just one step, stop and sit and working my way to two then three steps. That way he doesn't have time to stack himself. He was doing pretty well in the limited time we had today. I guess it's a start! Our next obedience class is Thursday, so we'll see how much he has absorbed.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-10-2013, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by FlyAway View Post
That's pretty much it. It's like training a puppy, so I wouldn't start with corrections right away. Work a lot in heel position without moving.

I have been through the shift from conformation to obedience. I rarely do conformation anymore, but when I do, I need to remember to have a practice session or 2 before the show or my dog decides it's time to sit down on the job.
We had our first obedience class last week. As soon as we started moving on the mats he was off and gating. I gave him one quick, very mild pop to get him focused on me. That was the first correction he had ever had. The rest of the class I had his leash just draped over my shoulders. Power steering.
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