Heeling in right mode? - high tail - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-13-2016, 05:32 AM Thread Starter
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Wink Heeling in right mode? - high tail

Hi, I am planning to make the BH test with my young female now 1st of October. I am training heeling a lot to make it solid, but as getting more and more into dog sports and how the dog works I also has started to thinking about the dogs mode in heeling.

I have noticed that my dog´s tail is slightly down in heeling, as in being in prey mode? She has got a really high prey drive overall so its not that strange, but how do I get her to switch from heeling in prey to heeling in pack drive, tail slightly high?

The method I am using in heeling atm is to have one small ball under my left armpit and another ball in my right hand. About 19 times of 20 I reward her with the ball in right hand, throwing it to her behind me a bit to the left.

One of my mentors has said that she eventually will get into this pack mode and not being so much in prey when the reward is not coming from the focusing point. Time will tell I guess.

What do you think would be a good way to get her out of the prey mode?
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-13-2016, 10:03 AM
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First, how they look when they are heeling is partly due to structure, partly do to training muscle memory, partly due to how you trained the exercise and partly due to their attitude. It has zero to do with prey or pack mode.

Her tail could be lower for many reasons.
--She could be unsure.
--You could have used to much compulsion
--It might be her body structure.
--Her butt could be dropped and she's pushing off her rear (which is ideally what you want!! If they are pushing off their rear then they are typically straight in position)
-- and a thousand other reasons.

Stop rewarding her from your right. You are going to pull her across your body and cause her to forge instead of keeping her in position on the left.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-13-2016, 12:17 PM
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Your dog could be a boss over you, still, if he learned leash manners - he will do what he has learned in order to benefit from it. Heeling - is just further stage of the same process. Sorry to say that, but if you ask such questions - you are far away from participating in competition, unless I don't get something. Could you possibly send your video?

We should differentuate a so called PATROL HEELING and COMPETITIVE HEELING.

Patrol heeling involves a leash, your dog pulls it but only slightly and reacts to any changes to the leash, his head forward, tail up, and he moves rather freely on your left. This type of heeling you ask your dog to perform when you walk along the streets, as it was designed for police patrols. For trained dogs leash is not necessary:

In competitive heeling ( that is your test) - your dog should glue to your left thigh, head up and look into your face, his whole corpus leans up, that's why he appears as if he is "swimming" with his front legs:

The reason your dog relapses into prey mode - because you allow it to happen, there's nothing besides the leash that hold your dog to you. I suggest you to involve a ball on rope in your training, your dog would mind that there is the ball in your right fist at your chest first, and would look at you when there is an empty fist at your chest later. Balls represent prey anyway, can be a distraction for something that triggers prey drive.
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