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Old 08-19-2010, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
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Forging

Did you know forging affect 4 out of 5 dogs in competition heeling? Well, it's true! Actually, not really. Anyhoo ...

So what are some of the techniques you use to fight forging? Please share!

Last edited by Jason L; 08-19-2010 at 08:34 AM.
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Old 08-21-2010, 02:40 AM
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Young and enthusiastic dogs sometimes forge. They are green and haven't learned the fine tuning of heeling. It takes time for heeling to be really good. I don't like to discourage the young and green, so I work at helping them learn where the rewardable position is.

Overloading in drive makes mine forge. I have to adjust to keep the drive level workable.
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Old 08-21-2010, 09:30 AM
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Left turns. Left turns push into the dog, and can help get them back. Left turns also ask the dog to slow down, because you are the one who has to move more, not the dog. Avoid a lot of right turns with a forging dog since they ask a dog to speed up.

Only reward in the correct spot and pay attention to the location of your reward. Most people inadvertantly reward forward. The dog in anticipation on the reward will move forward. I will throw the reward behind me and usually off to the left on a dog that's forging. Also, if you find you have a problem with crowding you're probably rewarding too often from your right hand.

I will use collar corrections, but the trick is to mark and reward the instant they are in the correct position. I also won't sacrifice enthusiasm for position though, so I won't beat the dog down. I will use my body to help them adjust to the correct position and then reward there.

I will also play with the drive level I am using. My dogs are more likely to forge for their toys...so if that's a major problem I might go to food. And within food you can adjust too. Kibble is probably the lowest.

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Old 08-22-2010, 01:23 PM
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Sounds like great advice! And left turns do help with a forging dog (mine!).
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
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Great advice indeed. Thanks Samba and JKlatsky! We'll be doing lots of left turn and move back to food in the next few weeks. I think we are definitely looking at a case of overloading. Today at training I had Ike sitting in heel or at least I thought I did and then I heard someone said "He is not sitting". I looked down expecting to find the hover butt sit. Nope, his butt was down. It was his front two feet that were off the ground and he was just "sitting" there holding that kangaroo-ish position, waiting for his next command. So I guess add the new "kangaroo sit" to the list of things we have to work on lol.
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post
Overloading in drive makes mine forge. I have to adjust to keep the drive level workable.
In English, please?

Paula
Shasta - GSD (4/30/10)
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Old 08-23-2010, 08:40 PM
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When Nikon forges I stop heeling forward and start skipping backward, "tapping" him a few times like a wake up call, "hello dog, where were you?" and then break back into heeling. This kind of doodling in general has helped him pay more attention to turns and changes in pace.
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Lies for the tip. That's similar to what my TD suggests. Move around, spin, turn, back up, keep him guessing.

Details, details, details ... getting the big picture in place was easy. Getting these little things right ... not so much!!!
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:09 PM
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I like it because it's a correction but also a wake up call. Instead of just yanking on the dog to get him to be here or there, I start moving backward and correct so it's more like, "Hey, I am back here going this way, where are you?" than constantly nagging the dog to keep the shoulders aligned. More of teaching the dog to pay attention than being super nit-picky about position. For position I "take it inside" which means food instead of toys, less drive but more thinking/learning from the dog and taking it more slowly but being really precise.
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:14 PM
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Those more precise movements do wake the dog up and require more attention. When I get the attention, I help the dog find the right spot. I may guide, I might use my hand to draw attention to the focal point. As soon as the dog is correct, I mark that. If the dog is more accomplished and I feel that we can get several steps of correctness, then I really let the dog know that it is in the right place. "that's it! really nice! good job!" in a very happy and admiring tone of voice. The manuevering makes them engage more and then the praise of correctness... they seem to understand this is what is wanted.

I am not saying this is what you particularly are doing... but I do see this often. People work to get the correctness and then when the dog gets it right they seem to take it for granted and keep going. If I am struggling for particular picayune position (to the dog), like in heeling, once we achieve it I really do make a marked change in my interaction with the dog as we are moving. Stopping to mark it each time results in very little heeling practice, so the bridge communication is very important.

If the dog is not "finding" the right place, I might even just hold physically hold them there. Sometimes I am phooey on shaping.

Last edited by Samba; 08-24-2010 at 01:21 PM.
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