obedience or shutzhund competition heeling - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 74 (permalink) Old 08-30-2011, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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obedience or shutzhund competition heeling

Why does the desired position seem to be the dog wrapped around the front looking at your face?

I guess it looks unnatural to me.

When I want to walk a dog, leash or no leash, I would like him at my side, staying out of the way of my feet, and aware of my changes of direction and speed, but not necessarily getting a neck strain looking up into my face.

Anyone have a good explanation for this? I noticed in some photos of Heidi, that she does this at least some of the time? In her case anyway, this is not a treat thing because I do not train heeling with treats.

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post #2 of 74 (permalink) Old 08-30-2011, 04:15 PM
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Desired by who? I can't stand that wrapping and forging and I've seen a lot of SchH3 dogs even some higher level competitors that heel in ways that make me cringe. But dogs heel differently based on training, their handler's expectations, the conformation and temperament of the dog. IMO if the handler can't move naturally with some speed and purpose without constantly kneeing their dog then it's not acceptable to me personally.

I want my dog's shoulder even with my own. Of my dogs, Nikon will forge and wrap a bit. This is partly training (not the greatest foundation by me) and partly just how he is and works. Pan is much, much more correct as far as what I want, a tad farther back, straight/parallel with me.

Just offhand (no comment on the training, trainers, or pedigree) this is sort of what I like, go forward to 3:40 and watch for about 20 seconds.

Last edited by Liesje; 08-30-2011 at 04:25 PM.
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post #3 of 74 (permalink) Old 08-30-2011, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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Not me, I want my dog to be aware of their surroundings, not just my facial expressions. I think it is unnatural looking.

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post #4 of 74 (permalink) Old 08-30-2011, 04:33 PM
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I think dogs are smart enough to understand context on their own, even given the same command. Both my dogs naturally heel with focus during obedience, Pan especially. Heck, we've only just begun training a formal heel command last night but already he offers almost a BH routine of focused heeling if that's the direction I'm going. In protection the expectations are different and I don't even want their visual attention on me. I've seen a very high level competitive dog nearly miss a reattack because of that armpit focused heeling during protection of all things. However, during an obedience routine or trial I do not expect the dog to be suspicious or distracted by the environment. I do not require 100% head's-up eye contact but if the dog is comfortable in the environment, sometimes that is what I get.
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post #5 of 74 (permalink) Old 08-30-2011, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
I can't stand that wrapping and forging and I've seen a lot of SchH3 dogs even some higher level competitors that heel in ways that make me cringe.
I'm glad I'm not the only one. And I'm not just saying that because my dogs heel a foot away from my leg. They need to be that far away so I can see around my fat stomach! LOL!

Okay, maybe not a foot away.

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post #6 of 74 (permalink) Old 08-30-2011, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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Well, thanks, armpit healing, LOL. So it is not just me who is not trying to achieve that.

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post #7 of 74 (permalink) Old 08-30-2011, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
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My dogs are at my leg, and sometime, especially on left turns, they could be said to be crowding, but I tell them BACK or OFF. I do not want them tripping me up. I know in obedience you cannot tell them that, but they usually do not need it. It is just training.

Nothing is more annoying than the people in Rally Advanced or Excellent that hold a fake treat at nose level, right in front of their dog the entire time. I mean, no problem with pointing or giving direction once or twice, but it is unnatural to have the dog follow your fingers around the ring.

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post #8 of 74 (permalink) Old 08-30-2011, 08:47 PM
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Actually, if I had to choose I'd prefer the heads-up-armpit-focus above a dog that is forging/crabbing/wrapping around the handler, but IMO neither is ideal.

I'll pick on myself....the first video is Nikon heeling almost how I like the heel (that was a few days before a trial). As you can see even where I like him to be he is still ever so slightly forging and crabbing a bit but despite the amount of heeling in a SchH or SDA obedience routine it is actually the smallest amount of points so I'm not touching it at this point. The second video is Nikon heeling (towards the beginning after the retrieve thing) but not being as correct as I like - kind of inconsistent with the bouncing and then not bouncing, and forging/crabbing more. So, as picky as I am even my own dog is not perfect, some of it is training, some of it is just his style.


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post #9 of 74 (permalink) Old 08-30-2011, 09:06 PM
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The rule definition for heel position is different in schutzhund and AKC. The dog is more forward in schutzhund. Not that wrapping is the way to do it though. Wrapping can lead to butt out.

When heeling, I want my dog very focsed on me. This is going to be a precision dance of sorts and both partners need to be completely focused to get it perfect. If I am walking in a normal situation, iow there is no one with a clipboard and pencil....then a "close" command is sufficient.

Some people do choose the face as the focal point. In schutzhund that is easier due to the more forward position of the dog.

Rally done with "follow the air cookie" is not so pretty, I agree.
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post #10 of 74 (permalink) Old 08-30-2011, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
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Lies that was fun to watch, you can see that tail wagging away, dog having a great time.

Heidi Ho, Odie
Joy-Joy, Bear Cub, Hepsi-Pepsi
Cujo2, Karma Chameleon
Ramona the Pest, Kojak -- who loves you baby?
Tiny Tinnie, Susie's Uzzi, Kaiah -- The Baby Monster.
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