Short video on "playing" with Indra - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
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Short video on "playing" with Indra

I haven't been heeling with Indra in a while. I know there are dogs at her age that heel perfectly already but I don't have a need to rush anymore. I've made my freedom that I am doing it for the dogs and me and that we prefer having fun over anything else.

So I've been playing around with her a little.

Of course, as always I am open for advise on how to do it better, so please let me know if you can see anything that I've done wrong with the heeling or what I could do better. We only do short sequences at that time.

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 09:40 AM
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I like to load the dog up more before taking off heeling. How you do that depends on the dog. With Nikon I do some play with the toy, then get rid of the toy and give him some pops on the prong (not hard corrections, but popping him a bit really loads him up) and then off we go. Before I take my first step I want the dog to be more in drive and putting the pressure on *me* to do the obedience. I would say, overall, be more animated both when playing and when doing the heeling.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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I am not sure if I can pop the prong yet, especially since she is so young, but you are right I have to make it more fun for the both of us and animate her more.

Maybe I should give her a break and work on tug-o-war and building the drive , loading her up instead of worrying about heeling, just to make it fun for the both us.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 10:20 AM
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Yeah I would not use a prong yet, but work on loading up the drive and capping it. It kinda depends on the picture you want though. I like a power heeler
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 10:33 AM
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Not sure how old she is but I used to pair the prong with the ball/tug pop the prong give her the ball so she learned that the prong was not a bad thing. I play ready set go games with the ball Also which toy does she prefer Ror prefered the ball but when she didn't seem to interested in that I did the tug
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 10:34 AM
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On using the prong to load the dog: you can actually load the prong collar like the way you load a clicker. The mechanism is the same: pop the prong, feed/play, pop the prong, feed/play. Classical conditioning stuff and do this enough time the dog will start to come into drive when she feels the pop. It's entirely up to you and your dog whether you want to do this or not or when you want to do this. I started this with Ike very early ... around 12-13 weeks with a baby poodle prong. I would be playing tug and while we were tugging, I would lightly pop him a few times on the prong - all the time I would keep tugging and also keep talking and the praising so the prong acted as a stimulant and not as an aversive, kind of like a pat on the shoulder or a "atta boy" slap on the butt. And later on, when we were healing, I would pop him on a prong one time right before I mark/release/reward him. Now I can pop him pretty hard on that thing and you would see him load and gets even higher in drive.

Overall Indra looks good and has a nice focus on you. I agree with Lies in that I would load her up a little more before taking the first step. Also, I would try to get Indra's head a little higher and get her butt lower to the ground and have her push off with her back legs more ... what Joanne Plumb calls "collection". To get her head higher and a bit more back, perhaps you can hold the tug on your left shoulder and then pin the shoulder back a little bit so she really has to crank her head back to look at it. To get her to use her back legs more, I would do lots of heel, stop/sit, heel, stop/sit and turns. Lots and lots and lots of turns.

You guys are looking great!

Last edited by Jason L; 08-05-2010 at 10:40 AM.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holland View Post
Not sure how old she is but I used to pair the prong with the ball/tug pop the prong give her the ball so she learned that the prong was not a bad thing. I play ready set go games with the ball Also which toy does she prefer Ror prefered the ball but when she didn't seem to interested in that I did the tug

She's half a year old now.

She is completely obsessed with either the Kong or the Tug. She's more obsessed with the Kong though.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
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I agree with Lies in that I would load her up a little more before taking the first step. Also, I would try to get Indra's head a little higher and get her butt lower to the ground and have her push off with her back legs more ... what Joanne Plumb calls "collection".
Yeah, like charging the clicker. I always do that with the clicker when I am working them inside.

First charging the clicker, than charging the nose-touch and than I get to work and I can't believe I am not doing the same thing for Indra when I am working on the heeling part. Same process but somehow I didn't think of charging the tug... it just didn't dawn on me.

Well, the problem over here is that they are about to make it illegal to use the prong just like the electric-shocker. There are certain cities that don't allow the prong anymore and you can't find them in the pet markets either. They only have those "training collars" that just don't cut it.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 12:16 PM
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I think I am being misunderstood. I'm not saying to use a prong, not at all, just used that as an example of how I get my dog loaded up for obedience. Do whatever works for the dog given the resources you have and what is age-appropriate.

My extremely soft dog gets loaded up by playing this silly little game where I pat my chest and she jumps up on me and we just playfully jump around. She's not motivated by toys and shuts down with a prong or any physical correction beyond light taps. It looks very ridiculous when we are playing but I have to be really animated for her and really foolish in order to get her loaded up to work. She is more of an exhausting dog because it takes so much from *me* to get her in the right frame of mind and she needs constant praise and affirmation, lots of guidance from the handler to succeed.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 11:31 PM
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I wouldn't worry about not being as good or correct as other dogs - its hard to not compare. Be patient , have fun, and take the time needed to build the behavior you want.
As for the "popping" stuff - be it on a prong or other collar I personally would wait until position and attitude is better established - or somepeople introduce the building "pops" during the tug games to build drive -as a separate exercise. With my almost 10 month old I am also trying to STOP the activity when he loses focus. This is not as a punishment but as a reset, so to speak. My intention is that the dog doesn't learn the heeling is combination of correct position, less focus then back into correct position. I will step out of the position, short tug session and restart with me in correct start position - not asking him to go to the basic position. Hopefully to keep him up and me less predictable. I don't know if that makes sense. I will reward with a marker when the position and attitude is highest. Currently its only about 5 to 10 paces. I do use gentle pressure on the prong to help him/guide him into position, but not as a correction. Even this pressure will bring down his intensity. The last thing I want is associating the basic start positionand heeling with no fun. I have also used food (less drive, but improved correct positioning) to teach position.
Take it with a grain of salt, I am learning as I go also with my young Pele, but I like what I am seeing with him thus far.

Good luck and it shows that both of you are enjoying training.

Sarah

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