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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-02-2012, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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Question Crowding

What have you found to be the best way/most effective way to fix crowding while heeling?

Carolina Johnson

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-02-2012, 12:33 PM
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It isn't completely fixed, but it has helped.
1. While training walk angled to the left almost into a diagonal
2. Lots of left turns
3. Bring the knee up to pop him in the side when he gets too close
4. Let him carry the ball while we heel. This has probably been the most successful with my particular dog because his crowding is often a drive issue. I don't even train with a ball most of the time, but having the ball in his mouth keeps him at the appropriate drive level where he can heel in the right place.

Amy
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-02-2012, 02:40 PM
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When the dog crowds, stop the exercise wothout reward and start again

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-02-2012, 02:56 PM
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Teach proper position and reward proper position. Also teach the dog to go to heel from anywhere so it's not just contextual.

I use the left hand to reward and the right to hold the leash. If the dog is prone to crowding or forging, I do lots of left spirals and reward when the dog is giving me good positioning and is moving her hind legs separately (slower than, usually) the front legs. The reward is done toward the left, kind of over the dog's left shoulder so the dog isn't anticipating a reward that will be to the right and forging to get to it.

I also do right spirals and reward to the right so the dog anticipates and speeds up a little as I turn right.

Christine

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-02-2012, 05:13 PM
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Couple of things.

1. Do you have a video?
2. How old is the dog?
3. What part are you having the issue in?
4. What is your pace, speed and are you glancing, looking at the dog, left shoulder down a bit?

The dog must learn correct position next to the handler. What was the foundation for the focus? How long can the dog keep correct focus, without you looking at the dog?

The problem is that you will not be able to do all the “rear end awareness”, quick turns to correct the dog on the field.


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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-02-2012, 05:49 PM
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The rear end awareness training is done in the early stages of training so the dog can be rewarded for correct position. Over time the dog will start to correct itself while moving either moving its butt "in", moving "off" of your leg, moving "close" to you, moving "back" into heel position, etc. This is especially true if you take the time to teach these position changes and body awareness exercises and don't move forward, in the training, too quickly. If the dog is already leaning into you or forging/wrapping then I do a lot of left turns, left halts, left pivots and left circles to teach the dog correct body position and so I can reward for the right position. I have used the knee into the dog, but haven't always found this to work well and it can sometimes be counter productive (making the dog worse). Some dogs also respond to a pinch just above the knee (no you don't hit the dog with it or jam your knee into the dog with it) because it makes leaning into your leg unpleasant. This did not work with my dogs.

As Christine pointed out always reward with the left hand and off to the left and never into the front, across the front or with the right hand (though the best heeling dog I ever had was always rewarded out of my right hand). You will also find that toys in front or up on the front of the shoulder will tend to lure the dog around so they are either wrapping or leaning into your leg.

Lisa Clark

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-02-2012, 05:58 PM
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Clarification, when I say to reward off to the left I mean with a toy. Food I reward with my left hand generally in the location that I want the dog's focus.

Lisa Clark

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