training heel work - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-09-2014, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
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training heel work

Hi Guys,

Just curious to see how you guys train heel work, as in how you piece it all together.

With my older bitch I trained focus first so she would look at my face. Then at the same time I would be training the sit,down and stand. Then starting the actual walking in heel. Next I would add in the turns and then finally slowly piece it altogether. But since that time I have gotten a new puppy and have been told that getting the dog to focus on your face is the "old way". Just wondering how some of the more experienced trainers are doing things!
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-09-2014, 12:27 PM
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I lure all puppies to get muscle memory in heel position and fronts.

I also start working on rear end awareness on a pedestal instantly.

Then I work positioning on the flat without the pedestal and moving into heel position.

Then I start adding in motion.








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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-09-2014, 12:27 PM
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I still get my dog to focus on my face. Some people prefer the dog to be looking straight up so that it gives a dog a prancing gait - train the heel you prefer.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-10-2014, 05:47 AM Thread Starter
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thanks for the quick replys guys.
DJEtzel - Those videos are awesome! When training rear end awareness, is this just for the dog to get used to the movements required of him or do you have a way that you implement it into your trianing?

Castlemaid- when training the dog to look straight up, do you just hold the food in line with your side and above the dogs head?

Thanks again
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-10-2014, 12:10 PM
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That is so that he can read my body positioning and is used to moving with my legs when they move, and read my shoulders for anticipation of turns. It teaches him that he CAN move his hind end separately from his front, so that he will pivot into turns and positions appropriately.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-25-2014, 06:58 PM
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When I first started training in SchH I was taught to have the dog focus on your face during heeling.. Never again will I teach it that way.. I want them to focus on my arm pit or my shoulder.. I young pup is learning it this way and I wish I would have taught Kougar the same way..

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-25-2014, 07:30 PM
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G-Burg- why do you prefer the armpit or shoulder?
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-25-2014, 08:43 PM
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From what I'm finding/learning, the dog doesn't wrap or crowd you.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-25-2014, 10:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJEtzel View Post
I lure all puppies to get muscle memory in heel position and fronts.

I also start working on rear end awareness on a pedestal instantly.

Then I work positioning on the flat without the pedestal and moving into heel position.

Then I start adding in motion.







Great videos...Do these techniques work on older dogs?

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-26-2014, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddie1976E View Post
Great videos...Do these techniques work on older dogs?
Yes they do, Eddie! This is how I started on my (now) 5 y/o GSD when he was about a year or two old and he has learned to heel with it. Not as precise because I didn't know as much, but it did work!

As for the focus, every handler has a different preference. I prefer looking down to have eye contact. I want a face focus. I think it keeps my dog better engaged with me. Reward placement is what will get you wrapping/forging. I had a small issue of this with Patton that seems to be all but fixed. I was dropping a toy from my armpit, but pulling away as I dropped so that he didn't nail me. This was causing reward placement to impact his positioning. I've been working for the last week on proper reward placement and his heelwork is a million times better!

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