Teaching Focused Heeling - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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Teaching Focused Heeling

I have begun to realize I need to back up my training. Because my dog has such awesome static focus, I progressed too fast teaching turns etc.
So I am just going to work on 20-30 paces of straight focused heeling and forget the rest until we get that down.
My question is: How long did it take all of you to get that focus for 20 - 30 paces?
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 10:45 PM
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Depends on the dog. Barker the Elder 2 came with focus - really. At 9 weeks she had focus. Barker the Younger 2 suddenly wised up at about 2 yo. So. Depends on the dog. BTY2 - I had times where I thought we would never be able to do an off lead heel, never. [We do, she does, it's good. She's 2 yrs 6 weeks]
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 10:53 PM
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It'll vary depending on the dog, your training methods, intensity of training, frequency of training, etc. etc. I'm actually training focused heeling right now, too. Healing off-leash, turns, backing up, etc. is down solid, but looking at me while walking forward is a work in progress... with progress being made!
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-29-2015, 01:39 AM Thread Starter
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So I am gathering, it is easier for some than others? I know my mellow male would never do anything resembling focused heeling. But he is strictly a very mellow companion, not anywhere near an OB dog. She, on the other hand, is always very focused and biddable. Not high drive, but nice and adequate and likes to work.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-29-2015, 10:48 AM
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Maybe you did do this, but think about adding the distractions with the static focus and then concentrate on that first step. You might also try getting sharp left and right pivots with focus before you go into more steps and turns.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-29-2015, 11:00 AM
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-29-2015, 02:12 PM
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Finn had his 1st adv. obedience class last week.
One of the staff members was there with her all black GSD.

She was walking quickly around the room with her dog off leash and at a heel.
He didn't take his eyes of her face.
There were tons of distractions because the rest of the dogs were heeling on-leash in different directions around the room.

I saw that she had a piece of cloth torn in to strips tucked under her right armpit.
I never saw her use it for anything though.
But that dog's focus was amazing.
She is an apprentice to Finn's trainer.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-29-2015, 02:18 PM
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My puppy focuses on me already when he's not busy destroying things. Is there a video on how to teach this? He needs a lot to do.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-29-2015, 02:22 PM
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Rag under the arm - good thing to mention. Toy under the arm (that's what they make arm pits for) whatever the dog loves ... reward when you get that focus. Fortunately BTY2 loves food as well as her toys, the tug whatever. I spent many months getting a heel with kibble (yes she will work for kibble!), then switched to a toy (the ball, the tug) under the arm. She's easy to motivate once she gets it.
[It's been a crazy path]
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-29-2015, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsdluvr View Post
I have begun to realize I need to back up my training. Because my dog has such awesome static focus, I progressed too fast teaching turns etc.
So I am just going to work on 20-30 paces of straight focused heeling and forget the rest until we get that down.
My question is: How long did it take all of you to get that focus for 20 - 30 paces?
There's a post to which Moriah responded 3 days ago about focus while on a leash. You are way ahead of me on this training but the context of what she is explaining and the last couple of paragraphs might help as she shares what she was told by the trainers that worked well for her. The post is titled "New member in Montana".
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