Training heeling/obedience for schutzhund? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-20-2017, 03:32 AM Thread Starter
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Training heeling/obedience for schutzhund?

I'm trying to get started in schutzhund and I believe have a good grasp on tracking (at least from all the step by step info on schutzhund village and schutzhund-training), but I'm having a hard time finding detailed steps for the obedience phase. I have Michael Ellis' focused heeling DVD and even that leaves me with a lot of questions too.

I don't think there are specific schutzhund trainers in my area, and my club doesn't have straight answers either, I think because they've all been doing it for so long that they don't even know where to start with me. LOL

What do you think of taking AKC obedience classes to learn the heeling aspect of schutzhund, or is that too shallow?

Anything online or books that are very articulate with strong methods to get the very focused heel would be great, if those exist? Or trainer/video recs?
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-20-2017, 03:37 AM Thread Starter
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Forgot to add, I'm located in SoCal and I won't have my schutzhund puppy for at least another 6 months! Though I'd be training my current dog for practice, once training focused heeling is clear to me.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-20-2017, 11:06 AM
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IF the AKC obedience instructor understands training a dog in drive to create the powerful heeling wanted in IPO, then there is no reason not to train with them. When in MI I trained with an AKC person. If they don't know how to create that picture, though, then they may be of limited use for you.

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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-20-2017, 11:06 AM
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Do you belong to an IPO club?

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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-20-2017, 11:15 AM
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People will have different techniques and preferences, but the general idea is basically create focus in the correct position before you actually move, then one step, two steps, holding the focus and position. Build on that.
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-20-2017, 01:17 PM
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I was told just to start in the kitchen, or house, get that position, extend the time, and only then go to forward movement. One step at at time- literally- one step, then two, then three, and only go to more steps if you like the dog's attitude and attention.

There are also a lot of people who like using rubber feed bowls as touch pads to get the flashy cornering down. I don't know if that is how Ellis does it, but knowing his training style, I'm guessing it is, so that'll be on his videos.

I'd work first on attention in position, then get input from there as you have questions pop up.


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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-20-2017, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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I'm not paying to be a member yet since I'm just a guest for now, but I'm part of Southern California Schutzhund Club. They don't have a training director and prefer to just take turn giving group advice and tips, so people can train using whatever method they want. But that's not very helpful for teaching a newbie who doesn't know a method yet I think LOL.

Thanks for the replies guys

Michael Ellis actually doesn't use the bowl, though I bought it myself. He trains the heeling walking along a wall and I believe is just doing that repeatedly and marking the correct position for weeks, until the dog naturally gets the idea of staying in that position when there's no wall and when turning.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-20-2017, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
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I don't know how to edit a post on my phone so I have to make a new one:

The questions I have for now is, using the bowl method, my current dog turns when I turn into him, but doesn't follow me when I turn the way away from him, if that makes sense. He doesn't have any rear end awareness foundation, so we've been working on that, I don't know if that's the reason.

Second question is where can I learn the step by step for the bowl method and transitioning that to what I see people holding a toy under their arm to keep the dog's focus upward?
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-20-2017, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry i have to make another post... kinda annoying that i can't edit a post on my phone :P

Another question is that I originally am trying to follow Michael Ellis' method luring along a wall and marking like I said earlier. Same problem, my dog can turn and heel there when I'm turning against his body, but not when I turn the other way from him. He just stands there and doesn't understand haha. Amazingly, Michael Ellis doesn't explain this in his video, because the dogs magically seem to get it.

Lots of newbie questions with probably a long answer LOL, but hopefully you guys know some links or tips on where to go from here?
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-20-2017, 02:24 PM
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The club I go to doesn't do any formal obedience or tracking with new handlers either. I get privates and go to separate group classes for that. There are a ton of clubs in so cal - maybe drive to a different club/trainer. It might be a better fit for you as a new handler. The club I go to is two hours away (and they are the closest to me).

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