Heel transitioning from lure above head to a ball/tug reward located elsewhere? - Page 2 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-17-2018, 09:44 PM
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I did have one person at a seminar tell me I was training offleash too much & needed to have a leash on him for position feedback. Probably like what Ausdland is saying except I realy don't use corrections in heeling or ob with my dog.

I am sure too much offleash is part of the stuff I am still trying to clean up on my dog, don't know if that applies to you
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-17-2018, 09:49 PM
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One more thought. Did you go to ball/tug too soon? Some dogs think better with food and the figuring out the details of position I find sometimes better with food than toy.
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-17-2018, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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One more thought. Did you go to ball/tug too soon? Some dogs think better with food and the figuring out the details of position I find sometimes better with food than toy.
She will also heel very well if I hold a ball in my left hand, whether as a lure or if I swing my hand behind her head for walking.
It just goes bad when my left hand is empty.

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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-17-2018, 10:11 PM
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I'll start this off by saying I'm no expert, but this is how I've been going about it as it's something that I have been working on with my girl. She's relatively low on the drive of things for a sport dog, so figuring out how to make drive or help her learn the correct positioning has been hard in obedience. What I've found is that allowing her to make it click in her own head is what works best - and it often means starting from square one.

What I did is re-introduce the clicker to heeling. To re-teach the understanding of the position, I lured her in and then rewarded for the correct position a handful of times. After doing that, I let her figure it out herself and self-correct. So I would get her to sit, move slightly ahead of her, then ask her to fuss. If she was in the wrong position, I simply said, "no", and didn't reward. The "no" has been a staple of our communication training, so if you don't have a "try again" word, you may struggle with this approach. Then I would very rarely, but lightly nag her until she corrected. If she did, and was in the right position, I would click and do a big show of praise and reward. Then we would repeat that a handful of times.

After that, we re-worked on focus in position. The expectation was that she would always watch my face and never my lure hand. I would reward once in position, then move my lure hand around slowly. If she followed it, I nagged her lightly or told her "no". If she held focus, then it was click and reward. Then obviously you increase duration and speed of hand movement.

At the moment, our position and focus is good at the beginning of the heel. Currently we're working on focus during movement, and I can confidently say I can hold her focus during movement far better than I ever have been able to in the past. It's just a matter of correct positioning once we come to a halt, which we'll work on after our focus during movement is near perfect.

This is all in a low to no stimulation environment. After we've pieced everything together in this kind of environment, then I'll re-introduce each part in a more busy setting.

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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-18-2018, 07:20 AM
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How is your dog's drive for the ball? One thing you can try is to use a long line tied around a tree or pole that you have flat area you can heel around in. Tie your dog out on a flat collar and show him the ball with you standing a few feet in front of him while he is at the end of the line. Ideally, he will come into drive without a lot or any teasing up with the ball. The frustration of seeing the ball and not being able to get at it should build drive. As soon as you see him come into drive, tuck the ball under your left armpit and step into him. You can either start with him in the static heel position and then go into the moving heel or go directly into the moving heel, walking in an arc around the tree/pole. If you get two to three steps of focused heeling, simply raise your left arm out to the side and let the ball drop so he can catch it. If he hasn't learned to catch the ball, this is something you can work on in the static heel position. After you drop the ball, grab the string and play a little tug, out him and step back out of reach and repeat, gradually increasing the amount of steps you take during the focused heel. While playing tug, make sure your dog gets to the point that you can't pull the ball out of his mouth. He should become very possessive and grip the ball firmly so that you can't pull it out of his mouth. This might require some training as well.
Here is an example of using the flex pole. I would tuck the ball under my left arm instead of the way the handler is using it in the video. You might have to start like he is and then transition to the ball being under the arm.

Last edited by Chip Blasiole; 12-18-2018 at 07:36 AM.
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post #16 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-18-2018, 07:37 AM
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You have to click on the title in the upper left hand corner instead of the arrow in the red box to play the video.

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post #17 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-18-2018, 09:40 AM
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Iíd start back with no movement, in basic position. Keep the ball hidden in your left armpit, but under your clothing, so she canít see it. Use some encouragement, either verbal or with some help from your empty hand to show her where you want her to look, and mark that position and reward her for correct attention without movement in basic position for a few sessions. Once she can reliably find basic position without encouragement, begin adding movement again. I sometimes will use leash pops on a collar to encourage the head up when adding beginning movement. Remember to reward very quickly in the beginning. Donít ask for duration or turns when youíre just introducing heeling without a lure.
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post #18 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-18-2018, 09:56 AM
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fionapup,
When you are using food in your left hand, where do you position your hand?
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post #19 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-18-2018, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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Iíd start back with no movement, in basic position. Keep the ball hidden in your left armpit, but under your clothing, so she canít see it. Use some encouragement, either verbal or with some help from your empty hand to show her where you want her to look, and mark that position and reward her for correct attention without movement in basic position for a few sessions. Once she can reliably find basic position without encouragement, begin adding movement again. I sometimes will use leash pops on a collar to encourage the head up when adding beginning movement. Remember to reward very quickly in the beginning. Donít ask for duration or turns when youíre just introducing heeling without a lure.
Thanks Alexis- I'm curious should I have started this months ago once she already showed consistency with heeling/turning with a visible lure?

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post #20 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-18-2018, 10:11 PM
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I don't think I was ever doing turns or anything else until my dog was doing solid straight lines without a lure or help of any kind
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