Heel transitioning from lure above head to a ball/tug reward located elsewhere? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-17-2018, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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Question Heel transitioning from lure above head to a ball/tug reward located elsewhere?

I can't figure out how to teach my dog this properly and it's been kind of frustrating. My dog is 1 year and 3 months old now, and we've been working on heeling practically daily since she was 8-9 weeks old. We do a focused heel with her looking upward, that's the look I want.

So for the past few months, she already has pretty much a perfect heel if I'm holding food OR a ball in my left hand, with my hand raised near my armpit. She does awesome about-turns and will stay in the correct position, can even heel backwards and sideways with me. She also heels just as well if I hold the food/ball behind her head with my hand swinging- slightly less attentive but still does great about-turns and will heel in the correct position the whole time.

But if I put the food or ball in my left OR right pocket and still swing my hand the same way, or if I still hold my hand up near my armpit the same way (but without food/ball actually in it), or if I keep my left hand still next to her face- she'll heel with her butt sticking out at an angle, or sit at a huge angle in front of me when we stop walking, forges 90% of the time, crowds me really hard. She does look up at me, but basically her body positioning is entirely wrong.

She also won't do an about-turn at all, like she forgot hind legs exist- this being the main problem I think, since she won't turn at all. lol

I'm basically training on my own lately and didn't get any instruction on this when I asked a trainer I was with previously except for "it's just a training thing you figure out" LOL. I've been told the transition is just mostly muscle memory from luring, but the muscle memory ain't cutting it lol. I'm clearly missing an entire step, and I don't know what.

I'd love to get some tips?

Katsuki vom Quellwasser - Pride - 10/1/17

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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-17-2018, 08:18 PM
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Maybe put the ball in your left armpit or get one of those magnetic balls to attach by your armpit and do more left turns? Are you using a leash to correct the dog and move her into proper position?

Yana

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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-17-2018, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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Maybe put the ball in your left armpit or get one of those magnetic balls to attach by your armpit and do more left turns? Are you using a leash to correct the dog and move her into proper position?
I'm not sure about doing the ball in armpit method, since that still acts as a visible lure, and eventually I'll need to fade the ball from my armpit and into my pocket/elsewhere again too, and I'll run into the same issue again... I figure..

She does awesome left turns and about turns if I'm holding a ball/food in my left hand, but won't turn whatsoever if the reward is in my pocket. She will just stand there and I turn into her, like she forgot what a turn is.

I haven't tried a prong to correct the positioning yet, but I do have her on a leash.

Katsuki vom Quellwasser - Pride - 10/1/17

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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-17-2018, 08:47 PM
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Have you tried going back to a point where she is successful then building back up to where you were with the lure?

If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-17-2018, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Have you tried going back to a point where she is successful then building back up to where you were with the lure?
I'm not sure I understand what you mean?
She is basically very successful if I hold the reward in my left hand, I think regardless of whether my hand is up near my armpit or if I swing it behind her head like a normal walk. But once I remove the reward from my left hand, she is apparently very confused about where she should be heeling and also forgets how to turn at all. I feel like there should be some step in between for her and I don't know what that is.

Katsuki vom Quellwasser - Pride - 10/1/17
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-17-2018, 09:02 PM
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I mean go back to a point where she is successful without a visible reward. How did you start out teaching her to heel? Against a wall? On a perch? I'd go back to square one without a visible reward and build up from there. I bet she'll catch on quick!

If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-17-2018, 09:05 PM
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Can she get any part of it, however small, right without the lure?

Can she get into heel position without the lure.

Can she take one step without lure?

What about alongside a barrier, can you get one any bit without lure. One step in focus and position and then deliver toy?
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-17-2018, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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I mean go back to a point where she is successful without a visible reward. How did you start out teaching her to heel? Against a wall? On a perch? I'd go back to square one without a visible reward and build up from there. I bet she'll catch on quick!
Oh I see- yes, I taught her both against a wall and on a bowl for the turns. So was having her see a visible lure for so long kind of pointless then, and we could've faded it a long time ago to start from basics?

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Can she get any part of it, however small, right without the lure?

Can she get into heel position without the lure.

Can she take one step without lure?

What about alongside a barrier, can you get one any bit without lure. One step in focus and position and then deliver toy?
Her basic position is also often incorrect without the lure (like sitting too far in front or at an angle). So am I basically starting from scratch again?

I'm also just curious if this is what everyone else has to do too, start from the basics again in order to fade the lure, or is it only my dog who isn't getting it like other dogs?

Katsuki vom Quellwasser - Pride - 10/1/17
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-17-2018, 09:38 PM
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Disclaimer: I'm no expert in teaching competition heel. But I don't think I faded anything all at once. It was more like a little of this, a little of that.

A long straight line with a ball outside his head (in my hand), then we did circles around a ball on the ground with the dog on the inside and release to ball when I got a couple nice steps.

I like to hold the ball behind my back with right hand and throw it over him to his left to reward. A magnet ball would be way better but don't have the spare $$ atm.

Some times I work on finishes and use platforms, to help him get in the right spot without any extra visual cue from my hand and then reward. Do that x5 then once with no platform. Sometimes I use a flat foot target

So I guess I did a lot with help but always at least one little thing with no help after many reps with help to plant the seed, you will do this without seeing that. And gradually the little parts with no help get bigger.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-17-2018, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by fionapup View Post
I'm not sure about doing the ball in armpit method, since that still acts as a visible lure, and eventually I'll need to fade the ball from my armpit and into my pocket/elsewhere again too, and I'll run into the same issue again... I figure..

She does awesome left turns and about turns if I'm holding a ball/food in my left hand, but won't turn whatsoever if the reward is in my pocket. She will just stand there and I turn into her, like she forgot what a turn is.

I haven't tried a prong to correct the positioning yet, but I do have her on a leash.
I don't do IPO just dabble with Ob. Your dog is young, maybe she still needs luring? What I did fading the lure was have the dog sit in Fuss, hold the food in my hand, wave my hand behind her head and marked/rewarded after a period of time looking up ignoring my hand, rinse and repeat many times then eventually start walking. Initially I always stop when she looks away, reposition then reward. I always correct with a prong or stop/reposition when she loses position. You said your dog forges, left turns and helping into position with leash pressure helps reduce forging, so does touch pad left turning.

Yana

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