Backchaining - how did you start out with obedience? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-17-2011, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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Backchaining - how did you start out with obedience?

Since I get the new bitch November 3rd, I was wondering if I should try to start her out with a different approach and go more into the competition obedience. I was wondering if I should start her out with rearend-awareness first and do sit, down, stand and work on the positioning before I think about starting to heel.

How would you or did you start out with a 15 mo old prospect?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-17-2011, 11:52 AM
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What you're describing isn't backchaining, it's more like building foundation behaviors.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-17-2011, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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I agree, even though some would say it is backchaining, especially to start with the positioning first. The traditional approach, as I know it, would be to start with the "food heeling" and work on the foundation along side the heeling. However, they more I work with rear-end awarness on the bowl, they more I do foundation work, I find it much easier to put the heeling on top of it. It's a whole new world for me to use these kind of methods

Last edited by Mrs.K; 10-17-2011 at 12:16 PM.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-17-2011, 01:14 PM
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I think it's a translation issue. When you say "backchaining", I was thinking about back tying to build drive, which is obviously not what you're talking about, but it sounds like Debbie probably thought the same thing as well. You're just talking about working foundation training in a different order than you normally would, though.

I've always started with the basics - name, come, sit, down, stay - before working on heeling with my dogs and also when I've worked with other people on training. I've never started with heeling.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-17-2011, 04:15 PM
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Yeah what is meant by "backchaining"? To me that means taking a complex exercise and literally training it backwards, step by step. So training a formal retrieve backwards would be training a dog to grab a dumbbell, hold a dumbbell, step into a sit holding a dumbbell, run at you with a dumbbell, pick up a dumbbell, go out and pick up a dumbbell. Since "heeling" is really a position I'm not sure it can be "backchained", you just train the dog where "heel" position is.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-17-2011, 04:24 PM
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I understand what you're trying to say. On my first dog, heel position was taught primarily as a motion on the left side with attention, and it was just marked and rewarded. He learned how to move his body to get into position after he was already moving down the field, through things like left turns and aversives.

When I started with Cade, we did a lot more to teach him how to move. How to cross over in the rear, how to pivot on his front end, how to scoot into a sit, how to shoulder target, and then once all these little pieces were in place...we put it together to create the "fuss". It's not back chaining, but it's building in a lot more foundation work. I agree teaching the small pieces makes it clearer and easier for the dog in the end. Although many a person has done it the other way and also done just fine.

I think if I was getting a new dog, I would start with spins, lateral movement, and other rear end work. However, I wouldn't spend as much time on it as I would with a puppy. A young adult can stand more training pressure and move more quickly than a puppy can.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-17-2011, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
Yeah what is meant by "backchaining"? To me that means taking a complex exercise and literally training it backwards, step by step. So training a formal retrieve backwards would be training a dog to grab a dumbbell, hold a dumbbell, step into a sit holding a dumbbell, run at you with a dumbbell, pick up a dumbbell, go out and pick up a dumbbell. Since "heeling" is really a position I'm not sure it can be "backchained", you just train the dog where "heel" position is.
That was my understanding of backchaining too.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-17-2011, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
Yeah what is meant by "backchaining"? To me that means taking a complex exercise and literally training it backwards, step by step. So training a formal retrieve backwards would be training a dog to grab a dumbbell, hold a dumbbell, step into a sit holding a dumbbell, run at you with a dumbbell, pick up a dumbbell, go out and pick up a dumbbell. Since "heeling" is really a position I'm not sure it can be "backchained", you just train the dog where "heel" position is.
Yep, that's exactly what I meant.

-Debbie-
Cava 1/6/18
Keefer 8/25/05-4/24/19 ~ The sweetest boy
Halo 11/9/08-6/17/18 ~ You left pawprints on our hearts
Dena 9/12/04-10/4/08 ~ Forever would have been too short
Cassidy 6/8/00-10/4/04
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-17-2011, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKlatsky View Post
I understand what you're trying to say. On my first dog, heel position was taught primarily as a motion on the left side with attention, and it was just marked and rewarded. He learned how to move his body to get into position after he was already moving down the field, through things like left turns and aversives.

When I started with Cade, we did a lot more to teach him how to move. How to cross over in the rear, how to pivot on his front end, how to scoot into a sit, how to shoulder target, and then once all these little pieces were in place...we put it together to create the "fuss". It's not back chaining, but it's building in a lot more foundation work. I agree teaching the small pieces makes it clearer and easier for the dog in the end. Although many a person has done it the other way and also done just fine.

I think if I was getting a new dog, I would start with spins, lateral movement, and other rear end work. However, I wouldn't spend as much time on it as I would with a puppy. A young adult can stand more training pressure and move more quickly than a puppy can.
Thanks, that is exactly what I mean. I am hoping to get a lot out of the Debbie Zappia obedience class I am signing up for, with her.

@everybody else: Sorry if there is a language misunderstanding.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-17-2011, 05:06 PM
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Debbie Zappia is where I got most of the foundation work I use now. I think you'll like it. Is it a class? Or a seminar? If it's a seminar I would seriously consider not bringing the dog. So much learning happens in the discussion that happens as your dog is going back to the car, before the next dog comes to the field.

Bianka vom Eisernen Loewen IPO3, CGC, TC 1-3-08
Cade vom Eisernen Loewen IPO1, CGC 3-25-09
D'Artagnan (Tag) vom Eisernen Loewen BH 2-2-10
G Aiko von Burkndeiros SchH 3, IPO3, FH, TC, KKL2 9-17-02 (Retired)


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