Training to stay and heel - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-26-2015, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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Training to stay and heel

Hi! 2 months ago I adopted an abandoned by her owners GSD. She had been starving and she's cow hocked. She is better and stronger now, she got used to her new home. She is under 1 year old.
She had been chained in her previous owners' yard. They have never trained her and almost never took her out for a walk. She wasn't social and was afraid of other dogs. When I got her, we started going together on long walks and to the dog park. She's doing it great! She is not afraid now. She loves people and loves playing with dogs, she is not aggressive which is great.
It was most important for me to teach her to come always when called. She learned it fast and now has more reliable recall than my male GSD, which is 7 years old. Of course, we continue to work several times a week on this 'reliable recall'. She learned 'Sit!', 'Lie down!', 'Fetch!'.
She is really intelligent and she isn't stubborn and likes our training sessions. It's easy for her to learn new things and she enjoys it. She is one of the most obedient dogs in our dog park.
I would like to teach her to sit and stay while I walk around but I don't know how, because she becomes excited when I try to walk away and immediately comes and sits in front of me. I tried to give her treats while making a step away but again she comes and sits in front of me on my feet. I always train her off leash. I've never used prong collars or choke chains. So do I need a leash for 'Sit and stay!'?
The other thing I don't know how to teach her is to heel. I haven't tried with a leash yet but again she becomes excited, starts jumping around and wants to get her treat. It seems she doesn't know what to do when I say 'Heel!' and I am supposed to show her but I don't know how.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-26-2015, 02:45 PM
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Start with sit and stay right in front of you. Don't move until she's solid. It could take a week. When she is solid, move back a step. If she breaks the sit, move quickly to make her sit again. Gradually increase the distance until you are at the end of the 6' leash. Gradually increase the time before you move too far away. Time and distance are two separate things although they both are necessary for sit and stay.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-26-2015, 02:57 PM
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We use the same method as LuvShepherds. We say sit once and then correct any attempt to move from that position, nothing harsh. Then as mentioned above start moving away. Our trainer would begin moving about excitedly and randomly around the dog to see if they'd break the sit then correct if they budge. She was staunch about not saying any command more than once as it teaches them it's ok to ignore you.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-26-2015, 03:13 PM
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Sit has been covered by Luv and Nigel.For heel you don't necessarily need a leash.Walking around briskly patting your left leg until she falls into proper position,then name the behavior "heel" and reward.Change direction often,reward and mark proper position only.This is one of a multitude of ways to teach this.
She sounds like a great dog!

Terri

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Misty Husky Mix
Z-Z Terrier/potato mix
Devo Yorkie Mix at the bridge
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-26-2015, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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When she sits she is solid(she knows perfectly what I want when tell her to sit), but when I decide to move a step away she immediately moves from her place. This happens fast.
At the beginning I thought that she's afraid of abandonment or sth because of her previous owners' neglect but a lot of time has passed since then, I had tried numerous times and it seems that the problem is in me - I'm not doing it right.
I'll try to hold her on her place or sth with a leash. I friend told me to tie her somewhere so she won't be able to come and sit on my feet when I move a step away but I don't think she would understand my point that way. What do you think?
I forgot to ask you another question. When she does something I don't want her to do(play with her water bowl,sniff the trash bin or leave a dog that doesn't want to play with her for an example) I tell her 'No!'. From the tone of my voice she understands that I'm not pleased with her actions. Then when she approaches me she curles up with her ears back and tail between her legs as she is afraid of me. I've never hit her or scared her. I think she was beaten by her previous owners but now she has a new home and here nobody hits her. She does the same when I raise voice when talking on the phone(she might think she is doing something wrong). People would think that my dog is afraid of me and that I spend a lot of time beating her. I don't want my dog to listen to me because she's afraid of me.
A photo of her: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com...5cd83bfa4c.jpg

Last edited by dolf; 12-26-2015 at 03:31 PM.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-27-2015, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
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Here is she playing fetch. Now she doesn't just drop the ball while running towards me, but sits in front of me and drops the ball when I tell her, which is an imrovement for several days work.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FB5YJCODDi4
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-27-2015, 01:45 PM
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Here's how I train "stay": https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...ml#post2057182

-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 #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-27-2015, 01:59 PM
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If she tries to move with any steps away, how about just starting in smaller increments or with you moving in place, i.e. your arms, a small shuffle, a little animation?

It's hard to tell what her treatment was with previous owners, but there are some dogs that will react as you describe even with the best upbringing and nicest owners. You can look up "soft" dogs or handler soft. If she corrects easily without raising your voice try saying no or "that's not it" in a normal tone, it's important to keep it fun for her.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-27-2015, 02:16 PM
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Start by having her sit at your left side. Place your left hand in front of her face and while saying "stay" step directly in front of her leading with your right leg. Hold this for a couple seconds then step back in place beside her. Start with about 10 x per day. As she is able to hold position dependably move back your steps and mix up your time
Don't become predictable with it. No more than a step or two at a time. Eventually you will be able to leave the room or step out of sight and she will hold position. Dependability is key with stay and come. For me stay is much easier. Come is still a work in progress. Good luck. Nice looking dog.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-27-2015, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel View Post
If she tries to move with any steps away, how about just starting in smaller increments or with you moving in place, i.e. your arms, a small shuffle, a little animation?
That's exactly what I describe doing in the link I posted above.

-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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