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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are working very hard on the focused heel. He is getting it. But I am 4'11 and my dog is WGWL x Czech x Giraffe

When I place the 8 inch jute under my left armpit...well, when he gazes up his whole muzzle is past my armpit. I was told to hold it across my body to my chest with my right hand but I hear that can create walking too far ahead (forging?)

So I ordered magnet/tug combo and plan to put it on my shoulder, or...in an unprecedented feat of hilarity, on the side of my baseball cap.

Wish me luck, give me pointers, and please feel free to laugh with me. I promise pics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
LOL!

We really do need lots of pics to appreciate the hilarity, sorry... the predicament you face
It is all good:)

Ball on a rope under the armpit. I also wear old shirts now after having one ripped by an enthusiastic dog
When he looks at my armpit area, his muzzle cheek is past my armpit :eek: So he just looks sideways, at my armpit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Trainer suggested platform shoes :eek: lol lolol I'll try to upload a video to youtube tomorrow of me playing tug with him. Bless him, got him at 5 months old..I struggled with him jumping up in happiness when I was handling/playing with him. Tried redirection with a toy, moving into his space and not allowing it, correcting. He doesn't do it anymore. Training? Maturity? or just no longer necessary ? lol
 

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Trainer suggested platform shoes :eek: lol lolol I'll try to upload a video to youtube tomorrow of me playing tug with him. Bless him, got him at 5 months old..I struggled with him jumping up in happiness when I was handling/playing with him. Tried redirection with a toy, moving into his space and not allowing it, correcting. He doesn't do it anymore. Training? Maturity? or just no longer necessary ? lol
All of the above no doubt LOL! Can't wait to see the videos!
 

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I like Micheal Ellis's Focus Heeling by teaching muscle memory exercises. I feel your pain with the dog/person size. I am taller (like 5'3") but strength compromised. Gunny is huge at 9 months. He is a grandson of Hoky Va-Pe. Have been wondering if that's where the size comes from.
 
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Hoky was a very medium sized dog at just over 25" at the withers and just over 77 pounds, but he might have some dominant genes he passes on for size because I have seen a few sons and grandsons that were somewhat larger than him.
 

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Is he targeting the toy, or is he making eye contact? If making eye contact, you can hold the toy in your left hand outside the dog. That way you can still reward back and left. If following the toy you can hold the toy in your right hand and place it on your left shoulder. This free's up your left hand for movement and the leash.
 

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I would remove the toy from the armpit, if its causing conflict. I would definitely not recommend right sided reward to a dog learning the position, and holding it at your chest is going to encourage the dog to forge across the body.

I'd back up a few steps and work on position and focus with the toy either hidden out of sight (I hide mine in my waistband of my pants, behind me), or in the left hand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So, what he does...before starting IPO training, when I said fuss, he would walk next to me in a decent position. Now, I have been kind of sold on the focused heel, so I changed it up..when I said "with me" he does his decent heel and can look around. Now I am trying to use fuss word for the focused heel only. He is getting it, slowly.

He makes a lot of eye contact with me naturally. When he feels he needs to. He is a suspicious dog too, I had taught him "watch me" to get his attention in case someone was being pushy about petting him

Basically I have jumbled his commands and I hope I am not confusing him too much. He is picking up on it though.

Is he toy driven? Well, kind of. He is handler driven. For instance if I present a tug or toy, he lights up and plays a great aggressive tug, and he will enthusiastically work OB for his reward of tug. WITH ME. When the trainer tries to show me something, and he takes the tug and lead..Valor is like...whatever, I don't want to play with YOU...and stares directly at me like why did you give him my lead and toy, and what is going to happen now.

The first time he got on a table to work with a helper the helper had a long tug on a rope. Valor was like why is he doing that, looking at me (the helper was tossing the tug and taking it back quickly to entice him). The helper taught me how to encourage him and when he clicked, boy did he click. He did well on the sleeve too, now that he gets it. But if another person merely takes a tug and tries to play with him, he really isn't interested (at least until he knows that person..he will play with other people in his life that he "knows" )

I don't know if you would interpret that as toy/tug drive? He is a thinker. You can SEE him deliberating things. As a result he sometimes hits commands slowly until he "knows them knows them" type thing.

AND he is NOT all the way past my armpit lol I saw the video and yes he is very tall, but they were exaggerating all in good fun (telling me to put a magnet on my hat). He is tall enough where my armpit just isn't high enough to be effective (his nose does touch my armpit when he looks up.)


We are going to try various placements with magnets tomorrow. Maybe my shoulder? We will see. What I will do is have my OB on video and I'll post here for critique. Maybe some bitework too. As for the bitework where helpers are in video, I'll have to get approval from the helpers to see if they are ok with me sharing the video. They do allow it, but with permission. Totally understandable.

Here is a pic of his beginning bitework 2 weeks ago:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well, the only video I got was while working bite on the table, and I don't think they want me posting that stuff. I took 2 stills from video and blurred out helpers.

So we last did this over 2 weeks ago. I lost 5 pounds and he grew in the last 2 weeks. When I got him out of the truck another handler was looking at us and I said "he grew again" and she said "he most certainly did lol

He is just over 27.5 at the withers. I am 49 inches to the very top of my head, and I have a 26" inseam lolol

Off the humor and on to technique..I screwed him up by doing the Tug Challenge from Collard Scholar. I should had done the challenge with a ball and not the jute we are using for OB. Oh well, back to the drawing board. All in all really enjoying it!
 

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