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Are you teaching eye contact or teaching the dog to focus on the toy? Two different trains of thought on that.

Chip, the flexpole doesn't create forging because it always has tension on the dog? This is a serious question, not a rhetorical one.
I'm thinking just a general armpit/shoulder focus, since direct eye contact would require the dog's head to be in a more turned in front position to look at my face, that I know some handlers train. But I hope to achieve that chin-straight-up heel which is what I've been having her do with the visible lure.
 

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mycobrarcr,
The flexpole doesn't always have tension on the dog. I see its utility being that if the dog begins to lose focus or drive or do anything during heeling you don't want him to do, you can just step out/away from the dog, which will build frustration and drive/focus and then step back into a correct heeling position and reward. With this approach, you don't have to expend your or your dog's energy teasing him up with a toy and misses and then going into heeling. This approach saves energy for the actually heeling. Flexpoles are not cheap at around $300 for an adult dog. That is why some use a long line on a tree to reproduce the effects.
fionapup,
I'll ask again, where do you hold the food when training heeling?
 

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Are you teaching eye contact or teaching the dog to focus on the toy? Two different trains of thought on that.

Chip, the flexpole doesn't create forging because it always has tension on the dog? This is a serious question, not a rhetorical one.
Its just using opposition reflex on a dog that already knows the positioning and is driven for the reward or sometimes to avoid corrections for being out of position. You can do the same thing with someone on a second line.
 

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Its just using opposition reflex on a dog that already knows the positioning and is driven for the reward or sometimes to avoid corrections for being out of position. You can do the same thing with someone on a second line.

I use a second line all the time. I was curious on the flex pole since it looked like it was adding constant resistance, like a bungee. So once the flex pole comes off now the dog is driving forward in the heel making it out of position. That was my where my question came from. Even the dog in the video is getting popped back. That could have nothing to do with the flex pole, but just curious.
 

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I'm thinking just a general armpit/shoulder focus, since direct eye contact would require the dog's head to be in a more turned in front position to look at my face, that I know some handlers train. But I hope to achieve that chin-straight-up heel which is what I've been having her do with the visible lure.
Just adding to what Alexis said fionapup, with a couple of things to think about. Using the ball as a target to create position, what I like is the ball is either visible in the place you want their focus on, or completely out of sight, but still comes back to that place for the rewarding. So for heeling, I'd also go back to no movement. Cap her in an attentive, correct sit. You step into position, keep the ball out of sight. With your right hand, bring it over to the outside of your left shoulder and drop it to her from there. Part of muscle memory is the reliability of where the reward comes from.

Once you add movement, go back to only 2 or so steps and concentrate on her being focused and correct. Ball in sight, but I like to stop and still drop it from my shoulder just for that reliability.
 

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I use a second line all the time. I was curious on the flex pole since it looked like it was adding constant resistance, like a bungee. So once the flex pole comes off now the dog is driving forward in the heel making it out of position. That was my where my question came from. Even the dog in the video is getting popped back. That could have nothing to do with the flex pole, but just curious.
I see what you're saying. In the video, I think he's breaking it off as soon as he see's the dog driving into the position though.
 
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