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I have 2 dogs. Riley is 7 months and Apollo is 1 yr and 3 months. Apollo will intently focus on me when I say his name. It's a super intense stare. Riley on the other hand will look at me for a second and glance away, like he has ADD. I know part of it is my lack of training. I do train quite often but I get frustrated easily and give up. I know, I have to change it and I'm definitely working on it. I am working with a trainer but we only meet up once a week because we live an hour apart and she is doing it for free for me. I saw someone's post I think "Bama" I could be totally wrong on the name but he is from Alabama. He said to hold treats in both hands and when the dog looks at you to give him the treat. Well I tried this and it didn't work so well. I did some of that today. I had to call his name a few times until he looked at me about twice and that was it. I was using regular dog food though and that could be partly the reason he wasn't too interested. So for 1 I have to work on the focus aspect with Riley, Apollo has the focus aspect down.

Secondly, Apollo is getting great at walking beside me on leash. Riley is good at it as long as Apollo is not around. I have to use a choke on Riley though because he will pull with a regular collar. I barely have to use the choke though when we walk alone cause he knows.

Thirdly, how exactly do I teach my dogs to heel? When I want Riley to walk close to me I say "Close." This may not be the correct word? I don't know, he walks close when I say close. The thing is is that when I have him on his 20 foot lead I will tell him to wait and walk the distance of the lead and then say "Come close." He will come but walk right behind me and yonder. I would love to be able to have him heel on a loose leash focusing on me at times and then build up to him doing it off leash. The thing is is that I know I must teach him a solid focus first. I just am not sure if I am going about everything correctly.
 

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Have the dog sitting beside you when you want him to look at you. When you say what ever word your using and he looks at you reward him right away. Do this in the morning or at night with his meals when you know he's hungry. Look at some clicker trainng videos online or some sort of marker training to help your training. This will help both you and the dog. Good luck
 

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I like/love the Michael Ellis clips on Leerburg. Worth purchasing as well!
Leerburg Streaming Video
Run backwards with treats and lure Riley(mealtime is training time) and then turn and walk with him in heel position while luring still. Mark the good behavior and reward often.
Eventually do away with the luring or use a high value training only tug/ball toy if you want. I did very small baby steps. Three steps of focus, and reward, eventually getting more and rewarding constantly, keep session short and fun. If the dog checks out, you've gone too long.
 

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Some of Apollo's descendent's are from Leerburg Kennels. Thank you for the Video. I'm going to try this tomorrow morning!!
 

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I've had great success teaching Cedar to walk on a leash without pulling. If she does pull, I simply stop and I won't move until she stops pulling. If need be, I'll stand there like an idiot for an hour, although it usually only takes seconds. Once she stops pulling and comes back towards me, I'll direct her with a treat to come towards me, spin 180 degrees directly beside me so she's facing the same direction as I am, then I'll give her the treat and praise her.

Also, when I was training her, I would quite often abruptly change directions. I would give a quick, but gentle pull on the leash to let her know I was suddenly going the opposite way. Sometimes she would look at me like I was out of my mind, but it helped teach her that she needs to stay close to me at all times or she may end up getting a bit of a tug.
 

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My new trainer is helping me with this exact same problem. Here is what she told me

there are three aspects to heeling. Head up, Position and Focus.

Perch Work - You'll want to move counterclockwise. Eventually the dog should move fast enough to catch up to you and will be in the right position. the perch work teaches them back end awareness. You can do other things to work on back end awareness to. Backing, ladders, etc. There are videos of perching on youtube.

Head Up - With your elbow at your side and your arm level, hold a treat just above his nose so he has to tilt his head up. Reward him for one step with his head up, then two, then four, etc.

Focus - Teach him to watch you. As soon as he looks at you, mark and treat.

Work on each aspect alone before putting it all together. I haven't put a word to the actual command yet and won't until she's in the right position.

Also, another problem we had was Jax is a "show me the money dog" and didn't relate the reward to me. So find his highest value treat. Hers is a frisbee. Plotz, Yes! and throw. Plotz (if she doesn't then I say Oops and wait at least 3 seconds before repeating the command), Yes! and throw. Then put the reward down somewhere. If he goes to take it, don't say a word. Just take it away and put it back. and just continue this until he leaves it. Then give the command, mark and then go get the reward to give it to him.

I hope all that made sense. It's getting late. :)

And just for the record...making eye contact is a challenge to dogs. It's not natural to them. It took Jax quite awhile to be comfortable looking in my face so be patient with him. He'll get it eventually. :) And you don't have to be in a 'planned' training session for any of what I'm doing. I can do it once, for 5 minutes or 1/2 hour. Depends on what is in my hand and where we are. If you are teaching them something new, keep the first few sessions to 5 minutes. Heel is fairly intense because it involves so many things to do.
 

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I had to call his name a few times until he looked at me about twice and that was it.
This is part of the problem. Dogs learn by repetition, with two tries the training session was a waste of time because you didn't give time the dog to learn anything, less to mature the training. Next training session you start with expectations of him being a bit better than the last one, but you just didn't give him that chance.

You want your dog to be focused, but YOU have to be FOCUSED on the training session first :thumbup:
 

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And instead of calling his name, lure him with HIGH VALUE treat to look at you. He knows his name. If he's ignoring you when you are saying it then you are using it to often.

You can hold the treat at your forehead if that's what it takes and as soon as he looks at YOU, not the treat, then mark and reward. Once you think he's getting it then move the treat away from your face and wait till he looks at you. But youo can teach focus everywhere. In the kitchen getting his food? If he watches you, then mark and reward!
 

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I really think that you could get a lot out of a good training class - having someone watch you and help you is invaluable.
 

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One of the biggest mistakes is people think reward=treat but it doesn't. Most dogs, yes, the quickest way to their heart is through their stomach, but not all even notice the treats. What is something that THEY love? A Ball? Frisbee? Tug? Use that as the motivating factor.

I taught Zeb a "Focus" command. Take a high value treat (or ball if that is the motivation) and bring it from his nose to your nose (straight line). At first his attention will be on the reward, but at that level he has to make eye contact to see the reward. Soon as you get 1 sec....****, even 1/2 a second, of eye contact "Good boy!" and give the reward.

Timing, Patience, Consistency. Odds are,(no offense, cause most poeple do it!) you're failing at one or all. Keep it fun and rewarding and he'll want to do it more and more. Slowly build up the amount of time you maintain eye contact and phase out the treat and eventually you can just say "Riley, focus!" and he'll snap right to look up at you and maintain. Good luck!
 

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I really think that you could get a lot out of a good training class - having someone watch you and help you is invaluable.
I couldn't agree more! They can show you where you might need to work on some stuff and help you help your dog.
 

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I taught my dog the attention heel by separating it into three different parts (as someone mentioned earlier):
1. Correct position
2. Head up
3. Attention
Since describing all three methods will make this a really long post, and the OP asked about attention, I'll focus on that.

So here's what you should know about my dog: Very high energy, high drive. Will do ANYTHING for a ball or a game of tug (if you're dog is more motivate by food you can use it, but you'll probably have to use a different method).

Anyway, I used the Ivan Balabanov "game" method:
This should be done after you taught the dog that he CANNOT grab the prey item on his own without a release command. Play a little with the dog to bring up his drive. Then put the prey item in your hand in a natural position (by your hip or something) and say the watch command. Then wait :) The dog may try to sit, down, or something else that he knows usually brings the prey item alive. Eventually, probably out of confusion or frustration, he'll look up at your. IMMEDIATELY give the release command and give the toy (if it's a ball toss it to him, if it's a tug toy start moving it around and let him grab it and play). You should repeat this 2-3 times and end the exercise.

Once he readily looks at you when you say the command start increasing the time he has to watch you before you reward him. After that you can start to add distractions. The first distraction should be to SLOWLY move the hand that's holding the item up or left or right etc.

From there you can add more distractions, or incorporate heeling.

A primer on attention heeling: Start with the basic position (dog sitting on your left, watching you). Put the toy under your armpit. Say the heel command and take ONE step forward. If he takes a step forward while still looking at you immediately release the toy and play.

The reason you want to teach the watch first and then the attention heel is because if you start by putting the toy under your armpit before the dog understands that watch means watch your eyes he'll start to signtrack (watching the armpit where the toy is) and you'll probably end up with "fake attention".

Anyway hope I didn't confuse anyone too much, I tend to ramble when talking dogs lol
 

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So though it may not be the correct way of teaching it, when I take my dog on her morning and afternoon walks she's pretty good about sticking next to me with a loose leash, however most of the walk I give her very little lead so she's forced to walk beside me.

When I want to start teaching heel I tend to give her more slack and let her go a little ways then say heel and give a slight tug on the leash...she usually will stop and wait for me to catch up then continue to walk beside me....if shes behind me she'll run up next to me

I'm not fully convinced she knows the command and what it means, I think she just knows I want her near...Ive been trying to teach her the way most trainers use on youtube but I can never get her in the right position...Maybe one day....
 
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