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Hi everyone. I'm new to showing and I'm learning on the fly. From my understanding when you show GSD's they should be leading out front. When I practice with him and in the one show I've put him in I can't get him to go out front, he just stays next to me in a heeling position. What have you guys done to get your GSD to lead out front? How far should the dog be in front? Thanks for any advice you can give.
 

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Kind of a unique problem......based on all the stories you read of people struggling with forging dogs.....I know I spent some time getting a proper heel established.

I allowed my dog to lead at times as a reward for proper heeling.....taking advantage of lures ahead of us in the beginning.....dog was released from heel per verbal command...took the lead naturally.....both the beginning and ending of her lead were marked clearly.... I have no idea how the process is accomplished by the conformation handlers...since I have never handled a dog in the show ring.

SuperG
 

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Here's something I wrote in another thread about getting your dog to pull out:

I remember when we were training the girls to pull out in front of us. One of us would get in one corner of the ring, and then call the dog to us. The one handling would then let them run to us (running behind, holding the lead). Big praise! Then on to the next corner, going all away around the ring. Pretty soon they figured out they were supposed to move out ahead of the handler, all around the ring. They don't have to race around at a breakneck speed. Some judges don't like all the fast zipping around, and will tell you to slow your dog down.


Depending on how big the ring is, you can have your dog just a little in front of you or all the way out. All that forging ahead when you were trying to teach your dog to heel? You want that for the conformation ring.
 

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Give it a command. We say "let's go!" when getting ready to go around the ring.
 

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As dogfaeries said, give it a command. I used 'walk on'. You could use 'move out'. You can use someone to call your dog and then give the command as they move out. I've known some who used a target stick, kind of like a flirt pole, to get their dog moving forward in front of them on command. You can toss/roll a ball and give the 'move out' command as they go after it.
 

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All that forging ahead when you were trying to teach your dog to heel?
In my situation....the evolution was the pup had to learn a proper heel first....no forging.....essentially going for a "walk" was an exercise in obedience. Once the pup knew the discipline...I utilized the pup's desire to track and lead as the reward ...and the "walk" became less of a 100% exercise in obedience....even though the pup only tracked or led when given the command. This process evolved into 2 distinct behaviors while leashed.....both commanded....neither behavior diminished or compromised the other as they are separate of each other......it works whether I am walking, running or on the bike. Your "let's go" is exactly what I use while on the bike and allow the dog to take the lead when we go full speed......otherwise the dog is in a heel position at slower speeds while biking.

SuperG
 
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