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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi there,
What is the best way to wean a dog off a toy when learning fuss? It's been a while since I taught this last! I'd like to start trying the command without the toy visible. Here is where we are at right now (video included below), we haven't done much work with the command but his focus seems good to me; slows when I slow and sits when I stop. We also have not worked with a trainer yet on this so any suggestions would be helpful. I feel like he is forging ahead slightly and cutting into my space? How would you correct this? Or am I wrong and he not doing either of these things?
Thanks



 

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You're right,he is wrapping around front just a bit.That's usually because you've been rewarding with your right hand and he's trying to stay positioned to receive it.Or he's been trained to watch your eyes so he wraps around to stare.Looking good though!Happy and focused:)
 

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Can you post another video of calling the dog to heel all the way thru to the reward and maybe 10-15 seconds after. And yes the reward should come from the left hand. Guide the dog by holding the leash in the right hand, lure and reward with the left. I made a similar mistake with my pup and even the I held the reward in my left hand I had a habit of holding it near my stomach rather than out front of the dog and we had that same wrap around going on.

But yes he looks great overall. Good focus and he seems happy to be working with you.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
You're right,he is wrapping around front just a bit.That's usually because you've been rewarding with your right hand and he's trying to stay positioned to receive it.Or he's been trained to watch your eyes so he wraps around to stare.Looking good though!Happy and focused:)
Wow you're good LOL! I started off training him and held the ball at my stomach and then our regular trainer (not schutzhund) suggested I put it under my left armpit and when i'm ready to reward him just drop it by putting my arm up. We've been practicing the reward from the left armpit only a couple months so over time he should straighten out? Thank you :smile2:; that is what I love most about him, he is easy to train and he is always happy and ready to go! I don't think we will be doing any actual schutzhund so I'm not being super picky but would like him to learn fuss without the ball always there. Do most people only use the command for competition or does anyone use it in tight situations too?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Can you post another video of calling the dog to heel all the way thru to the reward and maybe 10-15 seconds after. And yes the reward should come from the left hand. Guide the dog by holding the leash in the right hand, lure and reward with the left. I made a similar mistake with my pup and even the I held the reward in my left hand I had a habit of holding it near my stomach rather than out front of the dog and we had that same wrap around going on.

But yes he looks great overall. Good focus and he seems happy to be working with you.
It might be a while before I can get another video, since I need someone to hold the camera. We will work on it though! I've been putting the ball in my left arm pit and then releasing it for the reward. Should I be holding it instead in my hand? Got it. Thank you :smile2:.
 

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You fade the toy in and out while you extend the time period. then you start putting the ball out of sight completely while extending the distance and time.

always pay attention to your reward line. And to how your dog is reacting to the extension of time between rewarding.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Amanda at Complete Canine is a very talented trainer.

This one is really good too. Christina puts up some great video
https://www.facebook.com/Epiphanycanine/
Awesome stuff! How do they get them to do that sort of prancing thing with their front legs? I've seen Gandalf have better focus than the time we shot our video but nothing like that! Amazing! :surprise:
 

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some dogs naturally push off their back and some need to be taught. By bringing the reward up to lure and adjusting your speed, you will force them to push off their rear and that brings their front up.

btw...that is months and months of luring and heeling. This doesn't happen overnight.
 

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You can also hold the ball in your left hand outside/behind the dog's head. When he makes eye contact and gives you a few good steps of heel, release him and toss ball to the left so he turns away from you to get it. Can help prevent the crabbing because he expects the reward to come from between you and him
 

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You can also hold the ball in your left hand outside/behind the dog's head. When he makes eye contact and gives you a few good steps of heel, release him and toss ball to the left so he turns away from you to get it. Can help prevent the crabbing because he expects the reward to come from between you and him
No eye contact. That causes wrapping, crabbing and forging. the dog should be looking up at your armpit or shoulder area with your head facing forward.

the best way to start this is in front of a mirror.
 

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@GandalfTheShepherd the competition fuss is just that.For competition.The only time we ever make use of it in day to day life is to show off for friends or to distract from something for a few moments.So it does come in handy on occasion.
 

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You also need to be careful to not reward him when he wrapping/forging/crabbing. He likely doesn’t know exactly where he is supposed to be, and it looks like he has been rewarded out of position frequently because he makes no real effort to correct himself. I would work on getting him to understand basic heel position better with lots of rewards for correct positioning. If you don’t have mirrors, a spotter will be helpful.
 

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It might be a while before I can get another video, since I need someone to hold the camera. We will work on it though! I've been putting the ball in my left arm pit and then releasing it for the reward. Should I be holding it instead in my hand? Got it. Thank you :smile2:.
That's ok lol well my suspicion was that you'd been rewarding from the right hand and luring too close to your belly. I did the exact same thing and had that same wrap around. But luckily when I started off I gave a formal and informal command and I didn't train the formal until I was working with a trainer. My second thought was that the dog sees the ball as the reward rather than the interaction with you and I was looking to see if he took it and pranced around with it or if he pushed it right back at you. And last but not least, I think you skipped another step that I skipped before I knew better. And that's building attention. One of the other members pointed it out to me because of some issues i had with heeling. So I started back at square one and really focused on building attention and it's paid off big time. I reward with a small tug - 10 or 12" I don't remember exactly - but it stays in my back pocket and I have the dogs eyes on me rather than the toy. Makes it a lot easier to phase out the food or toy lure.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
That's ok lol well my suspicion was that you'd been rewarding from the right hand and luring too close to your belly. I did the exact same thing and had that same wrap around. But luckily when I started off I gave a formal and informal command and I didn't train the formal until I was working with a trainer. My second thought was that the dog sees the ball as the reward rather than the interaction with you and I was looking to see if he took it and pranced around with it or if he pushed it right back at you. And last but not least, I think you skipped another step that I skipped before I knew better. And that's building attention. One of the other members pointed it out to me because of some issues i had with heeling. So I started back at square one and really focused on building attention and it's paid off big time. I reward with a small tug - 10 or 12" I don't remember exactly - but it stays in my back pocket and I have the dogs eyes on me rather than the toy. Makes it a lot easier to phase out the food or toy lure.
Yep you nailed it lol! We have an informal heel command, he is allowed to walk by my side but doesn't have to look up if that's what you mean. I probably should have waited to work with this all on a trainer but eh.. no money and I don't plan on doing schutzhund just thought it was a neat trick and a good way to exercise his mind! So after I reward him he usually prances around with it, he does love to tug though but usually doesn't try to be pushy and engage me unless I start it. Can you explain building attention?
 

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I hold the ball back along my rib. I've never put it in my armpit. Women have more to lose with that target area. ;) Also, having it in my hand gives me the control to bring it in and out of the picture.

Building attention - It's engagement. Is the dog coming back to you to interact with him nd the toy? or is he off having his own party? He should come back to you to play tug. The reward isnt' the ball, it's the play with you with the ball.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
I hold the ball back along my rib. I've never put it in my armpit. Women have more to lose with that target area. ;) Also, having it in my hand gives me the control to bring it in and out of the picture.

Building attention - It's engagement. Is the dog coming back to you to interact with him nd the toy? or is he off having his own party? He should come back to you to play tug. The reward isnt' the ball, it's the play with you with the ball.
LOL point taken!
He usually runs off and has his own party!! He stays close by most the time though. Occasionally he will drop the ball on the ground and nudge it to me. I usually will grab the rope before he gets too far away and we play lots of tug, I always let him win and keep the ball for a bit before we move on. He has always had an independent streak... even as a young puppy if I hid out of sight he would never look for me, never cared and would walk on by his own! I had no problem engaging my past dogs, I get pretty excited with them and make lots of noise. Any other ways to build engagement? Our trainer played tug with him once and he kept shoving the toy back at her, I don't know how she did it. I couldn't see a noticeable difference in the way I act vs what she did but he must have picked up on something I don't, maybe i'm just boring :shrug:
 
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