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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone!

Rafi is a super dog to train with. I'm not planning on doing anything in particular except have fun together but I'd like to teach that nice heel where he is looking up at you with his head wrapped around your leg. Like Chase here: http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=592866

I know people put treats/toys in their mouth and hands and under their arms but the problem I am having is that Rafi leaps for things! And even though he has hd he can jump as high as my head! I don't acknowledge this behavior except for saying, "Eh, eh" which he understands and don't let him have the treat or toy until he has 4 on the sidewalk but so far he's still doing it. He LOVES to work and thinks everything is a big game.

Any suggestions on how to deal with this? Oh, you should know that I don't and won't use a prong on him (he's a very soft dog) and right now he is just wearing a flat collar because he chewed through his harness (after someone stupidly left it in the back of the truck with him) and it's being repaired.
 

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I was going to say walk fast, but Lauri beat me to it! You don't want to extinguinsh that kind of enthousiasm! Just ignoring it, or an eh, eh! is fine. Keep at it, he'll calm down (eventually, in a year or two . . .
If you walk very fast, all his energy will be in keeping up with you, not jumping.

I'm sure you already do this, but start with only a few paces of heeling before rewarding. Just two or three good, calm paces without a jump, reward, break, play.

Then when he consistently gives you that much, increase your healing paces, five paces, ten, twenty, then you're off!
 

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I would go back as if he were a pup, making him to follow the food at the same level of his nose until the behaviour is consistent without any jumps, maybe even using another command. I would also work the looking at your face as a different exercise. Make this one strong enough for the dog to look at you even if you have the reward in your hands, in you lap, in the floor, etc. and start using a release word that means "now you can get your toy"

Then you can join both exercise walking with the dog looking at you at the eyes, but not looking for the toy or treat. Now you release with the said release word and it doesn't matter if the reward come out of your pocket, he already knows that it come from looking at YOU and not at the toy "in your direction"

In the way you are teaching it now you'll have to be always trying to cheat the dog later, to make him believe the toy is in your armpit or under your chin when it's not and even without the jumping it won't be consistent.

This is link that was posted shortly in another thread. You'll find it very interesting. It's not exactly like I do, as I try to make them to depend less in the visual clue of the food from the beginning, but it'll give you a good idea.

http://www.grammozis.de/Freeheeling.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all of the suggestions. He does know "Look" and "Watch" and I don't have the treat in a consistent place. He just wants instant gratification and who can blame him!


He is so eager to learn and learns so quickly that it just blows me away. I am operating under the philosophy that if he doesn't do something the way I want or expect it then it is because he doesn't understand what I want or expect. I keep the intense training down to short sessions while we do our on leash walks. He is a such a joy to work and play with and I try very hard not to dampen his enthusiasm even when he is bouncing up in my face (which I hate because I was bit in the face by a dog when I was a child!). He's only been here with me for a little over 6 weeks and he already knows at least thirty or forty words/commands! He keeps me on my toes!

I am off to walk fast and see how that works!
 

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What I would recommend is to first teach him a stationary attention in heel position. By this I mean have him sit (wherever he is - in front of you is fine), tell him stay, move into heel position while he stays, use a treat or toy to get him to look up at you, and then praise and reward him in that position. If he jumps up, you simply turn away, tell him sit/stay again, and do it over. When he figures out that the only way to get the treat is to keep his butt on the ground, he'll do it.

You need to phase out the visible treat very quickly, so after a few times with the lure you want to put the treats into a pocket and maybe just use your right hand to point up to your left shoulder, and then phase that cue out too. If you don't mind putting treats into your mouth, you can do that - and then for the reward you very slowly reach up to your mouth to take out a treat (make it extremely obvious to the dog where the treat is!). I don't recommend spitting treats to a dog that likes to leap up.

Once he's doing a reliable steady stationary attention in heel position, you do ONE step. Have him sit, move into heel position, get his attention, then give him your heel command and step forward with your left foot. When he stands to move forward with you (and maintains attention) you immediately mark that behavior with a "YES!!!" and bring the treat down to his nose (so he doesn't leap up for it). Your timing is important. Once you say "YES!!" you HAVE to give him the treat, so it's important for you to get that treat down to him quickly so he doesn't leap up. If he does leap, he still gets the treat although I would either give it to him once his feet are back on the ground or drop the treat on the ground. But the best scenario is to get the treat to him before he leaps up.

When he figures out that the behavior is "look up, stay in heel position, don't leap" for that one step, you add a second step. Get into heel position, give your command and step forward with left foot and then right foot. If he maintains attention and doesn't leap up, he gets the "YES!!" and the treat. And then you build from there.

Your rewards have to be given in a way that avoids reinforcing the leaping behavior and I know that can be tough sometimes. Always bring your hand down low to give the treat, so that leaping is not compatible with getting the treat. With some dogs it works better to toss the treat away so they run for it, or even behind so they turn and go after it (which means they aren't leaping up). But most dogs that I've seen that continue to leap do so because they are somehow rewarded for it, so it's really important to make sure that you're not doing that.

I do this training in an area where I can have my dog off-leash, because that makes me really pay attention to my body language and how I move, praise, and reward. To me, heeling is a behavior that doesn't involve leash and collar and so I train that way from the beginning. It's really effective and fun!

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
 

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Until he settles just a little, I'd stay away from the toy and stick to food treats. And just keep them so that he can't get to them. I'd forget about keeping them in my mouth if he's jumping up. During part of the learning stage for heeling like that, I held the food treat in a closed fist in my hand. I basically held my fist right at hip level, which provided good reason for the dog not to move his head (or body) too far from there. Of all the problems you can have though, over-enthusiatic is a keeper
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks, Melanie! I remember now that I learned the technique you describe at Patricia McConnell's school many years ago.

He has figured out he won't get anything for jumping but this guy has springs in his feet and when he's happy and excited, up he goes!

He knows that for his off leash recall he has to come to a sit in front of me to get his reward so this shouldn't be too hard to transfer.

Thanks again!
 

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Originally Posted By: IliamnasQuestI do this training in an area where I can have my dog off-leash, because that makes me really pay attention to my body language and how I move, praise, and reward. To me, heeling is a behavior that doesn't involve leash and collar and so I train that way from the beginning. It's really effective and fun!
As I'm working an easily distracted 3 months old pup I use a flat collar with a long leash I just let hang to the floor. If my drivey girl wants to run after a flying plastic bag I just step over the leash, but as Melanie I don't use it in the training either.
 

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Is this something you want to do on your own?

Sheila Booth's book- "Schutzhund Obedience Training in Drive" might be a worth while read.. You could modify some of the steps for you and your dog.. Or Ivan Balabanov's- "Obedience w/o Conflict" dvd's. That way you have a visual.. Not just going off words.. Although Sheila Booth's book has pictures throughout..

My dogs are taught that heel is a position first.. Be at my left side, there right shoulder in-line with my left pant seam, looking up at my face/into my eyes.. Once they understand that, then I'll move forward a few steps and reward when correct and only when correct.. Gradually extending my steps over time.. It's a slow, patient process..

I use food in the beginning for rewarding.. As to keep their drive level lower so they can think..

Happy training!
 

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Some different pics of Chase heeling..



 

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Ruth,

You have a "good" problem there! If he's jumping up he's excited to be working with you and wants his reward! I would try two things...

1. Pay early and often for a bit the very second he gets into position after one or two steps so he understands four paws on the ground next to you is what you want.

2. Then, whenever he leaves the ground make a 90 degree right turn so he gets way our of position. Once he gets back into position for a step pay him just like #1. He will quickly understand he has to focus on you and not jump in order to stay in position
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks again, everyone. We worked a bit on and off leash today and he's already doing better. I will say that I already walk really fast (most people say it's more like a jog) and he was still jumping when we were walking fast! He's a bouncy boy!
 

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G-Burg, you gotta write a book! You have a super way of 'splainin'.
And, Chase looks devastatingly handsome!
 

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I don't know about all that... but thanks for your vote of confidence! I'll leave the book up to the experts...


Heck ZeusGSD can explain stuff much better than I!

But I do want to make a comment on the bouncing.. I was told to walk slower, slow the exercise down.. Make sure your body language/emotions are not exciting (your energy) or amping the dog up more than necessary...

Chase would bounce some in the beginning.. He's high drive and I really had to make sure I had a calmness about me..
 

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I will use a quick correction as a reminder to my girl that she cannot jump and take bites out of me while focusing on the toy.
It does not bother her drive at all and does seem to be helpful.
 

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Originally Posted By: chrubyI will use a quick correction as a reminder to my girl that she cannot jump and take bites out of me while focusing on the toy.
Now the real question...

Who that trains heeling this way has a shirt in their closet left without holes in the left shoulder/chest area??!! I have quite a collection of "holy" shirts!
 
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