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Discussion Starter #1
Maze is very food driven and works great for treats. I've just recently picked up a bait bag for easy access.

My problem is Maze is so focused on getting her reward that she'll follow the bag and end up "heeling" on an angle in front of me to keep an eye on the bag. I usually have it on the opposite hip then the dog is walking on. Now Maze has great focus when she can't see the bag but I can't get treats out of my pockets as fast as I can with the bag..

I can try and put it on the same side as her, but I'm worried she'll help her self. She might not thou.. Hmmm...

Advice??
 

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Teaching focus heeling using treat?

I usually teach focus first and only gradually build up the walking, as in one step at a time so they can't swing around.

Off hand, I'd say you are accidentally rushing the training. I would keep a handful of teeny treats in my hand, and that is the hand to be used to focus my dog's head up and toward me. And that is the hand the treats gradually come out of. So I'm not reaching for my treatbag at all except AFTER we've completed a short bout of heeling.

I'd also go back to setting my dog up in a 'sit' in the position at my side, and just take ONE step reward. ONE step reward, ONE step reward. And maybe even along a wall initially if the swinging is bad right now.

But here are some other sites with info:

http://www.fannygott.com/clicker-training-heeling

http://www.ocdoglady.com/Heeling.html

http://www.wou.edu/las/physci//arc/articles/atten2.htm
 

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Re: Teaching focus heeling using treat?

She'll give me focus and then stare at the bait bag. So it's like.. Well example..
She'll heel and give focus then when I click, she'll veer out in front and stare at the bag for her reward, even if I have the treat in my hand..

I guess it's time to weed out the click..
Edit: I just realized, that was two different problems.. CRAP! *bangs head on desk* Maybe if I hide the bait bag in a pocket and stop using the clicker..
 

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Re: Teaching focus heeling using treat?

How about... put some treats in your mouth (ones that you don't mind in your mouth), then click WOW treats fall out of your MOUTH!? Man, I gotta watch the face! Never know when it'll be raining treats!

It might take time for her to learn to catch them, but if you have the treat bag but spit food from your mouth, guess where she'll focus...
 

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Re: Teaching focus heeling using treat?

*blinks* So I can be the crazy lady who walks down the street spitting food at her dog?
COOL!!
LOL!
Good thing I've got some meat already prepped for the dogs that I don't mind having in my mouth. She's pretty good at catching, I just have to work on my aiming. Thanks!
 

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Re: Teaching focus heeling using treat?

Quote:She'll heel and give focus then when I click, she'll veer out in front and stare at the bag for her reward, even if I have the treat in my hand..
That means you are WAY late with giving out the treat for the level she's at in this training.

I'd either go back to the one step 'click/treat' then one step 'click/treat' OR if you are walking get much faster with the treats as you keep moving..........

You need teeny soft treats for this so the dog can immediately swallow while continuing to walk and look up at you.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Re: Teaching focus heeling using treat?

Originally Posted By: MaggieRoseLeeI usually teach focus first and only gradually build up the walking, as in one step at a time so they can't swing around.

Off hand, I'd say you are accidentally rushing the training. I would keep a handful of teeny treats in my hand, and that is the hand to be used to focus my dog's head up and toward me. And that is the hand the treats gradually come out of. So I'm not reaching for my treatbag at all except AFTER we've completed a short bout of heeling.

I'd also go back to setting my dog up in a 'sit' in the position at my side, and just take ONE step reward. ONE step reward, ONE step reward. And maybe even along a wall initially if the swinging is bad right now.

But here are some other sites with info:

http://www.fannygott.com/clicker-training-heeling

http://www.ocdoglady.com/Heeling.html

http://www.wou.edu/las/physci//arc/articles/atten2.htm
Links are my friend! Lol. I've taught her focus from a sit stay at my side, and in front.
I guess I am pushing to far ahead of my self. I never really taught specifically to focus while heeling.. She just kinda did it.
I'll read the links, put food in my mouth and take three steps back. Thanks!
 

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This is why a lot of dogs end up crowding and wrapping when when trained to heel. Good for you to want to stop this now.

A few things you can do:

have treats in your left hand, and walk with your hand over his head so he looks up at you. I'm not sure what method you used to teach Maze to heel. Are you looking for a formal obedience/rally type heel? She should be thought to heel maintaining eye contact with you, and that should help switching her focus from the treat bag to you.

Start by holding a treat up by your nose, so she looks at you! Don't bend over to make it easier on her! Stand up straight, expect her to raise her head and work for the treat! As soon as her eyes shift off the food and you get eye contact, she gets the reward. Practice this at a standstill until she gets it. Get her to hold eye-contact longer and longer before she gets a reward. Start introducing heeling with her looking at you (NOT the treat bag! ditch it for now if that helps).

Next step is to hold the treat behind your back were she can't see it, and get her to look at you. At first she will be focused on your hand behind your back, wait it out, say her name very softly, eventually she will switch her gaze to you, wondering why she isn't getting the treat, the nano-second she looks, give her a reward!
Repeat repeat repeat, ask for longer and longer eye-contact. You should be able to get her to watch you (use a "watch me" command) on command without her even looking at the treat. Start introducing a few steps of heeling with eyecontact, treat reward behind your back.

Start with the heel position, no movement: the treat is in my hand behind my back, Falkor is looking up at me, maintaining eye contact:


Then you introduce a few steps of heeling, still maintaining eye contact, the treat is still hidden behind my back. Now Falkor knows full well were the treat is, but he also knows that the way to get it is to keep looking at me.


Notice how nicely he keeps position close to me, straight, head up watching me. At this stage, I'm still bending over to watch him to make sure he keeps looking at me, keeping his attention by talking to him, watching him to make sure he is in the correct position. Later on, I will start walking straight and looking forward like a normal person, LOL! For now, I'm keeping an eye on him to make sure he gets rewarded at the right time.
 

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I just read the other posts that you put on while I was typing up my response. I agree with MRL, even though you are clicking, you are rewarding too late with the treats, and you are giving her too much time to veer out of position.

Have the treats in your hand, click and treat IMMEDIATLY!
One thing we do at our club, is have a helper nearby holding the bag of treats, and handing us treat after treat as we work our dog so that we always have treats in our hands, without the delay of fishing for them in our pockets or treat bag.

Maze thinks that after the click, she has to switch positions to get the reward. The click won't mean anything to her if the reward is five seconds later in showing up.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the advice!
No I'm not training her for rally or anything like that. She heels on my right (don't ask me why, that's just the side I started on.. ) so that kinda causes problems for competition. I just would like her to walk at a heel. And it's fun to train!


I find it funny my puppy has a better heel then my 2 year old. Lol!
 

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Something that hasn't yet been mentioned:

After I have a dog that understands the "watch"/"look" command, I have them sit in front of me and then hold the food/ball out to my left or right so it is plainly visible to them. I then ask for the focus. This helps them understand without a doubt that eye contact is what gets the reward. Also, never reward from the opposite side from which the dog is heeling. This creates a dog that forges and anticipates the reward by trying to wrap around your body to the side he is usually rewarded from.
 
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