Mal is afraid to heel - Working Dog Forum
Welcome to the Working Dog Forum.
Header



Working Dog Forum » General Conversation » General Working Dog Discussion » Mal is afraid to heel

General Working Dog Discussion If it's about working dogs and doesn't fit in another forum, it goes in here. General questions, general discussion, etc.


Reply
tcat left
Mal is afraid to heel
vBmenu Seperating Image LinkBack Thread Tools vBmenu Seperating Image Display Modes vBmenu Seperating Image
Old 02-08-2017, 09:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
Ankle Biter
 
Eric Hamilton's Avatar
 
Status: Junior Member
Training: Other
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 7
Question Mal is afraid to heel

Hi, everyone. I have a dual purpose narc/patrol Belgian Malinois. We went through the Illinois State Police K9 Academy a little over a year ago and have been on patrol since. I had a Dutchie that hated the world and was untrainable when I first started. I took him back to VLK and got Dano. We were three weeks behind in a 10 week course when I got him. The master trainer wasn't there on Fridays so troops that helped with training were in charge. This particular Friday was Dano's third day of the school and these guys were intending to be helpful and get him caught up on his obedience. They had me doing dynamic downs. I didn't know any better and went along with it. The dog almost shut down.

Since then, I have tried every trick in the book to get him to heel. He also won't go from a down to a sit. Ever. I've used the choke chain and pinch collar with soft and hard corrections, toy and food rewards, and a ton of praise and absolutely still can't get him to heel. He will circle me and come to my side but leans way out and doesn't want to be right by my side. I've tried inching my way to him and softly pulling him to me and even getting down and physically moving him to me by picking him up. He will not stay in a heel as we walk. He wants to pull ahead of me, even with a pinch on.

I'm desperate to fix these problems. I train with military working dog handlers and even the more experienced ones don't know how to fix him. Any help is greatly appreciated.
Eric Hamilton is offline   Reply With Quote

Please Register!
Please visit our Sponsor

Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 02-08-2017, 09:26 AM   #2 (permalink)
Ankle Biter
 
Status: Junior Member
Training: IPO
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 28
Re: Mal is afraid to heel

I'm sorry I can't help, but have you considered contacting VLK? They might be able to assist
Jeremy White is offline   Reply With Quote

Please Register!
Old 02-08-2017, 09:46 AM   #3 (permalink)
Broke the Bark Collar
 
Status: Senior Member
Training: Other
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 4,236
Re: Mal is afraid to heel

welcome back

really hard to help without seeing the problem (you/K9 together)
but for what it's worth, i've worked with a lot mwd handlers, so try and remember they are always 'handlers' but rarely 'trainers'

after re-reading your earlier posts this part made me think it might be part of the problem
....when you said : "I'm not a patient person. If I want something, I want it like yesterday"
...meaning you might need to back up farther than you think you need to back up rather than use a different tool ?

there's always a reason a handler can't keep a dog close to them, but i'd be wasting time making a list of things to try
- if he really is "afraid", you got big time problems that will spill over into other areas for sure, so i'd be focussed on that issue specifically

if you want help you'll probably eventually need to shoot some raw video of you working with him for a few minutes of warm up and then try to demo the problem and how you're working on it as of now and post to a trainer you respect and will listen to. or spend a few bucks on one with a track record

....or maybe you'll get lucky and someone will toss a tip you can copy that works like a charm

good luck !
rick smith is online now   Reply With Quote

Please Register!
 
Old 02-08-2017, 09:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
Broke the Bark Collar
 
Status: Senior Member
Training: Other
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 4,236
Re: Mal is afraid to heel

sorry, but probably shoulda included that i don't believe laying on OB if there is a fear issue involved will solve the problem even if you get compliance with the OB
....that's why i posted about making the fear issue a priority, especially for any kind of patrol work since your K9 is dual purpose

of course others don't agree with my opinion and feel the opposite is true ....different strokes, etc //LOL//
rick smith is online now   Reply With Quote

Please Register!
Old 02-08-2017, 01:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
Broke the Bark Collar
 
Howard Knauf's Avatar
 
Status: Super Moderator
Training: Police K9
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Melbourne, Florida
Posts: 3,361
Re: Mal is afraid to heel

There are soooo many ways to fix this problem, but it is not fixable in one or two training sessions. I also agree with Rick that MWD folks are handlers and rarely trainers. That said, you can heel him next to a wall or fence. If he tries to move to your other side then wrap the lead around your left leg which basically gives him about one foot of lead and he'll be forced to stay in position. Since the usual rewards don't seem to work you'll have to begin with imposing your will (physically) to keep him in position. Do not get impatient. Do not hammer him. You'll probably have to wait him out to get back into position on his own and when he does you reward with high value item. Do not move until he's in position. If he surges forward, you stop. Rinse and repeat. I'd have him on the dead ring of the pinch to start. Go to the live ring if you have to. Reward him early (just a few steps at first) then stretch it out, then variable rewards.

Just an idea for a starting point without seeing the actual problem. I'm sure someone else will chime in as well.
__________________
https://spacecoasttactical.com
Howard Knauf is offline   Reply With Quote

Please Register!
Old 02-08-2017, 02:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
Landshark
 
Status: Senior Member
Training: Search & Rescue
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Southeast Virginia
Posts: 1,830
Re: Mal is afraid to heel

Not seeing the dog but just reading your post, I come away with 2 impressions. One is that this particular Mal is very sensitive. I'm wondering if your pressure/training approach initially was to hard and aggressive - coming off your untrainable dutchie - and the help trying to catch the dog up on his OB to fast and to strong-armed. This is borne out by your statement that the dog basically shut down. It was either to much, to fast, or to strong.

And second, the dog leaning away from you says you are part of his problem. Like those marriage pics where everyone says its a happy couple but the wife or hubby is leaning away from the other so the body language says there is trouble in paradise.

I think this is a handler sensitive Mal that has some real negative associations built up to you. Because you are also impatient, you are compounding the problem by not giving enough time for the dog to develop some trust back on you because he remembers all those dynamic downs. So in essence, he got the crappy end of the training stick and it stuck with him. If this was my dog, I would cycle everything back to zero. Take a break from the problem, rebuilt the relationship, and then begin again with the basics.

I would also speak with VLK about it. You may have to return him for a different dog or if you can learn to ease up, this may be the best dog you ever had.
__________________
-You can lead a human to knowledge but you can't make it think.
-Some people's minds are like concrete. All mixed up & permanently set.
-Sometimes your knight in shining armour is just a retard in tin foil.
Sarah Platts is offline   Reply With Quote

Please Register!
Old 02-08-2017, 11:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
Broke the Bark Collar
 
Status: Super Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: St. Louis Missouri
Posts: 21,248
Re: Mal is afraid to heel

All good answers above, in particular about this being a handler sensitive dog and a stressed out dog isn't always able to work through a training issue if not handled properly.

Maybe not a good match between the two of your but that's hard to say just from a post here.
__________________
The words of a fool offend only another fool!
Bob Scott is offline   Reply With Quote

Please Register!
Old 02-08-2017, 11:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
Broke the Bark Collar
 
Status: Senior Member
Training: Other
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 4,236
Re: Mal is afraid to heel

re : "They had me doing dynamic downs. I didn't know any better and went along with it. The dog almost shut down."
-- can you explain this in more detail ? my mental image is lacking

re : "He also won't go from a down to a sit"
-- ditto. what DOES he do from the down ?
example : if he won't pop up into a sit; not a prob. let him take a couple steps fwd and THEN sit him. seems like that could be an easy start to shape what you want
-- i doubt that he crawls and stay in a down when he moves and i doubt that he holds the down when move behind him, etc., but hard to get the mental image of the prob other than he doesn't repond to a verbal or physical prompt

re : the heeling...
sometimes it matters WHEN you do the reps for heeling. at what part of the training routine do you work on heeling ?
- before bite work when he's hyped ? when there are lots of other dogs working in the area; or solo ?
- if he's constantly surging; quick left turns thru his neck/shoulders might help .. or maybe get you tagged //LOL//

does the dog live with you and how much off duty time do you spend with it ?

yeah...more Q's than answers sorry
...just can't visualise how much the K9 wants to work with you vice just work
rick smith is online now   Reply With Quote

Please Register!
Old 02-08-2017, 11:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
Broke the Bark Collar
 
Status: Super Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: St. Louis Missouri
Posts: 21,248
Re: Mal is afraid to heel

Going from a down to a sit

What "I" do is one of two things depending on the dog.

IF the dog has strong character then I may step into it and tap it's front feet with my foot.

When it sits up I then reward and praise it.

The other method is to lure it up with a treat or tug. When it sits up I reward and praise it.

The problem here is our collective training methods may not mesh with your trainer's and that can create issues with your trainer.

I concur with Rick on getting something on video so we get a better idea of what's going on.
__________________
The words of a fool offend only another fool!
Bob Scott is offline   Reply With Quote

Please Register!
Old 02-09-2017, 12:01 AM   #10 (permalink)
Broke the Bark Collar
 
Nicole Stark's Avatar
 
Status: Senior Member
Training: Don't Train My Dog
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Alaska
Posts: 5,021
Re: Mal is afraid to heel

I read your post and skipped to this point, I want to see you working with your dog to show your dog exhibiting some of these behaviors. Separately, I'd like to see what he's like doing absolutely nothing but being in your presence. Can you do that?
__________________
Do Not Disturb
Nicole Stark is offline   Reply With Quote

Please Register!
Reply



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:07 AM.


 

SEO by vBSEO 3.2.0 RC5