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I am starting heelwork with my dog.

How do you teach the dog to look at you the whole time, like the doberman in the first video?

Many thanks and glad I found the site. :)

Simon
 

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This has been a huge PITA for me. My dog thinks its an "option" to focus. However.....I have totally started over. We are going back to the very beginning and learning the heel position. Let me see if I can explain this......

Basically, we are teaching him (for now) that heel means focus. When I step into the heel position, he should automatically turn his attention to my left shoulder (it may be different for other breeds, I don't know) but because of the way my dog is built ( a doberman ), eye contact causes him to try and come around, which in turn causes his butt to swing out a little and for him to not be in the right heel position. I don't know if that is all breeds or not?? I'm pretty new to all of this.

Anyway, when I step into that position and say "heel" (or whatever language you use) he is to focus. He is only rewarded in that position. So for the last few weeks, that's all I have been doing. Just focus. I assume next I will start moving forward. I don't know.....I haven't gotten that far yet :D

Also..I can not stand there in the heel position (for now anyway)......if I don't expect focus. So no standing there chatting....or whatever. If I am there, I want focus. So I have to make a point of giving him another command when the exercise is over...like platz or whatever...stepping out of the heel position.

I had my dog heeling pretty well before, but not with the focus. It was hit or miss. I was also using two commands "heel" and "watch".....which I am not doing now.

Anyway, that's all I know. Hopefully at least a little tiny bit helpful.
 

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Teach the dog to "watch" first, i do it with treats but i guess you can use anything. When that's 100% , then add the heeling, that's whats worked for me anyway. My 5.5 month old will stare at me for 5 minutes for a treat and i just started to teach him the heel position along with it, good luck,
AL
 

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I teach eye contact prior to heeling. I get the dog in drive with a tug or a ball on a string then quickly stop and have the dog keep it's focus on me. Once the dog understands focus I begin "hiding" the ball either under my arm or chin. As soon as the dog looks at my eyes while waiting for the ball I immediately drop the ball, giving him a release command at the same time.

We're also working on eye focus with treats at home. He sits on my left, I touch the treat to my left shoulder, and then drop my hand to my right side. As soon as he looks to my eyes I reward him. This can be done next to a kitchen counter with the dog between you and the counter, on your left side.

Heeling with eye contact is a combination of elements. The dog needs to learn each ONE at a time. These pictures are of some of our beginning steps in training.
 

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I also use something similar as discribed above. I do it with a biteroll or treats, whatever works best for that dog.

heeling right next to you is shaped by your timing in your treats.
 

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As I commented in another post, I think the wrap around heeling is often created by marking and rewarding at incorrect times. Also, handlers that can't resist doing a little shoulder turn and quick peek to see if the dog is correct will unavoidably bring the dog around front.
Best advice here is when Amanda commented about giving the dog another comand (sit, fuss, etc) in order to avoid letting the dog get distracted from the focus if you happen to be chatting, or otherwise occupied.
 

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FWIW: i have worked on "fuss" to mean eye contact.
right now, i'm working exclusively on the "by heel" to mean he assumes the basic position, no other formal OB. when i try to put them together, i'm sure i'll be posting to correct the screw-ups i've made in both!!
 

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oh geez, i'm gonna have to post some pics....yeah, we have a 9 yr old rescue dobe, my daughter's 4-H dog (she always wins, but the competition isn't much).
but my young dog's a GSD....he's a bonehead, but perfect for a NewB, as long as i don't try using his ball/tug for OB--talk about instant, over the top drive!! i'll post some pics this weekend of the gang...now you know why i have a soft spot for the "other" german breed:)
 

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Is it okay to teach a dog to heel as a postition without eye contact? What would be the pros and cons of either way (with and without eye contact).
Not specificlly geared towards comp.OB, schutzhund, or ringsport- Just general heeling.
 

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Is it okay to teach a dog to heel as a postition without eye contact? What would be the pros and cons of either way (with and without eye contact).
Not specificlly geared towards comp.OB, schutzhund, or ringsport- Just general heeling.

Why not? Lots of ringsport people do not teach focused heeling.

I have two commands for my dog...one where the eyes are on me, one where she just knows to stay close to me. The latter is our "walking" position.
 

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Absolutely ok!
The eye contact heeling wasn't "in vogue" 40+ yrs ago when I joined my first ob class. The dog is still aware of where you are.
I had a GSD/Dane that would lean on me while we heeled so he could enjoy the scenery and still stay in position. What a PIA!
I cured that by putting a garter on my leg (no $#!+) with thumb tacks sticking outward.
That was in my Koheler days. I'm just a nice old grandpa now! \\:D/
 
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