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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok, this isn't REALLY about a finish, just the very first step to the finish. and i'm going really SLOW.

working in the house, i started brix with a "by heel" command to assume the basic position. initially i worked him against the kitchen cupboards (for correct form) and basically lured him into position with treats.

now, when working him in open areas, he still requires the hand motion used during the luring phase (i'm not too worried about that--i can phase it out). the question: he provides a perfect basic position about 5/10x; of these 5x that his butt isn't square or he's a little behind, 4/5x all i have to do is take one step forward and he's perfect.

the fifth time he's still not right, and i will just walk away, and restart. i don't talk, treat or look at him before i restart.

oh--when i DO have to take the one step for perfect position, i DO treat him. i'm thinking this should be treated (ha ha) the same as not being in position in the first place, ie, to treat, no talk, just a restart.

am i right? cut out the treat for the one-step perfection?
 

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Not realy sure why you used the cabinets, but the results are kinda sketchy LOL

So you started with a lure, so go back to this, and work on getting the dog correct. Mark it. How your hand is positioned, has a lot to do with where his butt ends up. if you start to fumble, not getting it right away, start over.

Get rid of the hand motion, and stop rewarding for no apparent reason. This is on you, because you are working to much at once. Gotta get the finish correct before you can start the rest.

Go over how you do each step in your head, and how the dog responds. I would then form a plan from there.



 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
i used the cabinets to keep his butt straight (he had no choice).

ok, so the hand motion is the lure--help me out here: i use my left hand, w/treat, "by-heel" use a U-turn motion w/hand out from my left side coming in close. he will 9.5/10x come to a perfect basic position doing this (i don't need the cabinets for good position anymore, IOW), even in the *open*.

to refine the question (thank you jeff--you always make me think and then get a headache:)): when/how should i attempt to phase out the hand motion (this is where i'm having trouble)?

i think this is where i'm stuck, b/c the hand motion IS the lure....

i will certainly stop rewarding for perfect position after one step.

help me break it down even more ppl!! i want the basic position as perfect as possible b/f i even start w/one step of "fuss".

i hope this even makes sense.....:(
 

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You have to back to the lure, because you do not have a good final position yet.

I usually leave off other OB here, so when the dog starts "guessing", he is guessing the finish, and not the STUPID STUPID "front" : )

This will come when you start getting it right in the first place. : P



 

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my dog was crooked. I tried doing her beside a wall, which seemed to work well, but didn't work once we got away from the wall. ;) I've been using a little slip lead around her flank that I run behind me and hold in my right hand to kind of "pull her straight", and that seems to be working better. It's not there for corrections, just to keep her positioning straight. Obviously she doesn't get the tug if she isn't straight.
 

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I use food, but I lure the dog into the correct position. Using artificial devices never seems to work once you get away from them. Not enough time to give the explanation right now, gotta train.



 

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The problem with using a lure is the dog is often so focused on following the food that he is really not that aware of what the rest of his body is doing. Often the small inconsistencies in postion are due to small variations in where you hold the lure.

Do you use a verbal marker or clicker? These make it easier to get away from luring sooner.

After I teach gross approximation of heeling to pups/young dogs, I use a toy in the left armpit (visible at first, then faded from sight like a food lure) in conjunction with leash pressure to move the dog. I only use the leash on the neck, usually a slip lead or with a duller dog a pinch collar.

Just as you can move a horse various parts of his body/neck/head with subtlely different movement of the reins, a dog can be taught to move off leash pressure. The most important thing here is that the dog moves his own body. If you are pulling the dog into position he is not learning just passively being drug about.

What discipline are you training for? IPO requires a much more precise picture in the heeling than the ringsports (although I play more in the ringsports and spend far too much time on the heeling because heeling can be one of the most incredible displays of power in the working dog.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
ok, let's see...
amber--using the slip lead, does she get the tug if you have to use it to re-position?

lisa--unless i move to somewhere that has an option, we'll be *trying* Sch.

all--away from the *wall*, i've been trying to fade out the treat every time. w/o the treat, he postions really well (9.5%) just with the hand motion. am i being bass-ackwards here? should i be fading the hand motion first, then start more random treat rewards? he's not yet "offering" the behavior, i'll try jeff's course of just working on this until he does, then marking the correct position.

any more input for me?
 

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Quote:because heeling can be one of the most incredible displays of power in the working dog.)
How's that???

It is a control, and I do not see power there. Maybe you could explain how a dog is showing power by going along with the handlers wish that he do a totally un-natural thing like "heeling"?????

HA/HA Glad you are here.



 

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Lisa, I agree to a point about the dog being to focused on the food as a lure but that's before the dog starts underestanding the the command.
The lure should build muscle memmory that willl eventually transfer to understanding.
Ann, when luring the dog into position, your last hand motion should be away from the dogs face, to the left. This will swing the dog butt in closer.
The vast majority of reasons people give for not using food is that it's so hard to wean the dog off of food. It's no harder to wean off of food then of of corrections.
Giving a dog a command it doesn't yet understand, they cranking on it's leash is no less confusing to the dog the using food to lure a dog into position. The big diffenence is the leash correcton can take away drive. The food builds it while the dog is learning.
Obviously both work.
 

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ok, let's see...
amber--using the slip lead, does she get the tug if you have to use it to re-position?
No, if she sits crooked on a halt, and I have to reposition her, we heel back off with no reward and try again. Her problem is a created one, though - when teaching her to heel, I held the tug underneath my right armpit instead of my left, and so she's expecting the reward to come from that direction now, and turns into me for the sit. If she doesn't expect a reward, for example, when we are doing the heel-in-muzzle, she sits straight because she knows the tug isn't there.
 

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Lisa, I agree to a point about the dog being to focused on the food as a lure but that's before the dog starts underestanding the the command.
The lure should build muscle memmory that willl eventually transfer to understanding.
Ann, when luring the dog into position, your last hand motion should be away from the dogs face, to the left. This will swing the dog butt in closer.
The vast majority of reasons people give for not using food is that it's so hard to wean the dog off of food. It's no harder to wean off of food then of of corrections.
Giving a dog a command it doesn't yet understand, they cranking on it's leash is no less confusing to the dog the using food to lure a dog into position. The big diffenence is the leash correcton can take away drive. The food builds it while the dog is learning.
Obviously both work.

Well, since we have not trained together I will try to explain...

First off all, luring...I am not saying luring does not work just that it has its limitations. One of the limitations is that the dog is less aware of what his body is doing and less in a "thinking" frame of mind. Similar to the difference between following somebody when you are driving or following directions to get there. You do not think "I have to turn left at the next signal" instead you "react" by turning left when the car you are following does so. And many will agree that generally, you are less likely to remember how to get there yourself the next time.

As far as your "cranking on the leash" comment...you seem to have misunderstood my technique. I am not talking about yanking a passive dog into position by force repeatedly. My leash pressure suggestion was in response in part to Amber saying she uses a flank rope to "pull" the dog into position. "Cranking" and "pulling" move the dog into position...again the dog does not have to think about what he is doing as it is done for him.

My reference to horses may not have helped you as you may not ride but the basic concept is that a rider can shift the hip of a 1000 lb animal over 1 step with just a twitch of the finger. Teaching a dog to move off of leash pressure allows you to move the dog's body precisely into position with out the distraction of a food lure. Yes, like any prompt you do have to fade the leash pressure. The food is not taken out of the equation, it is just used where it belongs...as a reinforcer given after the correct behavior has been performed.

So I was not making an argument against the use of food or for the use of corrections...sorry if I confused you.

Lisa Maze
 

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If you follow the link below you will see an example of a very young dog (four months old) who has learned to move with the leash. As you can see she is not being forced to move anywhere, the leash is never taut. As she is heeling up you will notice the handler's left hand is behind her back putting a little tension into the leash (the leash is still not taut but the dog can still feel the movement in a slip lead) to help the pup move laterally into heel position. The dog is then rewarded.

It is a tiny video in the upper right hand corner.

http://www.loupsdusoleil.com/PixieforSale.html
 

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Here is another one just to demonstrate how subtle the leash pressure is. On the first left about turn my hand slides slightly behind me so I can apply a little pressure to encourage this seven month old bitch to bring her hip into alignment with her shoulder on the turn. On several of the downs I drop my hand to apply subtle pressure to the leash to move her forehad down first (to avoid getting a "butt first" down) and on one of the sits I move my hand forward and up to shift her weight to the forehand to free up her hind end (to ensure a "tuck up" sit).

http://www.loupsdusoleil.com/HottieforSale.html

Neither of these videos were made to show the use of leash pressure (they were made to give an overview of each pup's obedience and they worked as both girls have been sold).

Lisa Maze
 

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Not getting off that easy, Lisa. How is power shown in heeling again?????

Really curious about that statement.
I gotta say, I am too. Not arguing..... because I guess I don't get what was meant. Just looking for clarification of:

QUOTE: I play more in the ringsports and spend far too much time on the heeling because heeling can be one of the most incredible displays of power in the working dog END
 

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Similar to the difference between following somebody when you are driving or following directions to get there. You do not think "I have to turn left at the next signal" instead you "react" by turning left when the car you are following does so. And many will agree that generally, you are less likely to remember how to get there yourself the next time.
Hey, I like this. Great analogy, might have to "steal" it from you :)
 

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Now I have to tease you, because using the words heeling and powerful dog in the same sentence like that is a Sch fallacy, and this is yet another reason this sport is junk. It makes very nice, intellegent people say stupid shit like this.



 
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