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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is like, the third time I've worked with him on fuss. It was raining yesterday evening, so I set the camera up on the tripod in the back of the car. The sound isn't great (you can't hear my commands - told you I use a normal speaking tone of voice! :lol:), and because it was raining it's kind of dark, but tell me what you think! Hopefully those of you who were having trouble viewing my videos on Putfile will be able to view these a little better. They are 16-17MB in size, though, so give them time to load.

In the first video, Adam's truck was in the way, but it was the only time I actually held the ball up in view. The other two times I had it in my right jacket pocket.










Good lord! Sorry bout the size! :lol: :lol:
 

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2nd video is by far the best I could see. The 1st posted looks like he's too distracted with the grocery guy (hubby?). Looks like you are doing well, you may want to work on your correction timing as well as watch how much you praise. Carbon flips if I say Good Boy so I just whisper Guten until the training is complete and I release him so he can act crazy then. I also would watch it on the automatic sits, depending on what sort of obedience you are wanting to do. I have always taught my dogs to stand when I stop, since I've seen many owners screw up with automatic sit dogs. Anyways, he looks good. Maybe turn on a light next time because it's hard to see when you turn. Also (ONE LAST THING I PROMISE) walk normally. When you turn, you do it unnaturally, from what I could see. It's like teaching a dog to stay by backing up and saying STAYSTAYSTAY (or whatever your language of choice is).
 

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Kristen - I'm not sure how precise you want to be with the heeling. If you're looking for absolute precision, then there's 2 things I would correct that I saw occurring in the video.

1. On the automatic sit, your dog swings his rear out to the side. You can fix this by first teaching him the correct fuss position before you ever start walking with him. Reward him repeatedly for being in the correct position in a sit. Another exercise you can do is to train him to move from a position in front of you (facing you in a sit) into the heel position. These are foundation exercises that I do before I start moving with the dog in the heel position. Some people also fix this issue by correcting the dog to make him sit faster so he doesn't have time to swing his rear end out.

2. Although I can tell that you're trying to keep your shoulders and body straight ahead, you're still dipping your left shoulder back and to the left. If you continue to do that, then you'll have problems keeping him in the correct position when you work off-lead. Right now he's looking up at you and developing a picture in his mind of where he needs to be. If your shoulder is tilted like that while he's learning, then once the leash comes off and you stand normally, he'll move his body forward and his rear out more to the left side to face you and thus be out of correct fuss position. Does that make sense?

Like I said, these things only matter if you're concerned about precision heeling. There's a lot more to precision heeling than what I've even described above, but I'd be typing here all day if I got into the details of that! :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
We will be competing in Schutzhund (as well as possibly some AKC obedience), so I want to be as precise and correct as possible. I've never trained an attention heel before, so we're both learning as we go.

1. On the automatic sit, your dog swings his rear out to the side. You can fix this by first teaching him the correct fuss position before you ever start walking with him. Reward him repeatedly for being in the correct position in a sit. Another exercise you can do is to train him to move from a position in front of you (facing you in a sit) into the heel position. These are foundation exercises that I do before I start moving with the dog in the heel position. Some people also fix this issue by correcting the dog to make him sit faster so he doesn't have time to swing his rear end out.
I'm not giving him a sit command when we stop, unless he doesn't sit (he did this in the "Fuss 2" video), and I didn't notice that he didn't put his butt all the way on the ground earlier in that same video, and also in the "Fuss" video until I watched them :lol:). He swung his rear out to the side REALLY bad in the video. :oops: I noticed that when he did it, but wasn't sure how to correct him, since he DID sit, and he WAS looking up at me still. When you say 'reward him repeatedly for being in the correct position in a sit,' could you explain? Do I just wait for him to sit next to me, say fuss, and then praise him when he looks up at me, or just praise him in general for sitting next to me? I'm a little confused. :?

What is the best way to teach him to come to heel position from the front, for competition purposes? Again, I've only ever taught heel as a basic, practical exercise that simply means, "Stay by my left side and sit when I stop walking." I've never done anything precise or fancy with it.

I don't really want to correct him to make him sit faster, to avoid the butt swinging. I just don't think that would be the best option for him. Not now, at least.


2. Although I can tell that you're trying to keep your shoulders and body straight ahead, you're still dipping your left shoulder back and to the left.
I am dipping my shoulder a bit, aren't I? That's one reason I like to video myself, because I notice things (and other people notice things) that I didn't realize I was or wasn't doing at the time. He's also crowding me, but that's not something I'm worried about right now; it can be fixed later with my knee :D
 

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Kristen Cabe said:
I am dipping my shoulder a bit, aren't I? That's one reason I like to video myself, because I notice things (and other people notice things) that I didn't realize I was or wasn't doing at the time. He's also crowding me, but that's not something I'm worried about right now; it can be fixed later with my knee :D
Don't be so sure about being able to fix the crowding later with your knee. I personally would fix it now. I have a SchH 1 female I did not do the original training on and we have fixed lots of sloppy training (or probably rushed training). However, the crowding is still a persistant issue with her. I am at the point where I am just accepting it and will loose points for it. My male who I did all the training on, does not have the crowding issue. It's best not to let it be a habit now.

Sorry, not harping on you Kristen. :lol: You are brave to share your video and ask for critique. Your dog looks like a nice dog from what I have seen. I video myself for the same reason but I don't share them with the internet ever since I found out I run like a Jerry's kid (something I learned from the videos) :cry:
 

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I found I got the best results with precision heeling by working with somebody who was an expert at it. My training mentor (who trains for both Schutzhund and USAR) walked me through each and every tiny step. I regularly met with her (even though she lives in MD!) and during our trainings she corrected every tiny mistake I made (and there were a lot of mistakes at first!).

There are probably some really good videos out there that can show you methods for how to teach precision obedience too. Can anybody recommend one to Kristen?

Working with an expert directly, or watching it on video and practicing it while video-taping yourself is probably a better idea than me trying to explain it all here.

That being said, I do want to answer the specific questions you posed.

QUOTE KRISTEN: "When you say 'reward him repeatedly for being in the correct position in a sit,' could you explain? Do I just wait for him to sit next to me, say fuss, and then praise him when he looks up at me, or just praise him in general for sitting next to me? I'm a little confused."END QUOTE

The method I use requires the use of hotdogs (cut into small pieces) or other similar treats. Have a lot of those in a left upper pocket or in your hand (or if you choose - in your mouth to spit at him). Put the dog in a straight sit (this assumes your dog knows how to sit straight and not lean or stick a knee out to the side) and stand next to him, positioning your body correctly next to his. Doing this in front of a mirror can really help you keep the correct position. Reward him for looking directly at your face and give him tiny pops on the leash for looking away. At first do this with no distractions, then, when he's perfect you can slowly add distractions. A nice distraction to start with is to take the food in your left hand and extend your hand out to the side over his head. If he looks at the food, correct him. Then reward him (verbally that instant and then quickly follow with the food) when he looks at you instead. This method requires that he have absolute attention focused on you while in the sit-heel position (regardless of any distraction) before you even start moving with the dog. There are also a lot of little nuances in how you hold the leash (in your right hand) and how you give the food (with your left). Your timing also has to be good (with praise and with the follow-up of the food). That's why I think one-on-one help or a video would really be best for anybody just learning to train this type of obedience.

QUOTE KRISTEN:"What is the best way to teach him to come to heel position from the front, for competition purposes?" END QUOTE

That question is probably best left to the Schutzhund obedience participants on this board. Precision obedience is not a requirement for the job my dogs do, but I taught it to them because I like the way it looks and wanted to learn how to do it. I personally have my dogs "swing" to the left rather than go around behind me to the right for no other reason than that its easier for me to manage the leash when I train it.

Sorry this is long, but I hope it helped somewhat!
 

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Another forum (LB) has a very good competition heeling video. It's done at Tom rose's place.
Also the Ivan Balabanov tapes are excellent for this too.
Your body posture is a total cue to your dogs performance. Practice heeling without the dog til you think you've got the moves down, That will keep you from thinking to much while your training the dog.
Also a good book is Purely Positive Training, companion to competition. You don't have to make the choic to go total motivational in order to get a lot out of the book or the videos I've mentioned.
Making videos of yourself is a HUGE help for beginners and oldtimers alike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't visit that "other forum" anymore, but I will see if I can find the book at the library or somewhere. Is Sheila Booth the author?

It's not raining (finally) today, so I'm going to try again, working with him just in the sit position. I did that yesterday in the rain, sans camera this time, and he did very well I thought. Maintained eye contact for about 15 seconds before I released him. Oh, and am I doing that right by just throwing the ball for him at random?

I'd like to get a video of my other dog heeling and doing sits and downs in motion. She's no competition dog, but I like to show her off anyway. :D Of course, I haven't done anything with her in months, or maybe even closer to a year or more, so there's no telling what she'll do, but I'll try anyway! :lol:
 

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I would back things up a whole lot. Also, I would use food to start to teach new behaviors. Make sure your dog is very hungry. Teach the static fuss position first. Have your dog sitting by your side in the correct position, tell him fuss, and as soon as he looks in your eyes, immediately reward with food and praise with "good fuss." Don't lure him with the food. Be patient and he will eventually offer the correct behavior. Continue to work on the static fuss for a good while before actually heeling with the dog. You don't always have to give him the command. Sometimes if he offers the correct behavior (looking at your eyes in the static fuss) reward and praise. Have him practice this for about a minute or so, stop on a high note, try to get an explosive release, and play with him with the obedience tug. After he starts to get more proficient, have him maintain the fuss longer before rewarding him. Then have him fuss (looking at you) while you look straight ahead for a second or so. Then proceed to taking a step or two with him looking at you each step, reward immediately, release and start at the static fuss position and repeat. If you want to incorporate the automatic sit, do it later after he is getting more proficient, and work toward him looking at you for 30 seconds and being able to take about five steps keeping his eyes on you, stop with an automatic sit, attention, fuss a few steps, sit, etc.
Try a tug instead of the ball after the release. I saw you throw the ball as a reward, and I don't recommend that.
You are going too long and not rewarding the dog enough. That is where the food comes in. You can reward the dog instantly without having to release the dog like you would with a toy.
What collars are you using? I'd use a small prong correctly fitted and a fursaver on the dead ring. You won't need to use the prong for a while, but get him use to wearing it. Try to use a thin, light leash that doesn't get in the way. At first, you might not even need to use a leash. Be sure the dog likes the food and is hungry.
Motivational training takes a lot of practice and time, but keep the sessions short and try to do a few a day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Make sure your dog is very hungry.
Luckily, this is not a problem. Jak is ALWAYS hungry, even after he finishes his meals :lol: He's not a dog you have to skip a meal with in order to work with him with food.

Teach the static fuss position first. Have your dog sitting by your side in the correct position, tell him fuss, and as soon as he looks in your eyes, immediately reward with food and praise with "good fuss." Don't lure him with the food. Be patient and he will eventually offer the correct behavior.
This is what I worked on yesterday. He is already looking up at me when I give the command. I rewarded immediately at first (with treats), and then increased the time gradually, stopping at 15 seconds and throwing the ball for him.

If you want to incorporate the automatic sit, do it later after he is getting more proficient
I really haven't been working on the automatic sit; he just does it. :D

Try a tug instead of the ball after the release. I saw you throw the ball as a reward, and I don't recommend that.
My TD doesn't want me playing tug with him. He told me to use the ball, but didn't tell me how, so that's why I asked if I was doing it right.

You are going too long and not rewarding the dog enough. That is where the food comes in. You can reward the dog instantly without having to release the dog like you would with a toy.
You can't hear me, but I'm giving lots of verbal praise, but I understand what you're saying here.

What collars are you using? I'd use a small prong correctly fitted and a fursaver on the dead ring. You won't need to use the prong for a while, but get him use to wearing it.
That's pretty much what I've been doing, except I've had the leash on the live ring of the fur saver. I have a small prong, but I've been just letting him wear the medium. I put his prong on him for everything, though I'm not using it yet. He wears the fur saver all the time as his regular collar. The leash I was using in the videos is huge and bulky, and not good for this, you're right. I couldn't find my cheapo dollar tree one (it's light, thin, and 3 feet long) so I had to just use that one. I have since found the smaller one, and will be using it from now on. I don't really have to use it, though, you're right there, too.

keep the sessions short and try to do a few a day.
On weekends, this isn't a problem, but during the week, I'm limited to the hours between 5:30 and 8:00 or so, before it gets dark, and I also have to do dinner, laundry, etc. when I get home, so I don't get to do but one session per evening through the week. If I bring him to work with me, I can get in a short training session during my lunch hour, but I have to be careful because of messing up work clothes and all.
 

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I wouldn't assume the praise is a strong reinforcer, or a reinforcer at all.
Why doesn't your TD want you to use the tug? I'd be teaching the dog the game, where you get him in drive for the tug with several misses and then allow him to bite. Then you progress to several misses, a command such as sit, a release and a bite. You won't get skilled at using the tug unless you practice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have no idea why, but he specifically told me not to play tug with Jak several training weekends ago because Jak was starting to growl on the sleeve. He asked if I had been playing tug with him, and I told him no (because I don't), and he said, "Good. Don't."
 

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Having a training director will probably be very helpful for you. Ask questions though. I don't remember how old your dog is, but he might be getting a little stressed in the bitework, and he will work through that with maturity and experience. I doubt he will get growly with you on the tug. You can really build your dog's drive with the tug and transfer that drive to the obedience, but there is definitely some learning required to use the toys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
He was 15 months old on Sept 5th; we've only been doing bitework for a couple of months, though. My TD is hard to get info out of. He's one of those that knows what he's doing and why he's doing it, but isn't so great at explaining things. He's been involved in SchH since before I was born, and I do trust that he knows what he's doing, but it's hard to get him to answer questions. He gets a little frustrated, almost as if he perceives questions to be you doubting his ability, you know? His primary focus is the bitework; you're pretty much on your own as far as tracking and obedience is concerned. His wife does most of the tracking and obedience work with the puppies/dogs that aren't yet trained, and she isn't always available. That's why I come here! :mrgreen:
 

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I agree with Chip on the tug. Once you throw the ball, the dog has his rerward and really doesn't need you anymore.
I want the interaction of playing with me as the reward.
It does take a bit of work to do it properly though.
Again, the Ivan Balabanov tapes are geat for teaching this.
 

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You have gotten some prety good advise thus far. I'll try to explain how I do it.
First thing, before I start Foosing a dog, I teach the "look" (look at me)command from either a sitz or a platz static position. Once the dog can hold attention for a few seconds, reward with food. Next, I teach Foos in motion. Leash in left hand treats in right hand.
At this point the dog is on a prong hooked to both rings. I say foos, fairly often, at the same time correcting when he forges ahead, praise and treat when he stays in position.
I am also using the look command to demand attention.
When I stop, his butt will be sticking out of position. This is where the dog starts to understand where he is supposed to be by gently pulling up on the leash, and taking one very small step with your right foot.
The trick is, to not take a step in a straight line, but slightly turning to your left and immediatly STOP.
This will make him stop in the proper position. Reward and release right away.
Two things are happening, he is learning the position in motion and when you stop.
Also, when holding treats in right hand, keep your hand by your left shoulder. In the beginning, this whole thing should be no more than a few steps.
As far as them coming to a foos from a front recall, I start that when I see the dog correcting himself in proper position when I stop.
From a front sit his butt will end up halway to where it's supposed to be. I sometimes wait a second or two and then fake him on a left turn. I find if I put more work in the motion and sit, eventually I can call the dog to a foos from anywhere.
Hope this helps.
SK
 

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I'll add what I do in, just for fun. :p

I like to use the hot dog method first. Luring to the sit and for position, spitting hotdog out and/or pulling from my pocket and marking. The dog learns what is wanted but not properly yet, because it's too slow. That's when I move to using the ball or tug.

I make drive and then I put the dog in position with a prong and leash while saying Fuss. Then I hide toy underneath my left arm and start to walk forward quickly. Not paying attention to the dog, just looking at him from corner of my eye. A few steps of him prancing and I mark and immediately offer the tug/throw the ball. So at this point I use a combination of drives and compulsion. If the dog does something like turn his head away I correct with the prong, just one quick jerk, and then when he looks back at me I mark and proceed to praise him while he's doing the exercise correctly. I also jerk the prong at the sit to make it faster (he knows the automatic sit by this point, so he knows what the correction is for).

I go for speed...since they make less mistakes when things are going fast. Less time to think. :lol: The problem here is since I try not to look down at the dog (so he's not waiting for an extra cue), and I try to walk normally and I try to walk fast but at the same time I try to make sure HE'S walking properly and fast..........I trip a lot. :|

Best of luck. :twisted:
 
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