German Shepherd Dog > Heeling question (13 replies)
by DavC on 28 February 2011 - 03:53
|My question is when doing heeling work my dog tends to forge ahead of me. I have been told to ignore this and only reward when in correct position. My question is should I correct him when he is out of position and then reward when he is in correct position? Or should I let him self correct and reward when he comes back to the correct position? I have trained him using markers and he will take a fair correction and bounce back from them quickly and will try to do what I ask.|
by DebiSue on 28 February 2011 - 04:08
|My dog will forge also. I make an abrupt right turn with a sharp correction then I reward her once she is in the proper position. If she is forging and I want to make a left turn, I snatch her at the same time I make an abrupt left turn. This corrects her and at the same time puts her in the correct position so I reward her quickly. What are you using to reward him? Are you holding it in your left hand and holding that hand where you want his head to be. The best way I know of correcting a forge is to make abrupt turns so the dog isn't sure which way I am going to go next which helps him him in position. Make your turns exaggerated so the dog is able to read which direction you are turning. Stick that right foot across his path and snatch him back for a left turn. Slow way down for the right turn and lead with the left foot in front and swinging it to the right. Make your about turn in 3 slow and small steps so that you don't leave him behind or swinging out away from you where he has to hurry to catch up. As he gets used to your cues, then make them less exaggerated. I hope this helps. It's worked for my dog.|
by DavC on 28 February 2011 - 04:15
|I am using a ball for his reward this has really upped his attention and focus on me. I have been doing a lot of left turns with him and this has seemed to help. He knows where to look for his reward now its a matter of him realizing that he can get the reward with proper position and attention. His about turn is pretty good and tight. I have been told by some to show his reward when out of position or to stop and then start moving again,. I guess I am trying to figure out what will work best with him. I usually keep the reward in my pocket and then present it to him on his left side so he doesn't pull in front of me to get the reward.|
by Changer on 28 February 2011 - 04:36
|Well just to stir the pot, if he forges in heel position, then you taught him. (or he doesn't know where heel position is) IMO, it is then not fair to correct him. I might give a no reward marker, but I certainly would not correct physically. Let him move himself back, then mark and reward, or teach him a back cue to get in the right postion and make sure you are really consistent on where his position is when you release him. You also want to make sure your reward strengthens his good postion in heeling. If your left pocket is to the front of your body, that may be drawing him out of position.|
by DavC on 28 February 2011 - 14:48
|When i switched from food to a ball is when he started to get out of position but it also increased his attention and animation. No or with holding the reward does seem to work as well as telling him good when in position, but then I was told I was talking too much to him. I really like how he understands markers both positive and negative and it is still training not trialing. So like I said I am trying to figure out what is best for him and me to show him at his capabilities.|
by RLHAR on 28 February 2011 - 16:11
How are you rewarding the ball? Straight down from your left shoulder or a toss from your right hand or ... ?
You might want to get someone to video tape you so you can see yourself and you'll probably be surprised to find that the way you reward the ball is causing the forging behavior. I'm right handed and had a HELL of a time schooling myself out of rewarding the ball from the right hand or throwing it from my left across my body to the right.
It's such a 'little' thing but they quickly learn to 'anticipate' and thus to forge around in front of us. Even now, when someone is spotting me, *I* feel I've got the ball in good position and my spotter will be like "Nope, too far forward". When I'm *correct* it feels like my spine is arched, my left shoulder is way back and I am practically holding the ball at my left shoulder blade but then when I see myself on video I can see how I've got the ball correct and my dog is in perfect position.
by brynjulf on 28 February 2011 - 16:52
|Hold the ball in your left armpit for a while. See if that helps. If your a righty just pull it out and throw . Don't worry he will know it's there :) I used to carry my tug in the front pouch of my hoody but switched to the armpit after a freakishly close regendering accident. :)|
by VKGSDs on 28 February 2011 - 19:16
|If you are using a ball/toy it's probably an issue of inadvertently luring the dog to be out of position, or rewarding the dog with the ball so that the dog has to come forward to get it when it's presented. I use a ball to reward my dog but I do not lure with it. I hold it in my left hand behind his head, then when I want to reward I mark his behavior "yes" and then flip the ball up so he catches it while he is still in heel position. Or, I drop the ball on the ground so he knows where it is, then heel around for a bit, and when I mark "yes" that is his cue to go get the ball. I do not like relying on the toy to actually lure the correct position and focus. It often creates bad habits like what is described, or the dog has a hard time fading that and falls apart when the toy is not visible. I like to use as few gimmicks as possible, just *train* the dog that heel means be right here with focus and not have to artificially manufacture that with a toy. The toy is definitely a reward and motivator for my dog but he understands what "Fuss" means when the toy is behind his head or on the ground and we're walking over it.|
by schdiva on 28 February 2011 - 20:34
|Have faith grasshopper you are on the right path.|
by Sheesh on 01 March 2011 - 02:08
|We do a LOT of left turns for forging. Sometimes a few squares going left, tight squares, then straight and quick reward if and when in correct position. It worked for me. Like already stated, ball on the far left shoulder or under the left armpit. Theresa|
by Tazmyn on 01 March 2011 - 10:19
|Left turn, left turn, left turn! Teach your dog to load straight back - one pace, then two etc. Then teach him to load back and to the left. Progress to a small left square of one/two paces and build up from there. Everytime the dog then forges or leans into you, turn left. No compulsion- he just doesn't get to move forward.|
Worked a treat for my SchH3 boy.
by animules on 01 March 2011 - 14:40
|I switched training methods a while back and have been having super results. My girl did not truely understand what was wanted, the leash and corrections were getting in the way of her learning, even while using a tug reward. She is now understanding the correct position versus sharp corrections to get her there. No more pinch collar, not even a leash, never used an e-collar. Still some refining to do but so close and working on that refinement. This while healing over and around sleeves laying on the ground. I've tried the other methods, I'll use this any day.|
by zmoderator on 01 March 2011 - 15:04
by animules on 01 March 2011 - 15:08
|Thanks zmoderator. I still fumble a bit trying to embed a video...|