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Old 10-25-2013, 09:50 AM
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Sekah Sekah is offline
The Monster.
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Toronto
Posts: 1,337

I fell into that trap with Cohen too. It sounds like you just need to work through it, and you probably have to go back a few steps and build that engagement back up. It sounds like he's being overfaced by the environment.

One thing that really helped with Cohen was having her jump up to get her reward. She finds the jumping itself is reinforcing and it adds energy into the game. (Adding energy is always my issue since I do most of my training with food instead of toys with Cohen.) The jump (or sometimes tossed treats) plus going back to square one and asking for good, active focus before I've even taken a step and working in short, short increments helped me get over that hump.

I'm currently in the process of introducing spins while heeling to get her driving back into position. I'm not yet where I want to be, but I think it's helping a bit too.

E: Also tossing treats helped too. I got really good at tossing treats with minimal telegraphing so she had to pay closer attention to me so she could catch them before they hit the ground (whereby they're often eaten by Megatron).

Lastly, don't reward crap. It's easy to fall into the 'good enough' trap with heeling, but you really want to push your dog to engage since it's a behaviour which requires such precision and can be quite dull for the dog.

Cheynat's O' Lady Midnight CD RE ADC SGDC FDCh-S CGN HIC, Esq.
Megatron, Heat Vampire
Cohen the Australian Shepherd
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