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Old 09-18-2006, 06:03 AM
IliamnasQuest IliamnasQuest is offline
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Default Heeling - Photos of Khana

Not great photos - grainy - the lighting in the training facility is awful and the black matting doesn't help! These were taken today after a training session I taught (instructor training). Khana had been cooped up for a couple of hours in the car, but she did SO well. A friend of mine sat on the floor and took about 30 photos of us heeling, and Khana was watching me in EVERY picture! Such a good girl.







She's 22 months old and these are off-leash. Besides the person sitting on the floor a short distance away (someone she REALLY likes), there were several other people in the room talking to each other. I just love the focused attention you get when you use positive reinforcement to shape the attentive behavior. Khana was taught to heel off-leash FIRST, and she's never been taught with a corrective collar. I started when she was young and would just reinforce her for looking at my face (from any position). From there, I built it into looking at my face from a stationary heel position, and then rewarded for attention with one step. When that was solid, I added another step, and so on.

Because I did it off-leash, I had to rely on my ability to be patient and to motivate and reward her. This is such an excellent way to teach us humans how to shut up and wait for a behavior! *L* We are often so impatient and if we just observe, we can almost always find something to reinforce.

I love training off-leash and I have high hopes for her in obedience competition next spring. We've shown in rally with some good scores, but regular obedience will be the REAL test. It's getting past all the nervousness and distractions that is difficult (and not just for the dog! *L*).

Anyway, thought I'd share so people can see the result of patient training using positive reinforcement instead of punishment.

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
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Old 09-18-2006, 08:25 AM
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SummerRiot SummerRiot is offline
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Thats awesome! Congradulations!

I started training Riot to heel offleash as well when he was a puppy and omg does it ever make a difference!

Last night Riot and I were working on tight heels on leash with eye contact the same.

He was rewarded each time he make eye contact and by the end of the walk he'd have his eyes fixed to mine!

Love it!
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Old 09-18-2006, 08:46 AM
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Nice!

We had our 1st "advanced" ob class combined with agility on Saturday. It's pretty much like the basic class we took but it's mostly off leash. Gunnar heeled like he never heeled before, I was amazed. He looked like Khana. I didn't have a toy or anything to bait him either. It was like he understood he was at class and had to work.
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Old 09-18-2006, 07:48 PM
IliamnasQuest IliamnasQuest is offline
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SummerRiot: Isn't it just neat when you start off-leash? I really recommend it to people but they do have to have a safe area to work in and that seems to be hard for some people. I want my dogs to understand working off-leash (especially with recalls) as young as possible.

DanL: So many dogs do better off-leash than on-leash in heeling! Sounds like Gunnar is doing great. Shepherds can be SO attentive and all we have to do is capitalize on it. I still get focused heeling from Trick and she's ten.

Training is so fun to me .. *L* ..

Melanie and the gang
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Old 09-18-2006, 08:09 PM
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She looks great Melanie!
Tucker has a pretty good off-leash heel.
I wish I had learned about the method you described when Tuck was a puppy .
Ah well, I am pretty happy with his heel. He NEVER pulls, LOL.

~Tucker
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Old 09-18-2006, 09:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IliamnasQuest View Post
So many dogs do better off-leash than on-leash in heeling!
This is soooo true! In fact I was just saying the same thing to a gal I observed at an obed. competition Sat. for CD. She was complaining that while her dog did wonderful at the off-lead heeling pattern he wasn't as good on the 1st portion which was on-lead. He wasn't attentive, lagged, forged a little, kept looking around, was late reacting to about turns and was off kilter on his sits. I told her from watching I could see why it happened. She worked on a fairly tighter lead than I like to see and with that her dog was constantly getting cues from the lead although she wasn't giving any corrections - that is what the dog was waiting for & relying on. When they changed to the off-lead pattern her dog knew he had to watch her to know where they where going as there would be no cues. His eyes never left her and he completed the pattern perfectly.
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Old 09-18-2006, 09:06 PM
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Khana looks beautiful...her picture should be under the word HEEL in the trainers dictionary. I too always teach a heel or "by me" without a lead. The lead to me is the first level of distraction and really messes with the connection. Great photo's!
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