Getting in heel position?

Lyzelle

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#1
Quinn's accomplishments to date are vast and numerous.

But we can't get this AT ALL. And when I Google it, it is just assumed you can get your dog to sit next to you.

I have tried using my legs and feet as markers. I have tried limiting her options so she can only walk or sit next to me. I have tried luring. Capturing.

Generally it takes her 20 minutes to catch on to something. We have been working on this for 3 weeks.

Haaaaaalp.
 

Lyzelle

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#3
Have you tried using a platform or disc?
Yes. No luck there either.

She insists on being in front of me, sitting behind my leg if she is given no other choice, or will heel....backwards. so she is facing the other direction. No matter how often I reward the brief moments of heel, she always transforms it into something else.

We've learned spin, back up, shy (back up with head turn), really solid attention and look at me...

But no heel. :(
 

xpaeanx

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#4
Yes. No luck there either.

She insists on being in front of me, sitting behind my leg if she is given no other choice, or will heel....backwards. so she is facing the other direction. No matter how often I reward the brief moments of heel, she always transforms it into something else.

We've learned spin, back up, shy (back up with head turn), really solid attention and look at me...

But no heel. :(
I would heavily reward the platform without it being in heel position and more as a target. Take all "heelwork" out of it. When she will reliably get on the platform properly, I'd start moving it towards me. But don't rush the platform work, she needs to really understand what is expected. Same thing for the piviot disc. Then work/reward heavily with the platform and disc in heel(put her on it, walk up and reward in heel position, then call to it while in heel, etc).
 

k9krazee

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#5
I'm probably the least qualified to talk about teaching a dog to heel, cause I've never done it but....

What kind of work have you done with a platform? What have you done to "limit her options so she can only walk next to you"? If you're in a narrow hallway/near a wall, and she's on a short leash and you're luring her with food---she wouldn't be able to do anything besides walk/be next to you.

Some ideas...

Teach her to put her front feet on a platform or target. Put the platform/target next to a wall, with you on the other side and she'll have no other choice but to be next to you. Feed in position. After plenty of repetitions, you can eventually slowly move the platform away from the wall.

Or teach her to pivot in a circle with her front feet on a platform. Once she can do circles consistently, stand next to the platform so when she tries to do a circle she hits your leg. Reward.
 

xpaeanx

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#6
Or teach her to pivot in a circle with her front feet on a platform. Once she can do circles consistently, stand next to the platform so when she tries to do a circle she hits your leg. Reward.
I just want to comment on this, be careful how you start it. You want her to move INTO you first, you don't want to have her first circles with you pushing her away.

But if she's not comfortable being in heel position(which is what it sounds like) target + rewards is what I would do. Once she's comfortable in position I would add the movement.
 

Lyzelle

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#7
Mkay, so clarification now that I am on the computer.

On a short leash, she would much rather attempt to strangle herself getting ahead of or behind me. No matter how much I reward in heel position, she will constantly attempt to re-set herself.

Without the leash, luring her next to me against a wall, couch, or other thing, she will initially stay next to me and mark my thigh with her head, or my foot with hers. As soon as I take away the object that keeps her next to me, she will again re-set herself so that she is either perpendicular next to me, in front of me, or behind me.

Her platform work is okay at best. She has been introduced to several different platforms and will preform step up and back up (front feet and back feet respectively) and will place all four feet in small things. She also knows
Stand, but won't preform stand in heel position even with the platform.

I will try pivot and really, really work on her front feet not moving and up the reward to something super yummy for Pivot and eventually her swinging into me.
 

CaliTerp07

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#8
Can she do a line up? If she's facing you, lure her backwards past your leg and flip her around so she's facing the same direction you are?
 
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#9
I'm a huge fan of the perch work and rewarding for pushing into your body.

Also, random idea: work with her between your legs? That way she's caged but by you and you can reward for her being up close and personal with you.

Also might help to take a video and post it so people can get a better idea of what you and her are doing.
 

Lyzelle

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#10
Also might help to take a video and post it so people can get a better idea of what you and her are doing.
Will do. I was trying to find that random "What are you working on" or training type video thread we had going a while ago, but couldn't find it. I'll dig out my camera today and try to find a spot to film.
 

CharlieDog

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#11
If she does better capturing or shaping, PM Dekka, or get her to post in this thread. She has some GREAT advice for freeshaping a heel that I've used in the past to clean up Indy's heel. It works really well for dogs that prefer to freeshape or capture rather than be lured, and it's offleash, so they learn that first. I know she's posted her method on the forum, but I can't find a link.
 

CharlieDog

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#12
If Dekka sees this, I would really LOVE if you could post your method again!! I remember the basics, but I would love a refresher.

Too bad you can't tag people like you can on FB. DEKKA. GET IN HERESSSS
 
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Beanie

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#13
I ditto the request for video.

One other thing I would recommend, DO NOT reinforce at all for being in front of you for the time being until you get this worked out. Obviously being in front is extremely valuable to her and you need to extinguish some of that value while also building up value for being in heel.

I would keep up with getting her physically blocked in where she is in heel and is marking your thigh and just stay there for a while. Right now don't worry too much about the movement part of it, you need to worry about putting value on the position itself. The movement in position is actually pretty easy once your dog has a ton of value in the position. She doesn't have that right now, her value is in a different position (in front of you), so I would heavily focus on changing that. Once you are building some value to that location and you have ceased to reward in front you should start to see some progress and you can then hopefully utilize the perch to go from there!
 

DJEtzel

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#14
Two thumbs up for pivot work on a pedestal. This is how I teach heeling to all of my dogs and it's never failed me, though some *cough* Recon *cough* take much longer to catch on.

Just mark/reward for placement on the pedestal and then one foot moving, another, more distance, etc. Then start rewarding heavily in heel position for moving with you.
 
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#15
Squash has a pretty decent heel, and I just realized that I'm not completely sure how I taught it.

Reading some other people's responses, I think in retrospect what really helped a LOT was practicing pivots. Learning to stay in that position while I was moving (even though it wasn't forward movement) really taught him to pay attention to what I was doing and where he was in relation to where I was moving.

Also having really solidly good attention and verbally engaging a lot when walking helped us a lot. I don't think I'll ever be able to do a true obedience heel because I'm looking at and talking to him so much when I want him to heel, which is ok in rally but not OB.
 

Dekka

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#16
Not exactly sure what you are saying.

Will she not walk in heel regularly or is it finding heel?
 

Elrohwen

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#17
Pivots on a disc were by far the best thing I did for heel training. It teaches independent rear foot movement, then I was able to cue that movement, and it built value for staying next to me and moving in that position. Then we moved off the disc and practiced the same pivots on the ground. It wasn't until pivots were solid that we worked on the forward stuff, and even then it was turn left, two steps straight, turn right, two steps straight, etc.

I also liked using the "pocket hand" technique that Denise Fenzi teaches. You basically use your hand as a lure at your pant seam, but it's also a helpful cue to throw if your dog needs help, or to remind them to keep their butt in. I found it a really nice way to transition the work we did on the disc and platform into heel work on the ground.

You can look at my YouTube video for our progression through the precision heeling class. We started out very rough but he has a pretty heel now.
 

Lyzelle

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#18
Not exactly sure what you are saying.

Will she not walk in heel regularly or is it finding heel?
It is finding heel. I've listened to and read and watched a lot of sources about teaching heel. But they all seem to assume your dog is perfectly okay actually sitting/standing next to you first. She isn't. Even if I can get her nose to my leg, her butt is swinging out or perpendicular to me.

Today I worked more on Pivot. The entire problem might stem from the fact that she doesn't appear to know that she has a back end, unless she is backing up to something. And, of course, facing me is the most rewarding thing she's done this entire time. And now I've suddenly changed the rules.

Trying to get the video all sorted out now. Laptop is ancient.
 

Sekah

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#19
What about a courtesy "stay" while you work in building value for the reinforcement zone by your side?
 
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