What does come, here, and heel mean for you? [Archive] - RetrieverTraining.Net - the RTF

: What does come, here, and heel mean for you?

07-31-2011, 11:03 PM
My 6 month old is about to begin collar conditioning to "here". My question for everyone is what language do they use and what is it's meaning for the dog or rather what is your expectation for the dog.

Here are my thoughts as of right now, I'd like to know yours before I begin with the collar and really ingrain my choice of words.

Come-sort of vague in it's application so far. We all know it means close the distance between your butt and mine. Until I really started hard on the obedience to the heel command, Come is what I would use right after picking up the dummy or when she is playing with "toys" ball, frisbee. Dummies are only for work.

The more I think of it, if I want the dog to return to me, what I have ingrained into her Heel command seems more appropriate.

For my pup, heel is rather complex command. She started off doing all of what I'm about to say, didn't really have to teach the steps, but after seeing it a few times, I have begun to insist on it each and every time. I didn't know it was a big deal until I tried to teach my wife what I expect when Maggie is given the heel command.

Heel- Means I want you on my left side, no matter what!! If we are on a leash walk, it means not in front, not lagging behind, it is even with my knee(a very good place to be able to see if I stop) If we are training in the yard, it means stop gadding about and return to me. If I am walking, that means get next to me and match my stride, I will show you the way. If I call Heel and I am standing still, it means come to my left side and sit facing wherever I am facing(as in setting her up before a retrieve). It also means that once you get to my side and sit, if I start to walk away now, you should remain sitting(just like the sit command automatically meaning stay) until I tell you to heel again.

Obviously I've given this too much thought already, but wouldn't Heel be more appropriate for the recall after making a retrieve. What I'm telling her to do is just what she learned with the heel command, she just has a bird in her mouth this time. I'm thinking that the Here command would be better reserved for bringing her closer to me, but not all the way back to me, when we get to handling on blinds.

I've popped the Heel command on her when she first picks up the dummy, and she does bring it back to hand and sit next to me much more consistantly than when I use Come. Almost like Heel is a command she associates with working, and birds and dummies. Where as she hears Come nonstop in the day to day goings on of living with the family.

Any thoughts, sugestions?

08-01-2011, 02:23 AM
Have you transitioned over to the whistle yet?
I rarely use voice in the field considering the distance.
I might try to condition the dog to the whistle 1st if you haven't already done so before the CC to the voice commands.

Ken Bora
08-01-2011, 04:59 AM
the actual words you use are not as important as the consistency of you using them. The "Masses" mostly use here and heel together. You will need this for blind retrieves.
As you pivot in a circle heel will direct your dog backwards, back to your heel and here forward or to you to your leg. So for example, you state you are only teaching heel on one side, not two sided heeling, so when you stand in one spot and pivot to your right here will keep the dog with you and as you pivot to your left heel will keep the dog with you.

..... I didn't know it was a big deal until I tried to teach my wife what I

not uncommon, many I have observed have issues with simple obedience commands on the wife.

08-01-2011, 05:10 AM
I use "come" differently, and you might want to try it. I use it to mean return to the front of my body, sitting with his front toes facing my toes, looking up at my face, where I can take something from his mouth without bending down.
That's the formal obedience position if you do competitive obedience.
The reason I find it handy in field training is that in a lot of drills you are going to want to be facing your dog when you send him rather than having him in heel position. If you can call him to what is called the "front position" it's just a little quicker and easier.
I use "here" for get your butt over here in any position you want, just get over here.
I use "heel" the same way you do.

08-01-2011, 08:01 AM

Heel- Means I want you on my left side, no matter what!! ....Any thoughts, sugestions?

Many top trainers use the heel command to push the dog when running the dog from your side. These trainers many times teach there dogs to heel on both sides so heel doesn't mean a particular side, but when accompanied by a hand out to the handlers left or right the dog will heel to that side.

Once the dog is at the handlers side, heel will push them away and/or back. If on right, dog will push a bit to the right; if on left the dog will push a bit left. These handlers use the here command to pull the dog toward them or bring the dog foward. If dog is on left here will pull them a bit right.

Pam Spears
08-01-2011, 09:05 AM
I went through the same rationale with my now 2 year old dog, LOL. I thought I was over-thinking it too, but it turns out to be a fairly complex question and it's good to sort out how you want to handle it at the beginning so you don't have to re-train later.

I use "here" as my recall command, as in bring yourself from wherever you are to my left side and sit at heel, facing forward. I use "front" for an obedience-style recall where the dog sits in front of me, facing me, followed by "heel" for a flip finish retriever-style. In obedience, when the instructor says "come fore!" I still use the word "front." But then again, due to retriever training I so several things differently in obedience class from the other handlers. Such as, we are usually the only large dog to do a flip finish, since we don't want our retrievers going to heel behind us. In our rally class, I have taught him the word "by" for an around the back finish, since that movement is sometimes required. Don't use "come" at all, for some reason, it feels awkward to me.

"Heel" means stay at my left side, head at my knee. Regardless of which direction I go, or my speed, stay in position, even if I'm walking backward. I've seen where some obedience trainers use the word "back" for heeling backwards, but since we reserve the use of that term for moving away from us in the field, I just use heel and expect him to stay in position. Occasionally, if my dog is in my vicinity I will skip saying "here" and just tell him to heel, he seems to get it. He also seems to get that when we're at the line (and I'm trying to get him to move a half step or so one way or the other) that here means move his front in towards me and heel means move his hind end slightly towards me. Dogs are smart that way :)

08-01-2011, 09:21 AM
in a trial "....HEEL" means I am going home soon;)

08-01-2011, 09:54 AM
"Come" to me means I want you to immediately stop what you are doing and .... well come to me. As I might want the dog to do one of 2-3 different things when he gets to me, I feel obligated to give another command as the dog approaches. It might be to sit as he approaches, facing me. It might be to heel on the left or heel on the right. As the dog heels, I give the command to sit, if I want him to sit. I figure if I do not give the sit command, he is free to sit or stand as long as he remains in the heeling position. On a return from a retrieve I also have a hand signal .... left or right ... than means heel on the appropriate side, sit and hold.

08-01-2011, 10:02 AM
One of the best pieces of advice I ever got as a young trainer was from my Uncle Frank, he said, "you don't have to be right to properly train a dog, just consistent".
The fact that you are thinking about what is right and wrong, tells me that you're on the right track. You're going to get a bunch of advice on how some trainers use here and heel, bottom line--it doesn't matter as long as you explain it to the dog through consistency.
Good luck

08-01-2011, 10:47 AM
I use the come in whistle mostly,as the dog progresses thru training try to reduce the verbal commands,mostly silent casts,expect dogs to pick up the bird and return to heel position with no commands except a hand signal to indicate which side to heel to."Here" should have some authority to it,be a mild correction,similar to sit whistle.
If you are using the here command constantly it could be a sign of imbalance in training,dog should want to return to you with the bird.

08-01-2011, 11:44 AM
I thought that "NO! HERE!!" meant that....

in a trial "....HEEL" means I am going home soon;)

08-01-2011, 11:58 AM
Come = Don't use
Heel = Means line yourself up with me
Here = Means turn your head and look where I want you to, usually to the right (toward me)

Steve Peacock
08-01-2011, 12:21 PM
Come = Don't use
Heel = Means line yourself up with me
Here = Means turn your head and look where I want you to, usually to the right (toward me)

For me, I would probably make a slight adjustment to the above:
Heel- Means line yourself up with me AT MY SIDE.

Nothing wrong with the way it was originally stated, just for me and explanations sake I think it's more appropriate (not quite the word I'm looking for) the way I have it.

Here for me means bring yourself to me - from the field, in to me. From my side again IN to me (as in turn into my body more).