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Thread: Stubborn heeling

  1. #1

    Default Stubborn heeling

    Got a buddy needing some help. He's trying to teach a 1 year old lab some basic OB. He's taught basic OB to plenty of dogs. She fights back really hard and lays down to fight the cord when he's teaching heel. He's never had that happen. She always walks behind him and every time he gets her to his side in the heeling position she falls back just looking down. He said she's doing a little but better but what does he do if she continues it.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Wayne Nutt's Avatar
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    I know better than to go first. But here goes anyway. I am making a couple of assumptions: the dog has probably never had a lead on it and your friend is just starting. If these assumptions are correct I used to see this a lot when a client dog would come to me with no training. I used to see two types: those that would want to lunge ahead of you and those that would want to lag behind you. My recommendations:

    Let the dog drag around a leash (8' or so) for a few days in the back yard when you are playing with him. Would be better if it is a rope/cord type lead without a loop on the end to get caught on something.
    After he is used to having a lead attached, start walking at heel. Hopefully he has a choke chain on the dog and the lead attached to teh choke chain. Give tugs/jerks on get the dog even with you. When he does, give lots of praise. Another thing you can do, if he starts to lag again you can turn into the dog and go the opposite direction. This should put your dog at the heel position again. Lots of praise. Generally a very few days of this will have him walking at heel nicely.

    This is what has worked for me.
    Last edited by Wayne Nutt; 12-24-2013 at 03:20 PM.
    Wayne Nutt
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  3. #3
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    I agree with Wayne but use a pinch collar instead of a choke chain for dogs like this. I have just found it works better.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Wayne Nutt's Avatar
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    Tony, I like a pinch collar for the ones that lunge ahead but have not tried it for the laggers. Does the pinch help for the laggers too?
    Wayne Nutt
    Go Nutts with dog training

    HRCH Patton's Parker Co. Shadow "Shadow"
    HRCH Clineline Hijacker "Jack"
    HRCH Marks a Lot Midnight Hudson, SH "Hudson"-retired
    Castile Creek's Rawhide, SH "Rowdy"

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Nutt View Post
    I know better than to go first. But here goes anyway. I am making a couple of assumptions: the dog has probably never had a lead on it and your friend is just starting. If these assumptions are correct I used to see this a lot when a client dog would come to me with no training. I used to see two types: those that would want to lunge ahead of you and those that would want to lag behind you. My recommendations:

    Let the dog drag around a leash (8' or so) for a few days in the back yard when you are playing with him. Would be better if it is a rope/cord type lead without a loop on the end to get caught on something.
    After he is used to having a lead attached, start walking at heel. Hopefully he has a choke chain on the dog and the lead attached to teh choke chain. Give tugs/jerks on get the dog even with you. When he does, give lots of praise. Another thing you can do, if he starts to lag again you can turn into the dog and go the opposite direction. This should put your dog at the heel position again. Lots of praise. Generally a very few days of this will have him walking at heel nicely.

    This is what has worked for me.
    Thanks for the reply man. Well he said she's use to a cord. She runs around with a 4 foot one and a 30 foot check cord all the time. He tried the pinch collar this morning and she shut down on him bad then he took it off and she started cooperating a little bit better until the next session where she did it again then started cooperating. Should he try the pinch collar again or You think he should just keep doing what he's doing for a couple if days and see if she starts doing better?
    Last edited by Dogs4life; 12-24-2013 at 04:05 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Ken Bora's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Nutt View Post
    Tony, I like a pinch collar for the ones that lunge ahead but have not tried it for the laggers. Does the pinch help for the laggers too?

    it does,
    but a dog like the one talking about here....
    kick the pinch collar up a notch with a pocket full of dog food.
    heck, I have had a persnickity one that I needed to keep kibble in my hand.
    "So what is big is not always the Trout nor the Deer but the chance, the being there. And what is full is not necessarily the creel nor the freezer, but the memory." ~ Aldo Leopold

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  7. #7
    Senior Member Wayne Nutt's Avatar
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    I don't think it is unusual that for a couple of days for the session to start awkwardly but end up better. Soon it should start off good and end good.
    Wayne Nutt
    Go Nutts with dog training

    HRCH Patton's Parker Co. Shadow "Shadow"
    HRCH Clineline Hijacker "Jack"
    HRCH Marks a Lot Midnight Hudson, SH "Hudson"-retired
    Castile Creek's Rawhide, SH "Rowdy"

  8. #8
    Senior Member Colonel Blimp's Avatar
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    It's very hard to be specific without seeing the dog and handler together, so take this for what it's worth. That sounds like a confused dog that has endured a "butterfly" training regime and continues to do so. Not much sign either of leaving something in it for the dog, just a ratcheting up of aversives. Dogs don't get much out of heeling training so I try to be creative and give them some fun.

    So I agree with Ken when he posted
    I have had a persnickity one that I needed to keep kibble in my hand.
    only I'd take it a few steps further (pun intended) and put the kibble / treat into a more formal and precise system and initially teach heel via clicker, and develop / reinforce through repetition using a loose slip lead stopped behind the ears (as per Delmar Smith) as a safety belt and simple retrieves as a reward, plus praise.

    The advantage of clicker with the sticky ones is that they don't shut down and you don't even need a lead initially so the bad reaction to it is sidestepped, and all you look for is a wee improvement in each (short) session. There's no need to look for perfection, just steadily increasing precision and body positioning. Again we haven't seen the handler, but his own body language should be regular and precise. Within a session break things up so that you don't become predictable or boring. See below .....



    No heeling stick, pinch collar, e-collar or ropes were harmed in the making of this movie by Richard Biggs, professional gamekeeper and guest trainer with our group.

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    Last edited by Colonel Blimp; 12-24-2013 at 05:19 PM.
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    Member waterdawg's Avatar
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    I would try the wonder lead, every one that I have talked to that has used loves it..... my dog is pretty good at heal but I think that I may pick one up just to reinforce basics..
    Rich Yakab

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  10. #10
    Senior Member Bridget Bodine's Avatar
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    must use plenty of encouragement for laggers, get the girly , happy voice going
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