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Thread: Two sided heeling

  1. #1
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    Default Two sided heeling

    Say you're thinking of buying a young dog that has been through basics. If they've only known left sided heeling, at what age (or stage in training) is it counter-productive to try to get them to heel on left and right?

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    Senior Member BJGatley's Avatar
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    I believe that really depends on your expectations and that of the dog...and your goals of this dog. You can teach two sided heeling anything you think is appropriate to your needs.

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    I did the basics for my current dog. Sent her to Clint Avant on the winter trip. At that time she was 18 months old and only a left sided heeling dog. She spent 5 months with Clint and he changed her to a 2 sided heeling dog. I now have her back and I'm pretty sure its been harder for me to try to run a 2 sided heeling dog than it was for her to become a 2 sided heeling dog. She made the transition fairly easy although I believe she has a strong preference for being on the left.

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    Senior Member Buzz's Avatar
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    I was recently at a Danny Farmer seminar. He said that it is hard enough to handle a dog that is one sided, he seems to think that two sided gives you too much to think about in the heat of the battle.

    I can see in setups where you have the flyer out on the left and want to be able to have your dog heel on the right so you might be able to help it see all the birds down with body positioning. And being able to push instead of pull seems attractive. But otherwise, I pretty much agree with him. I completely screw up quite consistently with a one sided dog. I don't need any more to think about.
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    Senior Member Todd Caswell's Avatar
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    Buzz I have heard the same thing from Danny and a few other "Good" dog handlers, I'm sure from time to time a situation may come up that it would benifit the dog to be on the right side but for the most part the average handler wouldn't know how to use to tool to there advantage in the first place. On thing I know for sure it can and is used as a good excuse for not getting the bird. Can't tell you how many times I have heard '' If I had the dog on the other side we would have gotten that bird clean"

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1tulip View Post
    Say you're thinking of buying a young dog that has been through basics. If they've only known left sided heeling, at what age (or stage in training) is it counter-productive to try to get them to heel on left and right?
    Look up "two sided healing" - this subject has been beat to death -
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    Senior Member EdA's Avatar
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    If the inability to heel your dog on the opposite side is your only impediment to perfection you have little to worry about. For a little perspective a significant percentage of Finalists in the recent National Amateur Retriever Championship are one side only, at least six that I have personal knowledge of including the winner.

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    Another thing Danny said at the seminar is he dose not like the movement it creates on the line
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    Senior Member mtncntrykid's Avatar
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    I had every intention of teaching my puppy to heal on both sides but as training went on and the more she kept healing on my right (she just prefers my right and does it perfect to the tee) I dissolved any focus on a left side healing. Training seems to go so much smoother now that we are working on the same page together and I am getting very comfortable working her from that side.

    I guess my point is that in a way, she chose which side she wanted and what works best for her.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtncntrykid View Post
    I had every intention of teaching my puppy to heal on both sides but as training went on and the more she kept healing on my right (she just prefers my right and does it perfect to the tee) I dissolved any focus on a left side healing. Training seems to go so much smoother now that we are working on the same page together and I am getting very comfortable working her from that side.

    I guess my point is that in a way, she chose which side she wanted and what works best for her.
    That's interesting. Are you left handed? Has this happened with any other retriever you've run?

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