RetrieverTraining.Net - the RTF banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
210 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have my 9 month old chocolate lab "Drake" having a hard time understanding the heel command but does great with sit and stay. Any helpful hints to teach heel would be gratefully appreciated! !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,110 Posts
what is your definition of heel? someone people will say having the pup at your left side as you are walking, others define it as having the pup come to your left side from where ever they are.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
define your standard, show the pup, repeat about 100 times and hold him to the standard. Oh and don't deviate from your standard. He'll get it .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,168 Posts
What is your dog doing? Is he pulling? Is he lagging behind?

You have to teach him where you want him to be. He has no clue what the heck the word HEEL means, so repeating that 100 times ain't gonna work. What if I started barking FUSS, FUSS, FUSS to you? Would you know what to do? Go ahead and teach him where you want him to be.

I used to cut a hot dog into dozens of pieces and teach mine where she needed to be. A few sessions of that and the dog starts to figure out that being on my hip pocket is pretty cool.

Might want to sandwich him next to a fence to sorta contain him (gives him less room and fewer distractions).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
311 Posts
Its gonna take a lot of repetitions but don't bored him keep sessions short and upbeat.
Keep him to where he needs to be with a short leash at first and give more slacks as he
understand better. Biggest mistake is taking him off leash too soon before he does perfect with leash and distractions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,110 Posts
If it is the walking heel I've found a heeling stick to work wonders if the dog is getting too far in front of you. Any stick will really work. I use a ShowStick that I had from when I showed cattle in 4H. It also allows me to correct improper sits to the side.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
210 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I want him to come from anywhere and sit at my left side. Tether its on a walk. Out for a woods walk or just after a retrieve.. thanks for everybody input!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,179 Posts
Teaching heel is one of the easiest commands in my opinion to teach. A short leash is all ya need. Take him for a walk, keeping the lead shortened to where you would like him to heel ie head even with your knee, if he gets ahead correct with a pull and heel command, if he lags do the same. When properly taught, heel can also be used to recall the pup to a specific point to your position. After plenty of repetitions it will become second nature.
Once they understand you can actually stop walking and the dog should stop at the same time remaining at heel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,679 Posts
http://www.trainingretrieverpuppies.com/

http://ponderosakennels.com

From your questions, you sound like you need a solid OB/retriever training program. Have you looked at any yet, such as Lardy, Fowl Dogs, Smartworks, etc? It is easier on the dog and you to build a foundation one step at a time and to know the end goals, what the standard should be, how to read your dog, etc, vs hopscotching around. As well, you are in MN, there are tons of clubs & trainers, get hooked up with whoever is closest to you and get some real life training partners, it just can't be beat to belong to a club, work with a good trainer, pro or am, in person.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
I will first teach the command using a lead and regular flat collar. Once I feel the dog has properly learned what I have taught him. I will use a leather pinch collar to reinforce the command. It makes it very simple for the dog. If he is walking ahead of me there is pressure, if he is lagging behind there is pressure. If his head is on my leg there is no pressure. This also starts to introduce to the dog on how to shut off pressure. Good luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,522 Posts
Teaching heel is one of the easiest commands.......to teach.
That should make the OP happy. ;)

Let's look at from the other end of the leash. The dog doesn't know how to heel. Why? because he is not being taught. It has nothing to do with determining standards, describing what we do (as opposed to the OP) and most certainly depends on if the OP can teach.

So how's he going to do that? You need to find someone who knows how to explain to you how to use the leash and collar with properly applied corrections. In addition, the learning sequence needs to be clarified. Yes, it is simple once you get the "hang of it", but it's not unlike learning to ride a bicycle. Very few just up and mount a bike without some initial assistance.

For a person doing it for the first time, the leash manipulation and timing is foreign. The result is effective teaching will not happen. The pup will cope somehow, but it will probably not look like heeling.

A few years ago, watching an AKC puppy OB class proved to be a very interesting experience. New owners had no idea of how to teach heeling. The instructors worked for several weeks to train the "clueless". Find someone who knows what they are doing and let them observe. You need a mentor.

I have a related story that needs repeating. One day I stopped by at my pro friends kennel. He was in an OB lesson with a lady and her young Lab. The dog was "all over the place", jumping up on her, in front/behind, wrapping the leash around her legs and lunging. Soon, Brian took the leash and popped the choker collar once. The dog was perfect (right position, loose lead, turned when he did and sat promptly when he stopped to talk to the owner). The leash went back to the young lady and the dog immediately reverted to his "other self". Brian took the leash and the dog was perfect again.

Right after she left, I asked Brian how long he had been working with her and the dog. His reply was "Oh, today was the first day."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
210 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
QuickLabs what does OB stand for?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
210 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well I took everybody advice to good use! After our session tonight and alot of repetition mixed with some play he now has a good understand of heel by my left side! Can't wait until tomorrows session!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,266 Posts
The most common mistake I see in teaching kids to heel their dogs is they give the command heel, and promptly cinch up the leash and choke collar. You want to do the opposite. When pup is doing it 'right", loosen the lead and give the heel command! And then an atta boy.
The correction and jerk needs to take place with the heel command when pup is straying or not engaged, and I would possibly toss in a "no".


Just a simple insight---might be more meaningful to a first time dog owner:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
592 Posts
heel is heel!!!!! It starts with HERE. Dont get the two confused. If they are at your side already, a pinch collar will teach Heel.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top