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Teaching the heel

April 12th, 2009, 11:49 PM
I'm working with my dog on heeling for rally o. Now she's doing quite well, and actually is crowding me a bit, different than what I thought I'd get! Anyway, how do I move her away a bit but not enough so she takes her focus off me. We just started working outdoors and with a new trainer, so we're adjusting to a new person and a new practice space. Tennis courts are great! Nice straight lines to use and great fencing!! I suppose in the summer the asphalt will be to hot but now it's great.

April 13th, 2009, 12:03 AM
That's so exciting!! Good for you both. I've actually never had this complaint before - usually it's the opposite! :laughing:

Does she do the same thing when you change the pace? (Faster, slower?)

April 13th, 2009, 12:44 AM
well that's what I was expecting too..she'd be all over the place!! I'm going to be so happy to get rid of my winter coat, so I can see better what she's doing!! Still a bit chilly on the water the last few days. I'm thinking a target stick may work, I'm one of those short, fairly round people LOL so that may give me a bit more reach to keep her a bit straighter next to me.

If I move slower, she kind of loses a bit of her focus.

April 13th, 2009, 08:46 AM
My girl sometimes crowds too.
Here are a few things I do, they seem to work for my dog most of the time.
The first thing I like to do when she first starts to crowd is change the pace from a walk to a jog, or a fast walk. I change paces abruptly and spontaneously, this is personal choice... It really seems to work for me. Once we have jogged around for a bit I decrease the pace back to a walk and reward after a good heel.

If the pace change doesn't work, I turn into her...often.
This is when her crowding is really bad...
I just keep doing random left turns, so she has to be on her time to crowd.
It really works well for me, especially after all the pace changes, she is usually very alert and attentive at this point.

Some people say to just "walk into the dog" or "throw out your knee", but I kind of find that lazy....

April 13th, 2009, 11:08 AM
I'll try that too, turning left. Pace changes sounds good too, thanks!

April 13th, 2009, 11:37 AM
Great suggestions Blackdog! Pace changing is exactly what I was going to suggest, you beat me too it! :laughing:

April 13th, 2009, 06:33 PM
I'll try that too, turning left. Pace changes sounds good too, thanks!

Remember to keep your foot movements consistent for the left/right/about/stop. Practice alone, until it's second nature.

For crowding, try walking in left leaning circles, small diameter at first and as the dog improves to larger and larger circles until you can do it in a straight line.

April 14th, 2009, 02:32 PM
Hows the heel going Pattymac?

April 14th, 2009, 02:33 PM
Hows the heel going Pattymac?

Sorry Bailey - what does crowding mean?

April 14th, 2009, 02:42 PM
Crowding is when the dog is too close to your leg during the walk (heel)
it makes it difficult to walk....they are literally stuck to your leg every step. I cannot speak for all venues, but the way I was taught is that the dog must be close, but never touching you. The dog does not nessecarily have to be touching you to 'crowd' either, if they are simply too close and getting in the way, that is also crowding, though not the the extent of literally being stuck to you (obviously).

April 14th, 2009, 02:44 PM
I've also seen situations where dogs lean infront of their owners slightly, so that the handler is forced to step high to avoid paws. I've personally never had to train this out of a dog though.

April 14th, 2009, 02:47 PM
Thank you Blackdog22 and Baily. Now I know what is meant.

This is nothing new. When I have a dog that crowds, I will swivel into the same direction by which I am being crowded. The touch of the leg to the dog indicates to the dog to move away.

Indeed the pace is also very important to move quicker, then slower etc.

April 14th, 2009, 04:25 PM
I'm soooo happy today...I've been looking for a trainer and I found one!! We're starting beginner obed. tonight and then hanging out for the beg agility! Talked to the trainer today, sounds like he actually competes with his dogs, breeds/raises Springer Spaniels and Dachshunds. He's also a judge. When I told him the type of heel I was looking for, he sounded all happy too. They're only about 15 minutes from my house and classes are Tuesday nights :thumbs up. Drove by his place earlier and he has a huge training centre...looks more like an indoor arena for horses.

April 14th, 2009, 06:58 PM
Yay! Great news. You'll have to keep us posted on what you think of the training. Can't wait to hear more about it.

(I'm so jealous he has that set-up. How awesome!!!)

April 14th, 2009, 11:05 PM
Very good trainer..ugh, if only I would've had the brains to call him 3 years ago!! The basic obedience was old stuff for Bayley but it was good for her to be in an area with a bunch of other dogs. She did amazingly well just focussing on me.

Heheh the agility class was awesome. 2 years since she's been near any equipment and he said, let's see what she does with the tunnel. Well he had a chute (without the fabric) and then a tunnel. Showed her the chute, she flew through that, spotted the tunnel and zoom, right through it!! No sweat with the tire jump (set low). She even remembered her contacts on the a-frame and dog walk. Then did a few curved tunnels, she absolutely loves those. Did a few low pole jumps. Needless to say I have quite a tired puppy now!! She was sleeping and dreaming..I think she was telling the husky in the class off in her sleep.

He also rents out his space for awesome. You can use the equipment as long as you've done it in class. I'm really hoping she does better on the teeter, that was one thing she wasn't keen on doing. I think it will be so cool when she learns the weave poles.
Ok I'll shut up now and go to bed!!

April 15th, 2009, 04:34 PM
Good job Bayley! And I just have to say, I adore your dogs name. *wink wink*.

I think agility would be great to get Bailey into as well. Have you ever done flyball with your girl? I'm seriously considering going that course as well, seeing as how she's extremley ball motivated...

April 15th, 2009, 04:45 PM
Not really, the flyball group here is to say the least very 'cliquey' A friend with a border collie was going to get into it but didn't really like the group of people. I think she'd honestly get bored with it. That's why I think she likes agility so much, there's more of a challenge for that little brain of hers. And I'll get more exercise too!