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Why can't he 'Heel'??

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by PoisonGirl, Apr 16, 2011.


  1. PoisonGirl

    PoisonGirl Banned

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    I am going to go insaine!

    Ihave tried everything, every trick in the book, every method, since he was old enough to walk on a lead (his now 2 and 3 months).

    But will he walk to heel?? Will he bugger :mad:

    The only thing I have left to try is a front clip harness. But seeing that he still pulls on a headcollar its doubtfull it will work! :blink:

    I know they are just training aids, but they aren't aiding me to teach him. He just does not get it.

    He is fab at sit and down. It took me a year to teach him to fetch. Even then he was only going to bring it back 50% of the time. Now he has perfect fetch.
    He can paw, high 5 and play dead. He can 'look out the window' and he can 'speak' (big speaks and little speaks)

    WHY can't he 'heel'??

    I have taught (almost typed teached there! :lol: ) many many dogs how to walk nicely on the lead, so why is Dave so different?!


    What method do you use? Incase I have missed something out.
    My fave is the stop start method it has worked fab with Dixie but it would take me all day to get anywhere with Dave because as soon as you start off again he pulls! He knows exactly where heel is, he will take a treat but when I try leaving it slightly longer between getting him to heel and giving the treat, he goes off again! It drives me mad! :blink:
     
  2. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

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    You need to learn what gets his attention, you need his attention on you to get good heelwork. Without trying to sound critical, this is classic handler error, something I know I've been guilty of in the past, Tau knew where heel was, wouldn't walk to heel for me, but hand her over to an experienced handler, and hey presto.

    I'd suggest you find someone who can help to train you, rather than your dog, that's what worked for me. You can work on so much yourself, but to be given pointers by someone experienced often helps set you off on the right track, if that makes sense?
     
  3. PoisonGirl

    PoisonGirl Banned

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    Yeah :)

    We did go to dog class (there is only one here) to see if she could give me any pointers where I was going wrong but it really didn't help :(
    He would heel for a few seconds in class and get the treat and she said keep practicing that and increase it... so I did... and we are back to square one again!

    Food get's his attention, he loves food. But he is off again after he takes it. He won't even focus for that long, everything else needs looked at! :lol:
     
  4. Dogless

    Dogless PetForums VIP

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    Two things that I have found really helpful (both from training class) were speeding up my pace when walking in a straight line so that Kilo could trot along more naturally (I tend to slow down as I concentrate) and as an exercise to keep him interested change speed and direction a lot so he has to concentrate on your next move.

    I'm sure you know all that anyway; just saying what works for me.
     
  5. cinnamontoast

    cinnamontoast Sois pas chiant, chéri.

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    I so feel your pain! I have a very intelligent, high drive pup who appears not to understand at all.he has learnt everything we've taught him but heeling-no joy:(

    I can (vaguely) recommend the Easy Walk harness-front clip, as you say. It seems kinder than the halti and he hates the canny collar, frustrates him no end. All he wants to do is run and he's not allowed.:( Having walked him today on his own, that made a very positive difference. It's not ideal when you have more than one. He was still pulling and leaping like a salmon, but it's kinder and less harsh on his cute little furry face :eek:
     
  6. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

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    Then food isn't enough. Your dog needs to be focussed, absolutely focussed beyond anything else on you. Again, not trying to sound critical, your dog trainer may well be lovely and a great help with the basics, but doesn't sound like they're helping you with this particular problem, which is actually quite simple for someone experienced.

    I met up with a PF person recently, to show them how I use retrieve as a reward with Tau. She can be a little madam, but switch her into working mode and she just wants to please, and works to please. It's us handlers learning how to make that switch occur.
     
  7. SixStar

    SixStar Banned

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    The stop start method does work, you just need to be persistent and don't give in before the dog!

    When I was training Harvey to walk to heal, our record was the 1hr 20 it took us to walk the 100 yards from the car park to the start of the countrypark- he pulled, I stopped, told him to heel, waited a moment and walked on again, if he pulled- same routine.

    Just make sure you're loaded with treats (Harvey would sell his soul for primula, so that's what he used) and that you go everywhere with plenty of time!!

    It took us a good 3 or 4 months to crack it, but he's there now. A perfect on and off lead walk to heel. It was worth all the hard work and funny looks from strangers.

    IMO, the stop start method is the only one that actually corrects the problem, rather than just manages it, like headcollars and harnesses do.

    Stick with it, no matter how long it takes, don't give up and you'll get there ;)
     
  8. candysmum

    candysmum PetForums VIP

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    I have a method that worked for us.

    Candy HATES water so i have a old bottle that i got some juice in from tesco thats like a sports bottle and i filled it with water and when she pulls i say heel an d suirt the bottle JUST infront of her. NOT at her and she backs up to where she should be.

    Now i dont expect her to walk right next to me i dont mine her in front on what i call a Loose lead. once she realised that this would happened when she pulled she started watching me when she felt her collar go tight she would look at me and back herself up.

    sometimes she forgets and I just crackle the plastic bottle now and thats enough.

    IT doesn't hurt her i have never sprayed her i just used something to my advantage that she doesn't like.

    i struggles for many years with her pulling and being such a powerful dog i just couldn't find away but this worked.

    I still carry the bottle with water in it. comes in handy for hot days, dog attacks and if she forgets!

    i just realised all that is in present tense and should be in past but i can't be bothered to rewrite it! lol
     
  9. PoisonGirl

    PoisonGirl Banned

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    Thanks :)

    He wont walk at all in a canny collar or halti, but I have a gencon headcollar he is fine with.

    He went through a stage of walking nice on the extendy, he would walk next to and then I would release him out on it, then call him back etc and gradually make him walk nicely for longer but then I didn't have anywhere to walk him on the extendy, he will not walk nicely on lead in a field because he sits and waits for you to let him off, or lunges about! Lol.

    I am going to get a lend of a frint clip harness and see if its any better. I need to get him walking nicely Ive got a puppy coming for the weekend next month and don't want to have to do loads of seperate walks! Lol.
     
  10. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

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    Hope you don't mind me saying, but it sounds like you need a release command building in, I use 'go play' so they know that when I take the lead off, they can do what they want. If I don't release them, I expect them to sit until they're told. Sounds mean, but it's useful ;)
     
  11. PoisonGirl

    PoisonGirl Banned

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    He has 'OK' for when I let him off the lead, or let him out the kitchen etc.
    I used it when I was teaching him on the extendy but I won't use that lead near the road.

    I use to use the turning in a cirlcle method but that makes me dizzy behond beliefe now! Lol
     
  12. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

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    It basically sounds like he needs heel work reinforcing, and manners, and that can only be done 1 to 1 effectively. The best way I've found, is to find an object that makes them tick, and reserve that for special training sessions. Make sure that object has value, so you pick it up, fuss it, put it out of reach. They only get it after quite a while, and even then, it's controlled, so it's an extra special reward.

    It's a shame you're not closer or I'd offer to meet up and show you what I mean but I can use Tau's lead handle as a valuable object, to get her focussed. It's all about how you approach it as a handler, mixed with the character of your dog. I constantly think about those two things, handling method, and the individual dog, and that's what helps me come up with different training scenarios that usually work, but if they don't, we put it down to experience and start again.
     
  13. cinnamontoast

    cinnamontoast Sois pas chiant, chéri.

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    I love what Sixstar wrote: it takes ages to go anywhere with Zak and we also go backwards-people must think we're mental

    This is one of the best things we ever taught all of them, although it's not so much 'Stop, walk on' as 'Stop, sprint off like mental things'. With Brig, I can walk round corners, walk yards and yards away and he is a statue, it's fabulous. Puppies know this but weren't left too far behind before the release command. They're all able to heel without leads (Brig's better without) but Zak practically tiger crawls offlead! Pups are currently lead walked only: we sort of didn't focus on this as part of their early education-facepalm.

    So I can get perfect statue if I ask for stop, but the minute we heel again, I get the pulling/wanting to be ahead. :(
     
  14. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

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    It sounds daft, but I almost play this, and heelwork, as a game with Tau, trying to catch her out. Indie's heelwork is spot on, she's a teachers pet, but Tau needs a little more focus. It's learning how to be enthusiastic about heelwork, and how to get that across to your dog, and if you can do that, you've got it cracked!
     
  15. candysmum

    candysmum PetForums VIP

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    Yeah release commands are good candy has one. Ready steady GO lol
     
  16. Amy-manycats

    Amy-manycats PetForums Senior

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    I had tried load of ways with Jess now 10.5 mont hold Springer. She is so smart and gets so many commands in one or two sessions but heel was not working for us. I used clicker training, not that I had ever done it before. I taught her about the clicker and did some silly tricks in the house before starting lead work.

    I clicked in the house for not putting pressure on the lead, or backing off the second I put slight pressure on the lead. (regular flat lead and collar) after about 3 5 min sessions of this on one day we moved onto walking in the house, then garden, by day 3 we were out in our street. OMG it took over half an hour and a wholepack of sausages to get to the end of the cul de sac and back. Within 3 days though she had finally twigged what heel meant and we could lead walk around the village with low distractions if we saw a cat or something exciting I just stopped and waitied and she came back to my side eventually :rolleyes: :p I'm sure she was just not 100% sure before what I actually meant. Any walking where she cannot have my 100% attention or I am in a rush is done on a slip lead made into a fig 8 but I can honestly say now ever her walking on that is better. Maye you could try something like that

    Oh and just to add, I have a rogz harness from PAH. Not the best or poshed but I also had used this and attached the lead to the front of it. she definately didn't like it clipped tere as it spoilt her fun but definatly seemed more uncomfortable for her that the fig 8
     
  17. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

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    Part of steadiness training with gundogs, includes the use of non commands, so when Tau's sat waiting to be sent out for a mark, I'll try and put her off by saying things like, 'fish fingers', flibbertygibbert', 'fingamybob' etc, etc, until I actually send her on her name. She gives me the muckiest looks :lol:
     
  18. PoisonGirl

    PoisonGirl Banned

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    Lol! Dixie use to have ready steady GO, but she soon realised what was happening and started going on ready! Lol

    I've been quite lax on their training she now doesn't have a solid stay and that's useless for agility! How stupid of me.

    They both have a solid recall though that is one of the most important :) Lol
     
  19. metaldog

    metaldog PetForums VIP

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    Maybe you could start again by using another command instead of heel. He has learned that heel means ignoring you & pulling on the lead so it may be difficult to make progress using the same word. If you started with a new command Dave may be fooled into thinking he is learning something new (if you know what I mean?).

    My ex's dog had the command of 'by' instead of heel.
     
    #19 metaldog, Apr 16, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2011
  20. cinnamontoast

    cinnamontoast Sois pas chiant, chéri.

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    Can't remember who told me but 'close' is apparently less harsh than heel.
     
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