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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
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Do you Bounce?

I asked this question at class yesterday and got a noncommitted response from my instructor...

Jacks goes to class on Mondays and Tuesdays, but I've been bringing Bertie with to get a little bit of training in before class. And one thing is a pretty consistent constant with him is him bouncing and leaping up every step. He just gets so excited to be "working" that he can't control his toes.

I've been letting this go, because I love to see the joy and I vaguely know you do not want to discourage that energy if you want an active heel.

But I know I've watched at shows and see ADULT dogs leaping every other step, and I've wondered if that's truly a heel and if they were getting marked for it.

So I guess what I'm asking of more experienced trainers - and I know some of you have springy-sproingy dogs like this - what did you do as far as turning the leaping for joy action into a more consistent at least 3 feet on the floor prance? And when did you start cracking down?

Bertie is only 3 months old and of course I'm walking the line between building a proper foundation while still holding back and letting him be a puppy as far as my expectations.

*** If I have time, I'll pull my camera out and show a little what he's doing. I just haven't had a lot of time the last 2 weeks, and of course he's GROWN three inches since I last did a video of me heeling with him.

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 10:13 AM
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For my dogs, absolutely not. If I had a total dead head, I guess I would consider it, but I have plenty of ways to teach dogs to love heeling that don't result in losing points in the ring.

I know some trainers encourage it in training to keep up attitude, but I think there is too much emphasis by some on a "flashy" performance. If you have a dog that naturally enjoys leaping up, that's not going to extinguish on its own. it might diminish, but then it will pop in at the most inopportune times. I've seen the same trainers who work towards flash then complain when the judge hits them for bumping.

If the dog is leaping up for a treat, I push the treat down into his face. If he's leaping just for the joy of leaping, I will start by putting my hand on their withers for several steps. On a more experienced dog I will give a leash correction.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 12:54 PM
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Like Jodie said the problem may be that you're holding the food too high, assuming you're at the luring with food stage. Put the food exactly at the level you want his head and why would he jump around?

In how I'm training Slater for heel there was a lot of jumping en route at the very beginning. Once I really felt he had a good grasp on heeling and great attitude I would just mark the jumping with "uh-uh" then ask him to do something that didn't involve feet off the ground, like a spin, reverse, etc, and praise for that. Eventually it just faded out as it wasn't rewarded and I don't get it anymore unless I ask him to touch my hand while heeling (up by my shoulder). I will say Slater is not naturally a jumper so every part of that was taught, so maybe I just got off easy.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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I'm holding the treat semi-out of sight between my hand held flat to my leg - this near his face. I'm hoping to gradually (as he grows taller) slide my hand up to my hip and then gradually around to my midsection.

The only time my hand comes away from my leg is when he forges or I see his butt going out.

When he's forging, I stop forward motion and lure with the treat or my empty hand while taking a step back with my left leg so he sets up in heel position again and we try again.

When his butt is going out I will put my hand with the treat on the outside of his face. This seems to straighten him up. I'm also luring when doing spins and left pivots.

Everything else, my hand is snug to my leg and the treat is out of sight - albeit the hand close to his face. <- I want an active/prancy heel, but I'm not interested in training him to heel doubled over backwards....

Even though my hand is right at his level, he's will leap every other step. That's with him looking up at me. <- I'm sure I encouraged this to a certain extent because I want him to focus on my face, but...?

Talking with my instructor and based on what I've personally seen as well - I'm concerned for getting knocked for an unqualified heel if my dog appears out of control. There are some dogs that I've seen whose feet barely touch the floor, and while they are in heel position and not bumping the owners, it looks a bit out of control.... o_O

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 01:57 PM
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A leap will definitely be scored, usually a point. Flip's first time in novice he lost one point for a leap as his first step of heeling, and half a point for a crooked finish. Still kills me that he would have had a 199.5 if he just would have kept a foot on the ground!

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loisiana View Post
If you have a dog that naturally enjoys leaping up, that's not going to extinguish on its own. it might diminish, but then it will pop in at the most inopportune times.
This. Casper is having an "all treats delivered on the ground" week. We've been working on Spin. Luring in a circle for Spin sort of sucks him up in the air like a dust devil. So now he has a sad sort of spin with his head hanging down. However, he will spin without a lure/hand cue if I have the food bowl, and for that he keeps his head up. We'll see how it goes once he doesn't need the hand cue. I suspect that it'll be 80% on the ground and %20 random leaps in the air.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Megora View Post
I'm holding the treat semi-out of sight between my hand held flat to my leg - this near his face. I'm hoping to gradually (as he grows taller) slide my hand up to my hip and then gradually around to my midsection.
Yeah I think you're rushing him. At this stage YOU have to make him 100% successful. He doesn't know how to do that himself. You're taking the food away and he's having to wing it so you're getting the jumping and swinging butt out. What's the big rush? When he can lure with food on his face 100% of the time, that's when you move on. At 3 months old, you don't have that yet, I guarantee it. Shape exactly, exactly, exactly what you want before moving on. If you move on and you're getting behaviors you don't want, then go back to where you were 100% successful.

--Anney
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by K9-Design View Post
Yeah I think you're rushing him. At this stage YOU have to make him 100% successful. He doesn't know how to do that himself. You're taking the food away and he's having to wing it so you're getting the jumping and swinging butt out. What's the big rush? When he can lure with food on his face 100% of the time, that's when you move on. At 3 months old, you don't have that yet, I guarantee it. Shape exactly, exactly, exactly what you want before moving on. If you move on and you're getting behaviors you don't want, then go back to where you were 100% successful.
^ The problem (I'm not arguing, I'm whining) is I'm not really a treat person. Before Jacks - or actually WITH Jacks (before I started obedience 1 classes with him when he was 4 months old) I didn't really use treats in hand. They were always in the pocket or on a counter. I still had my old teacher talking in my head as far as only using treats for jackpots and absolutely never leading a dog around with a treat in front of the nose.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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I have a video which shows the bouncing - this is from today and I'm making an effort to keep the hand low to limit the leaping. As I said, I like the energy... but I'm trying to sort out how to harness it a bit more. Or if I should start this early?

*** This is his first training session outside, and yes it was cold. And yes, Jacks was absolutely adorable working his sit stay in the background *hearts him*


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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 06:35 PM
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There was another thread last night that had a video of 11 week old Maddie practicing heeling and it sorta looked just like that.

Here it is...
http://www.goldenretrieverforum.com/golden-retriever-videos/129370-obedience-11-weeks-confusing-heeling-flying.html

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