We've been having a problem with the first halt during heeling. She will forge and start to cross in front of me before sitting. I understand the first halt is a frequent problem. Any suggestions?
I'll bite... but hopefully those with more experience hop in here as well....
Best thing you can do is practice ring entries as much as you can. If you train enough so your dog almost anticipates that first halt, it should help. The footwork as well cues your dog that a sit is coming. You have time to stop when the judge calls halt.
If your dog doesn't pick up your change in footwork (the 1.5 steps, for example) and still winds up in front of you - it is a focus issue that will be solved by practicing those ring entries and making sure you have her focus right from the start.
At the next fun match, don't let them rush you into the ring. Take your time to gather your dog's attention before you go in. Even at a trial, it's the steward's job to make sure everyone is ready before they go into the ring. They should be letting you know you are next. <- They don't always so I wouldn't count on it, but it's something that SHOULD happen.
At trials, I generally check all the armbands around me and identify the 2-3 people who go into the ring before me.
I need to get my articles out for Jacks and see if I can get him through to week 6 (probably not).
Bertie was trained earlier.... I started waits/fronts with him. I decided that the best way to keep "wait" seperate for right now is I'm telling him "wait" and touching his nose while I back away 2-3 feet. His fronts of course are straight at that distance.
We have class monday and tuesday... and then a fun match wednesday. Jacks is entered in open. Bertie was also supposed to go right after, but I wiped that out. The novice/open ring is packed and I felt guilty about using time for training a puppy. I suggested to my instructor to wipe out that space if the match was packed. She said OK, but probably too nice to cut my Bertie run. There will be a fun match next month that I can sign him in if I want. Probably best going that route.