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Old 11-29-2012, 01:53 AM
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Teaching your dog to watch you while heeling

First off, Bella is doing extremely well with her heeling given her age..........as long as I use food.

If I hold a treat in my left hand, and just in front of my left hip, she heels like a pro!

As soon as she senses there is no treat, she starts looking around, and sniffing the ground, which obviously makes things a little sloppy.

Is this just something that comes with age?

What have some of you experienced folks done to teach your dog to watch you when you're not baiting them with food?

Thanks!
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:28 AM
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Years ago I took an attention class. We kept the food in our mouth so the dog's attention was always on our face. Since the dog could not see the treat, he never knew if there was something in there or not.
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:30 AM
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So what if you dog is not food motivated (looking pointedly at Káva and glaring)
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:14 AM
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Quote:
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Years ago I took an attention class. We kept the food in our mouth so the dog's attention was always on our face. Since the dog could not see the treat, he never knew if there was something in there or not.
Did you spit the food at the dog? I'd have to teach her to catch it first. She hasn't mastered that yet.




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Old 11-29-2012, 03:43 AM
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Did you spit the food at the dog? I'd have to teach her to catch it first. She hasn't mastered that yet.




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No, you take it out of your mouth to feed her. LOL I'm trying to picture you spitting food into Bella's mouth!!


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Old 11-29-2012, 07:24 AM
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What I do when mine turns away is tell him to watch and give him a little pop of the leash and then I reward him as soon as he starts to watch again


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Old 11-29-2012, 08:16 AM
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^ Same as Nuggets Dad, but I also do that clicker method thingydo. When the dog offers attention - whenever, not just when you are actively training - you mark it and you praise/reward it. And you want to make sure you "release" the dog.

I'm not doing any corrections with my young puppy, but I am doing a LOT of mark/praise training with him right now well before I add corrections.

The other thing is that with food training, you aren't going to go from having food in your hand to nothing at all. You need a transition.

So treat in view in your hand at your hip.

Over time you can put the treat between your flat hand and your hip, so it's there, but your dog isn't seeing the "hand has something" view.

And then the treat goes into your pocket or treat bag if you are using one (most people start with the treat bags on the left and start switching them over to the back or the right side away from the dog before disappearing it completely.

Jacks never knows if I have treats in my pockets or not - and that's because sometimes I reward from the pocket. Sometimes I take him over to my training bag for a jackpot after something. <- It was a very gradual process getting him there though.

If your dog is heeling very nicely, that's a good time to start fading the treats out of sight.

@attention - the other thing too is that "watch" is taught as a stationary first before you begin moving. And then when you start asking for "watch" while heeling, then you are taking 1-3 steps with attention and releasing. And building from there.
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vhuynh2 View Post
No, you take it out of your mouth to feed her. LOL I'm trying to picture you spitting food into Bella's mouth!!


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My obedience class trainer spits hot dog pieces into her German Shepherd's mouth! She explained this on the first day as the reason she doesn't use pre packaged dog treats. I'm not ready to try that one yet.


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Old 11-29-2012, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nairb View Post
My obedience class trainer spits hot dog pieces into her German Shepherd's mouth! She explained this on the first day as the reason she doesn't use pre packaged dog treats. I'm not ready to try that one yet.


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I used hot dogs and string cheese. I have also bought the ends of meat, turkey, roast beef, chicken from the deli and cut those in bite size pieces.

I never spit it out though. My aim probably would not be good enough if I even tried.
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nairb View Post
My obedience class trainer spits hot dog pieces into her German Shepherd's mouth! She explained this on the first day as the reason she doesn't use pre packaged dog treats. I'm not ready to try that one yet.

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I've seen a very accomplished looking obedience handler standing repeatedly spitting pieces of string cheese into her dog's mouth as a warm up before going into the obedience ring. It was one of the first times I attended an obedience event and I was amazed but the dog was completely focused on her then and throughout their time in the ring.

Zoe is coordinated enough to catch treats I toss to her but I'm not coordinated enough to spit them to her.
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