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Old 12-22-2012, 01:29 PM
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Finishes, Fronts and "Fix it"

Thursday was Bella's first day of Intermediate Obedience, and she did great. I was a little nervous because she's the youngest dog in the class, but after a few minutes, I knew she would be fine.

We now have a week off because of Christmas. Now that I have the syllabus, I want to get ahead of the game a bit, and use that time to work on a few things.

1. Finish (return to heel position). I watched a You Tube video on how to guide your dog into position with treats, so I've been doing that. I have yet to use a command. What command is typically used for both finishes? Would you recommend using a command yet, or wait?

2. Most of her fronts are pretty good. Every now and then (maybe 1 out of 5), she veers off a bit, and comes in at an angle, which results in a crooked front. Any advice on how to deal with that? I've seen people use a "fix it" command to get their dog to straighten out, move closer, etc. How do you go about training your dog to do that?

3. What is the correct distance for a proper front?

Thanks!
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nairb View Post
Thursday was Bella's first day of Intermediate Obedience, and she did great. I was a little nervous because she's the youngest dog in the class, but after a few minutes, I knew she would be fine.
And I'm sure a lot of that is the hard work you've been putting into training her<:

Quote:
1. Finish (return to heel position). I watched a You Tube video on how to guide your dog into position with treats, so I've been doing that. I have yet to use a command. What command is typically used for both finishes? Would you recommend using a command yet, or wait?
I see no reason why you wouldn't use commands right now.

There are two finishes.

Right finish = around or by me
Left finish = Swing

I use "around" for those rally exercises where I do not necessarily expect a sit at the end. You will have the schutzhund about turn where you turn around leftwise and your dog circles around your front to heel position.

By me = always a sit at the end.

There are also hand signals for both, and they have to be continuous motion in the end. Right now while you are teaching them, you would hold your hand out and guide a bit more.

I personally for everything teach with both verbal and hand signal.

Quote:
2. Most of her fronts are pretty good. Every now and then (maybe 1 out of 5), she veers off a bit, and comes in at an angle, which results in a crooked front. Any advice on how to deal with that? I've seen people use a "fix it" command to get their dog to straighten out, move closer, etc. How do you go about training your dog to do that?
Do not get into the habit of "fixing" fronts. If the fronts are crooked, that means that you need to help her come in straight well before she gets in close enough (about 1-2 feet) to sit.

Training scoot fronts now and always helps train straight fronts. The dog is already straight and doesn't have too much room to shift crooked. You can mark and praise that straight front.

With Jacks generally if I see he is coming in crooked, I will put my hands down and guide him to adjust before he gets in too close. <- Or I'm supposed to.

If my timing is bad and he actually gets in and sits crooked, I will use my knees to push him back and make him readjust his butt without me moving myself to compensate for his crooked front.

Quote:
3. What is the correct distance for a proper front?
When you are still training fronts, you will always keep the distance only as long as it takes your dog to come in straight and accurately each time.

3 feet is pretty common to start with. If your dog is handling that perfectly, back off to 6 feet, etc. Do not be in a rush to build too much distance too soon.

At the same time work on "comes" seperate from fronts. This would be putting your dog in a wait 20+ feet away and you will have toys or balls to throw between your legs or past you (make sure you are standing with your leg blocking front position so the picture is different). <- These are motivational and reinforce FAST comes and desire to come in fast with a dog while you are working on the front position with formal recalls. There is no sit at the end. The goal is only to get an active and fast come.

Good luck<:
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Megora View Post
And I'm sure a lot of that is the hard work you've been putting into training her<:



I see no reason why you wouldn't use commands right now.

There are two finishes.

Right finish = around or by me
Left finish = Swing

I use "around" for those rally exercises where I do not necessarily expect a sit at the end. You will have the schutzhund about turn where you turn around leftwise and your dog circles around your front to heel position.

By me = always a sit at the end.

There are also hand signals for both, and they have to be continuous motion in the end. Right now while you are teaching them, you would hold your hand out and guide a bit more.

I personally for everything teach with both verbal and hand signal.



Do not get into the habit of "fixing" fronts. If the fronts are crooked, that means that you need to help her come in straight well before she gets in close enough (about 1-2 feet) to sit.

Training scoot fronts now and always helps train straight fronts. The dog is already straight and doesn't have too much room to shift crooked. You can mark and praise that straight front.

With Jacks generally if I see he is coming in crooked, I will put my hands down and guide him to adjust before he gets in too close. <- Or I'm supposed to.

If my timing is bad and he actually gets in and sits crooked, I will use my knees to push him back and make him readjust his butt without me moving myself to compensate for his crooked front.



When you are still training fronts, you will always keep the distance only as long as it takes your dog to come in straight and accurately each time.

3 feet is pretty common to start with. If your dog is handling that perfectly, back off to 6 feet, etc. Do not be in a rush to build too much distance too soon.

At the same time work on "comes" seperate from fronts. This would be putting your dog in a wait 20+ feet away and you will have toys or balls to throw between your legs or past you (make sure you are standing with your leg blocking front position so the picture is different). <- These are motivational and reinforce FAST comes and desire to come in fast with a dog while you are working on the front position with formal recalls. There is no sit at the end. The goal is only to get an active and fast come.

Good luck<:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Megora View Post
And I'm sure a lot of that is the hard work you've been putting into training her<:



I see no reason why you wouldn't use commands right now.

There are two finishes.

Right finish = around or by me
Left finish = Swing

I use "around" for those rally exercises where I do not necessarily expect a sit at the end. You will have the schutzhund about turn where you turn around leftwise and your dog circles around your front to heel position.

By me = always a sit at the end.

There are also hand signals for both, and they have to be continuous motion in the end. Right now while you are teaching them, you would hold your hand out and guide a bit more.

I personally for everything teach with both verbal and hand signal.



Do not get into the habit of "fixing" fronts. If the fronts are crooked, that means that you need to help her come in straight well before she gets in close enough (about 1-2 feet) to sit.

Training scoot fronts now and always helps train straight fronts. The dog is already straight and doesn't have too much room to shift crooked. You can mark and praise that straight front.

With Jacks generally if I see he is coming in crooked, I will put my hands down and guide him to adjust before he gets in too close. <- Or I'm supposed to.

If my timing is bad and he actually gets in and sits crooked, I will use my knees to push him back and make him readjust his butt without me moving myself to compensate for his crooked front.



When you are still training fronts, you will always keep the distance only as long as it takes your dog to come in straight and accurately each time.

3 feet is pretty common to start with. If your dog is handling that perfectly, back off to 6 feet, etc. Do not be in a rush to build too much distance too soon.

At the same time work on "comes" seperate from fronts. This would be putting your dog in a wait 20+ feet away and you will have toys or balls to throw between your legs or past you (make sure you are standing with your leg blocking front position so the picture is different). <- These are motivational and reinforce FAST comes and desire to come in fast with a dog while you are working on the front position with formal recalls. There is no sit at the end. The goal is only to get an active and fast come.

Good luck<:
Good stuff. Thanks. There's a Border Collie in the class that's already doing all that stuff. Other than that, most of them aren't any further along than the other dogs in beginning obedience. A couple of them probably should repeat the beginner class.


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Old 12-22-2012, 02:54 PM
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With Brooke I use(d) front chutes to train fronts. She is the first one of my dogs I am doing this with and her fronts are far better than any of my other dogs ever were. Very clear to the dog where front is.
As to the "correct distance for a proper front" I thought you might be referring to where the dog ends up in proximity to you on the front. If so for training I like Brooke to actually touch me. I use the chute for this also by having the closed end of the chute in a spot so that when she sits inside it she is just touching me. Again it makes it very clear where I want front and I have not had any issues when I remove the chute. She is really very precise without them, but I still do use them at times in training to reinforce it.
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Old 12-22-2012, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmbikaGR View Post
With Brooke I use(d) front chutes to train fronts. She is the first one of my dogs I am doing this with and her fronts are far better than any of my other dogs ever were. Very clear to the dog where front is.
As to the "correct distance for a proper front" I thought you might be referring to where the dog ends up in proximity to you on the front. If so for training I like Brooke to actually touch me. I use the chute for this also by having the closed end of the chute in a spot so that when she sits inside it she is just touching me. Again it makes it very clear where I want front and I have not had any issues when I remove the chute. She is really very precise without them, but I still do use them at times in training to reinforce it.
Yes, that's what I meant by proper distance. I'm still training by holding a treat in front of me. I typically hold it close to get her as close as possible. I like the chute idea. We actually have something that might work. I'll give it a try.
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Old 12-22-2012, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nairb View Post
Yes, that's what I meant by proper distance. I'm still training by holding a treat in front of me. I typically hold it close to get her as close as possible. I like the chute idea. We actually have something that might work. I'll give it a try.
The other thing you can do is when training/showing wear a belt that is visible to the dog. Place a treat between the buckle and your pants. When the dog comes in take BOTH hands together, get the treat from your buckle with BOTH hands and reward with BOTH hands right there. They learn very quickly that the treat is there and want to get real close to it.
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Old 12-22-2012, 03:13 PM
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You can also use a treat clip. Something that clips to your shirt or pants that you can stick a treat on.
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Old 12-22-2012, 04:22 PM
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just another opinion here

For the fronts, I use two different commands, and I use them from the get-go. I use "get around" for the traditional finish, and I use "swing" for the left side finish. I use hand signals for each, too.
I don't use the word "finish". Our beasties are too smart and mine tends to do things on the judge's command rather than mine so I use a different word.

The proper distance for a front is, according to the rule book I believe, so that you could easily touch the dog without bending over. I laugh when I see that, because what if you have a short dog? But in the case of a golden, that's a few inches from your toes. I do NOT like the dog to touch me, because if you have one that comes flying in on the recall and you want him to touch you, well, you are setting yourself up for being sent sprawling on your rear as he plows into you, unable to stop.

I quickly move from treats in the hand on fronts to treats in my mouth. It gets them to come in well centered, looking up at your face.

I use "fix it" whenever he gets out of heel position, but I generally use it in field work, not obedience. It's up to him to figure out how to "fix it", I don't bother telling him "get back" or "get up" or "get in", etc. That's probably why I use it mostly in field, because the heeling position is a lot looser and it's pretty much just a reminder to him to get his head out of his fuzzy butt and do what he's supposed to be doing.
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Old 12-22-2012, 04:53 PM
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I use the command "heel" for left finish and "finish" for right finish.

For fronts, left, and right finishes, I do a lot of work on the leash before I ever allow the dog off leash. If my dog doesn't front straight, I use my body language to show them what to do. IE: If they are angled to your right, I'll take a step left, causing them to turn, then go back to my regular position. Does that make sense? It's hard to write out!
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:03 PM
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I noticed you all use different commands for the finishes. That's one of the reasons I'm hesitant to use commands. Finishes will be introduced in the next session, and I'm sure the trainer will want us to use a certain command. I guess It probably doesn't matter if someone has already been using a different command. I think I can get her finishing on command before the next class two weeks from this past Thursday. She's picking it up fast. I'll wait on hand signals for now.


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