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where the tails wag
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Discussion Starter #1
We started discussing slow heeling on another thread, but I think it might be deserving of its very own space LOL Jodie already mentioned a great idea of stepping to the right and back every few steps and I am sure there are some really awesome tips here

Faelan is my first dog that just does not seem to get the SLOW pace - for him it is go, go, go which is great in the field, agility, most obedience (including the outside figure 8) but during the heeling pattern, well it can sometimes not be pretty.

I figure there must be something I am missing in my training so .... I am open to suggestions LOL
 

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For my previous dogs, just making sure I dropped them a treat fairly regularly during slows was enough to keep their attention where it belonged and keep them in the correct place. For Flip, that ain't enough! For him I do very very little straight line slows. Lots of little turns every few steps in the slow pace forces him to pay better attention and work harder to be in correct position. If I think about it I will video tape the new step I started taking over the weekend to help us out even more.
 
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Kate
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When first teaching this to my guy, it's generally with a treat that keeps his attention on me. The rest is making sure I'm doing an obvious change of pace and taking one step at a time (roll each foot down heel-to-toe before rolling the other foot down heel-to-toe). I use the word "sloooowww" when first teaching this to Jacks and then wean off the command.

^^ As always, teach this on leash and off. You don't want to teach slow by pulling back on the leash. You teach it by pulling your dog's attention back with you.

*** I agree with Jodie that the other games help get a dog's focus more on you if the food isn't enough. Serpentines and tight circles work great.

*** I forgot one other thing. I play pace-change games in our hallway. While I don't always have a treat out as a focus point, Jacks still is watching me and waiting for me to SUDDENLY break into a normal pace. He's connected that pace change with me either tossing a treat or releasing him and jackpotting him. :)
 

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where the tails wag
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Discussion Starter #4
For my previous dogs, just making sure I dropped them a treat fairly regularly during slows was enough to keep their attention where it belonged and keep them in the correct place. For Flip, that ain't enough! For him I do very very little straight line slows. Lots of little turns every few steps in the slow pace forces him to pay better attention and work harder to be in correct position. If I think about it I will video tape the new step I started taking over the weekend to help us out even more.
You know, Faelan and Flip must be related !! Even Ms Towhee is like, 'okay you want slow, I can do slow' LOL Faelan starts looking like he needs to escape :confused::confused: More games = good
 

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I do back up at times to make sure the eyeballs are on me. I am trying to get in the habit of using a metronome every time we heel too for consistency.

Actually makes me think of my band days and how painful it was for me when we had to play music very slowly. That is how we practiced fast and hard music first with the admonishment that if we could do it fast (which is what we wanted) then we could do it slow.
 

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have you considered a heeling stick? Maybe just a GENTLE tap on the chest would be enough to get him where he belongs?
 
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where the tails wag
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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
We have used the heeling stick, this really helped him learn reverse heeling - at speed LOL.

He ramps up while working and the slow can be diificult; sometimes he is fine, other times - well, not so much. Kind of like a kid trying to learn how to drive a standard stick shift in heavy traffic --

but maybe, hmmm -

And you know, once I stopped hating the Figure 8, he started loving it. Maybe if I can convince myself that slow heeling is fun, he'd believe it too!
 
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Titan1
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That is the secret to it all.. embrace your slow time..Sharon..LOL! I will do little twisty turny things while doing slow time too.. I would love to have some deep thing to add...I got nothing..ROFL! Just go slow......snickers...
 

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where the tails wag
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Discussion Starter #10
That is the secret to it all.. embrace your slow time..Sharon..LOL! I will do little twisty turny things while doing slow time too.. I would love to have some deep thing to add...I got nothing..ROFL! Just go slow......snickers...
LOL - I knew it was something I was doing!!

next thing I know, I'll be sitting down in a chair to read or maybe even chilling out by the sea - Nah!! Baby steps here. Let's start with learning to enjoy slow heeling (btw; never enjoyed slowed dancing either!)
 
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Titan1
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Just wanting to help ladies..LOL!
 
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Filly used to have a ok slow, but then I didn't train for a couple months:no: I then worked on motivational stuff for a couple weeks, and went to a show, and Boom, Boom, Boom, at every slow time I lost points. Did you see my videos, it was horrible!! I have now started working on slows again. I think it is fun doing turns, circles ect at a slow pace! I hope it benefits me at my next show, as I have now learned my lesson!!
 
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where the tails wag
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Discussion Starter #13
All righty !! Traffic tied me up from making it to my agility practice so since it is dark and raining (why all those people drove like turtles most likely), I will be putting on my metronome and learning to enjoy slow heeling in my house. tic toc, tic toc
 
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Titan1
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Did you embrace your slow time??? ROFL.. Sorry can't help teasing a little..
 

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where the tails wag
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Discussion Starter #15
Yes, I did :) However, Faelan not so much <sigh> We practiced again this morning. And I think we'll be practicing twice daily for a while.

Towhee though - that girlie does very well in the quiet of the house ROFL

And Casey - well he always does well if he's not in a ring.

Now that I've replaced the metronome batteries I am good to go.

I am actually trying to figure out why Faelan is just having problems with this - he is paying attention but sometimes he does great, other times he stops and stands ??, sometimes he starts well and then loses focus and rhythm. Time for the camcorder to come out!!
 

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where the tails wag
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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Filly used to have a ok slow, but then I didn't train for a couple months:no: I then worked on motivational stuff for a couple weeks, and went to a show, and Boom, Boom, Boom, at every slow time I lost points. Did you see my videos, it was horrible!! I have now started working on slows again. I think it is fun doing turns, circles ect at a slow pace! I hope it benefits me at my next show, as I have now learned my lesson!!
Yes, I did see your videos (very nice - on Facebook?) And yes, Faelan forges like that at times, other times he is great, and yet other times I am somehow cuing him to stop or even stand - ooh, just thought of something. Maybe he is not solid on verbal vs. signals yet hmmmm
 

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Kate
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Maybe record/watch the video to see if your pace is changing (slow-slower-faster-slower-slow-almoststopped-slow) or if you are stepping into him? Because I'm normally a fast walker, I'm always a bit awkward with the slows. It's like I can't walk in a straight line when I'm going slow. :)

And fwiw - I'm going to be videoing myself sometime this weekend as well, because at class yesterday my goof was apparently not changing pace from slow to normal right with me. There would be a second pause before he sped up to catch up with me, creating a slight lag. I didn't notice this, but the person putting us through the paces spotted him doing this. Gotta value a second pair of eyes. :)

He may have been feeling stressed out yesterday (the agility people were insanely loud), but he while he was paying attention and focused, his reaction/anticipation time was off - hence that mini-lag. <- But I won't know until I start videoing us again. >.<
 

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where the tails wag
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Discussion Starter #18
Video taping ourselves is a wonderful thing LOL So is nattering about a problem - I have a 'note to self' about seeing if the stand occurs when I use hand signals for heel rather than a verbal ... stranger things have happened.
 

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How slow are you going?

I've done two things to help with forging:

1. I taught a duration touch ... same concept of the nose bridge, I guess, but is used the side of his snout to my palm. His job was not not break the seal between us no matter what speed.

2. I also toss treats from my right hand, back over my left shoulder so they land about a foot behind the dog when I release and reward in heeling. I remembered Bob Bailey talking about behavioral economics. In this instance, why would the dog want to forge ahead when he always ends up having to go the other direction (a foot behind us) to get the cookie (or ball; sometimes I give a good, backwards toss of the ball)?

Both, IMO, have been helpful. (And if you've seen vids of Quiz, you can imagine that "slow" is not his cup of tea either!)
 
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where the tails wag
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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks :)

I might be going too slow ; I normally heel fairly quickly and my slow is definitely slow.

Yes, I have seen your videos and find the teamwork between you awesome :) I have also wondered why you toss your food that way - I will be trying that now :) Thanks again!


How slow are you going?

I've done two things to help with forging:

1. I taught a duration touch ... same concept of the nose bridge, I guess, but is used the side of his snout to my palm. His job was not not break the seal between us no matter what speed.

2. I also toss treats from my right hand, back over my left shoulder so they land about a foot behind the dog when I release and reward in heeling. I remembered Bob Bailey talking about behavioral economics. In this instance, why would the dog want to forge ahead when he always ends up having to go the other direction (a foot behind us) to get the cookie (or ball; sometimes I give a good, backwards toss of the ball)?

Both, IMO, have been helpful. (And if you've seen vids of Quiz, you can imagine that "slow" is not his cup of tea either!)
 
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