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Brito’s left turns are not ideal in his heeling.  He’s fine if I give him hand help to keep him back in position; otherwise he tends to forge through the corner.

I’m in no hurry to deal with forging with him, so I mostly ignore the errors and help him when training in flow (I will discuss this idea of “flow” later), but at some point he has to learn to make the corner without help, and this seemed like a fine time to start looking at it!

Here’s what I’m doing:

1) Hand help to keep him in position when working in flow where I don’t want to mess with training details.

2) Separate from my flow training, I’m working on left turns as a drill, where I reward every attempt with a cookie.  I’m doing a pile in a row to create a pattern and a habit of staying in position.  In particular I’m watching for Brito to pull his rear end in, and I work hard not to stop moving until I believe he’ll be correct.   Note that within drills, my hand position is “correct” and I’m not helping him.  Instead I will use body movements (such as pulling sideways, or making more than a 90 degree turn or backing up with a left turn) to get him thinking about his butt.

3) I return those left turns to the chain of work and see what we have.  This is the testing phase.

This pattern of training looks like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1dyt6OMq0g&feature=youtu.be

First I do some basic engagement to get him into a training frame of mind.  Then at 11 seconds and 17 seconds you can see how I change my hand position to help him stay back and make it around the corner without forging.  I do that because we are doing heeling in flow here and I don’t want to disrupt that.

To help the precision issue, we work from 29 seconds to 50 seconds on drills that remind him about his rear end.  I try not to stop moving my feet until I’m pretty sure he will sit straight, which works reasonably well.

At 53 seconds we try heeling again.  He loses attention on the corner at 56 seconds so I re-engage him and we try another time.  He does reasonably well on his left turn at 1:14.  Then we play a bit more with drills from about 1:30 to 1:42.  Then I re-engage and we try another turn within a heeling chain.  I’m happy with his left turn at 1:52 and even more happy with his turn at 2:02.  and…we’re done!

 

About dfenzi

I'm a professional dog trainer who specializes in building relationship in dog handler teams who compete in dog sports. My personal passions are Competitive Obedience and no force (motivational) dog training. I travel throughout the world teaching seminars on topics related to Dog Obedience and Building Drives and Motivation. I own Fenzi Dog Sports Academy, a comprehensive online school for motivational training of performance sport dogs.

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