• Courtney Bray

    April 23, 2018 at 11:02 pm

    Hi Zee!

    Quick reply for now.

    1. Double-check if you are picking up toys/bones/balls and only offering ONE at a time. I usually don’t really offer balls except as an ‘interactive’ play time, ie I want to play ball with you. This makes the ball pretty special (or can).
    If you give your dog one thing at a time (in terms of chewing or playing alone), make sure you are picking the one thing up as soon as they walk away from it/leave the object. You HAVE to be in control of all unclaimed possessions.

    2. Good idea, limiting access to bed/inside (if he is running to claim it on his bed).
    Did he still ‘claim it’/keep it when you squeak squeak squeaked the ball around? Were you squeaking the heck out of that ball and he still guarded the dead one?
    If you are on ecollar, you can eventually back up the ‘claiming’ of the ball during play with a ‘leave it’ or ‘drop it’, no.. ‘drop it’ with correction. And then start the play again (squeaky ball and throw dead ball, etc).

    3. If you have issues with your dog ‘coming back’ to you, you can work with a longline (don’t throw the ball farther than the longline clearly!) For this I like a 50 or 70-ft line, depending on how ‘ball chase’ motivated your dog is.
    You will gently bring him in to you with the ball as you say ‘good boy’ or something that sounds like praise and walk away from him as he comes towards you.

    The long line helps to get the dog going in the right direction.

    I tend to personally not do a formal ‘recall’/come during this play exercise, but I suppose you certainly could.

    HEEL: FORGET HIGH DISTRACTION!!! Not there yet, clearly ๐Ÿ™‚ High distraction or ‘downtown’ is like.. graduation day… This seriously takes time. If you and he get ‘bored’, choose a SLIGHTLY more distracting environment. The key, for me at least, is to not get sloppy and try and cover to much ground. Be patient and teach him EVERY TIME he goes past you or is about to. For awhile it’s a couple steps at a time. Again. Again.

    The hardest part for my clients who are doing the heel for the first time is that they don’t want to take time to really teach their dog. It’s tedious. But if you embrace it, it really gets fun.

    Are you clear on the ‘fake-outs’ with the RIGHT FOOT first? (ie ‘step’ with right foot and if your dog moves you ‘zip’ down with your left hand to correct and say ‘heel’ when he moves. Do this as many times as you need until he’s not moving when you move your right foot. )
    Then plant the right in the front of your body once your dog understands? Then do the LEFT foot fakeout (don’t actually ‘put’ your left foot down)?

    My point is this: Until you clearly teach your dog with WHICH leg or step he is allowed to walk, he’s going to not learn it well. If say, 50% of the time you are letting him get far out in front of you or even next to you, he’s going to really take awhile to do it well. Because you are reinforcing the incorrect heel ๐Ÿ™‚

    I hope there are some very clear vids. If anyone on the site knows the exact links, please post. Maybe I’ll do some and post when I have time.

    MARKERS OR COMMAND STRUCTURE: I use the command structure which is also posted somewhere on the website. In essence it is:

    1. ‘NAME + COMMAND’ (praise if they do it, I say good boy, etc), ‘NO… ‘(no correction, just a warning), COMMAND + CORRECTION. Repeat (COMMAND + CORRECTION) as many times as necessary. Whenever the dog does x, praise. At the end when you like, ‘Free!’ (release of command).

    I love your question. I like to be able to PRAISE MY DOG, but STILL HOLD A COMMAND.

    This comes in handy-among other situations-if and when we have reactive dogs (It is useful to praise your dog while they hold a sit in the midst of craziness. If you make yourself interesting to your dog, he will be less likely to be distracted by x), or simply in order to be able to praise and love our dogs up but make sure they still ‘hold’ the command.

    Whatever your ‘words’ are, make sure ‘free’ is free, but good boy (or whatever means good boy praise) does not necessarily ‘release’ the command. Make sense?

    Another note: When I personally ‘start out’ with a dog in ‘Phase 2’ training, I guess I tend to make a hand motion with a treat saying ‘free’ and give them a treat (of course always praise). BUT after the dog ‘gets’ it, the command structure, (and owner does), I start to ‘un-link’ the free command with the treat sometimes.
    I don’t use the treat forever, but I still use it here and there later.

    My point is I don’t always want the dog to think the treat is also a ‘release’ without the ‘free’ word.
    This is probably to detailed at this point for you, kind of nitpicky, but since we are on the topic, I thought I’d give you my two cents.

    Please ask if I am not very clear, I’m not as fresh as I could be.