Heel, Turn, Focus. Heel, Turn, Focus... | Exploits of an Amateur Dog Trainer: Blog Edition

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Heel, Turn, Focus. Heel, Turn, Focus...

Tonight, it was working on heeling and turning as that's something he's struggled with lately (and in general). It's also a way to get the directions in during practical usage.

I'd call out the turn and then do it while having him walking at a normal pace in heel position. This seemed to go pretty well and he was enjoying it, but I noticed he turns left much worse than right.

Noted. So now that's one thing we can work on more.

The heeling itself went pretty well. No cue for it (don't really have a heel cue - just want it to be his default walking behavior) but just clicking and treating in position. I tried to click him with some frequency to keep him engaged and reinforced for the position. A couple times he messed up because he got so freaking excited and happy that he started walking too fast! So I just stopped and when he came back to position, we started up again and got a click and treat soon after if he stayed in position.

His excitement is a lot of his problem with heeling, but he loves training so much (and especially getting those bread balls!)

The turns weren't bad, aside from the aforementioned left turning troubles. I think that will come around with work.

The last thing we worked on is something else that's a problem for him - keeping focus/eye contact. He so nosy...er...I mean observant and curious that he just wants to look at what's going on around him. This is probably something I will want to devote a whole walk to, or perhaps no walk, just let him do his business and then just focus, focus, focus. One time, he did it really well, didn't even take eyes off of me. He got very rapid clicks and treats for that!

It's getting there. I just have to make myself work him more on it in the midst of the other things we are working on.