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heel closer to me?? sit faster?
Old 11-30-2012, 01:55 PM   #1
Charleysmom
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heel closer to me?? sit faster?

I'm not sure how to get CHarley to heel closer to me. Actually we started with "come to side" when he was just a few months old. He's really great with it. But now I'd like to train him so his head (ear) just about touches the seam of my pants. I'm not sure how to do this. I'm also working on getting Charley to sit faster and that's tough too. He does the doggy pushups fast (sit, down, sit, down, sit, down etc - we're up to ten) and he does the sit fast then, but not when it's an isolated sit. he sits but kind of slow.

so today I tried a) click and treat only on the faster sits. I don't think he know what's up yet but maybe with lots of repetition over time the bell will go off and he'll realize.

any suggestions???
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:02 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Charleysmom View Post
I'm not sure how to get CHarley to heel closer to me. Actually we started with "come to side" when he was just a few months old. He's really great with it. But now I'd like to train him so his head (ear) just about touches the seam of my pants. I'm not sure how to do this. I'm also working on getting Charley to sit faster and that's tough too. He does the doggy pushups fast (sit, down, sit, down, sit, down etc - we're up to ten) and he does the sit fast then, but not when it's an isolated sit. he sits but kind of slow.

so today I tried a) click and treat only on the faster sits. I don't think he know what's up yet but maybe with lots of repetition over time the bell will go off and he'll realize.

any suggestions???
You are right... You have to be very clear in your own head what your criteria are, and only click/treat when he is right where you want him. Then make sure to give the treat right at the seam of your pants.

Likewise, only reward prompt sits, and only if he responds the first tine you ask.
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:31 AM   #3
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thanks. I will work on that. he always sits when I ask but his bum goes down slowly. Will he catch on if he's only clicked and rewarded at the quicker ones. Do I count it in seconds to clarify for myself how long it takes or is that nuts? If I want to be consistent with the faster ones do I need to know exactly?

So the same with heel. I suppose after a time he will catch on that closer is better.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:29 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Charleysmom View Post
thanks. I will work on that. he always sits when I ask but his bum goes down slowly. Will he catch on if he's only clicked and rewarded at the quicker ones. Do I count it in seconds to clarify for myself how long it takes or is that nuts? If I want to be consistent with the faster ones do I need to know exactly?

So the same with heel. I suppose after a time he will catch on that closer is better.
OK, if you can count seconds before he sits, he's W A Y slow!!! I want a sit almost before I get the whole word out of my mouth. So yes, if he's that slow, you have to figure out how fast he's sitting on average now, and then only click/treat for sits that are faster than his average time. If he sits REALLY quickly, jackpot him by giving him at least 4 SEPARATE cookies, in quick succession, as you tell him how WONDERFUL he is!!!

If you are only using a voice command, I would add a hand signal too. Many dogs respond much more quickly to a hand signal than to a voice command. It comes into a different part of the brain.

You should be able to clean up the sits pretty quickly.

With heeling, yes, it is definitely a process, and takes time. If you watch Utility dogs, many can earn full points on the "tricks", and still lose points on their heeling. Good, tight heeling is HARD!!! There are two parts of it. You need to teach the DOG where he needs to stay, and YOU have to learn to walk STRAIGHT, turn predictably, and maintain an even tempo that is right for both you and your dog. Then you need to remember to reward good heeling often. If it sounds complicated, it is! That's why it's hard to do well.

Continue to reward often, right at the seam of your pant leg. Every three or four steps is not too often in the beginning. Try NOT to lure, but to reward often for staying where he belongs even for a few steps. While the clicker works well for working on the sits, it is probably less useful for teaching good heeling. you want to be able to give treats (reward good heeling) while interrupting the flow as little as possible. "Click" usually means "end of exercise", so is generally less useful for teaching things that need to be maintained, like heeling, stays and running agility courses.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:34 PM   #5
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Oh, I also wanted to ask how you taught the sit. I've seen that dogs that are taught to sit via luring tend to have a slower sit than those taught by "capturing" the behavior with the clicker. It's not too late to go back and work on capture to clean up the sit. Keep your clicker with you all the time, and a bunch of treats in your pocket. Every time you see him sit, click immediately, then treat. Before long, he should be offering you sits, and you can pair the behavior with your word again (and hopefully a hand signal as well). This should help him respond more quickly too.
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:26 PM   #6
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Computer was out for a few days so just got your response.
This is really helpfuil. Capturing. gee I never heard of that. Yes, I taught Charley to sit with luring. He actually responds to the sit right away. It's just that he moves his bum really slow to complete the sit. I've been trying to reward a faster sit, but they are not happening. ALthough, with the pushups, i.e., sit, down, sit etc... his sit is really fast.
To capture, hmmm...so when he sits on his own and it's a fast one, I reward at that time. I'll watch for it.
With the heel, I've been using click and treat when his head actually touches my pant leg. It seemed to happen a few times this morning so that's good. I have been using the lure, but Charley will come to side without it. I can tell that this will be a slow process to retrain but I'll keep at it.

Most everything I've taught him I learned from the focused puppy. I'll have to go back to it and see what they say about capture.
By the way, just a fun thing, I've taught Charley to close the kitchen cabinet doors. It's so **** cute. I'm working on expanding the touch command - any ideas?
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