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Face on rather than heel or side

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
Owen

1232940
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 20, '12 1:16pm PST 
Owen and I have recently been working fairly regularly on loose leash walking. He's getting the hang of it, slowly but surely, and I'm really not having too much trouble shaping his behavior with the help of the clicker (he's incredibly eager to please). I noticed, though, when we first began (and even still a bit now) that Owen really seems to prefer to always face me head on than to be at my side. We did/do a little bit of training with a 'target' (usually using an old frisbee) and he's pretty good at that, but even then if I move around so we are side by side, he tries to move off the target to spin around and face me. My question is: is this a typical behavior for all dogs early on, this facing head on, that just has to be overcome? Or is it just Owen's unique (and admittedly quirky lol) personality? Has anyone else come up against this with their dog?
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ARCHMX Asher RL1X RL2X RL3X RL

we will dance in- the ring without- words
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 20, '12 1:23pm PST 
Are you clicking for position (ie just walking and clicking when he hits an appropriate approximation of heel position for his level of learning)?

Are you rewarding IN position?

What hand are you rewarding with?
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Owen

1232940
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 20, '12 1:43pm PST 
A little of both perhaps. For position primarily I suppose. I'm not worried about a perfect heel so I'm more concerned that he not pull ahead than that he be in exact position, so to speak. I'll put him on his target and do just c/t for IN position some too though.

I prefer him to my left so I treat with my left hand.

I will be honest, Owen is my first dog (well, first dog that is only my responsibility and not a family pet), so he and I are definitely learning together. Do you think it would be more beneficial to focus on his being IN position more than for position? Like I said, I'm not looking for a perfect show/competition dog or anything, but I definitely don't want to short-change Owen if there's a better way.
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Czarka, CGC- UJJ

Why walk when- you can run?
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 20, '12 1:50pm PST 
It sounds like 1) you are new to this and 2) you are very early in training. So, the simple answer is 'all is well'... probably. When you click, you are saying 'behavior-at-the-click is close enough; reward coming'. So the question is, 'At the point you click, do you have something approaching a heal?'. If so, no biggie. You will have to add the complexities to the behavior... but your dog is doing just what is being asked. The behavior ends with the click. Don't click if you want to continue the behavior wink OR immediately request a new 'heal' as you treat in motion... now go to Asher's questions laugh out loud

Edited by author Tue Nov 20, '12 1:51pm PST

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ARCHMX Asher RL1X RL2X RL3X RL

we will dance in- the ring without- words
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 20, '12 1:51pm PST 
Sounds like you are doing a lot right, but yes, I would focus on position. Click and reward where you want your dog to be. Don't lure back into position, just stand still when he is out of it and wait him out. Always reward for moving together. Have you seen my video with Asher? It is on his page.
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Czarka, CGC- UJJ

Why walk when- you can run?
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 20, '12 1:55pm PST 
BTW, unless you live in a place very different from ours... a right heal (I use 'right'; 'gee' for the direction... so no conflict) as well as a left heal is worth teaching. I've yet to meet another team on our walks that goes into a true heel to pass... pet peeve... but I'll get over it.
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ARCHMX Asher RL1X RL2X RL3X RL

we will dance in- the ring without- words
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 20, '12 2:15pm PST 
I agree, heeling on the right is important for a lot of reasons, especially if you do a true, focused heel. The ergonomics of the position almost demand you work both sides.

And Czarka is right, don't stress too much. relax. Make it fun, for you and your dog.
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Augusta,- CGC, RN

Such a Good Dog!
 
 
Barked: Wed Nov 21, '12 11:48am PST 
The only advice I can add is sometimes people walk a bit slowly when they're focusing on their dogs . . . speeding up your pace a bit with some quick direction changes thrown in might help keep him at your side, he doesn't have time to spin around to the front.


Upping the energy level also increases the fun and interest--ooh, she must be going somewhere exciting--I want to go with her!
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