High attention heeling.

Discussion in 'Obedience Training' started by srdogtrainer, Jan 25, 2011.

  1. srdogtrainer Experienced Member

    I am looking for new methods and advice on teaching high-attention heeling. So far I have tried luring and clicker training increasing time my dog will look at me both stationary and mobile (although he does a lot better with stationary so far and is easily distracted outside). I am considering, starting to use the method of putting treats in my mouth, because I think this would probably really help my food motivated golden retriever. Do you have any other suggestions? Have you seen any really good you tube videos on various techniques for teaching high- attention heeling?


  2. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    This may not be much help, but check out Silvia Trkman's videos on YouTube(her username is yolle555). I'm not entirely sure how she does it--I think she has a new video out on how she trains heel, but I haven't seen it yet. She definitely has high attention heeling down! Her "mala sola" videos(puppy class) might be helpful for you, and then she has several videos of her own dogs, and like I said I think she has a new video out as well.
    With my BC/ACD boy I learned he had this weird obsession with squeakers. He doesn't care to play with squeaky toys at all, but the sound really gets his attention. So that's what I used with him when I taught him how to heel(not food motivated at all). I'd squeak a squeaker with him in heel position, YES! and toss his tennis ball. The more annoying the squeaker the better. Then added taking steps. "Heel," SQUEAK, take a step, all with split second intervals. Then just "heel." Then progressively add more steps, squeaking whenever I needed to. Now he heels beautifully with perfect attention.

    Not sure that this would work with your boy since he is food motivated, but just my two cents. If anything maybe it'll get your wheels turning and something with come to mind...? Good luck!
  3. srdogtrainer Experienced Member

    Thanks I will check out her channel and try the squeaker too!
  4. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    If you can't find her heeling vids, I think her email is listed on her website. She is very helpful. I have sent her some questions before and she is great about answering them as quickly as she can. She's very nice. :)
  5. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    AHA! Found some. Also...SILVIA TRKMAN IS NOW SELLING VIDEOS! I'm so excited I practically lept out of my chair, lol! If you've never watched Silvia Trkman before, you will be hooked after just a couple vids. She's amazing. Anyway...

    I know what I'll be buying soon. :doglaugh:
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  6. srdogtrainer Experienced Member

    That is some extraordinary heeling! Thanks!!!
  7. mewzard Experienced Member

    Thats crazy heeling!!
    Oka is not keen on being right by my side; she walks about 20cm or so infront (loose lead). i think the GSD in her makes her want to know whats coming...she can heel lovely in the garden off-lead. There is just something about the big wide world that puts her in 'alert'...something we are working on :doghappy:
  8. vickih Well-Known Member

    I am amazed by what that girl can teach! Wow!
  9. legendsmami Well-Known Member

    Those vids make me wanna give heeling another try. For some reason I get lost in concentration. I never thought to try the squeaker. I know his "bad cuz ball" is his favorite and I've used it a few times when calling him off from chasing deer in the yard.
  10. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Ah the Bad Cuz; Mudflap loooooves that toy. It's one of very few toys that has withstood her jaws! :doglaugh:

    For Zeke the squeaker was really my godsend. He is very toy motivated, and is completely obsessed with tennis balls. The sound of a sqeaky toy would immediately grab his attention--so, squeaky tennis ball, VOILA! We were in business. I don't have to use a squeaker anymore, but it really was the only thing that worked to get eye contact for Z. I just ordered Silvia Trkman's video today, and I plan to try her methods with Mudflap. She can heel, but isn't good at it and really doesn't enjoy it. Every dog I have ever seen trained with Silvia's methods really enjoy heeling, and my gosh are they impressive. Can't wait to get her video in. :msnohyes:
  11. srdogtrainer Experienced Member

    What is the cost of her video in the US?
  12. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    The heeling video is $45 I believe. The other two are ~$50. Shipping is $5. Her website says that they are more like $50 and $60, but when I checked out I was only charged $45, so guess the info on her website is just a little off. Little expensive for a video, but I truly believe that she is definitely worth it. I can't wait for her to get more videos out.
  13. helps Well-Known Member

    Aww. Silvia is my idol, LOL. I love her tricks and the way she's training her dogs. They obviously enjoy all she's asking them to do... I'd like to give some smart advice, but I'm also fan of Silvia's method, so ... :) When I save up some money, I'd definitely like to order some of her DVDs.
  14. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    WHOO I'm so excited. Watched it--of course, it's great. After watching it and learning how she teaches it, it is SOOO SOO simple. There are a few little gaps that I'm not entirely sure about, just pertaining to my dogs, but I am going to email her about it. I envy her so. She lives in such a GORGEOUS place; if I lived there I would practically never go inside! I think if I ever had the opportunity to study with her there I would burst from taking it all in!

    What I really like is that she uses all of her dogs for examples--which is good because she's got the early early stages with her newest Pyr Shep pup, then the intermediate stages with Bi, her youngest BC, then the advanced stages with Bu, her other BC, and then the super-advanced stages with her older Pyr Shep. (I don't know why, but I have the HARDEST time remembering her Pyr Sheps names.) She doesn't just show the finished product, or the stages with the dogs that already know it. She shows something from each stage in training because she has dogs in all stages of the training.

    I'm going to watch it a few more times to try to fill the gaps for my dogs, and if I can't figure it out then I'll email her.
  15. sara Moderator

    I've recently been working with Oliver on this. But MAN were those video's great!!! Gives me something to work towards!!! At a dog show last fall, I was watching an obedience competitor school her dogs in this before going into the ring. She had a GR and a BMD. I was rather dissapointed to see she was using a pinch collar to get her dogs to do the high stepping GRRRRR.

    I got Scout (my deaf dog) doing high attention heeling just by holding food in my hand at my hip. But then, I had an advantage with her... Deaf dogs are more focused than hearing dogs. All Scout sees is me, in places like this :)

    With Oliver, I have to combat his high alert status, once out of my living room... he's getting better. I can now go about 10 steps before clicking. as soon as I click, he takes his treat, scans the area, then I can ask for heel again. I only use the heel command when I want this behaviour, otherwise his command is "dont pull" Oliver already does the spins on an object, and I used that to teach him to "get right" (as opposed to "get in") So I guess we did things sort of right, according to the second video!
  16. Aleron Active Member

    I am working with Silvia's perch work stuff to improve turns. My favorite way to teach heeling is a bit of a combination of methods though. I like to work the dogs "in drive" when possible, so if I have a dog who's toy driven I always start with toys. I use the toy to make them think heeling is part of a game, which gives me the attitude and the "look" I want. I tease them with the toy a bit, take a few steps, mark the behavior when it looks the way I want then play. Then I get the toy and start the heel work again - back and forth between heeling and play. During this I don't worry about the dog bouncing a but or being a little out of position here and there. If they start forging, I back up to get them into position and start again. This video shows a bit of that early work with 5 month old Whimsy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVSBoHKH0ps

    Once I am happy with that work, I use treats to work on more precision. With dogs who aren't toy motivated I start with this but usually progress slower. I will have treats in my left hand, start with the dog sitting at my left side (this is taught separately, if the dog has a problem with it) take one step - mark/treat then set back up and repeat. I work quite a lot of these one step-treat repetitions because it teaches the dog to pay attention to you starting to move. Once they are quickly starting with me, I start to "300 peck" the heel. One step - treat, two steps - treat, three steps - treat, four steps - treat adding one step each rep until the dog loses attention, then going back to one (you can read about 300 peck here: http://www.positivepetzine.com/300_Peck). I don't find it necessary to aim for 300 steps, at some point it becomes apparent that the dog understands heeling, at which point I stop having the reward in my hand and start rewarding from my pocket or racing to another spot with the dog for the reward. I also alternate between treats and toys as rewards with dogs who like both, as well as play itself being a reward (as in I race around and be silly with the dog :)).

    This is Whimsy's heeling as it currently is, at almost 2 years old: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ea3JhO7i9YY
    srdogtrainer and tx_cowgirl like this.
  17. srdogtrainer Experienced Member

    Hi Aleron,
    Thanks so much for the post! That is a lot of great advice! I will try some of these tips! Where did you learn Silvia's method...from her video? Whimsy is looking great in his Rally video! I have done APDT Rally with my Golden Retriever River.
  18. Aleron Active Member

    Thanks! She's a good pup :)

    I haven't seen Silvia's video but have seen a few videos on Youtube of people working their dogs with her method. Watching those, I have a good idea of what she's doing for the rear end awareness and that is what I want to improve. Celeste Meade actually does some similar stuff calling it "brick work" and there is quite a bit of info on Youtube for that.
    srdogtrainer likes this.
  19. srdogtrainer Experienced Member

    Thanks again...I will look up Celeste Meade too! It seems you have a lot of great tips to offer! I'm so glad you decided to join the D. T. A. I am looking forward to hearing more about your dog training and your wonderful dog Whimsy!
  20. mewzard Experienced Member

    Whimsy is beautiful!
    I've been praticing heeling with Oka (after seeing the Silvia video) - not for Rallys or anything but just everyday walking. Using patience and LOADS of treats Oka walks to heel a lot better than she did before...it's almost the 300 peck method though...i just don't count steps [IMG]. The main advantage is that she has alot more attention on me whereas before she'd only pay attention when she could actively see there were treats involved....i still loose it all when there is another dog within 300 yards.

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