hey! I’ve started with the level two hws. they aren’t the hw exactly since we are familiar with these concepts a bit. I videoed what we can do so you can get an idea and let me know what to work on! Thanks :)
Here’s #1 heel position. Griff has pretty good value in this position. I did use his “side” command which is his left side entrance into heel.
Here is his front. He has a front on his “come” so I only added the word in a few months ago to work on getting his front closer. Well now it’s too close and it might be hard to see in the video but he’s hitting me with his nose if I don’t reward quick enough. He’s also lifting his front paws if the reward is too high. These are things I noticed and need to work on!
I skipped steps on hw 3 to show you what Griffey knows on the front foot target. He knows how to target it, spin around it in both directions in front of me and while in heel. I really need to work on slowing him down because he tries to guess what I want and gets ahead of me. Maybe you can tell me what step I should be working on for foot targeting? I think he’s got the commitment to the target. But I could probably work on slowing down the other parts?
Isolated pivots-- This was hard for him! Hes only pivoted next to me or in front of me so I think he was a bit lost. The second direction he was hesitant to do during this rep but I know he can. With a little encouragement, he was able to do it! We'll keep working on this until it become easier for him.
Unfortunately having troubles with the phone still! The video gets to 99% then just sits there loading-- It worked the very first time but it hasnt worked since.. I'm moving them to my computer and trying there. I just can't do it as fast.
Pivot into heel-- The first ones still a little crooked but I don't have a mirror or someone to watch so I didn't notice until watching it back. I was unsure of how to end a rep? You said not to toss food for this because he'll drop his head. So I started stepping off then telling him to get it? Any suggestions for that? We'll keep working on this for the next few days.
Here is a video I took last night of standing in heel. I got a few videos but I have had trouble uploading them from my phone so I had to send this to my computer.. Any tips on that?
For standing in heel he isnt swinging or sitting so thats good. But he is shuffling his front feet or stepping back if im not quick to reward. So I need to work on duration? Also I tried to change my reward placement so its straighter up but he is still wrapping his head to look at me since thats what he has done for so long. I dont know if you can see in this one (I just grabbed the first video that will upload) but I am looking at him from my peripheral vision and trying not to make/reward for eye contact.
I will work on pivoting on the bowl by your directions this evening but I have a couple questions what it should look like. Im standing next to him and want him to pivot into heel right? You said reward then wait to see if he does it himself so am I tossing a treat for him to get him to leave and reset? Im just trying to get a better picture of what this one should look like.. Thanks!
Thank you so much! I've read over it and I appreciate the summary to help me keep a list of the action items.
I know there is a lot to go over but I think its great get an idea of where to start. Your explanation for why he hops like that in his left turn makes so much sense. Im going to stop working on my turns and heel and I really look forward to perfecting them more with you!
For the fronts-- I am not interested in AKC OB. It was just something we tried out for the classes but I prefer rally and would just like to focus on that. I think he touches me on the fronts because it took a little work to get him close to me. On his recall come I've always enforced a sit near me so when I started working on front I noticed he'd sit in front of me but did not like getting too close and would scooch back if I moved toward him. Well we got over that and now hes close but too close... I will work on getting a different angle of this but I think it can easily be fixed with my timing of rewards.
Thanks for the pivot info! That makes sense and I will not correct him for it. I know I really need to work on slowing down as he tries to work so fast so sometimes I think im just correcting to tell him to slow down ( I know probably not a good idea but I will work on it!).
I will start working through the list youve given me. Should I keep posting in this thread or do I make new ones?
Ok, just to summarize all the assignments for you in one place since this is a lot:
Read Level 1's Training Session FAQ's
Level 2 Written Assignment #1
Feeding in stationary heel mechanics (in reply above)
Answer my "front" questions/ask for help where you need it for "front" (in reply above)
Pivot into heel on bowl (directions specific to you in my reply above + general directions in Level 5)
Then, you're starting at halfway through Level 4 + Level 5
Extra credit pivoting (pinned thread in this category)
I'm so excited to have you both here!
Griff obviously has a stellar foundation, and he has the potential for super precise obedience skills, based on his motivation, the breadth of his known skills, and your knowledge about training. :-) So let’s make this dude squeaky clean!
To start off, we’re going to focus on his head position/focal point, his rear end position, and the mechanics of how he executes turns. (Then we’ll move on to other skills, proofing distraction, endurance of heelwork, and trial prep.) I recommend stopping all the heelwork exercises you already know as you follow along with me reworking some of his foundation skills. I can tell you from personal experience that it is much better to go back and rework heel foundations than to try to fix things “as you go.”
You didn’t post it here, but I’ve seen video on your instagram: The way he does left about turns right now is not the best in terms of precision but honestly so flippin’ cute/funny. To explain what’s going on, at least in some of the video I’ve seen: He is shifting his weight forward (and dropping his head) so that he can just absolutely fling his butt through the air to pivot. This isn’t the best way to do it due to lack of precision, but it also obviously leads to a dropped head. What we want is for him to look up, shift his weight into his rear, and step thoughtfully with his back legs.
I know you found the introduction thread, but I don't know if you looked at the level 1 homework: Go ahead and scan it to confirm you know all of that stuff, but definitely read Training Session FAQ's thoroughly, as that one is not necessarily "standard info."
I also definitely still want you to do Level 2’s written assignment.
Setting up into heel, standing/no autosit:
Looks good, but I want to fix his head a bit. He is wrapping his head just a bit too much at times, which contributes to forging. I would recommend pausing on moving forward until we fix this, stationary.
I want to change your feeding hand so that he is actually getting rewarded with his head straight up, or even slightly to the left, like I do in all of my video examples.
Now, in a stand, if you play with that, he might think you’re trying to get him to move his body. You’re not. So, if he starts swinging around, we’ll want to play with this from a *sit.* Then we’ll try from a stand again.
*Definitely show me video of this!
Let’s not throw food forward anymore (at least for now), as that may contribute to him dropping his head/glancing down. You can throw food to the left instead.
Also, just FYI, don’t make eye contact with him in heel. They cannot make eye contact without wrapping their head a bunch. They might focus on your chin, your torso etc. - but don’t confirm the dog’s potential suspicion that eye contact is the right answer by staring back at him.
I saw that you’ve taken comp OB classes. Are you interested in potentially competing (or at least training for) AKC OB?
This is relevant for what the end goal is with your hands, for fronts.
Is he poking you coming in, or just after he sits?
Are you ah-ah-ing for poking attempts?
I write something about not using “ah ah” below, but I may categorize stabbing you with his nose as “egregious behavior deserving of a mild social correction.” However, just be aware of potential grey areas of criteria that could be confusing to him. For example, if you were rewarding gentle poking but correcting stabbing, and he’s not clear on the difference, that could cause problems.
This looks good, but from this angle, I can’t see exactly how close he is/if he’s jabbing you.
A flower pot base! Genius!
Good stuff here!
Fronts on the flower pot look either newer or less clear to him. For this reason, I would not do them in the same session as pivots in heel. Just keep those sessions separate, because it’s too tempting to default to pivoting hard to the right.
If you’re working on fronts on the bowl, and he starts to pivot to heel, I would not “ah ah” him. I think it’s genuine confusion, and “ah ah” is not just telling him that he’s wrong, but also getting him in a certain amount of trouble for it. I do not punish for confusion/genuine mistakes that involve the dog trying to perform a skill but just doing it incorrectly. I will sometimes apply some sort of correction like “ah ah” for egregious behavior during training, such as maybe jumping up and biting me (okay you’re frustrated, but that’s still not allowed), or for blowing me off for something else. But if my dog is engaged and trying, and they make a mistake, I’m going to assume that it’s because *I* did something wrong with the training.
So if he starts defaulting to heel, just reset the repetition somehow - like stepping away from the target and then coming back in and starting over.
We’re going to fix his left turns, crabbing, and head dropping, first on the pivot bowl. I do not want you to practice left turns in heel, off the target, at all, for now - just follow our training plan. I’m going to send you the level that starts pivots on cue, on the bowl.
Let’s cut pivoting to the right on the bowl. Some people do this, but I’ve never been in it (so far!). Here he drops his head and looks weirded out by you essentially walking into him to get him to turn right. We’ll do right turns differently than this.
Pivot into heel on the bowl:
He’s not pivoting his rear in all the way on some of these reps, so we’re going to slow down and not step off again until he finishes pivoting all the way in. Reward him for pivoting the first time, if you like, and then let’s just wait, and see if he offers more pivoting/pivots more automatically. When he does, you can feed a couple of times, jackpotting for perfect heel.
WAIT to step off again until he finishes chewing. On the last rep, you do, and his head stays up. On the other reps, because he’s chewing, he drops his head to turn.
*Definitely show me video of this!
Extra credit pivoting:
You might also want to check out the thread that says “EXTRA CREDIT: Isolated Continuous Pivoting.” Having him practice the rear end movement with his head high (because of the target/lure) will force him to keep his weight shifted back into his rear legs. This exercise is great for building those muscles - because it is a feat of strength, too! But it is an extra credit assignment that can be practiced at any point here.