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I have an American Staffordshire Terrier, with who we intend to compete in obedience competitions. We do attend regular training however our main issue is getting him closer to my leg during heel work, he looks up at me fine but is just not close enough. I have tried walking against a wall and using a kind of body band on him but it doesn't seem to be working. I would appreciate any tips you may have to offer. Could it just be the way he is built?
Aside from this he is an awesome wee dog !

ps we have been in 2 competitions, got a first and a second !
 

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When establishing heel position, I reward the dog for position. The reward is distributed from my right hand at my left pant seam. In the beginning you could lure/reward the dog to help establish where and how close you want him to be.
 

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The old, reliable method is no slack in the leash. With smaller dogs, a 'hard' leash, a wooden dowel with a clip or a length of PVC pipe with the leash slipped through the tube, might be useful. The point is, the dog never learns that they can go wide, lag or forge....dog is held tightly in heel position. This takes alot of time.
I had a conversation with one of the USA team members to Crufts not too long ago and asked her when she would show her young dog. She said not for another year....she will not let him off leash until he's 2 years old....doesn't want him to develop bad habits.
 

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You could retrain the heel by using a touch command. Teach the dog to touch your hand and keep contact with it, place your left hand where you want your dogs nose to be, the body should follow. I originally trained Lloyd to heel by luring him with a tennis ball. Holding the ball in my right hand up near my face. This caused him to go wide on the heel as he was trying to be able to look better. I am working on retraining with the touch to get a better, more consistent position.
 
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