agility and heel?

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by Ashelee, May 13, 2008.

  1. Ashelee

    Ashelee New Member

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    Ok, so I REALLY wanted to start agility with my Beemer this summer (he is a year old now and so I figured he would be able to do the jumps and such). But the only agility club we have here wont even let your dog start their agility classes without already knowing heel off lead perfectly. He has been to obedience classes and such but he doesnt know heel on lead, let alone off lead yet. So any suggestions as to how I can teach a VERY VERY excitable/hyper/active boston terrier how to heel?
     
  2. MafiaPrincess

    MafiaPrincess Obvious trollsare Obvious

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    I'd want to know why they insist on heel... Only time I've used heel in agility is tight snooker courses to keep my dog out of obstacles we aren't doing if we have to cross the entire field..

    We trained for a year, and Cider had no concept of a heel. I taught it for rally-o a year ago, we've been trialling both agility and rally for the past year.

    If your dog has a recall, some focus, a sit, wait or stay, I don't see why you need a heel as an agility pre-req. In some cases too much formal ob has had an impact on dogs to be too precise and slow. Not that you can't do both, but there shouldn't be a concrete reason you have to have it first for agility.. unless they want proof you've trained before.. and then a dog with manners should cut it.
     
  3. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    There is a big difference in coming to a heel and side position for agility and what could be consider 'perfect' heeling for obedience. In agility we don't want the dogs tight to us, unless asked.
    Do they not offer a Foundations class, which is agility obedience, targeting and flat handling skills. Which should be done before any dog is introduced any piece of agility equipment.
    But as to your question I teach a off leash heel with a clicker.
     
  4. PAWZ

    PAWZ Agility Junkie

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    I've had/have 4 dogs doing agility, not one of them knows how to heel, but they do know the command "Close" to come into me and stick by me. I agree with Mafia Princess a "perfect" heel can be quite the problem in agility and not really nessicary.
     
  5. chanda

    chanda New Member

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    why not try to train him heel everyday just be consistent with the training and commands and eventually your pet will get it.
     
  6. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    Chanda, why don't you give us an example of how you would do this with YOUR dog? Btw, what is the name of your dog, breed?? Compete in anything other than spamming??
     
  7. DaVinci

    DaVinci New Member

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    Well that stinks that your club is like that. I know that my club had a rule that all dogs had to do a recall between a group of dogs ion each side of them and your dog could not re-act. This was test out DA dogs well I called them out because they said my dog was too DA. Chalice has never attacked anyone. But three different members have very DA dogs and they don't watch their dogs at all you have to watch what is going on. Maybe yo should go check them out see what they are all about and see if you want your little guy around theose dogs. Just a thought.
     
  8. cinnamon

    cinnamon New Member

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    Are you sure they aren't meaning off leash heel as in excellent verbal control off leash?

    My dog doesn't do heel but I work very hard on off leash control when we are doing agility. She's at my side when cued, but she will be very slightly ahead of my leg at times.

    I think verbal control is more important than a perfect heel.

    Can you ask to have your dog tested on her focus and control skills? I'd be interested in the reasoning behind the perfect heel.

    Let us know if you find out
     
  9. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Personally having a very good obed heel on my first agility dog was a huge HUGE detriment. He was slow and careful and wanted to watch me, not where he was going.

    Dekka learned agility (foundations stuff) and heel at the same time. Worked much better.

    Here is a clip of us heeling at the Toronto Sports man show (she will do this off leash)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_T-WUt6k-ac

    Unfortunately all I have is clip from one of her first trials, its not very good but it shows how she focuses on the obstacles and not me..
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXKjU8qhM90

    Why do they want a heel?
    What level does the instructor compete at?
     
  10. Ashelee

    Ashelee New Member

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    This is their site and its under classes for the agility classes.
    http://www.fiveflagsdogs.com/

    They offer levels 1, 2, and 3 beginners agility classes. I e-mailed them when I first saw they needed off leash heel, and simply asked if my dog HAD to know off leash heel, or heel in general, even when my dog comes on command and listens very well to me. And they said yes to pass the skills test an off leash heel is needed. I asked why but they never responded back with an answer.

    We have a USDAA agility league in the area but they dont offer classes, only trials. And I would buy my own agility stuff but right now I dont really have a yard, and plus I dont know much about agility so I really wanted to work with a trainer that knows how to do it and such. Plus I didnt want to injure my dog in anyway by training wrong.
     
  11. MafiaPrincess

    MafiaPrincess Obvious trollsare Obvious

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    I have a problem that heel is a must, and that they didn't bother to reply to your emails, and no ones credentials are there. There's other options depends how far you want to drive weekly. All my classes are 30-60 minutes away, btu I probably would have balked at an hour away when we just started...

    Sharon Aizer
    Email: sharonaizer@earthlink.net
    850-968-1250 or 850-384-2485
    She's just outside Pensacola..

    http://www.petsbehave.net/
    Debbie Revell Dip CABT (COAPE), R.N.
    Email: Petsbehave@earthlink.net
    Alternate Email: sciencedoctor@cox.net
    297 County Line Road
    Niceville, FL 32578
    (850) 897-8666
    Affiliations: AKC,UKC,NADAC,USDAA,AAC
    An hour away, but she actually lists qualifications and competes.
     
  12. Ashelee

    Ashelee New Member

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    thanks Mafiaprincess for the info, and the two people for agility! I will contact them and see how it goes. I really appriciate (SP?) all the info and help with this. I dont want to go to the wrong person or anything.

    I heard that Five Flags had a problem with people who took their dogs to PetSmart for obedience training (this is where I take Beemer for obedience, I work there so its free and I really like our trainer), but I wanted to give it a shot just to see for myself, but I guess I should have just listened in the first place. I will try these two places though.
     
  13. MafiaPrincess

    MafiaPrincess Obvious trollsare Obvious

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    We had petsmart Ob as our only 'formal' training before agility. Our trainer rocked though. We tried to take puppy class there first the lady was awful, the class was full, and I got bitten by a large breed puppy twice as it was cramped. What we took away from Ob there later though was a pretty solid foundation.. I'd likely not go back for anything now, but some trainers there are actually good.

    The place you contacted first probably isn't the 'wrong' place to go, but if they are unwilling to answer your Qs, how do they treat their students.. you know?

    We all have to start somewhere. I picked my first agility class at random, as I didn't know anything and didn't know anyone to ask. We ended up with a good foundation, but others like Lynn (adojrts) have related stories where they had a bad foundation due to the wrong trainer..

    You are asking Qs and looking for help. Hard to help when I'm like 24 hours drive away, but I'm trying :) Nothing wrong with calling or emailing and asking some Qs. They should be happy to answer them.
     
  14. Ashelee

    Ashelee New Member

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    Thanks again, and I will be calling the second one you listed tomorrow to find out about their class that starts in June. And I might drive there one day (after talking to them about it) to see how it is and such, and then do their 4 week class to start with.
     
  15. MafiaPrincess

    MafiaPrincess Obvious trollsare Obvious

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    Awesome. Good luck. Tell us how it goes :)
     
  16. cinnamon

    cinnamon New Member

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    I drive about 45-60 minutes for agility lessons depending on weather and traffic. It's mostly highway and I hardly notice the distance. I could spend 1/2 hour just driving across town.
     
  17. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    I drive up to an hour and a half depending on who I am taking a lesson from.
     
  18. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    Oh boy isn't that true, at least in the case of my very high drive dog. The poor start we got had ramifications that lasted a long time. All those years ago, it wasn't as easy as it is now to find trainers via the net.
    Given what I know now, I would drive to find a good trainer and certainly not go to the first one around.
    Training less often with a good trainer that costs more still saves money over training with a poor trainer that is closer and/or cheaper. And you save time by not having to re-train! Imo.
     
  19. Ashelee

    Ashelee New Member

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    Thank you all for the wonderful information! I called them and they were SO nice, they told me that I could stop by anytime to watch, and I could bring Beemer with me (they suggested coming once by myself first because talking and having to deal with him could be a little difficult - haha which I TOTALLY agree with, but to bring him the second time and they will evaluate him just to see what level his obedience is at and if there is anything else I need to work on a little more with him before classes start). So I was really happy with them and they just seemed genuinely nice and ready to help with any questions I had.
     
  20. MafiaPrincess

    MafiaPrincess Obvious trollsare Obvious

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    I am glad to hear that :) Tell us how your trip to go watch goes. It's awesome you found people helpful, it's how it is supposed to be.
     

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