Heeling - lag in a figure 8

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by Saeleofu, Aug 25, 2012.

  1. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    So, Logan is almost ready to try for his BN/CD/UCD except for one thing - he lags in the figure 8. Every. Single. Time. It doesn't matter which direction we go in, he will lag whenever we reach the part where he would have to speed up to keep up with me / so when he's on the outside as I turn right around the cone/person/whatnot.

    Occasionally he'll lag a bit during a heeling pattern other than the figure 8, but it's usually at the end of training (we can be at the building for 3-4 hours at a time when I run the open training days for our dog club, plus or minus a 3 mile walk to get there...he's not training the whole time of course, but it's still a long day and he gets tired).

    I just didn't expect lagging to be an issue - when he's working, he works out ahead of me (I'm near the back of his rib cage/flank) so I always figured if we'd have a heeling problem, it would be forging, not lagging.
     
  2. Red.Apricot

    Red.Apricot Active Member

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    For Elsie, if I jogged that part, so she had to speed up to keep up with me, after a few figure eights, she got better.
     
  3. Danefied

    Danefied New Member

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    I have the same problem. I’ve found that giving my dog cues with my eyes and shoulders and being consistent with those cues really helps.

    There are a lot of tricks you can try like running away around the turn, chasing a treat or a toy on the outside, but eventually you’re going to have to get a consistent heel without those tricks, and that’s where those cues really help.
     
  4. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Taking the corner and tossing a treat helps some dogs, Have you tried this? Also putting fast on cue? It's probably become habit by now so retraining cornering behavior will likely be needed.

    Ive seen people whisper hurry hurry hurry and if they nail it they toss a toy or give a treat. This came be phased out through practice.

    Is he lagging around people or any object? Backup hates being close to people so we give them a bit more space, judges ask for approximately an arms length, where as with Arnold I can hug a stranger fig 8 without issue.

    Lastly some teach a forging for this exercise and call it something else to inform the dog. Forging can be taught by delivering the reward from the right training the dog to keep up and wrap the handler for their reward.
     
  5. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    I've found a slightly chin turn and shoulder tilt helps cue Backup for sure.
     
  6. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    I had this issue with Whim when she was younger on the Figure 8 - it's a very common problem. She doesn't lag otherwise, just there. I worked on it by treating out of my right hand across my body on that part, so she had to really wrap all the way around me to get the reward. Basically "over correcting" the lag by rewarding a forge there, which evened out to remaining in heel.

    As for your other laggyness...a few things come to mind. Are you working heeling in long segments or short spurts? Is he in drive and engaged prior to starting than he gets laggy? Is there anything about you're body language that is pushing him back? Things like looking back at him, turning your shoulder back, etc can cause lagging sometimes. Also too much "cheerleading" trying to get them out of lagging can just produce more.
     
  7. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    I definitely need to pay attemtion to my own body language - that's probably my biggest weakness. I have terrible body awareness.

    We were playing around a bit a few minutes ago (I'm the only one here for open training since everyone else went to a trial this weekend) and if I say "Yes!" S we start the turn he keeps up perfectly. I will try a few other things and see what works.

    It's anything, not just people. He LOVES people lol
     
  8. Sekah

    Sekah The Monster.

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    On top of what's been mentioned already, are you making sure you're walking in straight lines between the posts? Basically think of the Figure-8 as an "X" with a rounded bulb on each end. If your route is curved throughout the exercise your dog will have a harder time maintaining position. Take advantage of your straightaways where your dog can predict your speed/position/movement a bit better.
     
  9. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    We go as far as to tape an X on the ground to help practice.
     
  10. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    Hmmm, straight lines...I can't say for sure if I'm doing it truly straight or not. I will have to pay attention to that.

    So far jogging the turn and treating from the right has helped quite a bit! Thanks everyone for all the input!

    Logan also did a full-height, full distance recall over jump on Saturday for the first time :D
     
  11. DobeLove

    DobeLove New Member

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    Make sure you are keeping your shoulders in the direction you are going. Don't turn them to look at your dog. I'm really bad about that, and the lady that helps me told me to stop and it helped A LOT.

    I also jog around the corner, then instead of ending on a sit occasionally run oout of the figure 8 after the lagging corner.
     
  12. mrose_s

    mrose_s BusterLove

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    Not sure if you already do this and I don't train a lot of heeling, but do you do any circle work outside heeling? Like agility foundations stuff?
     
  13. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    In addition to all the good advice, don't forget to reinforce at a high rate of delivery when the dog is in the right position relative to you. Really show where you want the dog to be. (mark it, reinforce)
     
  14. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    this is a huge bad habit of mine!
     

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