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Sometimes training takes its own route

While training this evening, I worked position changes in front – stand, sit, down in all combinations. Very quickly, Ander starting popping from position to position to position without being asked. This is a classic clicker dog moment, but he’s been training from the start to hold a position until released or given another cue. Chris Bach talks about how many, many times, people never, ever ask their dog to hold a position for even 7 seconds unless they’ve asked for a stay. So if a dog isn’t rewarded or given another cue within 7 seconds, they start throwing other behaviors. We want to turn our dogs into better than 7 second dogs. So, it looks like we have some work to do, and we started it tonight since it reared its ugly head during training (ok, not so ugly. He’s darn cute.)

I also worked on his heel position, especially keeping him close. I’ve played around with a target on the leg with Bella and Zane to correct a leaning-away problem, but didn’t use it from the beginning with them. I’ve been doing it a couple of weeks with Ander and I’m really liking how it’s coming out. He’s starting to learn that the leg targeting only counts when he’s in heel position. And I did a lot of just tiny movements to work on staying in heel while I move without all the big, sexy heeling sequences. He has to be able to get it while it’s small before he can do it big. I want to build so much value for heel position that he never wants to leave. ๐Ÿ˜€

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2 comments on “Sometimes training takes its own route

  1. what kind of target are you using on your leg?

  2. It’s just a binder clip. I can get them smaller and smaller and smaller until they’re gone!

    I did try using a piece of duct tape. . . and he kept taking it off. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Because I like what I’m seeing with Ander, I actually started all of this again with Bella and Zane. Bella really does lean out badly, because she’s trying to get eye contact. I’m putting her focus in a different place. With both of them, I’m doing just little, little movements until they really get it, then we’ll progress to full heeling again.

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