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    THE   BEAGLE   NEWS 

    TRAINING TIPS 

    GETTING YOU DOGS ATTENTION


    The basic idea is if your dog is lagging, forging, or sniffing it is not paying attention.  Now, you can use food treats,but that might get the dog constantly looking at your face (where many trainers carry treats in their mouths) or your hand, where lots of us carry treats, or your pocket if you take treats from there while walking.  I believe one trainer said she uses a targetting/focus stick which also gets the dog looking forward and not at you.  But I digress. In obedience I will do the turn the second the dog gets out of what I consider heel position, the second his nose goes forward to lag, the second it gets a tad too far behind.  I have taken dogs of many many breeds and applied this technique and had them watching 100% and wagging their tail about it in about 15-20 minutes of constant work.  You can't forget the praise, the harder the correction the more praise, the less confident the dog, the more praise.

    Another method I've used successfully to get a show dog's head up is the Anne Marie Silverton method of teaching the heel.  She puts the choke collar in the forward position, under the dog's chin and using
    treats jogs backward, telling the dog a command. She uses, "Strut, Strut".  the dog is basically on a loose lead, and is learning the words will mean a treat. You go a few steps, then treat, gradually
    going backward farther, then working around to the normal heel position and keeping the treat at waist level, obviously not a target you'd want for the conformation ring as that would distort the dogs
    front gait if he was looking at your waist, especially a short dog. When a dog is taught to gait with the collar in the forward position,the head is gently held up but the dog is still basically moving on it's own on a loose lead. Actually, it is the slight pressure of the chain or nylon against the dog's cheek which makes it hold the head up.  I taught one of my bassets this method of heeling, and handed her off to a handler for some puppy classes. Told her to say "Strut, Strut" insted of Lets Go. She thought I was nuts but when she saw how it worked, she was sold. Eventually I did switch to "let's Go", But the second I took off, up the head came, something she even carried over into her obedience work.  I had lots of comments on how the minute I said, "Heel" up the head would come and she would gait out like she was in the show ring

    Janelle Holmes
    Wildair Kennels
    Dripping Springs, TX



               The editor-Darlene Stewart 
     

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