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Got a problem in Rally that's costing us points. Noelle cannot heel backward. Her back end swings left. By the third step back, her nose is pointing toward my knee. We have good luck with a wall, but as soon as the wall is gone, Noelle swings wide. We will not be trialing until October at the earliest, so I have time to work on this.

Help! Do I need a wooden board where she'll fall off if she walks backward? Slow down like step, pause, step, pause, step? Do I need to pay more attention to my own footwork to make sure I'm not messing her up? Handler error is my middle name. Should we practice one step forward, one step backward as a game? I'm unsure how to fix this.

It's our nemesis sign. That and call front two side steps. I hate that sign. Front end moves straight, back end is anyone's guess.
 

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You have to get her used to the crop before you use it in training. Wave it around, then stroke her with it, then touch her in different spots.
 

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My nemesis sign is the master variation where you back up three steps then pivot one or two steps left or right. Lily just does not want to make the pivot. The most recent time we had that where I liked how she did it I had accidentally stepped on her foot during the pivot and she jumped out of the way to avoid my clod hopper foot. I don't recommend stepping on your dog's feet on purpose of course.

Thankfully that flair out is only points and not an IP unless you have a very tough judge. To get Lily to stay in position if we have that sign with no "wall assistance" I practice in my warm up time with a cookie on her nose and she will generally do it better, but I can never get it to last from one trial to another. She used to do a beautiful back up 3 steps but I had to work so hard to get her to do at my side twist and spin (which she used to hate, but now loves) that she has now decided anything remotely looking like a request for a spin should be a spin. So I stop to tell her to spin she spins. I pause to start going backwards and she spins. I took hand signals out of my backup and also tell her get ready as a pre-cue for back up. That was starting to work relly well before the virus hit. Now of course who knows. I entered her for master August 22 and 23 close to home. I am taking her to the event site for run thrus for the next four weeks to work on getting her ready.
 
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I took Lily to the place we will be returning (hopefully I got in) to trialing later in August yesterday for rally run thrus. We forgot a variation of the back up when we talked about this the other day, back up 3 steps then order stand stay leave and go to a call to heel sign. It wasn't beautiful but Lily did the back up and the stand stay. And of course she came to heel. There was a person I know there with her two shelties. She used her hand with palm facing the dog and waved each of them for the back up. Click I don't know if that might work for you. Lily did read any signal with my hand as a cue to spin, so no hands involved for us.
 
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I took Noelle to rally today. Since I'm the teacher, I set the course. Noelle had to back up three steps, and she had to back up three steps, turn left back up one. That went better than I expected. I used a wall the first time. I will keep struggling with it. I have a private lesson with a trick dog trainer tomorrow to work on back up three steps.
 

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I'm having the same problem so I look forward to what you learn from the trick trainer.

I don't use my hands, she is cueing off my lifting my knee up higher than normal and then back. I have gone back to square one and rewarding her for one step back staying close. I find it's that second step where the back end starts going out. For some reason when I use a treat to lure, I find she moves her back end more out of position.

I've seen people use sticks to hold their dog in place, but my dog is too fearful of this kind of intervention. Since I want to keep it fun, I don't want to have to work on desensitizing her to a stick touching her if I can avoid it.

Have you tried "get close"?
 
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Same thing with a treat lure here, too. The more I try to lure with a treat, the further out of whack her back end gets. I think the trick trainer is going to teach Noelle to back up and touch a target with her rear legs. Then fade out the target. I will let you know what we figure out.
 

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So, the trainer had Noelle's rear feet on a platform and treats on the floor to start with. It took awhile for Noelle to be comfortable with her rear feet on a platform. We'll work on backing up to it slowly. It's a work in progress, but a start.
 
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