Poodle Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,231 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am putting this here even though the original discussion of people wanting to see it was in the context of performance sports, however it is useful for anyone who wants their dog to know to pay better attention to them and I thought more people would see it here.

This video shows a compressed version of something that really needs to be taken according to the pace of the dog. Remember that Javelin has lots of training with this game so he does it right all the way through. The first phase is to get heads up attention with no distractions. Have your dog on leash at heel. They should already be able to have some duration on the sit. You need five good treats in your left hand and let the dog know they are there.

Initially if the dog is uncomfortable with maintaining eye contact you will give one cookie for a quick look up while the dog is still looking up. Once the dog is comfortable with looking up and maintaining brief eye contact increase the duration the dog gives the eye contact before you give the treat. The goal is to be able to slowly lower one by one five cookies to the dog for him to eat while still looking at you (so keeping your hand going down the side of your body in the dog's line of sight is really important). Aim for three seconds between cookies. Release the dog after the fifth cookie. I have my dogs do a jump up, but you could also do any short fun thing that keeps your dog involved with you (no running off to chase a ball around the house). Gradually increase the duration between giving the cookies. My dogs will look at me for at least 10-15 seconds between cookies.

Once the dog understands the game well you will add distractions. This is in the second and third parts of the video where initially my friend is walking around us and waving her arms. You can see that Javelin pretty much totally ignores her. In the third part of the video my friend plays the role of a really intrusive judge and comes in very close to us. He acknowledges that she is there a couple of times with little eye flicks (you can see his head move a bit) but immediately looks back at me. She tempts him to look away by bending to point to the floor and he does not fall for it.

Note that the only time I speak to Javelin is when I release him for the jump up at the end of each sequence (with one little exception of an quiet uh oh in the later part of the game). A lot of what is great about this game is that once the dog understands it it totally becomes the dog's responsibility to offer the correct behavior.


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,270 Posts
Catherine I want to thank you so much for making this video.

I don’t know why I thought you did this exercise while heeling. Now I clearly understand you are working to get that sustained attention at sit.

I’ve done similar work, using random numbers of treats and no release. I love the idea of the release to do something fun. I’m going to use this 5 cookie game now.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,115 Posts
I also appreciated you making this video - it helps so much to see an example of the game. Now that I fully understand it, will be using it with Asta, as his attention will wander.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,928 Posts
I like watching Javelin, he’s just like a big version of Beckie. The way he carries himself reminds me of her. It makes me smile.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,231 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Skylar, like "It's Yer Choice" this is a game that develops closely focused attention and helps to reinforce impulse control. The next step in applying it to heeling is to start with a treat lure in your left hand at the height you need to keep the dog's focus at the place five cookies taught. You take one step forward and reward for moving with head up, then two...As the dog gets to be able to take a decent straight line with the lure right at the point to keep the dog's focus up you raise the treat up until gradually it is in your mouth then gone all together. If the dog drops his head you stop tell the dog to sit at heel and reset then move again. I have ring rental later today. If I do much with heeling I will try to capture what I mean. The second part of this is what will keep the dog focused while moving, but you have to really make attention at static heel be rock solid first.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,231 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I should add that just outside of the ring there were two men and two dogs nearby, plus further back Lily and my friendly distractor two aussies.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Skylar and kontiki

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,231 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Obviously we don't stay in one place with our attentive dogs, but we do start with that. Once you have static attention with duration and distractions then you take the show on the road so to speak and get that focus while moving.


Here is a video to show this. Note that as soon as Javelin's head goes down we stop and since he really understands that sitting at heel means he should be looking at me it is now easily his responsibility to reconnect to me. If something happens that we only take two or three steps so be it. You may notice that he drops his head more on approximations of about turns. This is not his heeling behavior it is just attentive movement that is foundational to attentive heeling.


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
320 Posts
That’s really cool.I will be doing this with both the pups. Saffron is quite distracted in class but we are now currently working on learning to heel so this will be great! Thanks!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,231 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
That’s really cool.I will be doing this with both the pups. Saffron is quite distracted in class but we are now currently working on learning to heel so this will be great! Thanks!

Make sure you do the static work of the five cookies first to the point of building duration then distractions before moving. Also make sure that you don't just keep moving if Saffy looks away. Stop and encourage/allow her to reset her attention on you. You may not do much moving work at first, but it will get you to beautiful heeling with practice. If you want to read more on how this foundation work is connected to truly lovely heeling look here. https://www.poodleforum.com/24-performance-agility-obedience-hunting/265469-how-get-beautiful-heeling.html
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top