I like swinging my butt out- improper heeling

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

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Barked: Wed Sep 26, '12 9:36pm PST 
I've been working on heeling with Suka and she gets that when I stop, she sits but she likes to sit with her butt swinged out so she's pretty much facing me. And I try to take a few steps back and/or forth to straighten her out and lure with a treat but she still sits out. I've tried doing heeling in right circles so she knows she has a back end, but it still aint clicking in her head. Any help??

Do you even- lift?
Barked: Wed Sep 26, '12 11:06pm PST 
Have you tried heeling against a wall? She's probably used to being rewarded facing you. Work against a wall for a while so she gets used to being rewarded to the side.

we will dance in- the ring without- words
Barked: Thu Sep 27, '12 3:31am PST 
I agree, heel against a wall or curb. It builds muscle memory. Or shape it.


The Monster
Barked: Thu Sep 27, '12 5:31am PST 
Her butt is swinging out because she's watching your hands and/or the reward. Try delivering the food on the other side of her head to compensate. This will just be for a short time while you build up muscle memory for proper position.
Maggie,- Tika, &- Porter

Aussie-tastic- Trio
Barked: Thu Sep 27, '12 2:16pm PST 
My girls are reformed butt swingers. I treat with my left hand on the left side of the dog's head (like Cohen mentioned).

Barked: Thu Oct 4, '12 7:11pm PST 
I agree heeling against a wall or help. You can also use something like a jump pole to move her butt over and act as a physical barrier. Also be conscience of your oh shoulder position. I had this problem until I realized he was reading my body language and doing EXACTLY what it told him.

Barked: Sat Oct 6, '12 1:32pm PST 
First ask yourself why do you want her to sit next to you and is it important? Unless we want to compete how a dog sits doesn't matter as long as they sit.

The best and easiest way to teach a dog to sit next to you is to walk along a wall or fence so she can't swing her butt out when told to sit. The more you do this the quicker she will learn it.

I like training to be easy and simple, with having 5 dogs I don't have the time to work each dog for a long time so I find easier ways like walking along a wall or fence. I don't see much point in making life more difficult than I have to.

happy dance

Will Work For- Food
Barked: Sat Oct 6, '12 7:27pm PST 
Whoa! Hold the bus!
Your dog is only 6 months old and proper formal heeling is really a very complicated task for dog to learn, one that takes months and months to perfect. A 6 month old, giant breed puppy does not even have proper body awareness yet so really should not be expected to know how to sit perfectly straight in heel position. Sorry, but I would skip the formal heeling for now and work on just walking nice on a leash, attention games, basic manners and fun puppy stuff. Formal heeling should be taught in very small incremental steps and asking a puppy (or any dog) to sit perfectly straight in heel position when you stop walking, is really something you add much later. This should be taught as a totally seperate exercise from actual "heeling" and then added in. I know it is always fun to train our puppies but there is so much important foundation training that our puppies need and that go a far way to helping with the formal obedience stuff later on. Teach your pup where heel position is. Teach how to find heel position. Teach how to focus on you from heel position. This is all done without taking a step. Play. Have fun. Make this a big game. There is no reason to rush formal heel training.

Barked: Sun Oct 7, '12 3:22am PST 
Sorry I didn't realise that this was a pup, it is very dangerous to pups to expect them to do to much too quickly, by insisting she sits next to you is aksing far too much for a 6 month old. She is still growing both internally and externally, at her age she is just going into her teenage hooligan stage as well as her second fear period, how you handle her in the next 6 to 12 months will affect her for the rest of her life.

We all want well trained dogs but we should enjoy having our dogs as well as our dogs enjoy their lives, if we ask to much of them it is a very poor life for our dogs.

Cry cry cry!
Barked: Sun Oct 7, '12 6:55am PST 
Am I only one who doesn't think doing heel work with a 6 month old puppy is some sort of training sin?

They are puppies, taper your expectations, but you don't have to completely bench any and all hopes of working on more elaborate behaviors.

Can't say I remember exactly when I started working on front-to-finishes and heeling with Ridley, but I've been doing it for a while and he just now turned 1 year. Took a while to get him to sit at heel and not turn away to face me either, but I did as others suggested, used a wall. Sits fine at heel now (still doesn't totally grasp the concept of a swing finish, but we're getting there).
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