Author Topic: Need help in off leash heeling for nov cd  (Read 1167 times)

debella

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Need help in off leash heeling for nov cd
« on: March 20, 2011, 11:42:10 PM »
My 3 1/2 yr old female boxer Bella has been showing obed for a little over a year now.  We have a title in Nov Rally.  We then tried advanced and nov cd.  My problem is off leash.  She runs around the ring like she is at the dog park.  Im so frustrated.  She sometimes loses her focus and is afraid of everything.  This is a dog who outside the ring is always at my side. Goes to work with me.  Trains 3 to 4 times a week.  She is one of the best dogs in class.  I sure I have something to do with it   Im probably nervous and she knows.  Would just like to know if anyone has had this problem and how did you deal with it.  Thanks

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Re: Need help in off leash heeling for nov cd
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2011, 05:06:57 AM »
Welcome to you & your pup Bella, you should post an intro so we can get to know a little more about you & Bella...I don't have an answer for your question but I am sure others that do obedience will.
Claire-Mom to Ollie, Zoe, Phoebe, Willie & Snookie

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RocketBoxer

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Re: Need help in off leash heeling for nov cd
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2011, 09:36:03 AM »
It is probably multiple things......your stress, her stress, maybe training.

How do you use food when you are training? Do you have it on you always? Are you luring her with it - when at class? Do you train off leash? How many different places do you train in a week? What is her heeling like on lead at a show - is it perfect? How do you train heeling - it is boring or is it exciting?
Have you been able to go to fun matches in different places and have it happen there? I would think that you need to be able to duplicate it outside of a real show so you can correct it/fix it. The problem is that if you continue to compete and it continues to happen then it just becomes a habit which is harder to break - and it also probably makes you more stressed which leads to her being more stressed.

I would probably stop competing at real shows. Find some fun matches to go to. Go to as many different places as possible to train. First make sure that heeling on leash is perfect in every place you go to, and when it is consider removing the leash (which might mean you have to find places that are enclosed).
Kerry
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debella

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Re: Need help in off leash heeling for nov cd
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2011, 10:41:49 AM »
Your questions are  some I have been asking myself.  The treats are used for training a lot.  We are slowing that down a lot .  Not perfect on leash in a ring yet.  in training yes she is awesome on and off leash.  We have started taking her to other location to train now that the weather is better.  I will do the matches as much as possible that is where I think she will do better.  Did a few during the winter and she was very good.  But I was relaxed also knowing it wasnt a show.  Thank you so much for your help,  I will let you know how we do.  I will continue to show her in Beg nov cd  because she has 1 leg in that  and it will reinforce her on leash in ring.

Rubidawg

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Re: Need help in off leash heeling for nov cd
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2011, 11:05:10 AM »
We ran into something similar with Grady after getting his RN last year. We moved into Advanced, off leash, and he just wasn't "connected" with me. So we stopped competing so we could work on some of the things I knew we needed to work on. We got out alot more, into different areas. I cut back on treats. I worked with him in as many opportunities as possible, including some matches as well, onleash and off. Did all that Kerry (RocketBoxers) mentioned. Alot of it was MY nerves - I got nervous about him being off leash, didn't have as much practice as I woulda liked and I'm sure Grady sensed it. Being on leash, he was more "connected" with me....took off the leash in an unfamiliar environment...and it went downhill. He wasn't wild, but he was stressed, I was stressed and he was concerned about all the activity around him - which didn't bother him when onleash.

We worked quite a bit over the winter break and he's actually going back into trial in 2 weeks. I don't  know how "ready" both of us are, but to judge off of some of the opportunities we've been working on, I think we should get our last 2 legs in RA ( :fingerscrossed: ) If we don't, it's because of ME because he's improved a TON - but when the pressure's on...that's when we may lose it. I have to remember to take a few deep breaths and try to relax before we enter. For us, he was PERFECT going into the ring. The moment we sat at the start line and I said, "ready," that's when it went downhill. We struggled the first few signs and then got into a groove. The day I decided that we really needed a break was when he went over a jump, we had just gotten our groove going (the first few signs were butchered!) and he urped up all the treats I had fed him and water he drank - DQ'd us right there, otherwise he would have qualified, especially since he was getting his rhythm (probably me calming down halfway thru the course). So, I talked to a few people I work with in our club who saw it, reviewed the videos several times and decided....time for a break, time to really work in different areas and work on his attention (when he is stressed, not looking at other things, but looking at me instead). I hope we're ready, many think we are, but I'm critical and my goal is to not put him in a situation where it continues to be stressfull for him. So, if it doesn't work Day 1, we won't go back Day 2.

You just have to find the balance between you and your dog. If you video'd your last few runs, watch them and be critical of your movement and pay attention to what is triggering your dog to go "off." And I would "ditto" Kerry's advice above - it's 100% what we did and I feel good that we got there after a good, long break. I'm sure you will too.
Dawn
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Bauer - Rocket's Kindred Spirit RN CGC - 4.16.12
Ms. Kitty - 3.15.02
Forever In My Heart: Grady, Branwen's Northern Sky BN RA CGC - 12.22.07 - 5.25.12

RocketBoxer

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Re: Need help in off leash heeling for nov cd
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2011, 11:23:06 AM »
I will continue to show her in Beg nov cd  because she has 1 leg in that  and it will reinforce her on leash in ring.

Why continue to show her when you know you have a problem? Long term that will result in more problems.......if you cannot correct her for running wild in the ring during the off leash portion.

Have you thought about trying Beginner Novice where everything is on leash OR even doing Wild Card Novice where you don't have to do the off leash heeling?

My advice would be to NOT have her off leash again in the ring until you are 100% sure your problem is fixed.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2011, 11:24:39 AM by RocketBoxer »
Kerry
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Rubidawg

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Re: Need help in off leash heeling for nov cd
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2011, 11:29:54 AM »
I agree. It's time to take a break and work on this things that Kerry mentioned. (didnt catch on to that in your post) I had 1 leg in RA and had to take the past several months off to work on it. My goal isn't to get the title, that's just the icing on the cake, otherwise we woulda had it a while ago. But my goal is to make sure we are both enjoying what we are doing and stressing him out or myself out, wasn't achieving my goal.

And I agree also with Beg Novice. Once we get through some additional obedience classes, that is my next goal - then eventually work towards my CD. Beg Novice is a very neat class, if you haven't seen it. It's on leash, it's got some rally signs in it, the recalls are pretty cool and it's a good starting point (or going back point) to the basics. I'd love to work towards our CD, but after watching the Beg Nov class at our last trial my club hosted, I was determined that's where we will go next.
Dawn
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Bauer - Rocket's Kindred Spirit RN CGC - 4.16.12
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Forever In My Heart: Grady, Branwen's Northern Sky BN RA CGC - 12.22.07 - 5.25.12

BoxerWB

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Re: Need help in off leash heeling for nov cd
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2011, 12:19:22 PM »
Dawn & Kerry - I'm pretty sure she meant Beginner Novice, she just put "CD" after it which probably caused the confusion.

Here is my observation, based on where I started w/my girl plus observing others:

You don't learn the foundations you really need for Obedience when you start in Rally.  A lot of people talk about Rally being an easy way to prep for Obedience, but other than teaching your dog some commands/movements, it really doesn't.  I think part of this is because people teach Rally classes focused on the signs and movements, not on foundational attention work, heel position, etc.  Afterall, Rally is less strict than Obedience, so it's OK if your dog looks away, leaves you for a moment (so long as they come back), is not quite in heel position, etc.

I found this out when I tried to move Xena from Rally to Obed.  It was almost like starting from scratch.  She knew movements and commands, but didn't *truly* know heel position or how to maintain attention for long distances. We went back and really hammered on the foundations for a couple of months (no competing during that time) and it made a huge difference.  She learned where heel position was, she learned how to pay attention to me both standing and moving, she learned that something can distract her and she can bring her attention BACK to me and keep working.

I also agree with finding matches, practicing in new places, and finding ways to wean off treats.  I asked in your intro thread what area you are from in Upstate - depending on where you are, I might be able to help you find matches (though they aren't that plentiful around here).  Also, for on-leash at least, since she's with you quite a bit, you can use regular errands as a way to practice in new places.  Run an errand at a store, then bring her out in a safe area of the parking lot and work for 5 minutes. 

For the treats, you can start working on having them nearby instead of on you and doing "jackpots" instead of treating for individual items. When you are trying to proof her attention (much farther down the road), you can even leave the treats in the "ring" you are practicing in so that she's got to keep eyes on you until you say it's OK to go to them. I used tupperware in that case, so there was no risk she'd beat me to it and self-reward.

I do think nerves also play a part in this, but I do not think you'd have the same level of problem if you had the foundations in place.  Also, working on the foundations makes you more confident that you both know what to do, which should help your nerves.
Julia
Delta 03/12
Dash 07/06
Shady 07/05
In my heart: Xena 03/10/03 - 02/16/12

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Re: Need help in off leash heeling for nov cd
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2011, 01:39:09 PM »
I think you have gotten some really good advice from everyone .

My old boy Titan bolted once in the obed ring ( he ran around and greeted people ringside as I finished heeling by myself) and for a while after that incident I had a hard tme getting him to stay with me off lead . He did really well on lead (everywhere )but when he knew you were taking the lead off for off leash work he got this look in his eyes and I just knew he was going to bolt around the room .

So what I did was get a VERY light weight leash like a conformation show lead and put that on his collar as well as his leather obed lead . I would hold them togehter so it seemed like I had one lead on him . Then when I would take off the leather leash I still had some control . He did try to bolt the few first times I took the leather lead off but he soon realized even when the leash was taken off he could not run off .

We trained like that for a few months until I was able to slowly let him off leash and he would stay with me .
Missi
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debella

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Re: Need help in off leash heeling for nov cd
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2011, 03:05:39 PM »
Yes yes I ment Beg nov.  We are not showing in NOV CD until we get better.  Thanks everyone.  I will work on this and get her to focus on me.  I will attend as many matches as possible and give her time off from showing in nov cd.  I will keep everyone informed.