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Heeling/pulling

Heeling/pulling

Postby mrelite » Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:48 am

So I have a male English Pointer that is almost 6 months old, I got him a little late when he was almost 4 months of age, for the two months I have had him he has had a lot of field time on a 20' and 50' cord, he has learned where the birds are and is a bird crazy, bird searching machine.

I have done lots of heel work in the yard but it goes right out the window as soon as a tweety bird fly's by or any bird smell, the focus on birds is just to great, I have yet to find a treat that he wants or will even eat when he has a bird in his sights, hot dog pieces are the best but don't work out of the yard, so when we are on a family walk it is just shy of an out of control situation. I have had Lab's over the years but I always got them as a very young puppies and that seemed to be an easier time to teach them to heel and be off leash, I know an EP is not a Lab but I still expect a certain level of obedience out of him.

It would be nice if this guy would be in check when I step out of the yard for family walks or when we are on our socialization moments, it is a very stressful situation for him and me when we are on walks that do not require him to hunt. Basically family walks have totally stopped because of the intense pulling, it's just not fun.

I can stop walking and bring him into a heel position then take a few slow steps and he does good but as soon as the pace steps up he goes into pulling mode, any thoughts or suggestions? I can't seem to find a way to correct him in a positive fashion.
JP
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Re: Heeling/pulling

Postby oldbeek » Thu Jun 08, 2017 10:15 pm

Delmar Smith wonder lead. Don;t know what makes it work so good, but dog stays right at your side. Gun Dog Supply. Comes with instructions.
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Re: Heeling/pulling

Postby Timewise65 » Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:09 am

6 months is a bit young to expect the level of obedience you are expecting. Some dogs are mature enough even at 6 months, but many are not.

Using a training leash will help if used properly. I prefer a Pinch Collar and my trainer got me on to one that is very easy to learn how to use. You can check them out at www.lolalimited.net. I am not affiliated in anyway with this company, other than I have 2 of these collars.

These collars are easy on easy off, just slip over the head, unlike most collars of this type. They have no pinch in the area around the throat, and never scratch, cut, or damage skin tissue...they simply Pinch. If you do not believe this go to your local store that offers the old style pinch collar and put it around your arm....then jerk it hard, you will see they do not cut, scrape or anything like that....they pinch! Using pressure around the neck for basic early obedience prepares the dog for transition to an e collar after they get a bit older....

Good Luck
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Re: Heeling/pulling

Postby birddogger2 » Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:26 pm

Two things have already been mentioned, the wonder lead and the pinch collar. I personally prefer the poor man's version of the wonder lead, which is a pigging string. I also will use a Prong collar in some circumstances. More aggressive than wonder lead or pinch collar, but still relatively mild.

On other thing you could try is the belly hitch. Basically you clip the lead on the collar, run it back along the spine and then loop the end around the dog's waist and under the line on the top of the back, creating a half hitch. If the dog pulls, the loop tightens around its waist. They DO NOT like that.

As mentioned previously mentioned, a 6 mo. old pointer is VERY young to expect calm walks. They are a bundle of energy and the come out of the birth canal with a ton of drive and desire to go get something, especially if it runs or flies.

RayG
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Re: Heeling/pulling

Postby mrelite » Thu Jun 15, 2017 12:51 pm

Thanks for the replies, I had posted this a while back (April 24th) and I guess since I was new to the forum it didn't post for a long while :?:
Since then I have just been trying to teach him to heel in the yard and have not taken him for any " neighborhood walks" only every day trips to the mesa's looking for birds.
It has been slow going but in the last week or so he has come around pretty good with heel in the backyard, he... sometimes... gets into a heel position on command and will do it with a leash, he also has flashes of heeling when out doing errands and at stores but for taking a family walk in the area where I live is still an impossible thing, just way to many birds and critters, he can't control himself or he just doesn't want to LOL

I may have to get the Delmar Smith cord, In a couple weeks I am taking this bird monster to Colorado for an elk scouting trip and I am not looking forward to getting pulled all over the mountains, I need him to stay close by so he doesn't burn himself out in the first hour of hiking. Bottom line is that his well being comes before my scouting needs and either way he will have another first experience so I may not get to scout like I had wanted.
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Re: Heeling/pulling

Postby mrelite » Fri Jul 21, 2017 10:40 pm

just checking to see if my post will actually post, for a month and a half nothing has posted
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Re: Heeling/pulling

Postby birddogger2 » Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:48 pm

mrelite wrote:just checking to see if my post will actually post, for a month and a half nothing has posted

\

mrelite --

I think the reason why no one has posted is because there isn't much to say.

You have a pointer and a young one at that. This breed is almost totally focused on HUNTING. It is what it was born and bred for. They are hunting machines, bred to run, bred to hunt with independence and bred to hunt until they fall over on their noses. Trying to get a young pointer to stay with you when there are things to be hunted may be a well nigh impossible task.

These dogs are NOT labs. They are not content to walk with you in the field unless they are pretty much exhausted. They are what they are.

My best advice to you is to spend as much time as you can with your youngster and get him to like you....really, really like you. A pointer that likes you will hunt with you, for you, come back for you and, eventually, will wait for you when it has found game. A pointer that does not really like you will blow you off and be gone.

RayG
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Re: Heeling/pulling

Postby Higgins » Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:02 pm

Hello Mrelite,

Here is a video that is not about heeling but claiming space. Keeps the dog at your side but does it in a way the dogs naturally understand. You can get it done in one session. Hope you find it interesting.

https://youtu.be/I3FEQcCY1E0

Brad Higgins
www.HigginsGundogs.com
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Re: Heeling/pulling

Postby Featherfinder » Fri Aug 04, 2017 5:56 am

Mr. Higgins offers a wonderful and most utile answer to your question.
Here is the thing. I strongly disagree that your dog is too young. Pups are like sponges and can start basic foundation training at ~4 months. I like to start formal training ideally around 5-6 months of age. Without taking this thread on a tangent, follow Mr. Higgin's lead (no pun intended) TODAY!
I don't care if you own a pointer, setter or whatever. It needs to understand when to apply itself in the field and when to be a behaved companion. Admittedly, my own dogs could use more obedience but that's not an excuse for an unruly pain in the asterisk!
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Re: Heeling/pulling

Postby shags » Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:06 am

OP, I think part of your problem loes in trying to train this dog only 'in a positive fashion'. There are times dogs need to know that certain actions lead to negative consequences. This certainly applies to high drive bird dogs. Personally, I would be very disappointed if my bird dogs were more interested in bits of hot dogs than wanting to hunt for birds. Your dog is telling you that going hunting is more important than hot dogs.

A few minutes of training "negatively" would help you and your family to enjoy your dog. Use a wonder lead, piggin string, 'choke chain' collar and teach the dog that pulling = discomfort and that walking nicely at heel = comfortable. No need for harsh or cruel treatment, just few good tugs followed by praise for compliant behavior can do wonders. You can find training tips online - Silent Command System, Leerburg, etc.

It's been a while since you posted, and I hope you've found some help here or otherwise.
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Re: Heeling/pulling

Postby mrelite » Fri Aug 04, 2017 3:58 pm

Wow my posts showed up, Awesome!! it wasn't other peoples posts it was my posts that were not showing up.

Ill be back and catch up
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Re: Heeling/pulling

Postby ezzy333 » Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:12 pm

I have no idea where you were looking but your posts have been up since shortly after you posted. At least we are straight now that is what is important.
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Re: Heeling/pulling

Postby polmaise » Sat Aug 05, 2017 11:57 am

mrelite wrote:Basically family walks have totally stopped because of the intense pulling, it's just not fun.

I can stop walking and bring him into a heel position then take a few slow steps and he does good but as soon as the pace steps up he goes into pulling mode, any thoughts or suggestions? I can't seem to find a way to correct him in a positive fashion.
JP

Basically , a good obedience trainer on 1-1 with you and the family is the best course of advice.
btw , ..Any breed of dog can be trained to walk at heel. Not every owner can.
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Re: Heeling/pulling

Postby gundogguy » Sat Aug 05, 2017 1:45 pm

polmaise wrote:
mrelite wrote:Basically family walks have totally stopped because of the intense pulling, it's just not fun.

I can stop walking and bring him into a heel position then take a few slow steps and he does good but as soon as the pace steps up he goes into pulling mode, any thoughts or suggestions? I can't seem to find a way to correct him in a positive fashion.
JP

Basically , a good obedience trainer on 1-1 with you and the family is the best course of advice.
btw , ..Any breed of dog can be trained to walk at heel. Not every owner can.


+1 to that polmaise, The proof is usually in the puddin!
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Re: Heeling/pulling

Postby cjhills » Sat Aug 05, 2017 3:03 pm

Another advantage of the invisible leash is that it totally eliminates pulling............Cj
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Re: Heeling/pulling

Postby polmaise » Sat Aug 05, 2017 3:27 pm

cjhills wrote:Another advantage of the invisible leash is that it totally eliminates pulling............Cj

:) .lol
If only some would use the leash to be invisible , er not attached to 'pulling' :mrgreen:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzsygxiSkkA
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Re: Heeling/pulling

Postby Sharon » Sat Aug 05, 2017 5:04 pm

Higgins wrote:Hello Mrelite,

Here is a video that is not about heeling but claiming space. Keeps the dog at your side but does it in a way the dogs naturally understand. You can get it done in one session. Hope you find it interesting.

https://youtu.be/I3FEQcCY1E0

Brad Higgins
http://www.HigginsGundogs.com



Very informative video. Like to see you try that with my JRT. Then you'd know what real resistance was.:)
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Re: Heeling/pulling

Postby mrelite » Sun Aug 06, 2017 8:43 am

Thanks for all the replies, I really do appreciate them.
It's been awhile since the original post was posted but Trapper is nine months old now and is turning into one of the best dogs I have had so things are good.
I went back and started from scratch with the yard work until he was able to heel in the yard without a leash a 100% of the time, I wanted to be sure he knew what I wanted. Trapper still is very distractible out on a walk but there is no doubt things will just continue to get better.
Two things made the difference, Changing how "I" was trying to teach heel and getting him off the check cord in the field. Once I had him working in the field free of the CC I think the lightbulb went off in him because he quickly seemed to understand that working a field and walking on a lead were different, before there wasn't much difference and I now see that it was a confusion issue completely caused by me.

JP
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Re: Heeling/pulling

Postby alangawry » Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:35 pm

oldbeek wrote:Delmar Smith wonder lead. Don;t know what makes it work so good, but dog stays right at your side. Gun Dog Supply. Comes with instructions.

This right here
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