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Thread: Training Dog to Heal to both sides

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    Member thelast2's Avatar
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    Default Training Dog to Heal to both sides

    When I started training my now 2.5 yr old Lab I only taught him to heal to the left side as im a right handed shooter. After having run a few hunt tests and talking to other folks about training I was introduced to dogs trained to heal to either side which there are surely some advantages especially when you have two dogs. As I now have a 15 month old lab that has taken to healing to both sides with little trouble. Guess my question here is has anyone else been faced with a similar situation of having a dog trained to heal to one side, and then gone back and tried to train them too both sides and in your opinion was it worth the trouble.
    Jesse
    HR SHR JR's Gunny Dog "Ermey"
    SR JR's Marsh Mangling Mindy
    SR JR's LNR Thicket Thrashing Trixie

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    Member cristancanoe's Avatar
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    Its not too hard to train this. The dog understands heel means to walk next to you. We trained our dogs to "heel right" and to "heel left."

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    Member Burke's Avatar
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    I had to do it at one point with a dog not as old as yours but older than usual heel training. It was not that hard to do.
    Was it worth it...you can make the call for yourself, but it certainly helped me in one of the tests I did.
    It was worth while because It was easy enough to do...and didnt really cost that much timewise

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    Mine are double sided and have been for almost 20 years. It helps sometimes, sometimes they change sides and seem confused about which side they should be on. It's not hard to tell them where to be.

    Heck, it's the middle of the winter, I haven't done a mark in over a week. What else do you have to train on?

    Put it in the doesn't hurt, might help department.

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    Member thelast2's Avatar
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    Heck, it's the middle of the winter, I haven't done a mark in over a week. What else do you have to train on?
    No kidding this hasnt been the winter for much training. I can see the benefits so I will work through the dogs confusion, thinking he will catch on. Just have to remember to start him out close and on the check cord kinda of like new pup.
    Jesse
    HR SHR JR's Gunny Dog "Ermey"
    SR JR's Marsh Mangling Mindy
    SR JR's LNR Thicket Thrashing Trixie

  6. #6
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    Default training dog to HEEL both sides

    You can do this inside and make it fun. I use a hand signal to indicate the side. Starting with the leash and guiding into place and reward. I use treats to start, keeping the treat in the hand (side) you want the dog to heel to. At first I don’t get too fussy about the positioning and focus on one side for a number of times than the other. Don’t mix it up until the dog is solidly landing on the correct side. Then I remove the leash because the dog should be following your treat hand to heel and sit. Your right or left hand will become the visual cue telling the dog what side you want. Up to you if you want to train an automatic sit after each heel. It’s also a good time to train FRONT which comes in handy when training handling drills. IMHO this goes a lot faster having the dog want to sit for a treat than jerking on a choke collar. After a while the treat disappears because the treat is a bumper. No heel or sit – no bumper. Remember too if you use the choke collar it does not work properly on the right side when set up for left side heeling. Once they have their heeling sides solid you can work on “Heel” and “Here” to refine their position. If my Doodle can do it any dog can.

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    I guess the "treat' thing gets used a lot, but I've never been a big fan. I feel when it's time to train, a dog should want to because its fun, he wans to please you, and he gets praise because of it, not because he gets a "goodie". I've seen too many guys need to bring treats out to the duck blind to get a dog to work and don't feel it's right.

    But to each his/her own....

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    I don't know how someone would get a dog to work from a blind with treats?? Nor have I ever seen it. Try reading it again 4merguide, we are training in steps. "After a while the treat disappears because the treat is a bumper." I drop the treats once the dog gets the idea and before adding a retrieve. Most retrievers will pick a bird or bumper over a treat anyway. Training obedience postions is just the beginning, but if you can make it "fun" another way, there has to be some reward for doing what you ask. Some people use toys. I didn't use toys too much for the Labs because the thing they are carrying is to be given to me, it's not their toy. Praise only goes so far. I might also add that once the dog knows his right heeling from the left there is nothing wrong with adding a bit of pressure to do so but it has to be followed by a reward like a retrieve or happy bumper, so it's fun for them.

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    Thanks Linda for the insight. "I don't know how someone would get a dog to work from a blind with treats?? Nor have I ever seen it. Try reading it again 4merguide, we are training in steps. "After a while the treat disappears because the treat is a bumper." I drop the treats once the dog gets the idea and before adding a retrieve."
    If your can train a dog to heal on the left then it's just as simple to teach heal on the right. Use lots of direction and heal on both sides at each training session. Hand and foot action will tell him where you want him. Remenber what you started basic OB with a short leash, the long lead....dig them back out and go to work. Treats will get you along ways at first and like Linda said, the treats disapear before long and the praise or the retrieve is then the treat. Labs flourish on treats. And yes, in my opinion it is worth teaching Heel on both sides. I'm heading out right now to give my lab a few bumper treats. JMHO Duckdon

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