anyone do rally-o? (dogs) -- Q about 'call front'

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by patandchickens, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Oh, obviously I *could* find some actual dog forum somewhere to ask this, but I'm here already and have thus far generally got pretty useful advice here on dog training matters and I *like* youse guys, so I'm gonna ask BYC instead [​IMG]

    I comprehend "front" in a normal obedience sense, where the dog is off somewheres way else and you recall him and he is supposed to charge up to you and plant his bum right straight in front of you. We do ok on that (in the casual sense of "we do it just fine considering I totally do not see us EVER doing any competetive obedience")

    What I am not grasping is how to achieve the Rally-O use of "front". (One of these days I will take a class, but...), where you are starting from the dog being in heel position and then call him to front (and then finish right or whatever else) so all that is happening is he is moving around you.

    My chief problem is that I have been working very hard over hte last week or two to pretty-successfully convince Russie to heel from wherever he is at the moment. He has gotten good at it. Now however he is baffled by the idea that he should go somewhere *else*, and I am having trouble figuring out how to 'splain it to him. Sometimes we have several goes in a row of being really in synch and he does it exactly right and I think 'surely now he's got it', but then the next time he will act totally baffled. I think he just does not understand what he is being rewarded for (the end position, not the action to get there). And the thought of heel position sucks him inexorably to my left, so that even if he is facing me he is in front of my left foot and leaning way to my left. I have tried just sittin' him there in front position in front of me, and feeding him treats while saying "front" and clicking and doing that over and over, but it does not seem to be penetrating.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks,

    Pat
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011
  2. Brindlebtch

    Brindlebtch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2009
    Texas
    I think you want him to go to front from heel position, correct?

    We used to call this doodling, and play games with our dogs that they had to maintain heel position or front position however we moved around.

    I would just put him on leash, put him in heel sit, and step back a couple of paces while telling him to front, so you help him get there by moving back and with the leash, if you need to. I use treats, so I would initially lure him and step back and after repeating that like 50 times I would help him with the leash and step back, spitting treats and then would gradually step back less until he had to swing his butt around into front by himself.

    You can also use some kind of guide, like a couple of broad jump boards or I have seen people use a PVC u-shaped frame flat on the ground to show the dog where front is. The dog has to step over the guide and then deposit his butt within it, so it has to be a little bigger than Russell butt size. My dogs have always kicked around the PVC, so I have always used the broad jump boards.

    Practice practice. I'm sure he would do it if he understands what you want.


    eta besides there are more dog trainers on here than anywhere else I've ever been! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011
  3. Brindlebtch

    Brindlebtch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2009
    Texas
    Once he understands exactly what position front is, you can start moving around a little and ask him to front and then he should fix it. We would end up taking a big step sideways or turning 90 degrees or whatnot. If you want to really get into this you can set up several guides and move to each and ask Russell to find front with the guides. Its a fun game, but further down the line from where ya'll are now.
    Makes them think and their little faces become so smart! [​IMG]
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Correct.

    and step back a couple of paces while telling him to front, so you help him get there by moving back and with the leash

    Oh! Tried that about ten times just now. Got about 8 out of 10 real good results. That seems to work! Thank you! [​IMG]

    I think the hard part for me is going to be whether I can guess right about how quickly to fade the backing-up part, since I am pretty sure I can see where that is going otherwise <g>

    I have seen people use a PVC u-shaped frame flat on the ground to show the dog where front is. The dog has to step over the guide and then deposit his butt within it, so it has to be a little bigger than Russell butt size.

    K, will try that too!

    Practice practice. I'm sure he would do it if he understands what you want.

    Oh yes, the DOG is not the problem; the PERSON is the problem, not necessarily being real gifted at explaining things in ways dog can understand [​IMG] He is a super quick study once he figures out what I want.

    Thanks VERY much, off to play with it some more now,

    Pat​
     
  5. Brindlebtch

    Brindlebtch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2009
    Texas
    You can place the guide a little it behind you and step back so the guide is where you want Russel. If he doesn't bring his butt all the way around once you start to fade the back-up, just ask him to "fix it" or what ever cue you want to give him to let him know that was not quite right, and the take him gently by the collar until he has all his bits and pieces within the guide, then smile and praise, but no reward.
    When he does it right he gets a big cookie spit at him. He'll catch on. I would use the guide for a long while, so it becomes habit where front is, then fade the guide. You can always go back to it if you need to.

    Some folks also help their dog by picking up and extending their left leg a little so the dog has to move around it to get into front. Then, if the dog doesn't quite make it they can correct them with a nudge from the foot or leg. You say front and extend the leg at the same time.

    You can also hold a toy under your chin to get him to front in close, and then drop the toy to him. If you have a uh, voluptuous figure this may not work.

    You can also lean backwards a little tiny bit to get him to come in closer.

    I'm sure you will get lots of other good advice.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011
  6. Brindlebtch

    Brindlebtch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2009
    Texas
    Quote:Oh yes, I am the great anchor on all my dog's careers! Believe it! [​IMG]
     

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