The heel command, and water retrieves.

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The heel command, and water retrieves.

Postby drakes_daddy » Tue Jul 20, 2004 12:51 pm

I have a 6 month old lab who will fetch, sit , and stay. I was just wondering what the best way to teach him to heel was. I have also taken him to the lake a few times and he doesn't seem to like the the water unless his feet are touching. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
I am an avid hunter, mostly waterfowl.
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Postby SteveInTN » Tue Jul 20, 2004 1:12 pm

The heel command takes time and a LOT of repetition. With the dog on a lead, pull him from a position behind or beside you so that his head rubs against the outside of your knee/leg. When his head rubs against your knee/leg say the command HEEL. Do this over and over again. If you walk yourself or your dog it is a great time to teach heel, and all obedience for that matter. If you want him to heel on either side, then teach him that way now. If you want him to only heel to a certain side, make sure you are consistent from the beginning.

As for the water, many dogs don't take to it straight away. Usually the best way is for you to get in the water too. If the dog is standing on the bank, get out in the water and splash a bumper around while coaxing the dog out for it. If he is crazy enough about retrieving then he won't be able to stand it and he will pile in and get it. Go out as deep as you need to so that he will have to swim to get the bumper. The most important thing is to keep your cool and not get pissed off and throw him in. If he doesn't respond to you just splashing the bumper around in the water, you might have to get down right animated and be 'over the top' on praising and encouragement. One way or another you will be able to coax that dog out into the water of his own accord.

After he figures out that he can swim, you won't be able to keep him out of the water.
"I'll start spending less time with my dog and more with my wife when she starts fetching ducks for me"
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Postby hoosier dhr » Sun Aug 01, 2004 8:40 pm

SteveInTN, U must have Water dog and or Gun dog videos. Thats what I have and they helped me out big time. I the past i wouldve just thrown my dog in cause id get so mad. My new pup is now 7 months old and today finally got in all the way. I took her to the lake in the boat i got out by an island in about 1-2 foot of water and about 5 sec later she jumped from the boat. Then i through the dummy out for awhile and she did great even a few double returns. :getdown: Know i just need to get her used to the gun! Wish me luck.
leave it better than you found it!!!
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Postby canaanslabs » Sun Aug 01, 2004 10:55 pm

Try using a heeling stick (a switch or golf club with out the club). It can be multi purpose.

When teaching walking heel it can be used to keep the dog from moving out ahead of you by holding it in front of him.

I like a dog to heel on the left. When a dog comes in from a retrieve I want him to come directly to my left side and turn to heel and sit. You can use your heeling stick to guide the dogs rear end around.

But the main thing (as was mentioned above) repetition is the key. Go on long walks with pup.

Have fun
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Postby 98ramtough » Fri Sep 17, 2004 2:26 pm

As far as getting the dog to heel, get a prong collar. Walk the dog and command heel. When the dog gets out of heel, slightly jerk the pinch/prong collar and command heal. When the dog gets the hang of it, praise them and say good heal. I started both my dogs like this and then moved to training with the e-collar. Now they can be out in a field flushing and when I yell heel they come running. This is also helpful for retrieving excercises.

To get my dog excited about water, I had someone hold her on a leash while I played with my older dog in the water. I threw bumpers everywhere and the puppy went nuts watching the other dog. Let her off the leash and lookout, she was all over in the water.

Some may not agree--- This is just how I did it.
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