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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just don't get it.
It seems impossible to teach a beagle how to heel.

Anyone here who could help me out?
 

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How old is your beagle? Maggie is almost two and is getting pretty good at heel, although I know she will never be 100%. She picks up a scent and forgets what we were doing. I also don't always expect her to heel because I know she needs time to explore on walks. The process of teaching heel is the same as with any dog. what I did differently is practice it a lot in the house without a leash. Maggie is really good with the place command and runs to sit at my left side. Once she is in position, I put a favorite treat, like dehydrated salmon or liver in my left hand and tell Maggie "heel" and "let's go". She of course follows the treat. After a short practice, I have her sit, she gets the treat and we go again. I think this worked well because there are fewer distractions inside. Once she was solid inside we started working outside on the leash. She is pretty good at it outside now but it has been a long process and we have daily inside practice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Originally Posted By: jassyHow old is your beagle?
She's almost two years.

Originally Posted By: jassyOnce she is in position, I put a favorite treat, like dehydrated salmon or liver in my left hand and tell Maggie "heel" and "let's go". She of course follows the treat.
That's what I did.
But Bloom doesn't just follow the threat. She jumps up and tries to get it. So it's really difficult for me to teach her.
 

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I have the same problem with Chloe. She gets the idea of heeling, but loses concentration after a few steps. I just keep the leash sort so that she is by my knee area (or a little behind me), I keep saying the command and when she is responding with a relaxed walk and the leash is not tight, I praise her.
I also correct her by a short pull and relax of the leash, as if to snap her out of her new interest.

Consistency is the most important thing. Even if it takes a month - she WILL get it.

Good luck!
 

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heel takes some time, with hounds. I taught 1 beagle and my coonhound to heel. It takes a slip-lead or choke-chain and lots of premium treats. I would walk my dog back and forth and saying heel and treating everytime the dog was in position, and giving a pop when they would get out of position. This took about a month of everyday work but Basil (coonhound) was perfect at it and Daisy(Beagle) is good at it. If it is important to you keep up with it and stay consistant and even tempered. If you search for coonhound trainng heel on google you will find some great help. Hound owners need special help with this and if you can get a **** hound or beagle to do it then you have accomplished a great deal. Beagles like to search and lead. My other beagle Cletus is a leash puller and will be getting an education when weather warms and walks begin again.
 

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I don't think it has ever happened /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif
 

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Henry was trained to heel in a few days. I use a choke-chain at the top of his neck, like in dog shows. He is corrected for pulling, then tension is immediately released. I know some people don't like choke-chains but I feel you must have some sort of tension and release on the collar. A regular collar just gives them too much power to pull. I also use treats periodically to remind him that heeling is fun, but primarily it is all respect of the collar and the handler. He is never allowed to pull ahead of me unless I say, "Okay, go sniffs" and give a loose leash. Our walks are always structured this way because practice makes perfect!
 

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When you say heel, do you mean teaching the dog to walk nicely on the lead without pulling or are you talking about the dog actually doing the heel command, which is very precise and what you use in obedience trialling - the dog will look up at you the entire time etc?

Teaching loose lead walking is definitely possible /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/eek.gif Firstly I never walk on a flat collar because it gives you very little control. A martingale collar is good because it's more comfy than a check chain and can be adjusted to sit right under the dogs ears, high on its neck, which is the most sensitive area and therefore gives you more control with less correcting on your part.

When you start walking, and the dog starts to pull, immediately change directions so the dog has to turn quickly and run to catch up with you. If the dog is lagging behind give her a quick check on the lead (pull the lead across your body, not upwards). Repeat every time the dog walks in front of you and pulls on the lead. This teaches the dog it will gain nothing by pulling and that it must walk beside you.

Heel as a command is a bit different. You wouldn't do a whole walk with the dog heeling because they are craning their neck to look up at you it would be painful for them. They must look at you because we use heel in obedience so the dog watches you for commands etc. Start in a low distraction environment to teach the dog what 'heel' means.

Position the dog on your left side, so it is inline with your leg. She must be sitting exactly inline and not off to an angle etc. Show the dog you have a treat in your hand, and step off with your left foot saying 'heel' in a happy, excited tone. Stepping off on your left foot is a signal to your dog to heel (just like when you command the dog to stay, you step off on your right foot, as that is a command signal for the dog to stay).

Lure the dog with the treat, so it stays precisely by your side. Take a few steps and then stop, the dog must sit exactly by your side. Repeat the process so the dog understands where it must be when you are 'heeling'. Each time you stop and the dog sits, praise and reward with the treat.

Gradually you will be able to hold the treat to your chest, the dog will look up at you each time you 'heel', and will sit automatically each time you stop moving. Once you get heel in a low distraction environment, try doing it outside, at the park, etc. Use only high value treats (like chicken, sausage, cheese etc) that the dog only gets when you do this training. Wean the dog off the treats too - so don't reward every time the dog heels and sits automatically, but every second, third time etc.

When you have a heel pattern down you can incorporate downs, stays, stands and recall etc.

Here is a video I made of Daisy when she was first learning heel and other obedience commands:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RM_O9HJzhV0

/forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/eek.gif /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/eek.gif
 

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Kioko is a horrid leash puller. She KNOWS heel, and she does it for treats, but if we're out for a family walk, all bets are off. One whiff of the outside smells, and she just tries to take off. She keeps up with us if I just keep walking, but she is miles away from being a good heeler.

Since she was a pet store dog and is having issues with potty training, I have just put "heel" on a back-burner until we get reliable potty training complete. After that, we'll do another formal obedience class to see what will happen.

Good luck. Beagles are tough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the advice.

Yes, I mean teaching the dog to walk nicely on the lead without pulling /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/sleep.gif

I actually have a choke chain for her, as you can see here


but I don't like to use it.
Because then she always starts to cough a lot.
So i think I have to use a flat collar....
or maybe I could use a dog harness?
 

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A dog harness won't help (didn't with Chloe....), but the choke chain you have is different than what I have. I think yours is better. The use of choke chain should be one pull and then relax the tension on it. This way it functions as a correction and not a pulling contest between you and the dog.

At the moment I am only using Chloe's regular flat nylon collar, a little pull on that and she gets the messege! She even started reacting to when I say "no pull"... thank god!! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/hapfac01.gif
 

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The collar you have there is a chain version of the martingale collar. If you don't like using the chain, you can get a soft collar with exactly the same functionality in a number of places on the web.

If you type in "martingale collar" on Google, you'll get a bunch of sites that have them in a variety of materials. Nylon, cloth, leather...whatever.
 

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and P.S. Your dog is just beautiful! Wow, what a face.
 

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Yes, that is a version of the martingale collar.

A nylon one that allows you to adjust it will be much more effective, as I said, because you can adjust it to sit high on her neck, just behind her ears.

As good as a collar like a check or martingale is, they are still just a tool that will not work if you don't put a good training program with it.

Take some very high value treats with you to the park, something like chicken or sausage. Try to do it when your beag hasn't eaten in a while or skip the meal beforehand. This will make her extra food motivated /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/eek.gif

Then try the technique I told you about, where you walk with the dog and as soon as she pulls, give a quick check and change directions instantly. This will force the dog to walk beside you to catch up - keep doing it every single time she pulls, don't worry, she WILL get it eventually!!

You can also show her you have a treat in your hand, and put you hand to your chest, so the dog wants to walk beside you to look at the treat. When she is walking nicely give her a treat and lots of praise. You want her to know when she is doing the right thing and correct her when she isn't /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/eek.gif
 

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It´s not impossible, it just takes some time /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/sick.gif

Do you use the clicker? I think that would be an other good option. I guess Bloom just didn´t unterstand till now what you´re expecting of her to do.
When she follows the treat that´s great, you just have to find the exact moment to confirm (bestätigen?) her for what she´s doing. Therefore a clicker would work great!
The treat doesn´t have to be something to eat, it can also be a toy or just your voice etc. But mostly Beagles are into food /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

To change directions is an other alternative which works very good. Sooner or later every dog will understand it... but I don´t think that you need a martingale collar for teaching Bloom heel /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/thumbup2.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Alright, so first of all I have to get a nylon collar. Will do /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/sick.gif

We tried a little bit "heel" yesterday at the park. With the choke chain collar. So I placed her on my left side and held the leash with my right. That's what they told us in obedience school. I had to deal with a lot of pulling at first, but everytime she did, I told her "NO".
Once she was in the right position I said "heel", gave her a treat and said "Let's go". It went pretty well. But she just walked next to me for a few seconds, then she started pulling again....

This could take a couple of weeks.

@Ela
No, I don't use clicker.
 

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I use a Martingale collar and have taught heel by doing umbilical training. You have the leash around your waist and hooked to the dog. You take a few steps, turn and keep going. If your dog is in your way, just keep going. The dog quickly learns to stay out of your way when you are walking and they learn to watch you to see where you are going to go next. When the dog pulls, you do a 180 and go the other way, when the nose goes to the ground, you do a 90 and walk right into them. You never touch the leash, you use your body to control everything. You switch it up from walking to running, as much as you can handle. If I lose Spencer's attention, I just make a "cht" sound and it gets his attention. I watch a lot of Cesar Millan and Brad Pattison and try to apply their methods. I don't use treats when walking because after 2 years of trying it, I realized that it wasn't working for us.

If you want more info on how to do umbilical, just let me know, I would be more than happy to trpe it out for you. It has done wonders for my dogs and their leash manners. Spencer always tried to chug along when on a walk, now, he walks by my side or between me and the end of the leash. They don't actually pull anymore. And as a note, I have tried EVERY pulling tool you can think of and nothing worked for us.
 
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