Won't work on the right

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Won't work on the right

Postby Canned Ice » Mon May 04, 2009 9:56 am

Well, Buckley is back in agility class. He took a refreshed beginner class so we could work on *focus* and now we're on to intermediate class. I have one issue that seems to be screwing us up. Buckley really doesn't like it when I'm working on his left side (my right side). He either tries to cross over behind me or in front of me to get to my left side. The trainer recommended walking him primarily on my right for a while and then practicing send outs around a chair or over a jump from my right side. Any other ideas on how to cure this one? When Buckley decides he needs to be on my left side, he gets confused, I get confused, and we blow the sequence.
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Re: Won't work on the right

Postby Lisa » Mon May 04, 2009 12:39 pm

Something I've seen work well for a few of my students is to teach working on the right side as a new behavior. Call it something different than your usual "heel" command, and teach it just like you would any other new behavior. Dogs do not generalize well, so while a behavior is known when working on the left, that doesn't mean that the dog has translated that behavior to working on the right. I have my students start with something simple like loose leash walking or a sit at their side and have them spend a week or so only rewarding the behavior when it's done on the right side rather than the left. Then, I have them start to switch up - tell the dog "heel" and have them walk on the left for a while, then tell the dog the command to walk on the other side and do that for a while. Get the dog used to walking both sides during the course of a walk. For dogs that really have a hard time with it, I've found it useful to teach an "around" command to tell the dog they need to go around your body and switch sides. We also do tons of ground work on just crossing in front of and behind the dog.
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Re: Won't work on the right

Postby Alifaire » Mon May 04, 2009 3:48 pm

I'll have to think about this one. Victor works on the side with the treats. He prefers my left side for walking - actually he prefers out in front. But he will work on my right. If I have any ideas, I'll let you know.
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