Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sylvia Turkmans heeling video-

I really have no experience with competition obedience....other then when I was a young girl and trained my Westie in obedience. It was the old fashioned training with a choke chain and I really do not remember anyone talking about motivating the dog, or looking at the dogs attitude. I had a good time, I hope my dog Bonnie did, but....it sure was not training I would do now.

A couple of years ago at the AKC national Invitational I watched the obedience because my aunt and her cocker spaniel were entered, and I watched the winner who had a golden retriever compete. That dog looked so happy, and so engaged and like he was having the best time of his life. I have always wanted to train a dog and have them enjoy it like that.

I know Sylvia Turkman trains lots of tricks and her number one criteria is the dog having fun, a dog who enjoys working and works fast and happy. I watched the trailer for her video, and thought it looked interesting, so I bought it. It runs about $58 bucks...depending on the exchange rate for that day-you pay through pay pal then as the last step in the payment process you just click and can download the video. Once you have downloaded the video you can keep it on your computer or burn it to a disk (which did take about an hour, ughghgh) and it is yours to keep.



LINK TO SYLVIAS WEBSITE:
http://silvia.trkman.net/lolabu/training-videos/heeling/

I would love to have my dogs be able to compete in some obedience but if they are dragging along and looking like they do not enjoy it....it sure would not be worth it.

Sylvias method is teaching heeling like a trick. It is working with teaching the dog a lot of body awareness and a really solid understanding of the heel position. As an added bonus she shows how to use the training you do for heeling to do a back wards weave through your legs-the way she teaches it looks really neat, so I hope we get that as a side benefit, LOL.

Sylvia says the technique she uses is totally appropriate for young dogs, for tiny puppies, for old dogs and dogs that might already be heeling or competing in obedience. She also says that if you can teach heeling and get your dog happy and focused with that.....you should never have focus problems with anything like agility because if you can make that fun....you know everything you need to know t make something like agility that is naturally more fun....fun.

The technique she uses is actually quite simple,.....maybe not worth $60 unless you really want to learn it, EXCEPT that to watch her reward placement and how she increases the criteria-just the mechanics of a master shaper and trick trainer made the whole thing totally worth it to me. I was glad I shelled out the money, we have had a lot of fun with it. THE PART I TOTALLY APPRECIATE is that her criteria is how the dog looks, do they look like they are happy and enthusiastic, if not....it is not a success no matter how good they heel. That is why she trains it like it is all just one big trick-hey I LIKE that attitude.

We are only on the first few steps but oooh my gosh when I am out walking with the dogs I can see how they are totally using their bodies very differently after all this body awareness work we are doing. My dogs do a lot more sideways movements and instead of circling around and coming back to my side if they get ahead I noticed them sort of pivoting back into position-using their rear ends a lot more. How cool is that?

OK NOTHING NEW...but I did video our practice last night, doing our stairs. I found a new set of stairs, and the dogs are doing well. I was very pleased that even with a ton of distractions they all did fine. Poor Liz wanted to bag the back ward stairs-she says where will we use that or be able to show that off anyway???? LOL, so she finished up with just being engaged enough to do her tricks she loves! So this was the second session on stairs after our last video, so no huge progress, but definite progress and a chance for me to play with the video editing program!

15 comments:

kiwichick said...

I did Obedience with my BC Shandy and I always got lots of compliments on her energy and joy at what she was doing. We didn't get the highest points but she enjoyed herself a lot. I hate watching dogs in the obedience ring that look as though they are being tortured ;-(

Sara said...

I skipped teaching Oreo a lot of stuff, mostly because he's a relatively good dog, and I hate that word "obedience". LOL. But now, I am seeing heeling paying off in a big way in our lives. I'm going to post a bit about it tomorrow.

This looks like a fantastic video.

Learning should always be fun, or at least rewarding in some way.

Kathy said...

That is SOOOO interesting you say that Sara, because there are so many things I have not taught because my dogs just do fine and it has never been a problem....but gosh I have been so suprised lately teaching so many things that just did not seem like a big deal and yet....now that we are doing them I just am seeing so much benefit, and heel is one of those!

Sara said...

I just came back to watch your stairs video (I had read your post on my phone, which doesn't do videos much justice).

What characters your three dogs are, with Liz stealing the show! She's quite the ham.

Sagira said...

You always know some of the best people watch and learn from.

Wow, a lot of distractions and doing a great job on the steps. :)

Ricky the Sheltie said...

Thanks for writing a review of Silvia's heeling video. I was wondering what you thought of it. She is an amazing trainer and I think she's right - if you can make heeling fun you can make anything fun!

You already know this but we'll say again how great Lizzie and Cricket did on their backwards stair work!

Sam said...

I definitely think that training for obedience can really help in other areas of the dog's training. I've slacked on the obedience for now, but am going to pick it up again come November/December, when trialing is all done.

I heard Petra Ford, the handler of top obedience Lab, Tyler, say it: it's all about keeping it fun. If it's not fun, it's not good work!

Priscilla said...

Thanks for the review.
It's amazing how a video can help you so much with your dogs!!
With our previous two dogs, Laura and Mika, we didnt know much about dog training and let them be what they be and they turned out just fine!! With Eva, we learnt more, so she was our first dog ' in training ' and wow, it's hard work!

Jules said...

I have been kind of absent in terms of blogging and have some catching up to do on posts, but this sounds fascinating!! Especially b/c I am not 100% sure Bug will be able to go back to agility, but there is always obedience/rally! :) I am looking forward to seeing some video.

Happy said...

Happy dosen't seems to find obedience interesting, especially heeling.(That's how I thought of ob as well :p) but ever since long ago I watched those heeling videos Silvia Trkman posted, it changes my way of looking at it.. though it dosen't really changed my dog's. It's really all about fun!

Morganne said...

Great video! I've mostly relied on hiking off leash in the mountains (rough trails) to teach my dogs they have a hind end. But watching your stairs video made it look so much like fun, I think I want to try that with Summit (great for those snowy indoor days).

Nicki said...

I sure want my dog to heel better in the ring but $60? I think I'll try some other things first! But do keep us updated!

Kathy said...

I totally agree Nicki, SIXTY bucks is a lot and it is all pretty simple so I am glad I watched it-and I was not disappointted but I have seen a lot of the elements she is teaching on youtube too, and those were free ;-).

Marie said...

Well, as usual I love it when you give reviews of new products and training videos. I think it's pretty cool that you can just download the video.

All the girls are doing so well with the backing up the stairs!

Patti and DeBoys said...

Doing a little bit of catching up...boy have we missed a lot. I have been evaluating my training of DeBoys, we too, have skipped a lot of stuff. My conclusion of our training gets a grade of C+; we have done just enough to get by.
Thank you for the review/post -- its inspiring me to better ourselves...look out for our post we are going to raise our grade.