Working Fronts

I've been on an obedience kick the last few weeks at home.  What a novel concept, actually practicing!
Mainly I've been working fronts with the boys.

- Side stepping in front
- Tiny little waits while he has to side step to me waiting
- Spins to front
- Repeating all the above with various objects

Lance of course is much better than Vito.  Spinning to front can be hard for him and sometimes he likes to avoid the issue by doing a backwards circle instead.

Vito has fabulous fronts.  Unless he's holding an object.  I don't think he had any clue how to move his butt if his something was in his mouth.  Lots of me helping to guide him with my hands as a target.  He's getting much better though.  I'm really pleased that it seems that this will also help him keep nice and close on his dumbbell fronts.  Since I'm doing mainly lateral movements with him, he's keeping the close distance I start him at.

Ximena  – ( January 13, 2014 at 11:45 AM )  

Haha - I love the sidestepping corgi. Adorable. I will have to do these with Elli, for sure. Great for body awareness.

Kathie R  – ( January 13, 2014 at 9:23 PM )  

Nice! I was waiting for you to do it with kitty next! Lol! How did you begin teaching the side stepping? We're not making a lot of progress with this concept.

Laura, Lance, and Vito  – ( January 13, 2014 at 9:53 PM )  

I first teach side stepping in heel position. Side stepping in heel is just an extension of perch work/ pivoting in heel and gives the dog a clear target of keeping shoulder contact with leg, or close to it. The first few times I side step I usually lead by doing a 1/4 to 1/2 pivot and then immediately side step right. The pivot gets the butt moving and the natural extension is to follow towards me.

Then I review pivoting in front, on the perch, and without the perch. Then the same as with heel- pivot followed by immediate side step.

Kathie R  – ( January 14, 2014 at 5:32 PM )  

Thanks Laura, I'll try that. We do quite a bit of perch work, but it doesn't always transfer when the perch is removed :) I'll try it in heel position with the pivot.

Laura, Lance, and Vito  – ( January 14, 2014 at 6:30 PM )  

Kathy, if you're struggling with getting pivoting behaviors without the perch I sometimes shrink the perch so that it's a completely flat folder. I also usually get the dog's to physically touch me on their perch and while I feed them. I find that the target of shoulder to my leg helps them a lot and *knock on wood* I haven't had any issues with the physical contact being a continued issue- mainly because I stop requiring it and normal heeling doesn't have side stepping and pivots :)

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