Friday, April 01, 2016

Analyzing Bandit's Heeling

Bandit and I are at a point now where I want to begin to take his heelwork training more seriously.  Not "seriously" in the sense of making it "serious" for him, but "serious" in the sense of giving him more structure and a higher level of criteria in our heelwork.

The first question that I needed to consider was: what picture do I want to create with his heeling?

I came to the conclusion that I want the picture to be very similar to the picture that Dean and I created in his heyday.  Bandit's style is a little bit different from Dean's, but I would like for Bandit to have the same level of understanding of movement in position that Dean has.

Here is a video of Dean doing some pretty good heeling.  This was actually not even his best, but it is very good.  Keep an eye on  how he moves his body when he is on the inside curve.

It is clear that Dean knows how to move his entire body in order to maintain heel position, regardless of the direction that he and I are moving together.  He can read the inside curves and adjust accordingly, and he can drive a bit on the outside curves.  You don't see it in this video, but he can also move in a straight line and maintain his position.

I want that for Bandit.

In this video, it is obvious that Bandit and I have gotten a good start.  He has a basic idea of moving in position, and he has a lot of enthusiasm, and his movement is very pretty.

He drives very nicely on an outside curve, but he doesn't have any idea what to do when he is on an inside curve.

And, even though this was taken last August, I can't say he and I have done a whole lot of work on it since!

I have considered this, and I believe that Bandit needs to learn how to move his entire body on an inside curve.  We have done pivot work with a pivot disk, but I don't believe that Bandit is generalizing from the pivot disk to heelwork.

I am going to do some more foundation clicker work with him, and focus in on allowing him to choose to make a left turn and move his rear end in.  We will do this with a 90 degree edge, such as a chair.

I am looking forward to getting into this work with him.  It is my goal, by the end of May, for Bandit to be able to move with me 10 feet in any direction and maintain heel or side position!


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