As a beginner to obedience training, I have read a lot and observed a lot of various methods of training - and probably tried most of them! And, to be truthful, I'm not sure which ones are working. I'm thinking about the lagging behavior here. When I started training, lagging in heeling was a real problem. I was even NQd once in Novice A at a trial because of the lagging - not to mention the time he decided he'd rather leave the ring instead of staying with me. That was the low point of our obedience career, but, we hung in there and we've come a long way since then. However, I'm still getting the occasional lagging in the ring, so thought I would revisit my training with that particular behavior to see if we could 'fix' it.
I've done a lot of 'choose to heel' in training with treats and rewards for finding the perfect heel position. Hoping to create that 'muscle memory' thing. That's worked fine in training when I have treats on me, but doesn't always carry over into the trial. It's not necessarily because I don't have treats in the ring, because I don't think he would even take treats in the ring due to his worry and stress in that situation.
Last week I started working on heeling by holding him in that position. All my heeling for now will be on lead - keeping him close and always in heel position. I especially have a problem keeping him with me when moving between exercises. I am putting the lead on when moving between exercises also. So, is the problem - that he doesn't know heel position or is he choosing not to stay in heel position? And, will keeping him constantly in heel position while moving help? Who's being responsible now for his position - him, or me? I don't know the answers, but it seems I have tried everything. And, since I've tried different training methods, it may be impossible to tell which one is working for him.
Any thoughts out there ?????