Heeling Rear Cross - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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Heeling Rear Cross

We’ve been working on this, literally, for a year. It looks so easy but it takes a ton of practice and adjustments to get those rear crosses at a dynamic flowing rhythm. At Level IV, the dynamics of rhythm and timing have to be really really good. No stuttering, breaks in team rhythm, etc. so it’s up to me to set Boon up perfectly to make the rear cross without falter, hesitation, or loss of gait. Our connectedness can take this to an awesome level. We are almost there.

To make this piece of movement vocabulary look perfectly fluid and rhythmic, I can’t slow my pace, therefore, Boon has to drive, in the trot, into the rear cross and gain the opposite heeling reference position without changing into a canter. He bobbled into a lag at that one spot driving around the outside of a curve because I didn’t support his attention going into it.

We are the only team with a cross that looks this smooth and elegant, thanks to Boon. We were the first team to bring it in to choreography like this, in the turn, and a few other teams started working on it when they saw ours, which I don’t mind. Imitation is flattery, they say.

Feel free to critique- do remember that freestyle heeling is much more, well, free, than obedience heeling. The dog chooses a distance from the human that is comfortable for maintaining a strong team connection so you’ll often see that dogs choose more space than is demanded in obedience. They rarely choose a position of hugging the pants leg. This “white space” between human and dog really works well to enhance the dog, one of our critical criteria in judging. Obviously, you cannot see the full grace and beauty of a dog when the dog is extremely close to the human.

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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This freestyle phrase was “designed” with the card shuffle game, just one easy way to jump start choreography ideas. You shuffle up index cards with one piece of your team’s movement vocabulary written on each card, such as “dog jumps to heel from a down” or “from a trot, dog laterals forward in thunder position for 3 steps”. After shuffling, you lay the cards out in order and that’s your phrase to try. This was our first try with it - the cues are big, we aren’t really together in a solid team rhythm, I’m not exactly sure what I’m doing so neither is Boon, etc. BUT! I think it has good potential to show off Boon’s wonderful versatility!

He was really tired so his switchbacks are flat. Normally he jams those with a fancy pivot on the front and really flips out of them. Also, his rocking horse canter was flat; usually he rocks way up with those front feet like he’s jumping a jump. I have to remember not to try and do improv when he’s tired! Not fair!

Anyway, with a lot of polishing and a nice closing shape (not his hiney to the spectators), this can possibly be a good phrase to go in our trial presentation. Probably want to add in a repeat of the lateral steps on the left side. Lateral movement is required on both sides at Level IV but not required in a trot or in thunder position. Boon is the only dog I know who can do them at a trot plus thunder position. He invented the move 100%; I just captured it with a clicker.

What do you think? Potential for this phrase? Critique welcome.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 05:24 PM
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Very nice....thanks for sharing that ....

Hoss
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 07:35 PM
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As someone who is putting in a lot of effort right now on precision heeling, I have to say - WELL DONE! Standard heeling can be challenging. That rear cross looks both awesome and really difficult!!!!

Looks like fun and you make a good team.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 08:42 PM
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I am so impressed! That is beautiful to watch! Thank you for sharing. Send more...........
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"Lots of people talk to animals...Not very many listen, though...That's the problem. " ~ The Tao of Pooh
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 10:12 PM
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His daddy is impressed, and so am I!

Mary Jo Ansel
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 08:48 AM
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The Indiana judge = 9.9 on the sidestep ! Love it !

Doc
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 11:51 AM
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Who is that beautiful young girl working Boon............??
She’s wonderful ...appears very knowledgeable and experienced.........actually becoming one with your dog.............
As the Florida Judge .....ahummm....LadyDi.......as a video review.....I note this............watch young girls hands and face..........her and Boon are communicating.........I believe there is a treat in one of the girls hands.........I also believe the treat is shifting from hand to the other hand.........but I will be darn if I can actually see it............maybe there is no treat .......but those hands are a steering wheel for boon and herself............thats for sure.

Hoss
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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No treats in hands. I rarely ever lure, too hard to get rid of it!

We use hand cues a lot because the movement vocabulary gets so big after a while that you need to let the dog know what’s happening. For example, we have about 10 different ways to change direction. I try not to expect Boon to read my mind!
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