5 Week Heeling Challenge
In the next few weeks, we will be launching a new course through the online classroom for competition obedience and rally obedience. In advance, Wags & Wiggles is offering a 5-week free challenge to work on heeling. Each week we will release the next set of exercises. You are encouraged to ask questions and submit links to youtube videos for feedback below or in the Free Canine Enrichment Facebook Group. Show us your progress.
Follow the food. Most trainers think any dog will follow food easily. For dogs new to training, following food can be like tapping your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time. Dogs can find it challenging to walk and follow the treat. Using a big smelly piece of food (we used a chunk of string cheese) that the dog can easily see. This will make it less likely that the dog will nip your hand.
The trainer must first learn how to move their hand properly to get the dog to rotate their body. Start with your back of your hand towards your leg and your open palm showing the treat closest to the dog. Start to rotate your hand by 1 inch at a time towards your leg. Practice this WITHOUT your dog.
Now practice with your dog. Get the dog moving by walking backward, stop with your hand close to the back of your leg, allow the dog to start to nibble on the treat, and then rotate your hand. The motion will help get the dog's butt moving. Most dogs don't start with a lot of awareness in their rear legs and this exercise can take many repetitions.
Keep practicing by rotating your hand a little more. If your dog gives up nibbling on your treat, you are moving your hand too fast. Go a little at a time. There will be a leap in learning at some point and you will see the dog's rear end suddenly start to rotate more. Lots of praise is needed here.