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. 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.
These exercises are simple enough for the beginner trainer and valuable enough for trainers wanting to move into Rally Obedience or Competition Obedience.
Here is Week 2 of our challenge. This Free Dog Training exercise on heeling is all about getting the drive to the heel position.
This exercise will create enthusiasm and fun to run to the heel position. Start by tossing food away from the dog on the ground. Once they eat the treat, they will look to you for more. Immediately race away just a few steps. Stop abruptly and have your hand at your side in the heel position. Your hand should be facing backwards towards the dog with another treat waiting for them.
Now that you have your mechanics down, it's time to ramp up the game and your enthusiasm. Continue with tossing the treat away from you. When the dog looks at you, run away as before but now call the dog with enthusiasm. If you aren't a very exciting person, fake it. Use a higher pitch of your voice. You should be racing away from your dog now, not just walking away. Once your dog arrives in the heel position, have a couple of treats or a long piece of treat ready for a longer reinforcement of that position.
Once you add excitement to this game, the dog may want to run past you or swing their butt around. You want to try to keep the dog facing forward is somewhat of a straight position. You can achieve that by rewarding with several treats (one at a time) or a longer treat that they nibble pieces off of. Release with "okay" and toss a treat forward to restart the game.