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 3 of our challenge. This Free Dog Training exercise on heeling is all about getting the dog to the correct heel position.
In this exercise, you will learn how to teach your dog to get on the platform and sit in the correct heel position. When heeling, using the cue "stop" means your dog should sit automatically. We use a platform to make sure the dog keeps its body straight and parallel to your left side (heel) and to get them to sit this way by habit. Make sure your dog is familiar with this equipment and introduce it before starting the exercise so your dog feels confident about it. If you are interested in more platform work, you can check out our Online Sport Dog Class to help build familiarity with the platform and improve balance.
You will start with your dog in the heel position a couple of steps away from the platform. The platform should be straight in front of the dog. You will cue “heel”, start walking, and when your dog gets on the platform with all four feet, you stop and cue “sit”. Make sure your dog has all four feet on the platform and is sitting before you reward them. Cue “heel” again and take a couple more steps in the heel position before you reward your dog again. Use Pocket Hand (Free Heeling Challenge Week #1) with a treat in it to guide your dog in heel position.
In the first video, you can see that Zelda is struggling a bit to sit straight on my left side, in other words, heel position. In this case, it is good to start this exercise with the help of the platform.
In this second video, Zelda was able to sit much more straight on heel after doing multiple repetitions.