This course will be the first of the three part heelwork series! Vol 1. focuses on stationary exercises and prerequiste skills. What is the first exercise that comes to your mind when you think about competing in obedience? Let me guess – heelwork? On the other hand, it is also the exercise that most of teams stuggle with and have a hard time breaking it down into teachable units.
If you are just starting, this course will be perfect for you. You will learn foundations for heelwork that will score the maximum number of points. How to teach a dog the correct head position? What should the perfect pivot look like? How to teach it all with errorless progression? You will get the answers in this course!
The course will also benefit teams who already take part in the competition, but would like to improve their results. It doesn’t matter if – your dog sits crookedly, pivtos with his butt on the ground or drops his head every 5 seconds – together we will go through this process and build a perfect routine.
Close your eyes and imagine the perfect heelwork you would like to achieve. Can you see it? Good, we will build solid fundaments to achieve this picture within six weeks! There is one condition – you must sign up for this course with me
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Getting into position
In the last lesson, we were working on having focus and heel position, and now it’s time to look at the actual coming into heel position.
In reality, we need the dog to be able to go into position from all angles.
It is very likely that when we start the exercise, the dogs will be walking with us up to the starting point, and therefore the heel position will be from walking next to us.
But in case we’re not walking in a straight line of the dog is not walking next to us, we want to make sure that the dog is able to still get into the correct heel position, so that we don’t lose any of our points before we even start the exercise.
Or at the very least, we want to have practiced that, so that we get as few surprises as possible, when we take this out.
so since we have just reinforced being in his position so many times, it’s about time that we also start reinforcing the actual getting into position.
I would start this off with some type of help from a platform or similar. in the below video I’m using a regular platform and feeding him to my front, so that it’s easier for him to just repeat the behavior and get into a position next to me. Platforms are great for this, just remember to not stick to the platform for too long, except for the very quickly become the cue for going into position, and then the dog is not really able to do it when the platform is not there. this is the type of help where you need to be really mindful, of how much you use it.
The next video, you’ve already seen in another lesson.
But it makes sense to show it after the platform video, as this is also an approach you can take.
Here I start by checking that my dog can actually pivot into position, and then remove the help of the target. Once I have checked that, I started clicking for the sit position next to me, and then gradually feed him in front of me, until he is able to go into heel position from my front, which is what I ultimately need.
Working on heel position, while removing the help of the tool.
This last video shows how it looks when you remove the targets. He is not as precise here, as I am going for today, but this video shows it better than any of the new videos.
Here, you get to see that we can´t always get perfection from the start, and that it’s for me, about capturing the behavior and then gradually shaping it to the form that I would like it to be.
Coming into heel position, without any visual target
So, I look forward to seeing your videos, of your dogs going into the starting position