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Heelwork to heaven vol 1.

Take a first step to get the best heelwork routine ever!

01.07.2024
Catja Pedersen Catja Pedersen

Main page of the course

  • Week 1 (01 Jul 2024)

    • Welcome!
    • What does it look like?
    • The “boring” stuff
    • Split, break, split, break…
    • Catch it, grab it, toss to mouth
    • Homework week 1
  • Week 2 (08 Jul 2024)

    • Welcome to week 2
    • Prerequisite skills: backing and side movement
    • More backing and side movement
    • Head position and focal point
    • Pivots
    • Homework week 2
  • Week 3 (15 Jul 2024)

    • More pivots
    • Pivot a little more..
    • Back up.. more!
    • Position! Precision or “close enough”..
    • Homework week 3
  • Week 4 (22 Jul 2024)

  • Week 5 (29 Jul 2024)

    • Welcome to week 5
    • Trot along..
    • Fading prompts
    • Cues
    • (Extra) Prep for vol 2. Turns and start
    • Homework week 5
  • Week 6 (05 Aug 2024)

    • Prerequisite skills – hands and paws
    • Welcome to week 6
    • Troubleshooting
    • Gather it all…
    • What´s on your mind?
    • Final Thoughts: Celebrating Achievements and Continuing the Journey

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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

 

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