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Start here! The Perfect Heeling in Obedience.

As always with any training information – take what you like, add your experience and discard what is not interesting.

Let us share with you how to help your dog pay attention while heeling. Of course, we begin by luring the puppy into the heeling position. The problem is that it does not help with paying attention.

To make it easier for the dog, we break heeling process into 4 sections. First one is Basic Position. We always ask 2 questions:

  • What are you going to do when your dog pays attention?
  • What are you going to do when your dog does not pay attention?

Since we are balanced trainers, we us both Positive Reinforcement (R+) an Negative Reinforcement (R-).

With the use of Positive Reinforcement we reward the dog for paying attention.

Negative Reinforcement provides better reliability. Because R- contains the word Negative, it is perceived as something Negative. It really is not. We are surrounded by Negative Reinforcement all day long.

If you do not buckle up – your car will make an alert sound that will raise the longer you do not buckle up. To make the annoyance stop – you buckle up for safer driving.

Here is how we use R- to build focus:

  • When the dog looks away, we apply gentle leash pressure.
  • The moment the dog looks up – we stop leash pressure. It is a reinforcer for the dog.

Once this works stationary, you can start to heel.

See you in the next video!