Lesson 5, Topic 2
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Basic Position and Heeling Straight

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Basic Position and Heeling Straight

Heeling exercise begins with the team taking Basic Position. The dog sits with his shoulder blade at the knee of the Handler. The dog must be attentive to the Handler. This usually results from the dog looking up and keeping this position.

Handler’s legs must be in a natural stance (not splayed leg). Hands hang naturally. The left hand can be inside or outside of the dog. If it is outside, it can not be used as a hand signal or to assist the dog in any manner.

Once the Heel command is given and the dog assumes Basic Position, the position cannot be readjusted.

There are many Heeling styles. Some dogs heel with the head straight up under the arm, others with the head slightly turned up towards the Handler’s face. The style depends on the body type of the dog.

Rules say that the dog must remain with his shoulder at the knee of the Handler.

It might be faulty:

  • If the dog loses focus on the Handler and drops his head or looks around.
  • If the dog crowds – heels so tight to the leg that it impedes the Handler’s movement.
  • Crabbing – the rear of the dog sticks out. The dog walks not parallel to the Handler but at an angle.
  • Forging – the dog’s shoulders are in front of the Handler’s knee.
  • Lagging – the dog’s shoulders are behind the Handler’s knee.
  • If the dog looks stressed.

The exercise begins with the team heeling straight minimum 50 paces. Approximately after 15 paces first shot is fired, followed by another one 5 seconds later. The dog should exhibit no reaction. If the dog is shy or shows fear – it is a potential for disqualification.