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Lesson 1, Topic 2
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Heeling Training Video Forging and Crowding

Heeling Training Video – Forging and Crowding

The Malinois in this video is doing a great job in the stationary Basic Position but forges and crowds the moment movement starts.

To solve this:

  • We place the lead behind the Handler to make it easier to guide the dog.
  • When the dog forges or crowds, the Handler will immediately guide the dog back with the leash into the correct position. If heed be, she will stop to get the dog refocused and start again.
  • The Handler will also hold a ball in the left hand and will mark and release the dog to the left (mark first, released second). The placement of the reinforcement to the left creates muscle memory in the dog and helps with forging and crowding.

Another trick to help the dog is by beginning heeling at a slightly slower speed and building it up as you go.

As always, change up the reinforcement. Sometimes, out of motion, other times out of the Basic Position.

Of course, this exercise is easy as long as you can hold the ball in your hand. How do we proceed to get rid of holding the ball?

We would condition the dog to make a spin left in the Basic Position (stationary or moving) to earn the ball, which is still held in the left hand.

When the dog masters the step above, you would place the ball in your left pocket and ask the dog to spin left to earn the ball. Hence, we retain muscle memory.