Step 2 Longer Heeling and Verbal Cues Copy
Step 2 – Longer Heeling and Verbal Cues
We are now trying to build the duration of heeling. We no longer reinforce the moment the dog is in the correct position. If the dog makes a mistake, we help with a leash or a rod and then try to take a few more steps.
Find a balance:
- If the dog forges too much, get the dog back into the heeling position. Mark and reinforce the dog for standing. This might slow the dog down.
- If the dog loses focus on Helper, reinforce while the dog is in motion. This will add more drive.
You can see that Anna is doing about 12 steps before reinforcing Herta.
Another exercise that is very helpful is the switch of attention between two verbal cues:
“Heel” means to look at the Handler.
“Helper” means to look at the Helper.
You can train this separately. You can place a ball on the ground and teach your dog to look at it when you say “Helper.”
As always, do not allow your dog to be sloppy and be black and white in your communication.