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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
I was wondering if anyone could help me with teaching a nice heel for AKC Rally.
I have been working on teaching him the proper position while I am still, but unsure how to get from there to moving and having him keep that position.
Thank you
 

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Are you taking a class or training on your own? The usual method is to lure with a treat or toy initially,using your left hand to avoid the dog wrapping around you. There are lots of videos so you can see rather than my clumsy attempt at describing it. I'll try to post a few.
 

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Stonnie Dennis has some great videos on YouTube on teaching heel. The main thing is making it clear to the dog that it's the position that counts, not the walking.

I used the wall in my house to reinforce the alignment once we began moving. And I still will do occasional side steps, or walk back a few places just to keep her sharp and attentive.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Are you taking a class or training on your own? The usual method is to lure with a treat or toy initially,using your left hand to avoid the dog wrapping around you. There are lots of videos so you can see rather than my clumsy attempt at describing it. I'll try to post a few.
I am doing it on my own. We don't have any local trainers here.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Stonnie Dennis has some great videos on YouTube on teaching heel. The main thing is making it clear to the dog that it's the position that counts, not the walking.

I used the wall in my house to reinforce the alignment once we began moving. And I still will do occasional side steps, or walk back a few places just to keep her sharp and attentive.
Thats the part I keep getting caught up on, teaching him it's the position. I used to try and use walks to train heel. Have him heel a bit, let him sniff, have him heel, let him sniff, ect, but he just wasnt having it. He will walk to the end of the lead, and while not pulling, he will not let there be any slack in the lead.
 

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This is a good one except he lets the mal sit crooked at the end (lose points!). Then you add walking a few steps, a few more steps, etc.Left turns without bumping into you. Practice, practice, practice results in perfect muscle memory.
 

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I've never seen anyone teach heel in a tight circle like that before teaching heel in a straight line.

I'd start by luring it alongside a wall to keep the dog nice and straight. First reward sitting in heel like Stonnie does, then try for one step forward with a lure, then two, whatever your dog can maintain. Then you have to fade the lure.

Be careful where you reward from because the dog will drift that way. For instance if your dog is in heel position and you're constantly feeding them from your body, their head will turn into where they anticipate the treat coming from (across your body perhaps) and the butt will swing out.

Although I don't care for the super heads up heeling, Michael Ellis and Forest Micke have good videos out there for teaching.

I think trying to teach it as part of your walk might be a problem. That's a very high distraction environment I'd assume. I'd be teaching it in your basement, kitchen, living room, then try to take it to the driveway, etc, long before you ever take it on the road.
 

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This is basically how I did it but I never taught my dog to crane his head up this high and he does not.

Another really important thing is to do the upside down feed bucket foot target and then teach the dog to pivot their hind end. I do straight heeling and bucket pivots for a long time, then start merging the two so you get a nice turn with the rear end engaged
 

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I have the Heeler's Toolbox 1 - 3 by Forest Micke from Leerburg. It's a bit pricey though they sometimes have sales, but it did a good job with breaking down heeling (in general) and teaching you stretches, drills, focus etc. (this is part 1). Juno and I have run through 1 a few times, and are moving to the second video, which is actually a lot more complicated than 1. I have no idea what part 3 looks like! I am worried about it.

Michael Leerburg's "focused heeling" is 20% off right now.

(There are very few trainers where I live, none of whom teach formal obedience).
 

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Discussion Starter #12
This is a good one except he lets the mal sit crooked at the end (lose points!). Then you add walking a few steps, a few more steps, etc.Left turns without bumping into you. Practice, practice, practice results in perfect muscle memory.
Thank you. I watched it once, and I have it saved to watch again.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I've never seen anyone teach heel in a tight circle like that before teaching heel in a straight line.

I'd start by luring it alongside a wall to keep the dog nice and straight. First reward sitting in heel like Stonnie does, then try for one step forward with a lure, then two, whatever your dog can maintain. Then you have to fade the lure.

Be careful where you reward from because the dog will drift that way. For instance if your dog is in heel position and you're constantly feeding them from your body, their head will turn into where they anticipate the treat coming from (across your body perhaps) and the butt will swing out.

Although I don't care for the super heads up heeling, Michael Ellis and Forest Micke have good videos out there for teaching.

I think trying to teach it as part of your walk might be a problem. That's a very high distraction environment I'd assume. I'd be teaching it in your basement, kitchen, living room, then try to take it to the driveway, etc, long before you ever take it on the road.
I don't care if he gives me the focused heel or not, but if he would just heel nice lol
We have been working on it in the house, but as soon as we move it to a walk, all his knowledge goes out of that pretty little head of his lol
 

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Discussion Starter #14

This is basically how I did it but I never taught my dog to crane his head up this high and he does not.

Another really important thing is to do the upside down feed bucket foot target and then teach the dog to pivot their hind end. I do straight heeling and bucket pivots for a long time, then start merging the two so you get a nice turn with the rear end engaged
We've been working on his pivots. My sister got me a rubber feed bowl just for pivot practice. He likes to go one way, but gives me the stink eye when I ask him to go the other lol
Is there a certain way to merge the two?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I have the Heeler's Toolbox 1 - 3 by Forest Micke from Leerburg. It's a bit pricey though they sometimes have sales, but it did a good job with breaking down heeling (in general) and teaching you stretches, drills, focus etc. (this is part 1). Juno and I have run through 1 a few times, and are moving to the second video, which is actually a lot more complicated than 1. I have no idea what part 3 looks like! I am worried about it.

Michael Leerburg's "focused heeling" is 20% off right now.

(There are very few trainers where I live, none of whom teach formal obedience).
Thank you, I will look into those vids. I have the Leerburg puppy 8 weeks to 8 months vid, and the tracking one. Both are really good. I'm a visual learner, so videos are great.
There are no trainers in my general area, and the closest one is a petsmart trainer, who told me before I brought my bulldog home, that bulldogs aren't stubborn, they are just physically unable to do things like sit. And she had a bulldog.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
How did you teach the position while still? Did you lure into position? Leash pressure?
I started out with luring, no leash, and then put a slip lead on and worked with that.
 

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Leerburg has multiple videos on teaching heeling.

I believe AKC heeling is a bit different some of the bitesport heeling. So if you want to compete make sure you are training the correct "heeling picture".

Fenzi Dog Sports offers multiple self study courses on teaching heeling. They also run various courses for Rally during their semester courses.

 

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We've been working on his pivots. My sister got me a rubber feed bowl just for pivot practice. He likes to go one way, but gives me the stink eye when I ask him to go the other lol
Is there a certain way to merge the two?
How are you doing it? Standing right in front of him with food at his nose? I think that is the easiest. Move food left or right in tiny increments until a hind leg shifts. If he is resistant then reward lots of tiny shifts rapid fire to get him going.
 

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Leerburg has multiple videos on teaching heeling.

I believe AKC heeling is a bit different some of the bitesport heeling. So if you want to compete make sure you are training the correct "heeling picture".

Fenzi Dog Sports offers multiple self study courses on teaching heeling. They also run various courses for Rally during their semester courses.

Lots of AKC ppl are training heads up heeling which is very similar to what I see bitesport dogs doing.

In AKC the dog can't be touching. Not sure if dog can be touching handler in bitesport heeling. AKC doesn't technically care about engagement. I.e. the dog does not have to be looking up at you. Heel position is scored down for bumping (crowding), lagging, forging, and handler adapting to dogs pace. OP, read the regs for how AKC defines heel position specifically as far as dog's position with handler.

AKC you have to keep your left hand up out of the way of the dog, most people put it on your stomach. Best not to do that too soon though or the dog will often begin to focus on the front of your body and it will start to crab.
 
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