Week 2

Heeling and Molding Static Behaviors

Heeling Goals

Now that we've built our training tools, we'll begin using them to teach skills that are helpful in your everyday life. We're going to start by teaching your dog to walk on a loose leash and to sit politely while you give them praise. By the end of the week, we want to see that our dogs can:

1.     Begin walking with us on a loose leash on the command HEEL + LEFT              FOOT movement.

2.     Will heel, reasonably, at our side for 10-15 steps at a time.

3.     Will stop and sit on command of SIT when we stop, with only minor pressure (if any) on their collar.

Reminder: Stay emotionally neutral with your dog. If you are getting frustrated, end on a good note and take a break. Just like people, dogs can have bad days. We also need to examine our consistency and if we’re actually giving the dog enough opportunities (repetitions) to really understand what we are trying to teach. Be patient, consistent and dedicated…this is a process!

Days 1 & 2

Enter one of your training locations with your dog on the training collar and leash. You should ideally have 200 feet where you can walk in a straight line without obstruction. 

Hold your leash correctly (scroll down for video link):

1.     Right hand thumb through the loop

2.     Gather slack in right hand

3.     Leash should drape, loosely, just below your left knee

With your dog on your left side, say HEEL as you step off with your LEFT FOOT and begin walking at a brisk pace. As long as your dog's head is in line with your left leg +/- 2 feet, continue walking straight. If your dog is crowding, or out of position (dog's nose is more than 2 foot away from your left leg) use the appropriate turn:

  • Right turn if your dog is wide left
  • Speed up if your dog is lagging behind
  • Right about turn if your dog is forging ahead
  • Left turn if your dog is crowding/bumping you

Once your dog catches up or returns back to proper position, go back to your normal pace and keep walking. Utilize opposing turns to return to your center line, heading in the direction you originally intended. When you've gotten 4-6 steps in a straight line, slow your pace by half for a few steps and then stop walking.

If your dog stops with you, place them in a sit:

1.     Slide your left hand down the leash to the stitching/braiding

2.     Replace your left hand with your right hand

3.     Pull up on the leash with your right hand while you push down on the backside with your left hand

4.     Give verbal praise, physical praise, and food (if you want to), in that order

Repeat this series using turns as needed to correct for improper positioning.

20-25 of 'sit' reps per day

Heeling for approx 10 minutes per session

1.     Steps in a straight line:

  • Days 1-2: 4-6 steps
  • Days 3-4: 6-10 steps
  • Days 5-6: 10-15 steps

2.     Slow your pace by half

3.     Place your dog in a sit

4.     Give verbal praise, physical praise, and food (if you want to), in that order

Your dog should be beating you to the sit before you can complete the placement by the end of day 2. If not, increase repetitions. Do not allow your dog to sit crooked, in front of you, or behind you. Physically place them in the correct position every time. It's ok if they pop back up out of the sit, as long as you held physical pressure on them long enough to feel their muscles relax if there was any resistance.

When you are finished, hook the long line to your dog's collar, unhook the 6ft leash, say OK, and complete the cool down (hold the end of the long line and let her sniff, relax, etc…you follow her around. If it’s a safe location you can drop the long line and let her drag it, be prepared to step on it if need be to slow her down, etc).

Tether or crate your dog for at least 30 minutes.

Days 3 & 4

Repeat the same exercise from days 1 & 2 (increase criteria to 6-10 steps in a straight line), and now say SIT right as the dog's butt touches the ground each time, still going through the process of placing the dog in the sit. Now, if they get up at any point during your praise sequence, simply put them back into a sit. Do not repeat the command. 

20-25 of 'sit' reps per day

Heeling for approx 10 minutes per session

Connect the long line, say OK, and do the cool down.

Tether or crate your dog at home for at least 30 minutes afterwards.

Days 5 & 6

We'll have a significant change in handling at the end of the week. Heel 15 steps in a straight line. As you approach your last few steps slow your pace by half. By the time you stop your left hand should be down by the stitching/braiding on the leash and your right hand should be right next to it. Try hard not to put any pressure on the collar. Tell your dog to SIT. Give them two seconds to make a decision (one one-thousand, two one-thousand). If they sit, verbal praise, physical praise, then food (if you want to). If they do not sit, jerk straight up firmly with both hands so your dog's head goes up and their butt hits the ground. Then verbal praise, physical praise, and food (if you want to). You'll notice that sitting gets rewarded, whether we had to administer a correction or not.

20-25 of 'sit' reps per day

Heeling for approx 10 minutes per session

Connect the long line, say OK, and do the cool down.

Tether or crate your dog for at least 30 minutes.

 

RELEVANT VIDEOS:

Leash Handling: https://youtu.be/EcTrQMfYOGo

Corrective Turns: https://youtu.be/37bi3CqJxcc

Teaching sit with pressure: https://youtu.be/uhVHwEFQsJY

Using barriers to help the dog find heel position: https://youtu.be/Zhe9HQhMRxA

 

Static Behaviors Using Molding

RELEVANT VIDEOS:

Molding Static Behaviors Days 1-2, No Command: https://youtu.be/dmqrVjj7bAw

Molding Static Behaviors Days 3-4, Add Command: https://youtu.be/Q8C4gQH1-W4