- Start off easy with straight line heeling after you give your dog the DB.
Set up – This week’s challenge is Multi-Tasking Heeling and dumbbell (DB). Start heeling with your dog. When you stop and your dog sits, give your dog the DB to hold. If your dog does not hold the DB, you can give him a toy or something that he will carry.
Purpose – This drill teaches and proofs your dog to think about and maintain heel position while carrying an object.
Tips on success –
- As your dog gains understanding and confidence in holding the DB and maintaining heel position, increase the heeling duration time, add turns and/or pace changes.
- Remind your dog how to be successful if he is having difficulty carrying a DB and focusing on you.
- If your dog drops the DB, simply remind him to get it and continue heeling a short distance further. Take the DB and reward your dog.
- Remember to reward for your dog for success and focusing on you.
- Add a variety of releases and rewards. Keep the repetitions fun by adding games during or after completion of the skill.
Reward your dog – Anytime for your dog’s effort and attention. Periodically use games or a reward while heeling. Keep your dog energized.
Different levels of testing – After you have successfully heeled with the DB, “bump it up” a notch by adding more distraction such as people walking near by or walking toward ring gates, chairs or jumps. Always reward your dog for a job well done.
Goal – to increase your dog’s knowledge for heel position and the ability to hold on to the DB under all circumstances.