You'll see here when I release her from her sit after being at her side, she looks to me for next steps. Do I tell her to sit then go stand by her? We use 'heel' as in a formal on non-free walks, will we need a new word once she gets this and is ready for one? This is something she's struggled with over the last year. Just getting her body aligned at the finish. She's good about sitting when I stop when it comes to walking on leash but I sometimes still have to use my hand to halt her here and there.
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This is a lot better! Yay!
Your treat delivery is great.
Say "yes" before moving your hand to feed, though. (Relevant for every exercise! And a constant struggle for trainers everywhere, because it feels unnatural!)
Her head may look goofy to you, but I think that once we start moving forward, it will balance out.
Instead of "ah ah" for scooting backwards, I would just neutrally turn away and start over. I wouldn't even say "wrong" (your "no reward marker") there, because she isn't going to know how to correct herself.
Instead of stepping forward, do any other "reset" in between reps. This is because stepping forward is going to be the next step, coming up in Level 3. 😁
You can have her walk on the left side. There will be enough context clues for her to deal with that. Make your treat delivery distinctly different:
Competition Heel = high and straight/slightly left; very animated vibe as we get going
LLW = lower, away from your body; some trainers even do more treat tosses or dropping a treat on the ground for LLW so that the dog sees the difference
And you can make your verbal cue for competition heel absolutely anything you want in Rally.
You can show me more video of this, but you can also check this off your Level Up list! 🤠
Looking a little better, we still have to work through her head. She’s basically throwing her head back to meet my hands with her eyes for the treats. 🤦🏻♀️
in terms of LLW ”heel” I would prefer to keep her on my left if that’s ok. If you think that’s going to confuse her to no avail then we can switch it. I’m thinking for working we can call this “together” as long as akc judges don’t care what word I use for a heel. Thoughts?
Nice! Let's build on this:
For Luna, I think you should do all of your reps along the barrier. She consistently sits "square" (squarely?) instead of flopping her hip over in those reps, and consistently flops for the non-barrier reps (leaning away, which may come from her history of sitting wide).
Lure her with your left hand into heel, between you and the barrier. Looks like she sits nicely and easily from there.
Since she has that history of swinging out especially, we really don't want her thinking about reward coming from across your body. This is going to draw her head to wrap around you and draw her body out more (crabbing, and potentially forging).
So, at least temporarily, keep your hands behind your back, as I often do in my videos.
(She may try to follow them at first, but I think her sit-stay should save you there.)
When you go to feed her, you can actually tilt her head slightly to the left (like when you're luring pivots), to help counter-act her attention being drawn to your torso etc.
This exercise is an important foundation concept for the dog ("This is a good place to be!"), but we're not actually asking them to do much at all. The "game" is just building muscle memory for the correct position. Plus the handler gets to work out their mechanics. 😁
Stick to the barrier
Lure with left hand into heel
Put your hand behind your back in between reward reps
Feed ever so slightly to the left
Show me that, in this thread.
In regards to heel vs. loose leash walking:
You will definitely want different cues, and you may even want separate cues for sitting at your side.
Is walking on your left side instead of right written in stone?
For formal heeling where a straight sit is expected, your sit cue could start off as a semi-dramatic hand signal that goes up and to the left.
Revisit "heeling vs. loose leash walking" in Homework #1 of Level 2 for more of my explanation about heeling vs. LLW. :-)