This week, Milo and I will focus on three things:
- Accurate positioning for stationary heel. There is polite leash walking, and then there is formal heeling. Formal heeling involves the dog holding a precise position at the handler’s left thigh, parallel to the direction the handler’s facing and giving the handler its full attention. Sometimes Milo is a little bit ahead of me, sometimes a little bit behind, and sometimes his back end crabs out so that we are not perfectly parallel. That is sloppy, and we need to go back to basics to fix it. This week, all I’m going to do is call Milo to a stationary heel between me and a wall and reward him when he gets it just right. This will help him feel exactly where he is supposed to be.
- Increasing the duration of sit and down stays with mild distractions. These are tough for Milo because he is vigilant and likes to move. Long stays not only help him learn self control and be a better citizen and companion, they are also are important elements of competition obedience. This week, we’ll work on one minute stays in the presence of mild temptations.
- Thorough searching when he cleans up his toys. For this trick, maybe better called a skill, Milo goes through the house, collects his many toys, and puts them in his toy box. We’ve been working on this for a while. He gets the finding and putting his toys away part, but he doesn’t get that he’s not done until he’s gathered all of them. So we’ll work getting him to do a more thorough job.
We’ll do two, five-minute training sessions on six of the next seven days.
|Heel position||Heel position|
|Clean one box of toys||Clean one box of toys|
|1 minute sit stay||1 minute down stay|
I’ll also reread Ed Frawley’s article, The Power of Training Dogs with Markers.
Check back at the end of the week for an update on our progress.