TEACHING THE “THIS WAY” GAME (COMMONLY KNOWN AS “HEEL” )

 

 Don't keep repeating the dogs name to get its attention e.g. “Rover Rover Rover”...or keep repeating “this way, this way, this way” ...This is nagging and all this will do is to teach him to ignore you..it becomes like “white noise” in the background and what you are actually doing is to let the dog know where you are...so the dog thinks to itself “Yep ! I know where you are ..I am busy over here!”

 

The object of this exercise to be able to let the dog off the lead and be able to walk off and when you call out “THIS WAY” the dog will run to your left side ...with exuberance !

 

This is also a useful exercise in helping to teach a dog to walk nicely beside you with or without a lead.

 

Firstly, you need to have done some general clicker training.

 

For this exercise I would recommend using your long line or padded horse lunge.

A fleece harness is best for this exercise. If a harness is not available or can't be used then great care must be taken that the dog's neck is never jerked. Also ensure that the line doesn't get tangled in yours or the dogs legs.. especially when training puppies make sure you don't stand on them or fall over them...best to wear soft shoes or trainers as a precaution.

 

NEVER use any collar that tightens in any way like a choke/check chain. I will never consider using these under any cirumstances.

 

GREAT CARE MUST BE TAKEN. DOGS CAN BUILD UP MOMENTUM ON A LONG LINE...IF YOU FEEL THAT THE DOG IS TOO BIG AND STRONG FOR THE HANDLER TO BE ABLE TO HOLD THEN DON'T USE THE TRAINING LINE. IF THIS IS THE CASE SPEAK TO ME FOR FURTHER ADVICE.

 

Attach one end of the training line onto the dog harness and one end onto the handler. It's best to use a treat bag so you have your treats easily accessible I have keep my treat bag on my right side and the clicker in my right hand and have a treat in my left hand.

You may need to shorten the long line by making several longish loops at first until the dog understands what you are trying to achieve (it is dangerous to ever wrap any lead or line around your hand )

Walk off and say “this way” in a happy voice, bend down showing the dog the treat in your left hand. When the dog runs to you and reaches your left knee , click and treat. Keep changing direction and every time say “this way” as soon as the dog reaches your left knee each time, click and treat. Your body language should be upright and happy and expecting the dog to follow you.

YOUR DOG ONLY GETS THE CLICK AND TREAT WHEN IT'S BESIDE YOUR LEFT KNEE.

Gradually, you can release the line so it gets longer and longer as your dog learns what is expected.

 

This is quite a difficult exercise because it needs timing and co-ordination and really needs to be demonstrated by me before you try it.