All of our dogs learn the cue “heel.” On cue, the dog should pivot counter-clockwise until they’re parallel with their handler’s left side. Among other things, “heel” can position the dog for forward movement. It can also be used to create space between their handler and another person.
We use clicker training, shaping, and a box to teach our puppies to heel. By having the dogs anchor their front paws on the box, they learn to move just their hind legs.
One of our volunteers, Revenda Bierley, filmed each step in the process as she trained SSD Sabor to heel. Watch the video to see how Sabor goes from simply stepping on the box to pivoting into the heel position without the box. At the end of the video, SSD Aunt Laura, who’s going through Team Training with her new partner right now, demonstrates the completed behavior.
Thank you, Revenda, for the awesome video!