This is an example of our written information. The 8 page handout accompanies the hands on material being taught in class. Page 1:
Class # 1. JCM’s Copyrighted Material 2006 Heeling
Heeling, Automatic Sit, and About Turn: "The heel" and the "automatic sit"are actually two separate commands.
The word heel means that, while you are walking, your dogs neck (between his ear and shoulder) remains even with your left leg. There should be about 8 inches of space between your leg and your dogs neck. Most of the leash should be in your right hand, with one strand in your left. In addition, the leash should be loose. A correct loose leash should flow from your dogs collar to his elbow, then up to your left hand, forming the shape of the letter U with the bottom of the U level with the dogs elbow.
The correct way to hold the leash is the same as if you were pushing a shopping cart.
Automatic Sit: When you stop walking, your dog should stop with you in heel position, and sit without a command.
The heel correction: Every time you give the “heel correction,” be sure to say the word “Heel” to your dog. When your dog is out of heel position correct him by giving the leash a series of tugs (several quick bursts of tighten and releases) on the leash. Do not pull your dog into position.
Remember, “when your leash gets tight, your dog stops learning.”
Your dog can only be out of heel position in 4 different directions; in front of you, behind you , to the left of you, and bumping into you (to the right). In order for your dog to understand what you are asking of him, you must give clear signals. When you begin training have your dog sitting on your left side. Give the heel command and take a step forward. If your dog does not get up, or is slow to get up, without giving another command, tug and release the leash forward with the right hand, and continue tugging until the dog begins to follow.
REMEMBER: Once the dog begins to respond to the verbal cue, eliminate the tug. If your dog is ahead of you, tug the leash in a backward motion with your left hand. Swing from your shoulder and flick your hand back at the same time.
NEVER bend your left elbow.
If your dog is behind you, tug the leash in a forward motion with your right hand. You can bring your left arm forward as well, but do not bend your left elbow. If your dog is heeling wide, more than 8 inches from your left leg, snap the leash to the right, across your body, with your right hand. If your dog is bumping into you, pick up your knee and bump him over, just behind the ear. If it is a small dog, use your ankle. Do not try to guide your dog away from you. This will only cause the dog to lean into you more.
The automatic sit correction: As you began to slow up and stop, your dog will have a tendency to keep going. As soon as your dog’s shoulder approaches your left leg, begin tugging the leash back until the dog stops advancing. Once the dog has stopped, but is still standing, hold the leash (near the collar) with your right hand, place your left thumb on your dog’s backbone and grip your fingers around your dogs side just in front of his rear left leg. Say “SIT” one time then lightly pull up on the leash and simultaneously squeeze and lightly push down on the rear end. Do not jerk your dog into position. If your dog stands up after he has been seated, repeat the exercise. Give the “SIT” command only once then correct. One command, per correction. Do this until the dog remains seated. You cannot overdo this exercise. Remember, dogs learn through repetition. If you hold the dog in a "sit" he is not learning. If you repeat the command several times as you get the dog to sit once, then you are teaching the dog NOT to respond to the first command. Also, we charge you a dollar for every extra command you give for the same exercise.
The About Turn: You must do this exercise on a loose leash and DO NOT give a verbal command. This teaches your dog to focus. As your dog is heeling, make a sharp 180° turn (half of a full turn) to the right. Your dog will have a tendency to continue forward. As you begin to pivot, drop the leash from your left hand. This will allow the leash to remain loose. As you complete your pivot, tug the leash, (tighten and release) with the right hand and at the same time grasp the leash again with the left hand making sure there is slack in the leash. Repeat this several times. Once the dog is pivoting in heel position with you, eliminate the physical correction.
This Website Updated: 2-12-2022 All information contained in this website is current, and up to date
JCM's Obedience Training Program adheres to the regulations and standards set forth by the AKC (American Kennel Club).