Clickertraining With Your Dog - Getting The Dog To Walk Nicely By Your Side
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Clickertraining With Your Dog  -  Getting the Dog to Walk Nicely By Your Side

Hopefully you have now had time to work on focus and we will continue where we left off. Everybody wants a dog that can walk nicely by our side without pulling on the lead or jumping around right? Well this is what we are going to start working towards.

So now your dog can follow you when you walk backwards for about 20 metres or more. He can do this between cones or other obstacles, with turns etc. Well, now it is soon time for you to start walking in the right direction again. Walk backwards for a couple of metres first, if your dog follows with good eyecontact, turn your side towards him and walk like this for some steps. If your dog still follows with eyecontact, click and reward.

The next step will be to start walking backwards, then walk sideways and then finally turn a little and walk straight ahead. If you dog comes up to your left side - immediately click and reward. Repeat this several times and make sure to click and reward as soon as your dog comes into position next to your left leg.

Give the treats with your left hand near your knee at all times and the dog will instinctively start to position himself there. Some dogs are very quick with coming into correct position and now you have to decide if you want a perfect position next to your leg or not. If you in the future want to do obedience competitions it is important that you very soon start to click only for perfect position. If the dog walks too far to the side, too far ahead or is walking behind you don't reward then.

If your dog tends to go too far ahead it might be useful for you to take a few steps backwards, and when he is in the right position again click and reward. If you always do this your dog will soon stop rushing ahead.

When your dog starts to walk nicely straight ahead, it is time to do turns and maybe also try and change your pace. Make sure not to do to much at the same time. If you start with turns, click and reward, in or directly after the turn when the dog is in correct position. This makes the turns positive and can actually improve the dogs position when walking straight too. Same goes for changes in pace, only short distances to begin with so that you can click and reward often! Focus should be on getting the dog to stay in correct position at all times. When he understands what it is all about you can do more turns and longer distances and more changes of pace.

You can also train on different kinds of surfaces. It is much easier for the dog to walk with eyecontact on tarmac or concrete than in the forest. But this is something very useful to train since it gives the dog a better balance and body-awareness. Do short intervals so that you can click and reward often and this will be a fun game for your dog. Eventually you can let your dog try walking over cavaletti or in stairs with eyecontact.

When you are happy with your dogs performance and he is walking in the position you want, start using the word "heel" or whatever command you like best. Start using the command when the dog is walking nicely while you click and reward, and he will soon connect the word with the behaviour. After some time you can use the word just as the dog starts the behaviour, and eventually the word can be used as a que to start the behaviour.

Have fun training, and remember not to worry about what other people might think of you when you are walking sideways next to your dog!

If you have any ?, don't hesitate to contact me on my site Sighthound Supplies


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