I am currently working on putting together a freestyle routine for Lance. I have no idea what I'm doing and am going back and forth (repeatedly!) between two songs but I am having a blast sequencing his heel work and tricks. What I discovered today though is that Lance does not have any concept of "side" (heeling on the right) like I thought. While he will walk with me in relative position he has no clue how to pivot, side step, back up, or really do anything on my right side. So back to the drawing board and since I have never taught Lance to pivot on my right I thought I would share the experience of Lance learning. The video's not meant as a how to, more of a compilation of some of the steps and then their first session of the pivoting in side.
I start teaching pivoting for heel and side on a block. Lance already knew that his job was to keep both feet on the block and how to pivot his back feet while in front of me in both directions so most of the work was already done. If you have not taught that yet then start shaping now!
I then aimed to use luring to get Lance to move into Side position and heavily reward him standing on my right. Moving the treat to his right shoulder caused Lance to turn his head to get it and do a little pivot. Since Lance already knew how to physically pivot clockwise I was quickly able to get him doing it with me and without a visible treat. This morphed into a new hand signal and my attempts to do it without the block. I think we did a pretty good job!
I then aimed to teach him to side step on my right. I couldn't remember how I taught Lance to side step on the left so I winged it and thought I could use his new right side pivot skills to get him to move sideways. I started by luring him, treat to his right shoulder blade, but this confused the crap out of him :) So then I started asking him to pivot on the right and once he got going I quickly took a direct step to my left. This kind've tricked Lance's body into doing a side step! He isn't straight at all but he is at least starting to get the concept of moving his back feet to keep parallel with me.
I realized afterward that my new hand signal is very very similiar to my hand signal to limp on the left leg. Hence Lance's leg being off the ground a lot in the video! I'm thinking my pivot hand signal needs to change!