Training Right Sided Heeling

Since Lance is pretty much done with his formal training for sports I've tried to still keep up with training.  He still wants to work even if his body no longer cooperates as well as it used to.  In my attempt at increasing my motivation I occasionally come up with goals to work on.

Recently I decided I want to train Lance to actually heel on my right side.  Technically Lance "knows this" to the point that if rally required right sided work (and I think the new AKC rally class does!) Lance could easily pass under rally scoring.  But it wouldn't be pretty.  So much forging and crabbing!  Does anyone remember how Lance used to be a good body length ahead of me, looking over his shoulder at me, during his normal left sided heeling?!

So I'm going to clean it up.  And that means going all the way back to heeling foundations.  Since Lance has a history of being really pushy it's going to be a lot slower going than starting fresh with a dog.  Zumi learned both left and right side at the same time and while her right side work is a little rusty, the foundations are solid so it wouldn't be hard to clean up.  Vito is kinda in between.  His foundations on the right were at one point pretty solid, but now well I've created an obsessive and pushy monster over the years in attempts to work on his motivation.

The way I teach heeling to the majority of dogs who are relatively easy to motivate is through pivot work foundations.  Stand on a perch and rotate, rotate, rotate.  Then the same thing without the perch.  Lots of rear end work going towards me.  I almost always start heeling with pivots, side steps, and backing up long before I add a single forward step.  The emphasis is on holding position with small changes in direction.

Lance's occasional sessions are still focusing hard on those small doodles.  The biggest progress so far is that his attempts at forging are WAY less.  Mostly this is due to reward position.  I did a lot of feeding behind my back with each cookie.  Now I usually don't feed quite so far back, but when I remember to I pass the cookie from my left hand to my right hand behind my back instead of passing in front.

This session on Friday I tried one of my first steps of forward moving.  I planned to counteract each forge with a pivot, but I see that Lance isn't quite proficent at doing his pivots out of motion vs starting from a standstill.  Oh and I'm completely ignoring the error of his butt being behind me right now as we work on not crabbing out.  The opposite error is ok for now!

Kristen  – ( May 7, 2017 at 6:35 PM )  

I don't know about AKC rally but WCRL will have it as Level 3 bonuses. Thanks for showing people it's not as scary as they may initially believe!

Laura and The Corgi, Toller, & Duck  – ( May 7, 2017 at 8:29 PM )  

Oh fun!!! I can't wait to see what other new signs they come up with! Hopefully a better batch then some of the new AKC signs...
I'm hoping this will motivate me even more to actually practice with the corgi!

Kristen  – ( May 8, 2017 at 9:46 AM )  

New WCRL ones should be on the will be introduced in a staggered way, some changes July1, some Oct 1 and the rest Jan 1

Laura and The Corgi, Toller, & Duck  – ( May 8, 2017 at 6:03 PM )  

Just looked! Nothing really major it looks like other than right sided heeling. But they sure do need those video examples to come out, I'm not following the differences in switching from left to right side at all other than the tandem turn one!

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