Teach your dog how to heel correctly – Part 4
When it comes to obedience training, there should be no “half-way action” accepted. In other words, it’s all or nothing from your dog. And a crooked sit must be considered as something less than your dog giving his full potential.
Not only does it look shabby, but it also prevents the dog from accomplishing his full measure of discipline and character. You can prevent your dog from developing the bad habit of crooked sits simply by using your free left hand while heeling.
As you prepare to stop during a walk, make sure that your left hand is in a position to place on the dog’s rear in such a way as to prevent him from moving around in front of you after you have come to a complete stop. If your dog succeeds in sitting in a crooked way, hold back the praise until you have straightened his sit. As your left hand drops to his rear, keep your left thumb pointing toward your left leg. This will ensure that you do not accidentally place your dog in a crooked sit.
You do not have to push down heavily on your dog’s rear. You need to simply press lightly to help guide him into the proper sit position. It is more the right hand pulling the leash upward than the amount of pressure on the dog’s rear that will place him easily and quickly in the proper sitting position. Putting heavy pressure on your dog’s rear may stimulate him to resist, which is an unwanted action.
In these learning steps, the less resistance you have, the better off it will be, both for you and your dog. Also keep in mind the importance of a positive attitude.
Summary of the first 10 days of correct heel training
Your first ten days of obedience training should consist of proper leash introduction, getting your dog to walk confidently and happy. This is achieved without lagging or straining as he walks at your left side in the response to the command “Heel”. The first ten days of obedience training also consists of the introduction of the command “Sit” in which you place the dog in the sitting position each time you stop.
Once you are confident about placing your dog in the sitting position, which took one full week, you are now ready to bring your dog to a higher level of discipline, intelligence, and response.
You must decide to never place your pet in the sitting position again. You have spent one full week showing him exactly what sit means, and it only takes four days for the average house dog to learn the average thing. Now, it’s time to show your dog that he must do it for himself and that you will not be leading him by the hand all of the time.