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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have never had to teach a dog how to heel backwards (as in the method used for defense of handler in French Ring) so I could definitley use some ideas on how to accomplish this. Can it be taught without having a 2nd person present? I do realize that some dogs just are not comfortable with heeling backwards and prefer the sideways heel (for lack of a better description). Is there something I can work with him now, while he is young, to get him comfortable/use to doing this? All constructive input is appreciated as we all know what works for one dog...may not for another.
 

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I have never had to teach a dog how to heel backwards (as in the method used for defense of handler in French Ring) so I could definitley use some ideas on how to accomplish this. Can it be taught without having a 2nd person present? I do realize that some dogs just are not comfortable with heeling backwards and prefer the sideways heel (for lack of a better description). Is there something I can work with him now, while he is young, to get him comfortable/use to doing this? All constructive input is appreciated as we all know what works for one dog...may not for another.


I have taught this, but first, is FR the same (aiming for three steps back, beside you, off lead)?
 

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If it is the same, here's what I did, and if it isn't, ignore me :>)

I found instructions online somewhere: Hold the lead (shortened up) in your left hand, treats in the right, and with the lead behind the dog's head. If you have a wall on the other side of the dog, then it's easier to keep him from wandering out of alignment. Take three slow steps backward and keep light pressure on the lead while you say "heel back" (or whatever you say in FR). When he tries to do it, mark and reward.

Gradually increase the distance from the wall after he's comfortable with backwards. Keep your hand behind the dog's head so that later, off lead, that can be his signal that he will be heeling back.

I had to go back to the wall a couple of times, because he was getting out of alignment, but I guess I just went too fast.
 

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we taught it with my husband, a bite tug, and another leash around her flank. So far we haven't worked it on anything but the tug. When I gave the "goodbye", she almost automatically made the turn, but teaching her the actual heeling was not so easy :sad: That's why I started with the flank strap to kinda ease her into position. It doesn't give her a correction or anything.

The hardest part for me has been teaching her that just the simple touch on the shoulder is the cue to bite. I still have to give a command - but we've not been working this part long (at first, I never let her bite the tug while he was behind me so that she wouldn't begin to anticipate).

I'm not sure whether I did this right, but it works well and looks very pretty, so....
 

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There are several ways to teach it.
I did not have a second person to help me initially teach Gator, so I taught it myself with a tug. I got him just walking backwards first and then introduced the heel.
I held the tug in front of me with him in a "heir" position, told him "escort" and walked forward into him. It took him a while to figure out that I wanted him to go backwards rather than to swing into a heel but with some patience, it worked. I could then pretty much hold the tug anywhere and tell him escort and he understood to walk backwards in front of it. When we introduced a decoy, the transition was pretty easy. If they need some extra guidance, a leash looped around their waist helps to correct their position.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Connie, Amber and Christina. I have been using the tug (soft frisbee) method as a reward for obedience, although I did begin teaching positions with food as a reward. He has no problem walking backwards when he is directly in front of me and I have the frisbee walking towards him, it is when he is next to me that he acts like he has no clue what to do. Guess I just need to be a little more patient and continue this, waiting for the light to click on. When we began the regular heeling, I used the fence to assist (both of us, as I can't walk a straight line to save my life). I was hoping to teach this movement without the decoy present - less conflict, as I was hoping to avoid using any compulsion until he's at least a bit older. Once my arm is better (hey at least I have a reason now for not swinging my left arm - thanks to Zane:smile: :smile: :smile: ) I'll have to see if I can manage the two lead method by myself. I was hoping to avoid having to be dependent upon a second person being present, as I enjoy working obedience with them several short sessions throughout the day and no one is around to assist.
 

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