Charging the Clicker Your dog doesn’t have to perform any behavior for this. Just click and feed him a treat 10 times in a row – quickly (dogs like speed!) then take a break. Later in the day, repeat. This should only take about 15-30 seconds each time.
You can “charge the clicker” any time, throughout the life of your dog, as a quick refresher before training.
Kibble-Toss Game Play this game a few times this week to improve your timing and observation, and to solidify the association for your dog, “Click = Treat”
Scatter at least 10 -20 pieces of kibble or small treats on the floor, far enough away from each other that your dog has to travel a few steps to get each one (but not so far that the dog has to hunt for them). Watch carefully and click just before the dog consumes each piece of food.
Reinforcement Zone Since your dogs will be learning to “heel” we want your left side to be a reinforcement zone – the place where treats are delivered.
- Any time your dog shows up near your left side, click and deliver a treat next to your left leg, at the seam of your pants.
- Any time you feel like giving your dog a freebie treat, just for being cute, deliver it next to your left leg.
Attention Reinforce voluntary attention throughout the day, everyday.
- C/T (or praise and treat) anytime the dog looks at you with eye contact
- If your dog is still looking at you, C/T again! Duration is a wonderful thing!
- Use a release word when you’re done. Don’t “hang up” on your dog!
Heel position Reinforce heel position as often as you can – anytime you think of it!
- Put yourself in heel position next to your dog to teach the correct picture.
- Practice Sit and Down in heel position – use a wall or barrier if necessary
- Practice Attention in heel position
- Practice Stay – leaving your dog from Heel position and walking away
- Practice walking a short, straight line in Heel position with dog’s head up, dog giving attention. Use a wall or barrier if necessary
- Practice large circles to the right.
- Try to encourage the dog to stay in heel position without lagging. Click, stop, and deliver a treat for heel position.
- If your dog gets ahead of you, turn away to the right so he/she has to catch up. The instant he catches up to heel position, click, stop and deliver a treat.
- Practice 360 degree turns and 270 degree turns to the right. Make them fun!!
- Practice walking a short, straight line with a 90 degree right turn. Click for correct heel position while turning and stop (the turn is finished) to deliver the treat.
The “Ready” Game At the start line, the judge will ask, “Are you ready?”. When you answer, “Ready!” your dog should hear this as a cue to look up at you.
- Have your dog in heel position.
- Keeping your eyes on your dog, ask yourself aloud, “Are you ready?” and then answer yourself, loud and clear “Ready!”
- Wait for your dog to look up at you, however long it may take.
- As soon as your dog looks up at you, mark and reinforce!
The following are PDF handouts which will download when you click the links:
Left About Turn demo: