- Your dog should be comfortable sitting in heel position (unless your dog will be showing, then don’t teach an automatic sit).
- Your dog should be able to follow you as you practice walking back and forth saying “let’s go!” every time you turn.
- Treat pouch
TRAINING ENVIRONMENT: Start in an open area that your dog is familiar with, but where he’s not overly distracted. This can be inside your home, your garage, or your back yard as long as he is not overly aroused by the environment.
RECOMMENDED TREAT POSITION: In position: At your dog’s eye level near the seam of your pant leg.
- Tell your dog “let’s go!” and take a few steps forward. Click and treat when your dog gets into heel position. If he gets out of position before you can treat him but you are able to click him on time, treat him in the position where you would want him to be so he must come back to position for the treat.
- Turn and repeat this three or four times.
- Now turn and do not click when your dog reaches position. When you don’t click he will probably look at you.
- Click the look, and give him a treat.
- If your dog doesn’t look at you, try more back and forth movement with clicks when he reaches heel position.
- When you think your dog is anticipating the treat, pause before you click and see if you get a look.
- If all else fails, cue him to look at you with a “watch me!” and click and treat the look. Do this only a few times. You don’t want it to become something you have to cue each time because your dog believes it is part of the behavior.
Work 5-10 minutes a day.
AT THE END OF THIS STEP:
Your dog should be looking up at you intermittently as you walk. You should continue to click and treat the looks.
My dog won’t look at me.
- Try a less distracting environment.
- Talk to your dog! Engage and be excited.
- Try a stinkier treat
Practice your watch me several times before you start the exercise so he remembers that’s valuable.
- Try keeping human food (like cheese) in your cheeks while you walk. If the treats are coming from your mouth, your dog will be inclined to look at your face.