I have spent lots of time working on the stationary heel position with Tanner. We worked on attention in this position until I was confident he understood what I wanted and could do it in a variety of places. Next we worked on taking the first step. Tanner wanted to drop his head and look forward on the first step so we spent a lot of time jumping forward for a treat on the first step. Meanwhile, I worked with him in front of me pushing me backwards for a treat. When he was really into that game I would turn around so that he was on my left side and click and treat. I also taught him to swing his butt in to me in separate sessions. Here, we finally put it all together into a formal heel.
He is about 20 months old and this is really the first time I have asked him to do this much heeling at once. I am pleased to see that after working on all the components separately, he was able to put them all together! There is still lots of work for us to do. But, I am pleased with the progress so far. What's next? We will continue to work on the components in a variety of places. I will keep the frequency of reward high to continue his great attitude regarding this work. I can see that I need to make sure his whole body is in alignment when I treat after the click. He is forging a little bit too and we will work on refining the heel position. In fact, the whole reason I asked my friend to video this for me was so I can see where I need to improve!