Sorting Toys and Choose to Heel

Cay has figured out how to come on my whistle by watching Chase. Today I practiced recalls on the whistle with her for the first time. All on her own, she learned to leave the inside toys inside and the outside toys outside. I didn’t have to teach her these things because she pays close attention to the other dogs. Today I practiced “choose to heel” exercises individually with each dog. I learned this at a Dawn Jecs seminar many years ago. You start walking and continue on your way, with a high value treat held in your hand at the heel position (not used as a lure, but the dog must learn that it’s there). The food-motivated dog will eventually figure out that there’s a reward in finding heel position and will catch up with you and find that position. It’s a great exercise because the dog has to think and find the desired position. When the dog reaches that position, I immediately reward so the light goes on in their head exactly when they reach that position.

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