Our first attempt at teaching Emily phrase1 the first step of luring Emily into the initial heel position. We had a problem of Emily not going past our leg and moving into the correct position of being behind our heel. We were using a step back to encourage her to do so. One of the joys of living in Australia during the summer months was we were being attack by March flies (biting flies) and the lesson was cut short.


  1. Great video Sharon. I love how you used Gary to stand in as a “client”. It helps to practice the skill of teaching people, especially if you ever want to teach groups. The more we can instruct without needing to put our hands on the dog or handler the better.
    This would technically be a “phase 1 sit – marking” video. To make things easier i would suggest leaving out the “sit” after emily gets into position for heel. Even though the version 2.0 videos show an automatic sit, we dont teach the auto sit anymore for various reasons unless a client specifically requests it or the dog is being trained for a specific task that requires it such as competition.
    When we leave out the auto-sit it gives more versatility to what we can tell the dog to do once returning to the heel position. Also it causes more conflict when we are heeling in real life and we dont want the dog to necessarily sit when we pause, for instance when there are puddles on the ground.
    We follow the same concept now with teaching ‘come”. We do not assume that “sit” will be the best option when the dog arrives and simply want the dog to stay close to us. Then the handler can simply put on a leash, command the dog to sit,down,heel, etc.. without the dog needing to unecessarily go through another command.
    Also, adding an auto-sit can stand in the way of a dog being successful. By that i mean a dog could go to the heel position perfectly, but then not get rewarded and maybe corrected for not doing the sit well. If you have any questions regarding this let me know. Again, i am not saying an auto sit is wrong if it is what is requested or what you want. I am just saying it will be unnecessary for most pet dogs.