Heel position Rep 1 - Emily is improving with following hand signals and the step back as become less to encourage her behind me into the correct heel position.

Note - Emily is a challenge to teach and a few problems have occurred in her training. Using the Pyramid has help me to identify problems that would be effecting her training. One canine behaviour - her temperament of being very timid and afraid of being hurt, (e.g. touch her nose when luring her in the vid and she yelp like she had been really hurt). Two health  - hip problems of going into a down position. (will add vid of "down" command later to Emily journal). Through further troubleshooting on what may help with the problems I've manage to overcome them.

  1. Heel position - step back to encourage her to go past my leg to position herself correctly behind my heel.
  2. Learning the down position - I use a soft mat to help her to go into the down position.


  1. This is so awesome to watch Sharon, love Emily! I have a soft spot for fearful dogs. It’s so nice to see her progress from your first journal entry already. Thanks for posting.

    Just wanted to share that I recently asked Mike about the auto sit within the phase 1 heel, and he said it is not necessary. I was confused about it since it was on the instructional video.

    Hopefully Mike or Judy can chime in about the pros/con of it and why it was in there originally and why it’s no longer required, but I’m guessing it’s not necessary when teaching heel because it may confuse the dog since we are combining 2 commands? Anyways Just wanted to share that bit since it’s one less thing to worry about for Emily :). Removing the auto sit certainly made things easier for Nova to understand the meaning of the command.

  2. Oh, thanks Davis…. next session I’ll try to add the step/movement in without saying “sit” and will use the free to release her instead. Much appreciated you sharing the info on the sit not being necessary. Following your journal as been so helpful to me in how I should be doing the training and how to use my journal properly. Your training of Nova is amazing.

  3. Hi guys! You’re doing a great job Sharon! Correct it’s not necessary and the reason being….we don’t want the dogs to automatically have to sit when walking and stopping during heel because it is unnecessary. If we want them in a sit or a down we can put them there….while on a normal walk it’s probably not practical to have them sit automatically….a few reasons why….if you live in a busy area…with lots if side walks or street signs your dog will constantly be getting up and down…another reason we don’t want to reinforce having to sit when we stop for practical reasons…here like today it’s freezing cold and snow all over…ithe just wouldn’t be nice to have my Un neutered male ot any dog feel like he or she has to sit while we’re heeling….if you catch my drift …the ground is so cold!! Also in the summer I wouldn’t want him to feel like he has to sit on the hot pavement ….if you stop and the dog sits or downs on its own…that’s perfectly OK as long as when you start to walk they go with you. It’s just for practical real life situations. We don’t make them because then we would have to reinforce it and if we reinforced it only in nice weather buy not in bad weather we would also be inconsistent. So it’s really personal preference and it’s not wrong to do we just don’t normally have them do an automatic sit because it’s just as easy if we want them to sit to put them into one. And the sould stop when your left foot stops anyway so if you stop at a cross walk the dog would stay still anyway until the left foot hits the ground again.

  4. Also, just so you both know, this is actually the act of teaching heel seeking.. (don’t know if I’m spelling that right, I’ll ask mike) this is an extra thing that you don’t necessarily have to teach, it just looks fancy 🙂 we actually haven’t really or didn’t ever really reach the heel seeking and the ones who have learned it have learned it after the fact…in fact…I don’t think I even taught my dog this. But I does have a nice finished look…as long as if you say heel and the dog come’s around with you and even if you do a little turn around and fall into position that is fine. So don’t feel like you have to do this….but if you do that is good too 🙂 again, personal preference.

  5. As long as the dog will walk in position behind the left heel it doesn’t matter if the dog will come to a flip finish when you call it to a heel….this is just so when you at start working with clients after the course you know it’s ok and not a big deal if it’s not necessarily a needed fit for someone and what they need. It’s OK to do and ok not to….having said that….you guys are doing so well at it….I better go teach my dog now lol!!