Easy-cheesy Way To Teach "heelwork"


Honored Member
I think you are great together!!
I personally would prefer him to be a little less in front of you. At 0,54 sec he is almost blocking you in your walk. Ideally he should be next to you, his head curved around your leg and up to you. Now his shoulder is in front of you and his shoulder should be next to your leg.
This might be because you are not walking fast enough. If you speed up(not running, but a fast walk) then his gate will stretch and become more regular and he will probably level out next to you.
He is in a bit of an angle, his back is turned away from you, he should be parallel to you.
I am not critisizing you, mind you!! Just a few tweaks.
You are already fantastic!

Looking at him, I wonder if there is some australian cattledog in him, somewhere. Especially in that first shot of him in the kitchen area and then when he come between your legs, his head really reminds me of cattledog. The way he poses himselve, how he walks, it just isn't quite shepherd. Funny, because when I look at your signaturepicture of him, I just see german Shepherd....
I noticed that too, where she was starting to block me. I was walking faster at first, but she started to walk in front of me, so I slowed down. The clips are all mixed up. The ones where she was starting to walk in front of me are from when we first got there. Where she is in the right position is later. I think we just need to practice some more.

I posted the video so I could get some constructive criticism and tips. :D Thanks for the advice!

Finally, someone who also thinks she might be an Australian Cattle Dog mix!!!! I haven't had anyone else agree with me until now. I just tell everyone she is a German Shepherd, Australian Kelpie mix. I pretty much just chose a random breed I liked and wanted her to be mixed with. X)


Honored Member
WOW, IS THAT DOG EVER CUTE!! SO SO CUTE!! I smiled the whole way through this video! Just cute cute cute !!!

I also think your heelwork in the first clips, it *seemed* like Shiloh was doing what someone above called "forging and wrapping" to see your face,
but at another spot, later on, Shiloh looked like he was in proper position. but, i'm still figuring this out myself, so what do i know?:ROFLMAO:

I think if Shiloh stays just a bit ahead, it makes turning LEFT kinda tricky. STILL, very very impressive, all the tricks, so nicely done, you've done a great job with your adorable dog! Loved this video!

also, interesting backdrop for the dog tricks, made it unique, imo. Like the music added in, too!
Thanks. :) When we go to agility classes, or anywhere and do tricks, she gets that smile. I just love it!

I'll work on heeling tomorrow and record our progress. Thanks again for the advice!


Honored Member
Well you might be right. I hadnot thought of the kelpie. It's a breed to so well known over here, mostly cattledogs. Looking at kelpies and Shiloh I deffinately think there is some Kelpie in him.
I think it is fun to guess what breed there is in a mix. In the end it doesn't matter, we love them anyway;)
I had a mix of something, they told me he was a newfoundland mix, but well I didn't see it, besides his coatcolor. I thought he was border collie mixed with something

He certainly wasn't the size of a newfy:D

How I loved him though... He was my soulmate for nearly 17 years, my beatifull Shane.

Sorry derailling the thread...:oops:


Honored Member
WOW, that is a real pretty dog, no idea what all is in that mix, but so beautiful. I once knew a dog who looked soooooooo much like that dog of yours, Anneke, it was also a mix, a real stunner just like yours.
A real one-of-a-kind beauty.


Honored Member
Yes he was. He was a rescue, got him from the pound at 4 months old. He was very, very fearfull of humans, men specifically. I think he was beaten. But for me it was love at first sight. We chose each other, I think. God I miss that dog. Had to let him go two years ago. He got diabetes at 12 years old, became blind because of that, within 6 months, but he just carried on, like nothing was wrong. If anything our bond became even stronger. I was his seeing eye-human;) I walked around with a string of bells, so he could follow the sound.
Still wanted to play fetch with his tennisball, that was a challenge. Throwing the ball, then sending him after it, by cueing him left, right, turn back, forward, but he loved it:D


Honored Member
Wow, he is just beautiful! I love the fluff on his ears!

I live in the US, and Kelpies are sorta rare I guess. I've seen some on Petfinder though, so there are some here.

The only reason I really want to know her mix is because she is just an amazing dog! She is a nice size, she has a great temperament, and she is beautiful. :) Other than that, I could care less what she is mixed with. :LOL:


Honored Member
Well, just thought i'd post an update, Buddy's heelwork is pretty darn good now. He now stays in perfect position, even for various speed changes. (faster, slower).
Our backwards is great, and our right turns are great. Our left turns are occasionally a bit clumsy if we are going at fast speed, but are lovely at slow speed.

IF I give verbal warning, "turn, turn, turn" Buddy will do an elephant style of turn in either direction, but, without the verbal warning, his left turn is sometimes a bit clumsy.
If i sort of stand in place and turn myself, (like kids in marching bands do) then Buddy will do an elephant style turn, even without a verbal cue. but, when i do sudden, rapid turns, esp to the left, it can be a bit clumsy now and then.

Overall, i am very very very proud and stoked with this accomplishment.
But, we still need more work on distractions, to help Buddy understand this is not "just a pose" but he is actually focusing on me.

ONE disappointment, is,
if i show this trick to others,
they are not impressed. I expected them to be amazed, cuz to ME, it is amazing, but, nope, not too much. Most of Buddy's other tricks, ppl seem to really appreciate and enjoy, but, heelwork, nope.


Honored Member
instead of saying "Start with a piece of cheese in your mouth"
i would have written instead "Start with a piece of cheese in your EAR"
"Start with a piece of cheese held in your hand which is placed on left side of your waist".

That is how i corrected Buddy's tendency to forge to see my whole face,
is by holding the cheese in my hand at my waist, i set my hand on my waist, and Buddy knew the cheese was in that hand, so he back up just a tad, to keep a better eye on that hand. After Buddy had solidly come to understand, "Oh, i should be walking right HERE, got it!"
then i faded out the cheese.

worked out fine that way,:D
but Fickla's advice, that training a dog to watch one's FACE might lead to forging/wrapping dogs, was absolutely correct, at least, it happened just like that for *my* dog, so i then had to fix the mistake by holding cheese at my waist, and rewarding him BEHIND my leg.


Well-Known Member
Heelwork ... The everlasting training item with one of my dogs.
Although i'm allready happy with her work, there still is a lot to improve. In this clip I'm really focusing on "holding the position".
Tips are welcome.



Honored Member
very NICE!!!!!!!!
my dog has a pretty much perfect "eyes on me" heel, and all i did was walk around with a piece of cheese held in my hand, on my left hip.

oh, and first, i trained Buddy to "get in" or stand by my left side. My cue for that is "Left side".


Experienced Member
Orpheum- I love the transitions from heel-side-center! I don't know where you live, but if you're in the US I would discourage the actual physical touching of your legs as it's considered crowding. If you're overseas than it's lovely :)


Honored Member
Lol, i never did put the cheese in my ear, of course,
but instead,
i found holding the cheese in my left hand, which was on my hip, and back just a tad,
worked out lovely.
THAT kept Buddy in great position....

i wish i had wrote that idea
instead of my first (stupid) idea of walking around with a piece of cheese in your mouth.:rolleyes: cuz that DOES make a dog forge and wrap, just like the others said it would...

Now, Buddy's signal to heel is my hand resting on my left hip while i walk....that'll do. Good enough for us anyway.


Well-Known Member
This is funny, because Lucky and I just started teaching the elephant heel a week or so ago, and Lucky caught onto it really quickly! It's funny how different dogs learn. :) I'll try and get some videos or pictures of us heeling. We're working on walking distances longer than 6-8 steps on the ground. That's an awesome idea for teaching a dog to heel, though!!!



Honored Member
Lol, Luckydog, well, to be clear, my dog wasn't having trouble with Elephant trick,
For whatever reason, *I* got dizzy, and then, i got worried my dog could be dizzy, so i quit elephant trick. (i know, i know, i am rolling my eyes at my own self).

however, the bright spot is,
my dog does lovely, perfect, precision turns beside me,
even though, he never ever learned the Elephant trick!!!!!!!!!

the right turns were great, right from the start,
Our left turns were a bit sloppy for a while, but, with practice, the left turns got perfect, too.
I think it was just practice, helped those left turns sharpen up.

Buddy can stay in perfect position, HIS GAZE STAYS UP ON MY FACE,
NO forging!! NO wrapping!! :D (thanks to the other ppl's tips on page 1).

Buddy can even do circles beside me as i twirl in place, either direction, moving only his back legs (mostly, with a very few front paw moves as well, to stay in position)

and go backwards, too, however, our backwards work, Buddy tends to curl just a tad, and end up partially behind me every once in a while.:rolleyes:
buddy's cue "back up" he walks backward in straight line (i used chairs lined up to stop the curl)
but, when in heel,
Buddy sometimes curls a bit in heel, when backing up.

no idea how to solve that one, though....oh wait, probably i should line chairs up again,
and just do heelwork backwards through the chairs!! of course!!!!!


Honored Member
but, yes, after watching heelwork on tv,
and youtube, for years and years, i always figured, "Wow, that must be really hard to teach a dog THAT!!"

but, i figured i have nothing to lose, might as well give it a go,
and WA-LA!! I was shocked at how easy it was to teach! who knew?

People say we look just exactly like the dogs doing doggie dancing on tv shows. I have not seen Buddy in heel on film, but, he keeps his right shoulder, right beside my left thigh the whoooole time.........
UNLESS Buddy gets buzzed by a fly, in which case, Buddy dumps me and takes off after the fly....:oops: but, other than that, Buddy looks like tv dogs!! If we went into a competition, i'd have to put up flypaper in that room the day before!!:ROFLMAO:


Honored Member
btw, Luckydog, if you do plan to try this "Easy Cheesy Way" to teach heelwork,
my first original post---------- DID get tweaked along the way.
I just invented this way myself, just made it up, and shockingly,:ROFLMAO: my first orginal guess on how to teach this, was NOT correct!!:notworthy: :rolleyes::ROFLMAO:

(who is surprised.):notworthy: :ROFLMAO: yeah, big shocker there, eh. First homemade guess was not correct.:ROFLMAO:

so do NOT put the cheese in your mouth,
but, instead,
hold the bit of cheese in your left hand, on your hip, (your elbow is bent)
and slightly back a bit.

I'm guessing, if you held cheese by your belt while training this,
that the dog would still look to your face, which was why i put cheese in my own mouth,:ROFLMAO: in first place. <----IF ANYONE DOES TRAIN THIS, holding cheese by your belt from the first day of training on,
i'd love to hear if dog still keeps his eyes on your face, even if cheese was held by belt all along. (i'm thinking dog would still keep his gaze on your face)


Honored Member
i have cheated,
and i have added in cue "mmmm" when i about to stop. No one can tell by looking, though.:LOL:

cuz if we were heeling at fast pace, and i stop suddenly, Buddy always took one more step, then backed himself back into correct position again.:ROFLMAO:

Now if we're walking slowly enough, Buddy stops nicely at same time as i do,:D but, rapid fast heelwork, nope....Buddy always took one more step, and then backed himself up.
so i taught Buddy, if i hum this noise "mmmm!" means "stop"/ we are stopping now.

works great. Other ppl seem to be able to skip the hum means "stop!" but, i could not.