She's got it!


New Member
We have been working on "watch" for ages. She gives a good solid 15 seconds... Glances away and then gives me another 15! She's good at it. :)

We've been trying to do the beginning of a heel (right pivot) and finish (left pivot) using my eye contact as a lure, I suppose, is the best way to describe it. Unfortunately, I have tried to get all the fidget out of Clover and I think that made her less inclined to move position! So this wasn't working.

So we went to food lures. She already knew "middle" (go inbetween my legs facing the same way as me), and I do think this helped. I can walk backwards and forwards saying "middle" and she will follow backwards and forwards. She vaguely knew "heel" as "stand at my left hand side in line with me" but needed some luring assitance with this.

Many clicker trainers say not to use your word until it's the behaviour you want. I've always found it more useful to use it, and my dogs 'get' things quicker. So my basic pattern was this:

1) Using lure and "heel" with Clover in position. Frequent rewards in position only (no thrown treats here!).
2) Using lure and "heel" with a right pivot. Again, frequent rewards in position only. Sometimes a 'inclination of movement' was rewarded (just one step!).
3) Using lure and "heel" with a left pivot. Again, frequent rewards in position only. I often had to pull my hand back and realign her before the reward. She was like, "My head's in the right spot, doesn't that count?"
4) This was all done with treats in my left hand, held close to my hand and luring. Then I switched to treats in my right hand and held my left hand behind my back. The left hand behind my back has always been the cue to watch. Frequent rewards from my right hand rewarding Clover only while she's in position (including luring back to position if need be) for watching.
5) SMALL pivots with the word "heel" as she is maintaining eye contact - again, small steps towards success rewarded! Thinking about heeling with me rewarded! Anything remotely like the final behaviour.
6) Our left pivots were harder to maintain without a food lure. She would 'get there' but not get in position. We enlisted food lures to finish her off in these circumstances. :)

Okay, so this was just to record our success for today. Today she's just gone CLICK and I believe it's a combination of lures and watch training that have helped us. I'm very happy. :) She almost heels better than Mac already.

Jean Cote

Staff member
Congratulations!!! Sorry I must have missed this post! :( Good stuff, now the hard part is to do it without any treats. :D (Darn obedience trials!!)


New Member
Well, she does it with treats in my pockets not my hands. ;) So there's a start. She's actually pretty good working for the privledge of licking my face. 8-)

I attempted to get a video of her beginning heelwork behaviour, but it's pretty bad (the video) - it was a bit dark.