Experienced Member
I am in the process of teaching my dog freestyle. I am trying to have her follow me, mirror me but she doesn't seem to interested. She doesn't seem taken with the dancing so much and doesn't always follow me when heeling. I was hoping someone would have some ideas of how to make her more enthusiast and heel better.
thank you. debby:msnblushing::msniwonder:


Experienced Member
you're right, freestyle is ALL about great heeling. The heelwork is the glue between the tricks.

I'm guessing that you are just trying to do too many steps at once. Do you have good heel position while you are just standing still? really make sure that you dog knows where heel is while you are standing before you take a step. But then work it slowly, 1 step, 2 steps, 3 steps and don't do more then that till you are really happy with it. Heeling is not the same as loose leash walking. I reccommend joining a local obedience club.
As for enthusiasm, does she like toys more then treats? then play tug or throw a ball as a reward.


Experienced Member
Freestyle is actually not just about heeling. I have been competing in freestyíle for at least 2 years now, and I must admit, I didn't teach a heel to Pami for at least a year, and we still could won competitions. :D
It actually sounds like you don't reward at all.
If your dog is a real beginner, teach him to follow your hand at first. Just click and treat whenever he touches your hand, and after a while, he'll start following it, to be able to touch it. After this, you can start teaching the heel position.
as I think the heeling looks good if the dog is looking up at your face (or if you have a small dog, your hand, as the point is they have to look up), so that's why it think he should follow your hand first.
Then as Fickla told, do it really slowly, at first just one step, then 2, etc...

If you want really close heeling, reward when his body touches your leg.

Aaand last but not at all least:
Don't do heeling too much at a time, as it can easily become boring for the dog. Do lot of tugging if your dog likes to play, or just run a little with him, be happy. :)

Good training! :)