In this lesson you and your dog will learn to heel in a Figure 8 pattern around two people. This is a competition obedience exercise that is tested in the Novice and Open levels.

Process

Prerequisite: Before starting this lesson be sure that your dog can Heel on Left in a straight line with moderate distractions.

  1. Have two training assistants stand facing each other about 8 feet apart.
  2. Position you and your dog between your two assistants with your dog on leash and in the sit position on your leftside (seated heel position).
  3. Hold a treat in your left hand, issue your heel command, heel to the left around the first person, heel across the middle, heel around the second person, and stop/halt when your team returns to the center (making a figure 8). As you learned in the Heel on Left lesson, your dog should automatically sit when you halt.

Note: In competition, you will be required to perform two figure 8 patterns ending with an automatic sit.

Suggested Command Words:

Use the same command word that you selected in the Heel on Left lesson.

Heel Let’s Go With Me Be Close

Tips

  • It is very normal for your dog to be extremely interested in your training assistants, grass, and other distractions. Therefore, be sure to treat and reward when your dog follows your command.
  • If your dog is very good a Heel Figure 8, have your assistants provide additional distractions such as noises or holding a toy.
  • If you can’t find two assistants, you can practice Heel Figure 8 with two traffic cones or paint buckets.

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