This method is taught to Sparks as a puppy. It is similar to what many European and IPO handlers teach, although Janice has made some changes to suit her sport of choice which is AKC/CKC competition obedience. Janice wanted to try this method as it allowed her to have more hand on contact when teaching. It is also a way to teach more collection and active heeling if you follow through using all the tools provided in this video series. It can be more difficult for a novice trainer to teach, but if your dog does not connect with the armband method this is a great alternative. This is not a recommended method of heeling for small dogs.
Pot Work & Teaching Get the Rear in Foundation Exercises
Janice felt it was important to include some basic foundation skills that will help you to achieve your heeling goals. In these exercises she emphasizes rear end awareness and how to help your dog keep his rear in. One of the common problems in heeling is that the dog tends to "crab" which is heeling with the rear end out, this equals points off in the ring. Left turns are also difficult for many handlers and results in the handler turning left and the dog bumps into you by not picking up on your cue. This foundation work will help a lot of these issues, and it is also a fun exercise for your dog to learn.
Teaching Hand on Outside of the Dog's Head
You will see dogs that are trained in IPO competing and their handler's hand is on the outside of the head when they are heeling. Janice wishes we could do the same in our sport, but we can't and the challenge is when we put out hand at out waist, the dog tends to want to come forward. The skill of teaching your dog to have your hand on the outside of their head is very valuable throughout their career to help maintain proper heel position. In this section Janice will show you how to teach this and where you can place your reinforcement to provide your dog with a focal point for times when your hand is on the outside OR at your waist.