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May 21, 2015
Leerburg Online University
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Heeler's Toolbox II Intro

The Heeler's Toolbox II - Beyond the Basics

The Heeler's Toolbox is a series of classes with a comprehensive curriculum focusing on beginner, intermediate, and advanced obedience skills and techniques essential to any competitive obedience team. This series focuses heavily on both how to teach powerful, precise, and elegant heeling work and why the itemized skills and concepts are a benefit to any serious competitive partnership.

Intermediate Course Objective:
To break down and explore 'post foundation' heeling skills and concepts that affect precision, attitude, and sustainable performance within competitive heeling teams. Goals of this course are to build off of foundation concepts from HT1 in order to further equip both dog and handler with the necessary physical, mental, and presentation skills to maximize the relationship and heeling experience; and the knowledge and confidence to fluidly implement these skills into their continued heeling program.

Intermediate Description:
This is a five week course detailing the evolution of our foundation heeling skills into more advanced precision heeling concepts. Each week will be dedicated to the breakdown, discussion, and application of a different Intermediate skill. Skills covered in the intermediate class include: 'Adding Movement - Critical First Steps', 'Proper Use of Toy Reward', 'Reward Placement', 'Bridge Behaviors', and 'Touch Pads & Place Boards'. Class will be a mix of online peer discussion, written lecture, video lecture, and video homework assignments (students will be required to film their training for some portions of the class). This class is neither graded nor pass / fail.

Basic Dog Obedience Self-Study CourseTeaching Our Dogs eh Rules of Play Self-Study CourseTeaching Engagement Skills Self-Study CourseThe Heeler's Toolbox I Self-Study CourseHousebreaking 101 Self-Study Course

Leerburg's Teaching Engagement Skills with Forrest Micke

I thought the class was well thought out and well organized. I like that it was broken down into little bits of information that were easy to digest. The segments built on the previous ones.

I appreciated that I could take the class at my own pace, as I really had trouble finding two full weeks to give to it, but was able to stretch it out and still view all the materials and work with my dog on the different skills. We are already making significant progress.

Well worth the money. I have already been recommending the class to other dog owners who have engagement issues.

Read more student comments on Leerburg Online University

Leerburg Q&A
Ask your training question

Question: My son has a laser light and my 10 month old dog loves chasing the light. Now she's constantly looking for lights and shadows all the time. Is there a way to train her out of this?

I have a 10 month old GSD from a strong Czech and German working lines. She's doing quite well in her bite training. About two months ago my sons got some of those laser lights and started playing with the dog. The dog loved chasing the lights and would jump up and stomp on the light with both feet which everyone thought was funny. This went on for about two weeks and then I put a stop to it because the dog was becoming obsessed looking for the lights constantly. It's been at least two months now but the dog still searches constantly for the lights or any shadows when she is in he house. She now stomps on shadows. Is there a way to train this out of her?

Cindy's Answer:

Once this obsession is created it's very difficult to deal with. I despise those laser lights for this very reason. I've seen a couple really nice dogs ruined by this, one went so far as to leave the helper on the bite work field to chase shadows. I wouldn't let her have the freedom to search the house, I'd keep her under strict supervision (on leash). My suggestion is to try to interrupt the behavior and give her something else to focus on. Teach her to give you eye contact on command and mark and reward it. It's a tough issue, I don't know if it's possible to extinguish the behavior permanently, even with corrections. I would read our article, Training Dogs with Markers & keep her busy with little tasks when she's not kenneled or working.

I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes

For more questions on this topic, see our Q&A on Behavioral Problems

Have a question for Ed & Cindy? Try the Leerburg Q&A Search. If you can't find the answer to your question by using our search engine, you can email Cindy here at Leerburg at If you have your spam filter on, make sure you set it to receive our replies!!!

Customer Comments

On Leerburg's Ikon X-Back Harness

  I've had this harness for a few months now and it's works awesome. I haven't put any major tension on it yet but have used it mainly to give my dog a little more exercise on our bike rides by having her drag a smaller chain on the ground. I use an old leash to clip the the back loops of the harness, and then string a chain through the handle of the leash which she drags. If you have high energy dogs, this is a great way to get rid of some of the excess energy.
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