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August 4, 2014

The Heeler's Toolbox II - Beyond the Basics

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 & Placeboards'. 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 or pass / fail.

Leerburg Online University - Basic Dog Obedience Course - 6 Weeks - $99 - Includes over 150 videos - Click to watch the course overview video!

Leerburg's Online Basic Dog Obedience Course

I am very glad that I took this course! Despite previous contact with several instructors who used marker training, the explanation from this course was the most complete and valuable ever. Thank You! Ed Frawley's sincere regard for dogs and his sincere desire to be a great teacher is evident throughout the course. I also appreciate having the two videos included in the course (pack behavior and using food rewards). Yes, some of it was redundant, but there is so much valuable information that it was worth powering through it. The most valuable part for me was learning about engagement. I spent once a week all last summer with a Schutzhund trainer teaching my dog controlled healing without ever having my dog really engaged with me... an extreme waste of everyone's energy and definitely not fair to the dog. What a difference with my new 8 month old GSD now that I have her engaged with me. We are breezing through the exercises in your course and have moved on to The Power of Playing Tug (and having so much fun).

You could make the course better if you would review the test questions and answers. I think I have a clear understanding of the course material, yet I agonized over several of the questions/answers - an example would be the question where the correct answer was "touch" but not clear (at least to me) from the question if you meant hand touch or touch pad.

Also, a very clear, detailed picture was given in the beginning of the course of the active vs. reactive dog resulting from training methods. However, in Week 5 this became way too muddled when talking about corrections. Thank you again for an overall great course!

Read more student comments on Leerburg Online University

Leerburg Q&A
Ask your training question

Question: My 4 year old dog is going to the bathroom in the house. We lived with my parents and their dog urinated in the house so my dog would mark his territory wherever the other dog went. He also used to go on pads at night based on our vet recommending this. Friends have said this is his way of getting back at me for moving to a new home. I'm getting frustrated and now I have a baby on the way so I don't want him doing this anymore. Please help me!

I have a Cocker Spaniel who is 4 years old, I was previously living with my parents who had other animals and another dog that used to urinate in the house. So of course my dog would go and "mark his territory" where the other dog went. My dog is trained to go outside and also use pads, our vet recommended the pads because cocker spaniels drink a lot of water and if they need to go at night, they can. When living with my parents he used the pad at night when he had to until my boyfriend came, but now that I moved, he has been doing both 1 and 2 in the house. I walk him in the mornings. I let him out all the time, but I don't know how to get him to stop. Friends said that it could be his way of getting back at us for moving him away from the other animals, or the fact that where we moved to they had another dog that used to go to the bathroom as well. I'm getting very frustrated considering I have a baby on the way and don't want him going to the bathroom in the house anymore. Please help me!!

Cindy's Response:

The key to solving this is to take away his freedom while he's learning what you expect. Dogs don't do things to "get back at you," this is not how dogs think.  He's simply doing what you have allowed him to do in the past. 

He needs to be crate trained and when you can't watch him, he needs to be in a crate or ex-pen. I would keep him on leash at all times, even in the house. Here is our house training section, basically you need to pretend he's a new puppy and that he doesn't know anything in order to do the best job retraining. 

We have a number of eBooks that may be helpful. There is one specifically on house training issues. I'd also recommend the video Pack Structure for the Family Pet and our section on dogs and children.  

Cindy Rhodes

For more questions on this topic, see our Q&A on House Training.

We get a number of Q&As every week, if you would like to read this week's Q&As, click here and check out the 'Recent Questions' section!

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 Mil-Spec Tracking Harness

  Love this harness. Strong; light weight; easy to put on and off; comfortable for the dog; very adjustable so you can get good fit. Its exactly what I was looking for. Its also easy to clean when it gets muddy!    
The Michael Ellis School for Dog Trainers
Check out the 2014 Schedule!

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