Heeling Class

Feb 4, 2018 | Serra's Story

Kamal’s heeling class is lots of fun. I’m sorry I’ll be missing a lot of it – but at least I’ll have it in my library so I can keep working. I had strut heeling with Song (Giant), but Serra seems much more blocky. This may be my impression because he’s a pup without much muscle yet, or because he’s in full winter coat. He may not be able to get a strut in, maybe never, maybe until he’s older and in better condition. Doesn’t matter. It’s flashy but it’s not necessary. Syn OTOH is getting it very well.

I have to work more on his swing finish. When he was a baby, he was way ahead of the game, but now that we need it, we don’t have him convinced that he should automatically go there on his own yet. Interesting – pocket hand has taught him to swing into heel position when I touch the side of his muzzle in front of his left eye. Silly puppy.

The biggest problem we’re having right now is that he is easily distracted by… a treat he thought he missed, Ron doing something in the kitchen even though there’s a door between us and the kitchen. I prescribe better treats and more work on floor Zen. I expected his dedication to task from being outside stores and ignoring people to translate to all situations. I was wrong. He’s not ready to generalize on his own yet.

Retrieve – he’s still peeling off the first toss at 12 feet, but after turning back toward me, he remembers what he was doing and goes back to the dumbbell. That was a test. I’ll be starting with short tosses and building up to the longer ones, Chuting when he comes off without waiting for him to go back and get the job done. Also we need a bit more work on delivery to hand, sometimes he comes near but doesn’t think of putting his nose up to present the dumbbell. Looks like it might be a throwback to the difficulty we had with getting him to let me have his bone the other day. Better treats, more in-hand practise.