Heelwork has been a passion for me since I trained my first dog. It brings a partnership to life that incorporates synchronised movement, balance, understanding and connection.
I began competing in the early 1970s and enjoyed a successful partnership with 13 dogs, mostly collies, but also a Gordon Setter and Cavalier in Obedience, reaching Crufts on four occasions. The mid 1990’s saw the birth of heelwork to music and freestyle and this has been my hobby and joy ever since. I have enjoyed Crufts with my 9th generation of collies now in the main ring with lights and music.
Teaching heelwork to this level is a complex arrangement of simple behaviours. The complexity is our burden, not the dog’s.
This course will look at teaching heelwork for competitive dogs sports. The emphasis will be on building a heelwork-fit, balanced, confident athlete capable of sustaining the sport requirements.
We will teach accurate positioning with targets, build gaiting fitness that incorporates natural, balance without exaggeration, and integrate rewards that are woven into the essence of the moving partnership.
You can develop your training towards heelwork to music, obedience, working trials, or other suitable dog sport.
The majority of the training can take place in a reasonable sized kitchen, with weekly opportunities to build gaiting stamina on a suitable surface of a large area. A hard-top car park, or level lawn area would be perfect.
The course will examine:
- The components of the behaviours, identifying the goals and setting points of achievement
- Teaching the dog self-positioning
- Gait strength, fitness and balance
- Building anticipatory rewards
- Personal disciplines and handling skills
- Transitions and changes
- Performance and competition preparation
It would be useful for both you and your learner to be familiar with clean food delivery and the use of a marker. You will need to have researched your goal sport and have a clear understanding of the requirements and expectations. Clean, thoughtful training naturally develops learner confidence, a perpetual joy in learning and strong sense of achievement for both participants.
This is an 8 lesson course in a taught, classroom-forum format. Each lesson will examine specific topics in detail, allowing for extensive questioning, discussion, review and feedback of videos.
You will need to be able to video your own training and edit and upload to share with the forums if you require feedback.
2019: Thursdays: Jan 10, 24, Feb 7, 21, Mar 14, 28, Apr 11, 25. The course closes Jun 20. The same Classroom will be open at 1000 and 1800 (GMT/UTC) on these dates, and then access is available throughout the course. You do not have to attend the Classrooms at these times ot participate. Details of the course forum and log-in page will be sent out on 3 for pre-course familiarisation. By enrolling on this course you agree to the Terms and Conditions. Course FAQs
There are no options for refunds once the course has started, but under certain circumstances you may be able to be transferred to another course.
There is a discount for Members of Learning About Dogs: Seekers (10%), Setters (20%). Please contact us for the Member’s discount code.