Day 7: “Dull heelwork”

“Dull heelwork” means that the dog just tags along by my side. The dog will not be able to heel by anticipation a whole hunting day, so I want to create a feeling of calm in the heelwork as early as possible, especially with eager dogs. In this way, I also get the dog used to the notion that nothing interesting is going to happen. It is like our usual coffee training to create calmness – but in motion. Simply habituation. I mainly do this with eager dogs and only once the dog has started to get an understanding of the heel position by voluntarily finding it’s position by my side. Depending on the dog, it may be when it is 7–8 months or older.

“Dull heelwork” – nice and calm with a loose leash behind my back

Today’s exercise

    • How long does it take for your dog to calm down in the “dull heelwork”?
    • Train heelwork at least once. (Note how many sessions and minutes of heelwork you do. Train what you and your dog need – it doesn’t have to be the training in the blog post of the day.)
    • Feel free to tell us and others about your training by commenting on the posts on our website and/or Facebook page.
    • If you haven’t participated in the challenge from the start, read here to find out how it works: Day 1: Heelwork challenge.

Want to improve your heelwork even more? Check out our online courses and webinar on heelwork!

2 thoughts on “Day 7: “Dull heelwork””

  1. Hi,
    May i ask a precision about these walks?
    Do you begin by walking with or without leash to have the dog peeing .. and then initiate a heelwok session, not allowing the dog sniffing and looking around?
    Must we find a place for toilet and a place for work?

    1. It depends 🙂 At home I usually walk to heel off leash while exiting through my gate and into the forest (50 meters), then I let the dogs run and do their business for a while before starting to train. Other times they have been out in the garden before I go out and already done their business and then I start the “dull heelwork” on leash as soon as we leave the garden. In new areas with other dogs, f ex course settings, I usually let them pee and poo on leash before starting to train.

      Where you want to train is also up to you. If it’s very difficult for the dog to work around scents of pee (especially the pee of other dogs can be difficult) you can start training elsewhere, but later on we want them to be able to work even if other dogs has peed in the area. When walking in the forest I don’t find that to be a problem.

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