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When the dog can find it’s position by my side when I walk it is also good if it can come to my side when I stand still. Something I often see both on courses and trials is that precisely that part is quite ceremonious. In many cases, the dog cannot get into position at all without the help of the handler’s hands or that the handler moves his shoulder or takes a step in any direction. It doesn’t matter if the dog walks around behind you to get into position or turn around in front of you. It doesn’t really matter if it sits at an angle in the gun dog work either. But since a lot of people tend to be annoyed that the dog is not sitting straight and it is easier to start walking with a good heelwork position if the dog is sitting straight, I really recommend teaching the dog that.

Detail Training

A classic exercise in obedience training is to teach the dog to pivot (rear end control) and we also use it to get the dog into position for our gun dog heelwork. If you have been into horse riding you will recognize the term pivot – it’s basically the dog stomping with its front paws at the same spot and turning the rear end around to get into position by your left side.

Totte preparing to pivot

Here Lena shows what it can look like:


From the first click for stepping onto an object to start walking.

Today’s exercise

    • Analyse your dogs position. Does your dog come into heel position and sit as straight as you want it to? Or what part of the pivot training would you benefit from doing?
    • 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.


Retrieving for All Occasions - Foundations for Excellence in Gun Dog Training
Retrieving for All Occasions - Foundations for Excellence in Gun Dog Training

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