2-minute dog trainer, Tempest learns directionals

With my new job keeping me away from home at dinnertime, Bud has assumed the role of Tempest’s 2-minute trainer for one meal a day.

I’m still feeding breakfast every day, and Tempest is learning how to find heel position from a multitude of positions.

He seems to like my hands hanging at my side (versus left hand at my waist) and that’s going to be just fine with me. I was trained, 20 years ago, in the “old school” position, dress code, etc.

Now I’m more comfortable with a natural heel position, handler’s arms relaxed, dangling at side, dog relaxed and attentive at side.

So Tempest is learning how to find heel position without a lot of signaling from me. I’m going to teach him a lot of verbal cues, including “Heel!” for a left finish, for heeling forward, etc.

In the meantime, Bud’s teaching Tempest “Right!” with a spin to his right.

He began by luring Tempest in the turn, then began removing the lure and allowing Tempest to choose the behavior.

If Tempest makes the slightest indication to the right, Bud produces the lure/reward and helps him around.

He’s been doing this for about 10 days, and Tempest has a pretty solid spin to the right, about 50-60% reliable. Bud plans to continue along this protocol path until Tempest is 90-100% reliable on “Right!”

He’ll then begin the mirror image protocol for “Left!”

In the meantime, you can imagine the amusing options my puppy offers when he’s in front of me and I say “heel!”

First he gives me a couple of right spins, sometimes spinning straight into heel position.

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