This is a more formal walking position than in the previous exercise. Whereas the goal of Let's Go is to keep the leash loose, the Heel emphasizes a position in regard to you. The dog should walk with his shoulder next to your left leg. He should maintain that position whether you walk slowly, walk quickly, zigzag through a crowd, or even decide to jog to get out of the rain.

Begin by repeating the Let's Go exercise. When you and your dog are both walking forward, use a treat as a lure to focus your dog's attention on you while he's walking by your left side. At that

Jackpot is a name for an extraspecial treat or reward. When your dog does something very good, has put forth extra-special effort, or has mastered something he's had trouble with, give him an extra-special reward. Pop a handful of treats in his mouth as you tell him how wonderful he is, jump up and down, and pet him enthusiastically. A jackpot is supposed to both reward him and cause him to remember what caused it. Do not jackpot every effort; it will lose its effectiveness. Save it for special efforts.

Making the Treats Disappear

Sometimes people get the feeling that their dog is working for the treats rather than for them. That's a distinct possibility. But keep in mind that treats are a training tool just like your voice, the leash, and anything else you may use. At some point, however, you can begin to decrease the number of treats your dog receives.

When your dog knows a command or exercise well and will do it reliably every time you ask, even with distractions, you can begin to make the treat disappear. First, begin giving the treat only when the exercise is particularly good. For example, if you want to decrease the treats given for a Sit, begin giving a treat only when the response to the Sit is quick. Continue praising all Sits, but give a treat only when Sits are quickly carried out. Then give treats only when the Sits are quick and the dog's position is neat, with his hind legs tucked in (rather than sloppy and leaning). Gradually stop giving treats altogether for this exercise, but keep them for exercises that are not as strong, or when introducing a new exercise.

moment, tell him, "Fido, heel, good job!" After just a few steps, stop, have him Sit, and pop the treat in his mouth. This requires quite a lot of concentration, so keep the praise coming when he's in the correct position, and use a good lure to help him maintain it.

The obedience commands and exercises you're teaching your dog should not be used only during your training sessions. Your best results will be found when you incorporate them into your daily routine. Have your dog Sit:

♦ When greeting people so that he doesn't jump on them.

♦ When you hook up his leash so that he's holding still.

♦ Before coming in from outside so that you can towel him off or brush him if he needs it.

♦ Before going outside so that you can give him permission to go out, and so that he doesn't charge through the door.

♦ When you give him a treat so that he doesn't jump up on you or grab for the treat.

Have him Sit and Stay:

♦ When you're fixing his meal so that he isn't underfoot, begging, or jumping for his dish.

♦ At the door when you're bringing something into or out of the house so that he doesn't dash out.

♦ At the gate when you take the trash cans out to the curb so that he doesn't dash out without permission.

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