Handsfree Heeling

If you're feeling relaxed with your dog, you can start to direct her handsfree. Either attach or tie the leash around your waist or lay it over your shoulder.

1 Go back and practice small circles.

2 If your dog moves out of place, quickly grasp the leash (as though it were a hot wire) and tug back to your side.

3 Gradually increase the distractions as suggested above.

If your dog is working well in low-distraction environments but can't stay focused when others are around, do not push her. Think of the leash as holding her hand, and gently guide her when she can't concentrate.

DOWN is one of the most important directions that you will teach your dog. That said, it can be challenging to learn and may take time to perfect. Your goal is to have your dog calmly lie down when you point to the floor and/or say DOWN.

After you teach your dog the DOWN, she'll respect your judgment, trust your direction, and calm down on cue. There are three phases to teaching this command: tell and show, straight back, and standing down.

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