Click Your Heels! Heeling for Performance

ClickerExpo 2016 - Hannah Branigan - Clip -

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A fluent heeling team is a thing of beauty. A dog and handler moving in sync, appearing to read each other’s minds, is like a dance. The performance may look magical, but there is nothing mystical about it. Heeling is a complex behavior chain that follows the same Antecedent-Behavior-Consequence contingency of any other learned behavior.

In this Session, we will demystify heeling and, in the process, find out why it’s just like any other trick. We will break down the necessary skills and behaviors into achievable components. We will examine thoughtful selection and delivery of reinforcement to teach each of these component skills efficiently.

Depending on the sport, our cues are often limited by the rules. We will learn to use our cues “legally” and creatively. As you will learn, strategic cueing of this nature allows us to subsequently fade the cues for a seamless performance.