This is a great exercise to maintain an advanced heeling dog and also for a dog that has new heeling skills and you are working on body awareness. This exercise forces you as a handler to look where you are going and cue your dog appropriately.
The maze I have set up is quite tight, so if I don’t cue my dog and handle myself properly we are going to crash into objects. The objects I have set up are a variety of things, including gutters, manikins and more. It also helps dogs to become less visually aware and sensitive of their surroundings.
I make up different configurations of what route I am going to take and I do not pre-plan where I am going, this forces me to look where I am going and cue my dog which in turn helps my dog to pay attention to me and my cues!
If you have made heeling fun for your dog it will show in an exercise like this, especially as I am not making any encouragements for behaviour, it is my reinforcement history with both food/toy and me that allows my dog to heel happily without constant support.
Love it Janice
This would be great for my Sheltie whose head is on a swivel a lot at trials. She can really heel well-in practice, but when we get into the trial ring, it seems to fall apart. Some of it might be my ring nerves. I have to drive two hours minimum to any environmentally-controlled indoor training facility and the only facility I know of that has probably enough poles to do this is our club in Kansas City since I have used their poles to keep my Shelties go-outs straight in her early go out training. There are enough poles to make a heeling maze like on the video so that is going to be part of my training plan when I get to our club facility.