Today I am going to tell how to train your German Shepherd Dog to assume the heeling position from the position of setting in front of you after performing the come command from a sit-stay or down-stay position.
The heeling position is where your German Shepherd Dog is sitting to your left waiting for a command from you before proceeding. To train your German Shepherd Dog to assume this position from any position during the obedience training class it is best to start from the sitting in front of you position.
From the heeling position place your German shepherd Dog in a sit-stay or down-stay. Tell them stay and place your open hand directly in front of their face then step in front of them. Reinforce the stay command and step away from your German Shepherd Dog to the end of the lead. Then call their name and say come. When your German Shepherd Dog comes to you make them sit immediately in front of you and offer them a treat and praise. From this position have a treat in your right hand ready to give, and take the lead with the same hand letting them see or smell the treat. Say the word “Assume” and walk them around behind you using your right hand. It sometimes helps for you to take one step back with your right foot while leaving your left foot in place.
When your German Shepherd Dog is halfway around behind you, you will need to transfer the lead to your left hand (but keep the treat in your right hand) while still applying tension to continue your German Shepherd Dog to walk all the way around you until they reach the heeling position. Once they get to your left side tell them sit and provide them the treat and praise.
This exercise will feel awkward the first several times you try it but it will become more natural to you and your German Shepherd Dog. Once this is mastered by you and your German Shepherd Dog, you should be able to give the command assume and your German shepherd dog from any position on the training grounds should walk behind you and assume the heeling position.
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