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from puppy to trial

Free heeling

The joy in working with the individual "dog" should be at first place. The sporting successes come on second place.

The heeling at a sports event can already decide after the first 10-20 steps, if the interested spectator leaves the terraces after the protection service bored or whether he stays tensely left in the expectation of a terrific performance.
Moreover, the performance judges also let themselves be impressed at the beginning of the heeling. In 1996 I saw the first dog in a collected trot run and I was deeply impressed. This was Jago Lindenhalle and he was 8 years old, he needed leader helps for it,but this wasn't so bad. From this point on, I was sure that this heeling without leader help must be the ultimate goal. The way was more difficult than I had imagined this at that time and first 10 years later, I have accomplished this goal.

Iwan Freifolge SchH - 14 Monate

At the beginning I only knew, that the front paws would fly high when running, if the hind legs push with more energy, when the predefined speed is needed for. It was also clear to me that it only can be reached by a strong force or by increased motivation. I decided in favour of motivation.

I then have tried something out in the course of the years, with the ball on the right, with the ball on the left, but somehow I couldn't figure out free heeling in a straight line. In 1998 Bernd Föry paid us a visit at the HSV Gärtringen and I watched tensely how he worked with food with his pup. Nox's nose disappeared in Bernds left palm and followed the hand, as if it had stuck there. Nox made so much pressure from behind that the front part, including Bernd's hand, shot in even distances up high.
I imagined, with such a base my intend must be able to be done. Since I knew, that Bernd does not sell the dog to me, I have put much value at the E-litter to the eating instinct. Ellute was my first dog with which I have tried it out as follows:

Kodag Fusslaufen

As greedy as he can be, it has worked quite well, but I missed the time to stop the jumping and the results you can see on my trials:

Ellute Freifolge

With Hydra I improved this method and the whole thing started to take form and I approached my ultimate goal:

Hydra Freifolge

Step by step

I would like to shorten this now and explain my method step by step to people who are interested:

The first step is to create a confidence relation to the puppy or pup. Accustom feeding your puppy out of the left hand. This is relatively fast possible, since the pup, who is raised up correctly seeks the contact and loves to have treats.

Hold the treat between index finger and middle finger, which are stretched, so they will not offer any target. After a couple of days, this depends on the eating drive, will the puppy try to jump into the palm. I don't allow this, I try to stop it, by pushing down the dogs nose with the flat hand during the jumps. At the same time, I say "no"!

It's important immediately to establish the distance from the hand to the pup nose approx. 15 cm again and give him a treat, if the next 3 to 5 steps, are carried out without jumping. Two minutes a day should be sufficient. If possible repeat it daily, the distance of the hand to nose increases to approx. 40 to 50 cm at the time and after two months it then should look like that:

I hope that I do not need to explain, that as soon as the paws go the way we want it you say 'Good' the instant he exhibits proper behavior, and then follow up quickly with a reward of treats and more praise. Reward even the slightest sign of effort your dog is making to meet your increasing expectations. The longer your happiness and your petting lasts, the more effort your dog will give by the next training session and it will become easier for him from day to day, taking head and paws up high.

Be consistent in training ' always use the same words, body language and tone of voice for the same command. You will confuse your dog otherwise. Repeat that a couple of months, then it is time to give this unnatural walking a form, by guiding the head of the dog to the inside.

The left hand approaches the left chest pocket, showing the treat in front, so that the dog keeps eye contact to the treat and also in addition eye contact to you. It is necessary to keep this training up for the next few months and still train with your dog on a voluntary basis. After that, it gets serious.

The left hand is still next to the chest pocket, closed now, though, twisted to the inside, the treat is no longer visible. At a very tight collar, fasten a short leading leash and with the right hand you correct the dog, if the dog doesn't keep up the even step sequence or if the dog looks away.

Continue soon.....

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