Lyra is learning to sit automatically in heel position. I’m also starting to teach her a left hand finish.
In both cases, it’s helpful to have a hand taget; I ask Lyra to touch the side of her muzzle against the side of my hand. In this way, I can place her in perfect heel positon simply by holding my hand exactly where I want her muzzle.
Lyra rocks back in heel position, so I’m using the hand target to help her understand that when I halt I want a sit AND I want her muzzle on my hand. Since it’s not possible to rock back and keep her muzzle on my hand, I expect it will eliminate the rock back sit.
I can also use the hand target when we are heeling, and I want to give her a bit of help with keeping her steady and in the “pocket” next to my side. If I pull my hand in closer then she will come closer. If crowding ever becomes an issue, I will use the hand target to pull her away from me.
For now, I simply want to fix her rock back sits, and also to tighten up her heel position a little bit at a time.
I’m also using the hand target to help her learn a left hand finish and cleaner fronts.
Lyra is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ij5mgLBGx5Y
Here, cisu shows the finished product