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Heeling – Halts

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This one is easy!

I have no formal footwork for halts but I do have a rule.

Here it is.

Write it down and make sure that your feet are listening when you read it back.  Are you ready? ok.  Here it is:


It’s that simple.  It doesn’t matter if you stop on your left foot, your right foot, off a long stride or a short one.  If I cannot hear your feet, then you are smooth and quiet.  If I hear your feet when you halt, then you smacked some part of your foot into the ground.  That’s bad. Quiet feet are good feet, and good feet make good dogs.  Good dogs make happy dogs and happy dogs make happy handlers.

Honestly, what else could you want?

In this video I start by working alone.  Then I follow it up with every one of my dogs.  Lyra – she’s climbing up my leg and wants to heel too close.  I stop quietly.  (I really need to do something about her heeling, don’t I?).  Raika – she’s heeling a little wide.  I stop quietly.  And Brito.  He’s just about right.

Always….I halt quietly.  Or at least that’s my goal.  Sometimes I’m more successful than other times.

I haven’t worked halts with any of these dogs in a very long while and that shows in their positioning – but they can follow quiet feet.  (crooked is a different issue – I’ll work on that separately).

You cannot hear my feet. Now admittedly, you won’t be able to hear that on a video, so get up from your computer, walk around your house, and practice your halts without a dog.  Practice stopping on either foot.  Practice near walls.  Practice after your turns. And never, ever let your feet make a sound.  Now add a dog.

See?  Quiet feet are good feet.

About dfenzi

I'm a professional dog trainer who specializes in building relationship in dog handler teams who compete in dog sports. My personal passions are Competitive Obedience and no force (motivational) dog training. I travel throughout the world teaching seminars on topics related to Dog Obedience and Building Drives and Motivation. I own Fenzi Dog Sports Academy, a comprehensive online school for motivational training of performance sport dogs.

3 responses »

  1. This is an issue here. We train on hard packed dirt with a little bit of loose sand and gravel on top. Stopping always makes a crunching noise, no matter how careful we are. No noise on the grass at the park, but definite noise on the dirt. Even footsteps make a very audible noise. Haven’t figure out how to fix this.

  2. Why is it necessary to keep feet quiet?


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