“Pocket hand” is a way of teaching heeling that emphasizes rear end movement from Day One.  It involves placing the hand on the outside of the dog’s muzzle with a cookie, and rotating your wrist (not your arm or shoulder!) to move the dog wherever you might want them.

A lot of students have learned this technique, either online with me in my Precision Heeling class, or in seminars, or from instructors around the country who are now teaching it on their own.

It falls in the category of things that look easy when you watch someone else do it, but maybe not so easy when it’s your turn.

This weekend I taught a seminar and one of the students videotaped her lesson – part of it included introducing pocket hand to her dog.  She has graciously agreed to let me use that video to help other people learn the technique.

If you do not have some prior training or knowledge of pocket hand then this video probably will not be enough to do it for you, because each dog requires subtle differences.  If you really want to learn it, keep an eye on the classes at Fenzi Dog Sports Academy and take Precision Heeling when it comes around (currently on the schedule for the June session).  Or join me for a seminar somewhere (see my seminar schedule on this blog)

For those of you who have been introduced to the technique somewhere, this video is very likely to give you the finishing bits just in case you got stuck somewhere in the process.   Obviously you need to take it further…but this will get you started.

I love pocket hand.  It teaches precision without a leash, works well with 99% of dogs, and allows the handler to help the dog at anytime.  It can also be used to solve a multitude of heeling challenges, from heeling wide, to crabbing to forging, etc.

First lesson in pocket hand


And on another note, if you live in the Purina Farms area of the country (St. Louis, MO), you’ll want to attend our second annual 3.5 day FDSA Dog Sports Conference.  Last year we sold out and people raved about the quality of the event.  Currently, we have seven full auditing spots left and we’ve sold six in the past four days, so if you want to attend – and you do (you really do) then don’t wait any longer.

This is the only national conference that focuses on training for competition dog sports.  We’ll have ten instructors, teaching everything from obedience to rally to agility and nosework.  As an auditor, you can watch whatever you want.  At $225, you won’t find another conference that offers what we do at such an incredible price.  That’s because FDSA is about education.  We WANT you there.  We want you to see what you can accomplish with your dog when you train with affection and respect.

The conference takes place June 19th through June 22nd.  You can learn more here:

FDSA Dog Sports Conference

Good luck with it!