Pivoting – Step 5

Java showing off – pivoting on a pumpkin 🙂

Photo by Mateja Lugarič

Today’s video is more condensed than usual. This step could be broken down into two or three steps.

1) Once Java could do the whole circle smoothly in both directions it was time to move on to next stage, which is actually a beginning of heeling (finding heel position). I stepped to the target as she was pivoting so that she bumped into my leg – click! Position of my feet is important. I step to the side of the target, not the front. That way she lines up with me when she bumps my leg.
2) Next stage would be to replace the high target with something lower like a book or a frisbee, but Java was offering comming into heel position on her own, so we skipped this 🙂
3) Finally, try it without a target. Sometimes she offers circling which is another trick that she learned, but eventually she will learn the difference between circling and pivoting.

Note: I am not competing in obedience so my criteria for heeling position is probably not as strict as ideal position for competition. I want Java’s shoulders to be in line with seams of my pants, not forging ahead nor lagging behind, back straight and roughly perpendicular to my shoulders.

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