Out training class has become more challenging since we were moved to a more advanced class. I was chastised for allowing a sloppy heel and sit. My trainer indicated I should demand more from my dog and my dog would rise to the occasion. After much thought I agree, I shouldn't allow Marley to provide mediocre obedience. I also have a small confession, our sloppy performance is all my fault. My main focus was to have a dog that walked nicely on a leash and not necessarily heel. Marley walks nicely, however she does not necessarily always pay attention to what I'm doing and sits wherever she feels like it.
In order to correct my error, I used the clicker. I was really surprised at how quickly Marley figured out what I wanted. My first focus was on sitting next to my left leg when we stopped. I held my treats in my left hand (part of our problem was my slow delivery with my right hand, which caused Marley to shift in anticipation of the treat). The first time I stopped she sat about 1 foot away on my left. I physically moved her (in order to avoid confusion for her) and when she was in the correct spot I clicked and treated. After a couple of times of this I stopped moving her and patted my leg in order to remind her what I wanted. When she shifted on her own and sat in the correct position, I clicked and treated.
Yesterday, I was getting ready to leave my house and I stopped suddenly to check if I had forgotten anything. Marley was walking ahead of me towards the door and she looked at me when I stopped. After a moment she walked towards me and sat correctly on my left side. I am so proud of her and I'm so amazed at how quickly this clicker is working.