A nifty trick, handy for convenience and control from a sit front to heel position. It’s also really fun for the motivated dog and handler! Picture the finished exercise: On cue (a small sweeping hand signal), your dog flips from a “sit front” into heel position on your left side.
Sounds easy, but for the dog, this is a complicated series of movements that eventually add up to one final behavior. The initial steps involve breaking the behavior down into three small parts, with multiple tasty rewards for each. It’s important to “mark” the points described below so your dog understands exactly which actions to repeat. Here’s how to start:
1. Have your dog in a sit front position. To focus her attention, hold both hands in front of you, with a treat in the left hand.
2. Say the dog’s name with the command “Flip,” while stepping back with your left foot and luring your dog away and behind you with your left hand. Mark with a “yes” and reward once she passes you.
3. Quickly step and lure her forward into heel position while raising your hand above her head and saying “sit” once she’s at your side. Mark with a “yes” and reward again.
To further practice, keep her in a sit and pivot around to face her so she is toe to toe in the “sit” position in front of you.
As you and your dog because more fluid in your movements together, gradually fade the steps and luring until she can flip from a sit front into heel position while you stand still.
Here, Sandra teaches Bark dog Lola a fab flip finish!
Photos by Mark Compton; video by Daniela Lopez