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Why Use a Heeling Stick?

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Training Tip #41
Why use a heeling stick?
From: Training with Mike Lardy Volume I

The heeling stick should always be carried when you run marks. A good guideline is to always carry the stick once you are running the dog with a taut lead. Keep the stick resting upright on your shoulder so that you don't have to wind up to use it. This way you will avoid having the dog flinch whenever you move.

The dog should be accustomed to your carrying the stick- it just means you are going to work. Use only as much stick pressure as needed, and always precede the stick correction with a command. Be careful not to carry it only when you think you will need it or the dog will become "stick-wise."

The correction will be most effective if it lands on the hip. Dogs vary in their sensitivity to the heeling stick. For some, a gentle tap is all it takes.

Using the heeling stick while holding the taut lead can get a little awkward, but with practice it will become easy.