OB550: Hannah's Heeling and Competition Extravaganza

Instructor: Hannah Branigan

Course Details

How do you turn your foundation heeling behaviors into a formal heeling pattern? What cues and footwork do you need for a polished performance?

In this class, we will focus on formalizing the components of a heeling pattern:

  • Starts
  • Halts
  • Left turns
  • Right turns
  • About turns
  • Change of pace

Using the foundation skills you already have, we will build ring-ready performance one component at a time. We will focus on correct, full-point performance from the dog, as well as cues and footwork from the handler. First breaking the pattern down, and then putting it together. 

We will deconstruct the Figure 8 and explore the skills needed from dog and handler, and also making handling choices for your individual dog.

We will be looking at the three layers of stimulus control that are in effect in the ring: the judges commands, the handler's cues, and the dog's response. 

In addition, we will build your confidence in the ring by teaching you what to expect from the judge, and practice your responses until your own behavior is fluent and ring-ready.



Next session starts: August 1, 2017
Registration starts: July 22, 2017
Registration ends: August 15, 2017

Registration will begin at 11:30AM PDT.

Enrollment limits: 12 gold, 25 silver, unlimited bronze. If you are interested in a bronze level spot you can sign up at any time during the registration period.


1. What do we need for beautiful, precise heeling?

2. Our toolbox - Platforms, pivots, positions, and hand targets

3. Basic position - With and without the dog

4. Getting formal - Formal = FUN!

5. First step - Starting with energy and focus

6. Left turns - Footwork and precision

7. Right turns - Footwork and energy

8. About turns - Even more footwork and energy

9. Ring entrance and set ups - Increasing challenge, putting into formal context and ring routine

10. Change of pace - Smooth like buttah!

11. Figure 8 - Breaking it down. Footwork, precision and energy.

12. Halts - Footwork and precision

13. Putting it all together!

Prerequisites and Equipment

Teams should have a solid understanding of stationary heel position and a few steps of good focused attention. We will make use of platforms in this course.

Precision Heeling or the equivalent is strongly recommended.

Course Testimonials

A sampling of what prior students have said about this course ...

Hannah is always so wonderful at breaking things down and this course was no exception. She has a great eye for looking at both handler and dog mechanics to identify why we are having problems. Her advice is always helpful and presented in easy to understand ways with kindness and humour.          

This class has been a huge help in my heeling. It breaks down what I need to do as a handler as well as what the dog needs to do into small, achievable steps. It splits down the many components of competition heeling so you can focus in on your weaknesses. A great follow up to Precision Heeling for big and small dogs alike. Hannah is an excellent instructor and creates easy to understand lecture materials and videos, and really supports her students through the process of learning heeling. Some weeks it was very hard to hit that submit button for my videos, but she always made me feel great about them afterwards, while still giving me precise things to work on for the next video. Thanks!        

This class really broke down each piece of heeling skills into very small pieces. It was extremely helpful to work on perfecting every part from set up to each step of every skill. This class really offers the opportunity to succeed. Hannah is clear, concise, consistent and skilled at supporting students in a way that one never feels bad about their progress. I love the classes at FDSA and particularly love Hannah's classes.          

Thorough and detailed resource without getting bogged down in nitpicking which is hard to do with this subject - Hannah keeps things simple but never sacrifices criteria. lectures are approachable for the greenest dog but detailed and thoughtfully relevant for cleaning up advanced teams. This course is yet another gem!

I feel so supported. I struggle with duration behaviors (HEELING!) and have had much anxiety over this class's subject. But Hannah made me feel awesome about every video submitted, while giving me clear, precise behaviors to work on for next time          

The class materials were extraordinary! The attention to detail was really great. The first "textbook" of heeling!