Congrats on your TKN!!
I’d vote for a bit of both. Everyone makes mistakes, because each dog is an individual, but most mistakes can be fixed. I see two mistakes that people struggle to fix: making heeling unpleasant or boring so that the dog learns to hate the exercise, and letting the dog discover that the handler doesn’t have control once the leash is removed.I'm trying to decide if teaching a heel is a ''This is an important learning experience and everyone makes mistakes'' situation or a ''this is one thing that is very important that you don't mess up because it will make your life very hard later'' situation
Once he can heel we could start working on Rally signs but I've been worried that starting it wrong will cause loads of problems down the line.
I will try that!! I've also been trying to start working on rear leg awareness by having him back up and having him back onto a low platform (rn it's just a cushion).I’d split the sidestep with the hind legs out from the platform work and use a clicker. I rarely use a clicker but I find it useful when I’m aiming for a very specific movement such as a sidestep with the hind legs or a step backwards. A floor-length mirror also helps because it makes it easier to see the instant of foot movement. You need to click and reward the instant the dog takes a sideways step. Once he’s freely taking one sidestep, you can wait for two, then four, then combine it with platform work in heel or front position.
There are a few ways to get the sideways step. One way is simply to lure the dog around a cone or a small item of furniture. Another way is to hold your hand down at your side, palm towards your leg, with food or a toy between your thumb and the palm of your hand. Encourage Flynn to put his nose between your hand and your leg, trying to access the food or toy, then turn towards him so that his head turns. He’s likely to step sideways to straighten his neck.
Thank you! It took a while but I'm very happy with how it's going.Congratulations on teaching the leg weave. I’ve been trying to teach leg weaves to my CDX, RM dog, with little success.