At what age do you start teaching to heel and expect half decent results?
Mischa is now six months and since we have 8 days left of our enforced stay quiet after a spay, we are working on tricks. We are learning tricks at the speed of one a day as I have all her attention at the moment. Is it too soon to do it in the house at least?
The learning new tricks was a great idea as it poops her out too to run through her repertoire and then work on new ones. We played find the ball in the one room for an hour and then she had had enough. It was just as good as fetch, but it took longer to tire her out. I took her in another room and told her to sit and stay, hid the ball in the other room then told her to find it. This worked great for an hour. Made things a little more difficult from time to time to keep her interested.
I started working on heel at probably 10 weeks of age, maybe it was earlier. I just carried a treat around in my left hand and she woud naturally heel for the treat -- then I would say "heel ...good heel" over and over. Being in the house, without distractions, is a great place to start.
Allie's ability to learn things as a puppy amazed me. She was like that, a trick a day. Once we got around 10 tricks, she became confused and would get frustrated. I would start on a new trick, and since she didnt know the word I was saying, she would preform every trick she knew and give up if the treat wasn't given. I gave teaching tricks a rest and focused on 2-3 for several weeks.
I think heal can be taught at any age, depending on how bad you need it. I wanted a solid sit, lay, place, watch, etc before heal. Allie is 1 year old and is starting heal, but the trick cant be completed until she finishes it off with a watch. So we wanted a strong watch command as well. Now that shes decent with watch, we are starting heal.