Since I am french, I train Scooby in our language. I am blingual but I'm having problems with some of the terms used in the forums. Would their be a site that would explain what the commands mean.. per example HEEL...
Sorry about my ignorance, I just want to further understand your tips so I can apply them to Scooby!
I'm not aware of anything like that. Don't be afraid to ask for clarification.* We're here to help.
Heel is the dog's position on the handler's left side. In proper heel position, the handler's leg will be between the dog's ear and shoulder. The dog is forging if the handler's leg is behind the dog's shoulder and the dog is lagging if the handler's leg is in front of the dog's ear. Heel can be stationary (sitting) or moving.* Heel is a position, not an action.* Many people are confused by that concept.
I'l try to run through some of the more common ones -
WATCH ME! - This gains the dog's attention, letting him/her know that another command is about to follow.
HEEL - For the dog to position him/herself on your left side, with the shoulder at your calf. This is regardless of the activity of the dog, meaning HEEL is used when you want the dog to sit in this spot or walk in this spot.
SIT - Behind on the ground, forepaws supporting the head/shoulders, which are up.
DOWN - Both 'knees' and both 'elbows' are on the ground. A variation on DOWN is REST, which has the dog's weight over on one hip. The alternative to REST is a Sphinx-type down, which is very easy for the dog to break. We teach both DOWN and REST.
COME - There is much variation on this command, and it is frequently ill-defined, which is why I do NOT use it. COME to most means 'bring yourself to me.' I find that too general; therefore, I use FRONT if I want Wesley directly in front of me, sitting nicely. He's close enough for me to touch without him scooting off and is terrific when it's time to put on a collar or leash. If we're walking and I just need him back in my general direction, I use WITH ME, which he knows as 'get back in the general vicinity of Dad, not necessarily in Heel position, but a HEEL may follow a WITH ME depending on circumstances.
BACK - This is used for making left turns or left U-turns. It gets the dog out of your way when turning into him/her.
WAIT - Means to just pause for a second or two; another command is on the way. I use this before getting Wesley into the car, for example.
STAY - Sit here/stand here/lie here until I tell you to move. Period.
TAKE IT/GIVE IT - This is for carrying/dropping.
LEAVE IT! - Walk away from whatever it is you're interested in. It differs from WITH ME because it means: Do NOT pick up or eat whatever it is you're interested in on the ground/floor!!
OFF - Remove your paws from my shoulders, please.
SETTLE - The prancing/barking/whining/butt-tucking display can end now, please.
NO VISIT - You are hereby DIS-invited from interacting with that dog/person/child over there, thank you!
Wesley also knows/uses SHAKE, which means for him to wring the rainwater off his fur by violently shimmying back and forth. Others teach this in a shake-hands/paws fashion.
That's about all I can think of. Others will have more to add, I'm sure....
To make matters even more confusing Come, Front, Here can be used interchangably for the recall (sit your dog, leave your dog, walk away, turn to face the dog, call the dog to you) to front position. Personally I use Come for this command. Others, like dweck, use Front. Others yet use Here. I use Here like dweck uses With Me. It means get in my general vacinity. I mostly use Here for agility when I need the dog to come back to me for further direction.
It really doesn't matter what you use for a command as long as you are consistant AND the command only has one meaning. One of my pet peeves is people who use Down to mean for the dog to lay down as well as for the dog to get off the sofa or off someone. They should use Off or some other command to mean get off the sofa or people because the action is not the same as to lay down.
I think this is because it is required in some obedience competitions. Also helps in obedience classes if everyone is doing the same thing so I think it's become a "standard" that most people try to adhere to.
But I'm sure others can give you a more "official" and complete explanation of why heel is on the left.