L1 Exercise 2: Video Examples, Details and Judging Criteria – updated July 1, 2017

Exercise 2 – Find “heel” position from 6 ft (2 m) away (straight and one angle).

Following a cookie toss or circling a cone, the dog is expected to “find heel” position from straight ahead plus one angle using a platform/foot target/box.

Purpose: Demonstrate strong foundation skills for precision heeling which is a hallmark skill of competitive obedience.   Demonstrate dog rear-end awareness.

Equipment: Target for two front feet or platform required. Height of target optional.  Cone for alternative to cookie toss.

Exercise set-up:  Handler and dog start in stationery heel position with dog on target or platform.  Handler will repeat this exercise twice (send right or left angle, and send straight ahead) using either a cookie toss or send-around-cone to send the dog away.  The handler must be stationary with a neutral body position with hands at sides OR heel side hand may be held at the waist with elbow close to the body as the dog begins the return path.  Each “heel” repetition may be cued.  If using cone straight ahead instead of cookie toss, it must be at least 6 ft. (2 m) away from the foot target or platform and handler will have to rotate his/her position next to the foot target by 45 degrees for the right or left angle.  For the cookie toss (to the right or left and straight ahead), the handler remains stationary facing forward for both components.  The tossed cookie should travel at least 6 ft. (2 m) away from the platform/foot target.  Each repetition begins when the dog is on the return angle and ends when the dog “finds” heel with the foot target.  Dog may either sit or stand in “heel” position but must be parallel to the handler and in line with the handler hip. The dog may be verbally praised between repetitions. Any external reinforcement (excluding reset food toss) may only be given at the completion of the entire exercise.

Scoring:Pass/Not yet!


Dog is unable to find heel position within 30 degrees on one cue when returning from the cone or cookie toss. Video does not permit the exercise to be adequately judged.

Tips: Be careful not to hold your hand signal when you cue your dog to heel position.

Video Examples:

Find Heel with food toss

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Find Heel with food toss – note video shows two angles but only one is required:

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Video example using fly posts – note two angles shown but only one required.

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