Get Back – Heel

A Scoot That Starts From Heel Position and Finishes in Side

A Get Back is a Scoot that happens from Heel position, or the left side of the handler and resolves, or finishes in Side position (handler’s right).

At Pawsitive Vybe, we use Heel and Side position as our starting points and for the naming convention.

Keys to the Trick

  1. Solid Scoot
  2. Solid Heel Position
  3. Turn That Head Out
  4. Handler Movement for Success

Solid Scoot

Like all dog behaviors, a good solid Scoot is required for generalizing the behavior to other positions. Make sure that your dog likes to do the skill, does it well, and follows the handler’s cue.

“Doing a Scoot” and “knowing what a Scoot is” are two different ideas. Just because your dog does a scoot from a single position doesn’t mean that they know how to Scoot. Performance is not Understanding.

Make sure your dog is following your positional cues and is capable of connecting the Scoot to the new position. A good way to do this is to pay the dog in heel position rather liberally before cranking out a bunch of scoots, or in between repetitions.

Solid Heel Position

A solid Heel position is a necessity for this skill. Your dog should want to be in and around Heel before trying to set up and Scoot from there. Again, liberal payment in position goes a long way here.

Heel is a duration behavior. A solid Heel that holds until release is dependent upon the dog knowing that Heel is a duration behavior. Duration is defined by the release. Always release your dog, on cue from Heel and other obedience positions. Release early and often. If the release is what pays, the dog will want to be there. You can’t be released if you ain’t standing there.

Turn That Head Out

When teaching the Get Back, if you’re luring, you’ll want to turn the dog’s head out and away from you.

From heel position, lure your dog a tiny bit forward from heel, just crossing the plane of your left leg. This is likely to be a simple sit to stand move with about 3-6 inches of movement forwards.

Move your lure out to the side, away from you and force the dog to look out to the left. This turns the dog and shifts the rear end to a better angle for Scooting across your body.

Handler Movement

When teaching the skill, the handler can and should help the dog by stepping backwards with the opposite leg to open up the “scooting hole”.