Kevin Heel Training with Laszlo

You can read more about the dog in this clip at the owner’s blog . Laszlo, the doberman in the video, was a rescue dog that

“upon adoption [he] instantly manifested all the most disturbing rescue-dog behavior problems you could conceive: unhinged aggression towards dogs, unpredictable edginess with people, jumping up, pulling like a sled dog on the leash, shoe-eating, leash-eating, wanting to eat the cat, wanting to bite our visitors, wanting to destroy the house…you name it.”

In this clip, Kevin works with Laszlo on the basics of heeling.

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Published September 29, 2009 by Kevin Behan
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19 responses to “Kevin Heel Training with Laszlo”

  1. Christine says:

    Lazlo is an impressive dog; he is gorgeous. I do enjoy these video presentations, the visual really helps. Is there a place on your website with a step-by-step description of what you’re doing and why? Or is the information found in your book. For me, having the two together really clarifies the whole process.

  2. kbehan says:

    I’m glad the video is helpful. After I finish my book, two chapters to go, I am going to try to make a video with each component broken down and then put back together step by step. So please stay tuned and also on Quantum Canine there should be more and more practical footage worked in as well.

  3. Donnie Osler says:

    What I found especially helpful about this video is watching how fluid your action with Lazlo is. I recently recieved Neil Sattin’s DVDs and was very focussed on perfecting the pushing exercise before moving on to the obedience work. Prior to finding NDT, However after an email discussion with Neil, he stressed the need to improvise and have fun during the play/train session and not worry too much about acheiving perfection right away. While Neil’s DVDs offer an excellent description of the mechanics behind the NDT exercises, I feel like this video gives me a better idea of how to execute them in a training session.

  4. Christine says:

    I agree emphatically with Lazlo’s owner/handler: “…watching it again I have finally begun to ignore the dog and watch the trainer. What I see now is a complete, unequivocal love and acceptance of the dog. No wonder the dogs trust and follow him like the Pied Piper no matter what scary, uncomfortable exercises he puts them through: he trusts them completely. No part of him is at odds with what they are. I don’t think many of us realize how much courage it takes to have this relationship with an animal. Hell, how many of us truly have that with another human? “Show me your darkest self; I will not judge you for it.” This is the trainer, and the human, I want to be.”
    It’s a good quote. Watching Kevin work and understanding his way of looking at dogs IS an education. I think of a quote from Nelson Mandelas inaugural address: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?” It’s a good quote also. Perhaps this is why canines (and I do include wolves here) are so appealing; that they are able to read our hearts and help us to be the person we are meant to be. By learning how to love and accept our canine companions for exactly who and what they are we just might be able to accept our reflection in them.

  5. April Hannon says:

    Well said, Christine.Thanks.

  6. christine randolph says:

    I’ve often thought one of those carpenter thingys is a good treat pouch, but first time i see anyone use it, so NOW i feel good about getting one. what does that say about me?

  7. […] Contrast CM's approach with this video of Kevin working on the heel with a Doberman pinscher: Kevin Heel Training with Laszlo The Official Natural Dog Training Website: News, Discussions, Advice… You'll notice that Kevin starts out with the pushing exercise to stimulate Laszlo's social […]

  8. christine randolph says:

    CM ? is thst this Chuck guy ?where do i see his approach ? anyway, I LOVE my carpenter pouch, it suits my personality

  9. Donnie O. says:

    christine – CM = Cesar Milan. Lee is talking about how CM’s “pack leader” method (which is really just using intimidation to repress a dog’s energy) compares to Kevin’s approach, which is using the dog’s energy to form a focussed heel. This way, Lazlo can feel energised about heeling. It’s not about forcing him to submit to being at his handlers side like CM does, Kevin is showing Lazlo that this is the most efficient use of his energy.

  10. Christine says:

    I appreciate Kevin’s method of “eliciting” desired behaviors (ie eliciting as in drawing out something hidden). It’s a form of cooperation rather than intimidation. After all, isn’t that really what we want from/with our dogs is cooperation? It’s much more user friendly and I believe it is light years in advance of other methods. Kevin’s methods are also more in tune with human nature because, as a whole, we much prefer a spirit of cooperation; it just works better and feels good. I enjoy these videos of Kevin working with dogs in a variety of circumstances and look forward to his next book and hopefully DVDs of his training methods!

  11. Amanda says:

    Would love to see this with a short dog. “Zinging” a short dog can be challenging and I find I can’t be as fluid.

  12. Donnie_O says:

    One question: how many days after Lazlo’s arrival was this video taken? What foundation work was done with him before this?

  13. kbehan says:

    There were a number of days preceding this because I’m using a lot of pressure to trigger his emotional battery. So first I got a good hup, his food drive was good, the pushing was good and then because time was a constraint, I had to get physical memory up to the surface. And with dogs that are blocked, triggering physical memory even though stressful, is often necessary before you can soften it and then go back to foundation building. Hope this clarifies.

  14. Pepsi says:

    Question: How do you teach a toy dog to heel effectively? I have a 5lbs toy dog and I’d like her to heel (right by or little bit behind my heel) just like big dog. Thanks,

  15. kbehan says:

    Toy dogs learn just like big dogs, they love to push and play fetch and so you can work these into the heeling exercise as inducements to follow and then align with you. First teach your dog to follow you, then teach it to align with you by your side. It can also be helpful to work them on a long, even and flat-topped wall so that you don’t have to bend over and this makes the point of the exercise even clearer.

  16. Ivan Stewart says:

    Mr. Behan,

    It is nice to see people who understand Thorndike’s Law of Effect, and how to apply it in a natural, no-stress way. I have been a practicing dog behaviorist of 30 years, and feel hopeful knowing there are people like you who actually understand how dogs function, and how we should deliver information to them.

    With the advent of CM, I spend a ponderous amount of time undoing what he has taught them through his TV show.

    Best of Luck,

    Ivan Stewart, BSc.
    Natural Dog Behaviour

  17. kbehan says:

    Thanks for the acknowledgment and from one Irishman to another, wish you the best in dogs as well.

  18. Adam says:

    What is the purpose of the hammering motion you are making with your hand?

  19. kbehan says:

    Because of the food, the dog has projected its center-of-gravity into my hand holding the food. I’m using the “whisk-away” move as Neil has termed it, which mimics the prey taking flight because the predator is vibrating too much, to cause the dog to settle back onto its haunches. In other words, I’m inducing him to collect himself so he can pivot and ultimately, feel that his physical center of gravity has merged with mine, so that when my body shifts in cant, pace or direction, he feels this and works to stay in alignment. But if he’s vibrating too much, then he is in his head and isn’t collected into his body. So the hammering is really just an intense vibration and I’m moving my hand to move his sense of his physical center-of-gravity so that he moves his body to get into heel position.

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Books about Natural Dog Training by Kevin Behan

In Your Dog Is Your Mirror, dog trainer Kevin Behan proposes a radical new model for understanding canine behavior: a dog’s behavior and emotion, indeed its very cognition, are driven by our emotion. The dog doesn’t respond to what the owner thinks, says, or does; it responds to what the owner feels. And in this way, dogs can actually put people back in touch with their own emotions. Behan demonstrates that dogs and humans are connected more profoundly than has ever been imagined — by heart — and that this approach to dog cognition can help us understand many of dogs’ most inscrutable behaviors. This groundbreaking, provocative book opens the door to a whole new understanding between species, and perhaps a whole new understanding of ourselves.
  Natural Dog Training is about how dogs see the world and what this means in regards to training. The first part of this book presents a new theory for the social behavior of canines, featuring the drive to hunt, not the pack instincts, as seminal to canine behavior. The second part reinterprets how dogs actually learn. The third section presents exercises and handling techniques to put this theory into practice with a puppy. The final section sets forth a training program with a special emphasis on coming when called.
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