The Dog Circles Right Handler Circles Left is one Master sign that many people dread, but it’s not nearly as difficult as it seems! If you think of this sign as two left about turns in place, you’ll realize your dog already has the skills he needs to be able to successfully perform.
Here’s a video of what this sign should look like.
In order for your dog to do well, he needs to have a strong “around” cue. When my dog is in heel and I cue the around, I use my right hand in front of my body as my hand signal combined with the word around. This catches the dog’s attention so he moves across the front of my body, rather than doing a left pivot (which is what he would do if I didn’t cue him to go around, and is exactly the opposite of the behavior I need).
First, review your around cue. Here is my first attempt to work with Excel on this sign, and I noticed that his around cue was weak.
After I reviewed the around, I did this second session. You can see that he has a much better chance of success when he does a good around!
Review Left-About Turn
Be sure your left about turn is solid. It should look like this:
Put It All Together
Once you have that skill, try the double left about, with 2-3 steps in between the turns.
Finally, when that’s going well, put the two together without any steps in between. You’ve taken this tough sign and broken it down so it doesn’t seem so difficult anymore!