Updated: May 7, 2021
“Here” cues your dog to turn away from something and to come to you!
Goal behavior: You say, “Fido, here!”. Your dog turns away from the stimulus (dog/person) and follows you as you walk backwards a few steps. You treat your dog continuously while the dog/person passes or goes further away.
Our dogs need to learn how to do this really well in low-stress situations before we can ask them to do it in "real life" on walks!
Start with your dog indoors with low or no distractions. She should be pretty close to you. If she's not, move closer to her or encourage her to come to you.
Cue “Fido, Here!”, then take 1 step backwards. (Be sure to say the words before you step!) **If walking backwards isn't for you, no worries, see below :) **
Offer a treat directly in front of your legs, at your dog's head-height.
Give her the treat when she reaches you!
Repeat until your dog readily follows you.
Repeat the same, now going 2 or 3 steps backwards!
Last but not least, you'll want to add in the 180 degree turn!
With your dog on a leash, walk forward several steps.
Say "Fido, here!" and then move backwards!
Feed multiple treats, one treat at a time, in front of your body.
When your dog is an A student indoors (Readily responding 9 times out of 10), she is ready to move to the yard, and then to practicing the game on walks. (Don't skip grades! On a walk is much harder than inside the house. Use the yard or patio as a stepping-stone between them.)
Alternative to Stepping Backwards
Walking backwards isn't for everyone! You can choose to replace this step (pun intended) with a different move:
Turn around so that you can walk forward, then turn back to face the same direction. (So you'll end up moving the same direction as if you had walked backwards.)