Circles and Figure 8's are a variation in the heeling exercise and also required in obedience trials. To practice circles: Start with the dog sitting at your left side. Give the command "doggie heel" and stepping off on your left leg go in a left circle as though you were going around something. When first teaching the left circle you want to go slower than normal until he catches on he is not to race ahead of you. The dog will have to go slower than normal as he is on the inside of the circle so be prepared to give him several "doggie heel's" and use treats to keep him in the proper position. Come to a halt slowly, there is no need to slam on breaks. Giving the command "doggie heel" again, start going in a right circle. (hint: take a smaller first step than normal so as not to cause the dog to lag immediately) On the right circle be prepared to coax him forward to keep him up with you as he has to go a little faster this time. At first, your steps should be faster than normal until he gets the idea. Practice your circles praising him lots and encouraging him especially on the right circle to keep up with you. Remember to YES and treat or CLICK/TREAT during training.
For the "Figure 8" place 2 objects (chairs, buckets, poles or whatever) about 8 feet apart. Stand in the center of these objects and with the dog in the heel sit position, give the "doggie heel" command and begin by going left. (Starting out by going to the left always gives your dog the advantage of not lagging immediately) Continue in a figure 8 pattern around the objects stopping in different spots each time. Have the dog sit each time you stop.
Things to remember:
...Start the left circle walking slower than normal.
...Use your treats to keep him in position on the left circle.
...Walk faster than normal on the right circle and talk happy while coaxing.
...Use your treats to keep him up with you if he is lagging.
...Practice the Figure 8 and use the sits in different positions.