Lunge training is particularly effective in the case of dogs which are easily distracted, as it helps to create, improve and strengthen owner-dog communication. However, lunge work is not designed to bring the dog to heel - the aim is to create control at a distance. This must naturally be built up step by step.
The first lessons take place in a lunging circle: The dog handler stands inside the circle and leads the dogs on a loose lead along the outside of the circle. However, the dog may not cross the barrier tape in the process. Dog and dog handler continue walking around the circle, and the following development should gradually take place: the dog's attempts to cross the barrier should become less frequent, and the dog should walk attentively along the edge of the outer circle, establishing eye contact with the dog handler more often and for longer periods in the process.
Sporadic changes in distance is a proven method of building up distance between dog and handler. Here, we are talking about increases in distance of just a few centimetres, which, if successful, can be reduced once more. It may be useful to use a five-metre long towing line to lead the dog while the distance is being increased. If the dog manages to maintain a distance of between three and four metres away from the dog handler, the towing line is not usually necessary. In most cases, the bond between human and dog becomes so intense that the dog allows itself to be led via visual instructions. Even elementary obedience exercises such as "sit", "down" and "stand" can be successfully performed using trained visual signs.