Heel-work is a very formalized discipline in dog sports;it comes with rules for both the dog and the handler. On turns, the handler has to follow a certain pattern of foot-work, to turn the routine into a flawless performance. In the real world no one will mark us on perfect footwork, however, it is very useful to learn the basic turns – especially turning into your dog. Depending if you make your dog heel on the left or right, accordingly, this will be the left or right about turn.
This post: How To Teach The Left Turn/Left Turn About, from DogSkool has easy to follow instructions (for right heelers the process is the same, simply reversed). If you would like to learn the proper foot-work this post has easy to follow diagrams: Pivoting: One Step to Tight Lines
The reason this is such a useful skill is that it, obviously, allows you to change directions, but also it gets your dog to re-focus, de-stress and get back on track. Whenever you feel that your dog is losing concentration or they are beginning to pull, simply do a few about turns and continue on with your walk. Or if your dog is reactive on leash, an about turn is also a great way to distract them and start moving in a different direction. In any case, this is a great tool to enhance your dog’s polite leashed walking skills.
Below is an easy to follow tutorial on how to teach turns and pivots. In this specific video the turns are being practiced for Rally-O.