Imho the problem that some people have "aligning" their dog at the line stems from the dog not being taught how to heel properly at that 5-6 month stage.
Proper heeling involves more than a dog walking and sitting next to you. The dog needs to be taught to sit close to your leg/knee and be able to move with that leg without lifting their butt off the ground. The heeling that is necessary to "align" is accomplished when the dog will move, while sitting, with the handler pivoting in a tight 360* circle, clockwise and counterclockwise(try it with your hands in your pockets). Once this is mastered than the retrieve is added.
The standard wagon wheel drill with retrieves as rewards accomplishes a lot of this without ever using a heeling stick. Heck I don't even own a heeling stick any longer.
Last edited by DarrinGreene; 07-12-2013 at 03:49 PM.