Teaching Your Dog to Heel

One of the most frustrating elements of dog ownership, from what I hear from many people, is manipulating the dog on the leash. This should be a pleasure and a time in your case and your dog to exercise, explore and bond, never a chore. If you make the choice to focus on heeling, you will find walkies considerably more pleasurable the other you do far more often, which is great for two of you.

To get this profitable you should begin by introducing your puppy to some leash. Attach the leash towards the appropriate collar. I use a German pinch collar or martingale collar when I am walking. I will examine the different kinds of collars in another blog, because there are numerous types available and numerous philosophies where type to make use of.

I avoid the use of a flex-leash, or retractable leash for this specific purpose. The reason is that for a dog to heel, he must stay at your leg, not forging ahead and never lagging behind.

Once the leash is secure, lead your dog in your left side, this is when you may always walk your canine. That way he knows what you should expect. Start walking at the quick pace. As you step off, say “Name, heel.”

If (when) your dog veers from your path, then gently pop the leash and collar and say “no, heel”, adjusting him back to place. You decide which direction the walk takes, not the dog. When the dog is heeling inside the correct place, always verbally praise and carry a treat to strengthen initially. The dog needs you to be clear verbally on what is right and what is wrong. The signals must be like day and night.

Another issue I learn about often is dogs especially puppies biting on or twirling around using leash. For the biting, I say, “No heel, and pop the leash again.” Moving forward with a quick pace also leaves short amount of time just for this. The same holds true for the twirling, adjust your pet into place, say ‘No” and still have quick forward motion. Again, praise correct behavior in the event it does happen. This can take time, keep it going, its a smart investment in most of your future walks.