Heel

Do you want to be able to feel comfortable that your dog won’t lunge or jump about when people or other animals are near? Teaching your dog how to heel is going to help make that happen!

A proper heeling position is when your dog is walking right beside you with their head or shoulders in line with your leg. Follow the steps below to teach your dog heel.

1. Don’t start your walk until your dog is calm. This must also mean that you are calm. If you are nervous or get stressed out at the thought of taking your dog for a walk, they will become nervous or stressed too. Remember a walk with your dog should be a wonderful experience.

2. Begin with your dog sitting beside you facing forward.

3. Start walking forward with your foot that is closest to the dog. This is so he can see that you’ve begun walking. You can also add a verbal command such as “Heel” when you begin your step so they have two cues to start walking.

4. Take a step or two forward and get your dog to return to the sitting position beside you facing forward. Start small. Begin the process with just a couple of steps at a time. This will prevent your dog from trying to get ahead of you. Heeling is not an easy thing to learn so start slow and be patient.

5. If your dog puts any tension on that leash STOP! You want your dog to learn that if he pulls, you stop. This will need to be enforced several times before your dog will start making the connection. Be consistent! Be sure not to pull back on your dogs leash. This will only encourage more pulling.

6. Continue to increase the number of steps you take each time only if your dog is remaining beside you. He will eventually learn to keep his eyes on you for walking speed and which direction to take.

Remember

  • Be consistent.
  • Your dog can feel your energy. Stay calm and relaxed.
  • Practice every time you go for a walk.
  • Start small and be patient!
  • Pulling encourages pulling.
  • Enjoy your dog’s company.
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