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Many times when people take their dog for a walk, they are actually dragged along behind the dog, instead of leading it.
3Edit step3Choose a release cue such as "okay", "free", or "break" to communicate to the dog that it's okay to break heel position or get up from a sit.
Heavily reinforce your dog for good behavior with whatever they enjoy most - treats, play, petting, praise, etc. Keeping the leash slack (not correcting constantly) means that when you actually do pull on the leash, your dog is much more likely to listen to you. Your leash should once again be in your right hand, and a lagging dog would be on your left side behind you, with the leash crossing in front of your legs. Try placing your thumb in your pocket to secure the lead at a length you feel comfortable working with.
Try attaching the leash to your waist or looping it around your shoulder, so that you have both hands free and are not relying on the leash to simply pull the dog around, but actually letting it learn where the proper position is without force. This version of How to Teach Your Dog to Heel was reviewed by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS on May 8, 2015. The "heel" command is a formal obedience exercise in which a dog walks precisely by a handler's knee, matching her pace and immediately sitting when the handler halts.
As a pet owner whose dog is a companion first and obedience trial champion second (if at all), you may not be interested in the formal choreography of the "heel" exercise, either on or off lead (leash). Training can be greatly facilitated by the use of a head collar or head halter (Note: In obedience competitions however, a buckle or training collar must be used). A dog that pulls, or even a dog that lags behind, has not been properly trained to walk in unison with its owner. Many people train their dogs with all positive, reward-based methods, which require a lot of patience and consistency.
For instance, if you tell your dog to sit, it obeys, you praise it, and it gets up, immediately stop the praise.
Most dogs lag consistently if they feel afraid, neglected, unwanted, or abused but many dogs lag occasionally if they are sidetracked by smells or activities. This will cause a jerk when you step forward with your left leg, and if this isn't enough to make your dog want to catch up, you can slowly reel in the leash while your leg is bumping it.


The abrupt stop or changes in direction at the consistent lead tension seem to direct the dog well. Practice heeling on walks, alternating with releasing the dog to go sniff, and calling back to heel. Please keep in mind that no matter how much you love your dog, and how gentle you know he is, do not let yourself and your dog get into a dangerous situation. Your four-legged friend should know this valuable obedience exercise-for your sake and his. However, though this particular command may have less day-to-day utility than "sit," its usefulness may surprise you.
Unlike this practical skill, however, "heel" doesn't permit your dog to sniff fire hydrants or otherwise stray from the very small window beside your left knee. The place to begin is indoors in a low distraction environment, so that you can teach your dog what you want and then you take it on the road.
Heeling is such a comfortable way to walk with your dog, not against it, that it is worth your while to teach your pup how to do it. Your dog will quickly learn to look at you when you use the word, as they will expect a treat.
If your dog is not close enough or is confused about which side to sit at, slap your hip and use the command "Right Here". Your dog can learn to look where you indicate, and in this way you are giving your dog a reference point for where he should be while heeling. Also, though it takes some work, while getting your dog's attention you can teach your dog to look at you when you say "Watch me" or whatever your chosen cue is. Corrections can get quicker results sometimes, but it can also backfire by damaging your relationship with your dog, creating anxiety and confusion in the dog, and resulting in more unwanted behavior. If your dog does not sit down again by itself after a few seconds, firmly put it into place, then praise again. To correct this, keep your dog on a leash that is tight enough to allow you to step across in front of him. Sometimes with your hands free you can tend to allow too much slack allowing the dog to roam while you daydream.


Protect your dog, yourself, and others by keeping your dog leashed and remembering that you are in charge of keeping your dog and others safe. In practical terms, you may decide that brief breaks in your dog's otherwise undivided attention -e.g. Anyone can train a dog to heel with repetition and patience, along with some simple techniques.
For pet dogs, choose whichever side is best for you, but be consistent and stick with the chosen side. Get your dogs attention by calling its name, tapping on its head, making noises, or using your pre-taught "watch me" cue.. He’s most proud of his work on How to Reduce Glare when Driving at Night, which has been featured and translated into 5 different languages.
As your dog learns, slowly fade the lure by using your hand without a treat, then just your hand, then more general. Some dogs learn after the first session, but some dogs who have been used to leading you for years may take longer. Gradually increase the amount of distraction as the dog learns, and be sure to practice in different places, so that the dog understands that "heel" means "heel" everywhere, not just in the backyard. Holding your dog's leash in your right hand, while taking up its slack in your left, start with your dog on your left and tell him to "Sit!" While holding a food tidbit in your left hand, bring it to his nose and say, "Spot, HEEL!" in a bright voice. When you stop (not too abruptly!), lift the treat slightly or pull up on the lead so that your dog sits.
So I’m going to click as I walk in this direction, frequently rewarding my dog for moving along with me.
One of the real challenges to teaching your dog to heal is for the person to get used to all the equipment. At home you can even create an obstacle course where you go around your furniture to make this day really fun for you and your dog.



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