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Dog Leash Training: Training a Dog To Heel

 Dog Leash Training: Training a Dog To Heel

dog leash training near me
training a dog to heel on a leash

Any dog owner who has a pet that can correctly ‘heel’ will no doubt be able to tell you all the unseen benefits of this behavior. A dog that can perform this skill is a very well mannered and disciplined pet. This is an animal that will not jump on people or approach them without his owner’s consent. He will not go near other animals, or urinate in unwanted places nor will he eat any of that nasty trash laying around.

Training a dog to heel is not a difficult task. But it is going to require that you be consistent and patient. Training dogs to heel correctly involves a number of things. Having the dog sit at your side until you are ready to move and give the command. Then the animal has to remain tight beside you while you are walking and then he has to sit when you stop. The animal is supposed to remain in the sitting position until you give the release command.

If you have an animal that has learned to walk on a leash without pulling you are now ready to move on to the heel command. If possible take your dog to a distraction free environment and keep the sessions short. You are asking your dog to learn a lot and you want to give him the best possible learning environment.

To start get your dog to sit on your left side facing the same direction as you. Have a toy or special treat ready in your left hand. Get your dogs attention and issue the command “heel”. Move slowly forwards. Hold the treat slightly above your dog’s head as you move forward and keep it tight to your side. Only move a few steps. If your dog stays with you reward and praise. Give the command to sit, if necessary you can “gently” pull the leash upwards in an effort to get your dog to sit. Release, reward and praise. At this point having the dog sit is not as important as getting the dog to stay right beside you.

As your dog grasps the concept of staying right beside while you walk vary the amount of steps that you take. And put more emphasis on the “sit” when you stop. Be sure to give the release command before his reward. As he gets better at this start making gradual turns, but not too sharp. Use the treats to help keep the dog focused on you. As training progresses you can begin making sharper more abrupt turns. Do not pull on the leash to get your dog to catch up. Rather, call his and name and get him to refocus. Lots of praise and rewards are needed every time he does the correct thing.

Ideally you do not want to use the leash to get your dog back into the correct position Instead issue the heel command and refocus his attention. If at all possible you do not want to have to even hold the leash during your heel training sessions. The leash should merely be there for back-up.

With a little effort training a dog to heel does not have to be difficult. Every dog can learn to heel. As an owner you have to remember that as with all dog leash training activities, patience and consistency are key.