Dog Training: Learning to Walk at Heel on Leash

Training a dog to heel while wearing a simple collar and a leash is started with walking him by the side of his owner. The type of collar is dependent on physical strength and characteristics of the individual dog. Set the dog on your left side. Your left hand grasps the leash near the collar, right hand is in the middle of its length. At the same time you issue orders to the dog, like “forward” to move him from the spot. After traveling a few meters give the command “heel” while jerking the collar. The command can be repeated very often during the march so that the dog will remember it. In the case of the nervous behavior of the dog (spinning, moving diagonally or sideways) grab the leash near the collar with your left hand, which will prevent the dog from execution of unwanted movements. Such tactics have to be consistently applied over time, even for several minutes. While learning to walk at heel you should not tutor the dog to pull from a selected direction of its march, as well as not allow him to go ahead or stay behind. It should just walk on foot and his right shoulder should be at the height of the left knee of the guide. Tighten the leash when the dog is overtaking or remaining behind, issuing the command “heel” while jerking the leash.

Procedure described above applies to dogs who are quiet and sensitive while in training. With other dogs, who are presenting difficulties during the first day of training (for example, running around the keeper, jerking from side to side) different approach is needed. Then you need to move to the vicinity of a fence or wall. Set the dog on your side between you and the wall and start to walk. Limited space prevents the dog from an inappropriate behavior. After several minutes of exercise, return to the open space. In the event of further incorrect walking, the dog needs to return to the route alongside the fence. You can opt out of this only when the dog performs correctly the orders: “forward ” and “heel”. Learning to walk a dog on a leash at heel runs in sessions of one hour using a two-minute break to relax the dog and the guardian.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this site is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian or doctor. Should you think that your pet needs medical attention, please contact your local veterinarian.  
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