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Teaching Your Dog to Heel: Tips and Techniques



Heel is an important command that every dog should learn. The heel command teaches your dog to walk calmly and obediently beside you, without pulling on the leash or getting distracted. In this post, we'll take a closer look at how to teach your dog to heel, including tips and techniques for success.

What is Heel?

The heel command teaches your dog to walk beside you, with their head at your knee or hip level. This command is useful for keeping your dog under control in crowded areas or on busy streets, and it's also an important part of obedience training.

Steps for Teaching Your Dog to Heel

Here are some steps for teaching your dog to heel:

  1. Start with basic leash training. Your dog should be comfortable walking on a leash before you begin teaching them to heel. Practice walking with your dog on a loose leash and reward them for staying by your side.

  2. Choose a side for your dog to walk on. Most people prefer to have their dog walk on their left side, but you can choose whichever side is most comfortable for you.

  3. Get your dog's attention. Before you start walking, get your dog's attention with a treat or a command such as "look at me."

  4. Give the command. Use the command "heel" or "let's go" to signal to your dog that it's time to walk.

  5. Use treats and positive reinforcement. As you walk, reward your dog with treats and praise for staying by your side. Use a clicker or a verbal command such as "good dog" to let your dog know when they are doing well.

  6. Correct your dog's behavior. If your dog pulls on the leash or gets distracted, use a verbal command such as "no" or "ah-ah" to correct their behavior. Stop walking until your dog returns to your side, then resume walking and continue rewarding good behavior.

  7. Practice regularly. Practice walking with your dog on a daily basis, gradually increasing the length of your walks and the difficulty of the distractions.

Tips and Techniques for Success

Here are some tips and techniques for success when teaching your dog to heel:

  1. Be patient. It takes time for your dog to learn new commands, so be patient and consistent in your training.

  2. Use high-value treats. Use treats that your dog really loves, such as small pieces of cheese or meat, to keep them motivated and engaged.

  3. Use positive reinforcement. Reward your dog for good behavior, rather than punishing them for bad behavior.

  4. Gradually increase the difficulty. Start with short, simple walks and gradually increase the length of your walks and the difficulty of the distractions.

Conclusion

Teaching your dog to heel is an important part of obedience training. With patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, you can teach your dog to walk calmly and obediently by your side. Remember to use treats and praise to reward good behavior, and correct your dog's behavior when they get distracted or pull on the leash. With practice and dedication, you and your dog can master the heel command and enjoy peaceful, enjoyable walks together.

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