How to train a dog to heel?

April 13, 2012

Dogs are great companions. Dogs that form a strong bond with the master are always by the master’s side. These dogs are even dubbed as their master’s shadow. However, this is not always the case. Some owner’s would get extremely frustrated trying to make their pets stay by their side when the dog is taken for a walk. Elderly or frail owners are cheated the pleasure of taking the pet for a walk. No one would want to be dragged even by a medium sized dog. This is why it is very necessary to train the dog to heel.

What does training the dog to heel means? This is one of the basic obedience trainings for a dog but not all dog experienced people know how this can be done. This obedience training simply means teaching the dog to walk on the left side of the owner, not a few paces ahead or a few steps behind. This kind of training is not difficult to accomplish. You only have to arm yourself with a leash and a bagful of the dog’s favorite treats. And don’t forget to have loads and loads of patience and determination. About a week of consistent and fun training, you can have your friends green with envy as you show them how your pet obediently responds to your Heel, Fido! command.

Making the sessions fun is the trick to any type of training. By doing so, you will be able gain the attention of the dog as well as entice the pet to respond positively. This would mean that both you and the pet have to be in a good mood. If you got up on the wrong side of the bed and you are likely to shout at the dog, you had better forego the training. Begin the training by snapping on the leash. Position the dog on your left side. Say the dog’s name and give the heel command and purposely step forward with your left foot. Expect the dog not to understand your command so you need to slightly tug the leash. Praise the dog if it stays in step with you. Dogs get easily distracted. It may try to lunge ahead if it sees or smells something interesting. Stop walking forward and gently tug on the leash. This should make the dog stop walking. If the dog lags behind, you have to bring out the dog’s favorite treat. Hold the treat a few inches in front of the dog’s nose. Give the heel command and start walking briskly. This should make the dog walk beside you. After a few minutes, slow down. Give the sit command and reward the dog with the treat in your hand. This process must be repeated in 3 to 4 sessions everyday.

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