The heel command is intended for the dog to walk next to and slightly behind your left leg , this command not only allows the dog to actually achieve and follow the command , but also builds up the focus that your dog will need in order to perform more advanced commands such as Stay , Down and Come .
Benefits of this command is to guarantee your dog won’t run away and will always stay by your side when you walk and even when you stop , it also avoids many accidents as a result of the dog running away , not only that but it will also provide the most important and self satisfactory result a trainer could wish for . a dog that follows you and only you , lets face it , no one likes his dog to go and follow any stranger that gives them some good petting or offers them some food , every dog owner feels disappointed at that particular moment and trust me I’ve been in business for over 13 years and i know that feeling .
so lets cut to the chase and start the training step by step (I like to make it into steps so the reader would have it as simple instructions and easy to read ) :
Tools needed :
A leash , some dog treats , Dog Collar .
Step 1 :
Go to any place with a few distractions from your back yard to a nice quiet place in the park .
Step 2 :
Put on the Dog Collar and the leash .
step 3 :
While holding the leash in your left hand shorten the leash so that the dog’s neck is about (30 CM or 12 inches) maximum and (10 CM or 4 Inches) minimum away from your left leg.
Step 4 :
Give the command stating the dog’s name first followed by the word Heel .
Step 5 :
Start moving Slowly forward while holding the leash firmly in your left hand so the dog won’t move left and right .
Step 6 :
Walk the dog about 5 meters (16 feet) Minimum , after that give them the command to Stop , while you stop walking .
Step 7 : repeat that for about 10 times till the dog understands the command , for those 10 times make sure you are walking in a straight line .
Step 8 :
try walking in a Zigzag way while maintaining the dog next to your left leg ,then once again give the dog the Stop command while you stop walking .
Step 9 :
Every dog owner has some grasp if their dog understood the command well enough that when you give him the command to Stop the dog stops even if you continue walkin, at this point and after many repetitions , loosen the dog leash a little bit , then give him the command to Heel again , check if your dog still responds to the command in the same manner when the leash was tight , if not repeat the previous steps again to make sure your dog has memorized the command well enough , if your dog performed well while the leash is loosen .
step 10 :
keep loosening the leash bit by bit till you feel comfortable with taking off the leash
step 11 :
take off the leash and walk the dog in straight line first then gradually go to zigzag again .
Step 12 :
Increase the walking distance until you are able to achieve about 15 meters perfectly with out the dog getting distracted .
Step 13 :
try more distracting environments more gradually , until you fell the dog will never get distracted .
Step 14 :
Try the streets a couple times starting with empty ones with slowly moving cars until you reach the goal set in your mind .
Step 15 :
At this stage your dog knows the command like the back of it’s paw , all you want now is to make sure that he won’t heel with someone else and that will be discussed Directly in the following post .