How to Teach a Dog to Heel? – Best Tips for Naughty Friends

Teach A Dog To Heel Guide From Canvas Personalized
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Exercise is essential for both people and dogs. Taking your dog on a walk is a great way to spend quality time together. However, dog walking may be stressful if your pet continually pulls on the leash and runs off to investigate new sights. The heel command may be taught to even the most energetic puppies with enough time and practice. Use this handy Canvas Personalized guide to teach a dog to heel.

1. What Does Heel Dog Command Mean?

Using this heel dog command, your dog will stay by your side while you go along the street. The dog is doing its best to keep up with you, and it does it by only stopping when you do. Discipline is needed to teach a dog to walk by your side on a leash without pulling and to resist the need to smell and urinate on everything it sees.

While a dog won’t benefit physically from walking at a human’s speed, a jog in the heel position provides significant mental stimulation. Teach a dog to heel helps maintain him in a calm, focused working mode.

Your being visible in your dog’s surroundings is a continual reminder of who the owner is. Instead of thinking for himself, the dog is following your lead. It’s a case of “out of sight, out of mind”: if you let the dog go ahead far enough that you lose sight of him, he’ll likely start making his own decisions, paying less attention to your heel dog commands, and behaving on his own will. This is where dogs often pull, bite the leash, and do other bad things. It is suggested that all dogs learn and practice the heel command regularly, even if it is not required at all times.

2. Teach A Dog To Heel With Any Methods

Stop and Sit Method

Step 1: Understand the heel idea

To begin training a dog to heel, the dog must learn that he will be rewarded if he sits when you suddenly stop walking. You may train your dog to sit by stopping your forward movement anytime he makes a sudden run ahead of you. The dog will learn to walk to heel by memory by staying focused on treats.

Step 2: Start in a quiet room

The first dog training technique teaches the dog to sit when you stop walking. For this, you’ll need a nice treat. Draw the dog’s focus on the reward and take a short walk. Stop. Ignore the dog and wait for him to sit.

Please don’t signal him what you want; let him figure out that sitting is rewarded. Perhaps he will play with you, evade you, paw at your leg, etc. It would be best if you ignored him. At some point, he’ll have to sit to clear his mind on the current situation. Now is the time to give a resounding “Yes” and show your praise.

Teach A Dog To Heel Using Stop And Sit Method
Teach a Dog to Heel Using Stop and Sit Method (Credit: Daily Paws)

Step 3: Go for a short walk

Take the dog for a little jog with his new achievements. Walk a little longer with the goodie in your hand, then stop. Just be patient and wait for the dog to sit before rewarding him. Continue walking for a little more, and then stop. Give him a treat when he sits.

Step 4: Label the action as ‘heel’

Call out “heel” in a solid but encouraging tone as you walk beside your dog, and he follows your lead and goes along with the stop-and-go exercise. Whenever he takes a seat, give him a treat. Increase your walking distance before stopping.

Step 5: Use positive reinforce

If you see your dog bursting forward in understanding, stop and wait for him to sit before continuing. Maintaining his movement brings him back under control.

Step 6: Use the heel dog command

Walks are a great way to put the “heel” command into practice. The beneficial behavior of training a dog to heel can be reinforced by rewarding him with treats as he gets closer.

>> Read more: How To Teach A Dog To Stay In 7 Steps?

Stop and Turn Method Of Training A Dog To Heel

Step 1: Understand training a dog to heel

If your dog doesn’t walk at your side, he’s probably excited to go to the park and pulls on the leash to get there faster. If the dog pulls, he will soon reach his destination. This technique aims to instill in the dog the understanding that pulling causes unnecessary delays and that it is better to teach a dog to walk by your side.

Step 2: Prepare to go nowhere fast

Pick a day you won’t be rushed for time to teach a dog to heel. You will not progress for at least 20 minutes as the dog goes crazily at your feet.

Teach A Dog To Heel Using Stop And Turn Method
How To Teach Heel Command By Using Stop and Turn Method (Credit: The Spruce Pets)

Step 3: Stop when the dog pulls

Begin walking. Stop walking as soon as the dog starts to pull on the leash. Speak with the dog by telling it to come to heel. And if he does, that’s fantastic! Reward him, and continue progress. When the dog starts to rush ahead, do this again.

Step 4: Switch direction

If you stop and the dog pulls hard on the leash, he seemingly desires to drag you to the park. This time, a new tactic will be needed. Move in the other direction this time. To get your dog to follow you, slap your thighs. Call out “Heel” once he reaches your foot, and compliment him on the back.

Step 5: Switch and switch again to teach a dog to heel

After moving a short distance at your heel, the dog may believe he can make better speed by pulling once more. Repeat the previous steps of calling the dog and, if he does not come to heel, turn around and walk away. Moving back and forth in one area is to be expected. A well-trained dog will learn that pulling leads nowhere but further away from his destination and will soon begin walking to heel.

How To Teach Dog Heel With A Clicker

Step 1: Understand the idea

The clicker makes a distinct noise to signal the desired behavior, like walking to heel. In addition, the dog learns that the click means he’ll soon receive a treat. The goal is to teach the dog to associate the clicking gesture with the expectation of a reward. The dog is motivated to walk nicely at the heel, thanks to this core idea of reinforcement-based training.

Step 2: Link click to reward

Put down some snacks on the ground. Start clicking as soon as the dog starts eating the treat. Now give the dog a small reward and click as he takes it. Just keep doing that over and over. Then, once the dog’s back is turned to you, hit the clicker. If he looks around for the reward after hearing the click, he has successfully identified the sound of the click with a positive outcome, and you can continue on to the next stage of training.

Teach A Dog To Heel With A Clicker
Teach a Dog to Heel with a Clicker (Credit: Hundeo)

Step 3: Lure with a treat

Put the dog on a leash and take him to a calm, undisturbed area. To get your dog to walk in step with you, hold a goodie in your left hand before his nose while you take a few steps forward.

Step 4: Click and reward

Speak “Heel,” and immediately click and reward your dog for taking a few steps forward in the heel position. Keep doing this, clicking when he walks forward in response to the treat, and repeat as needed.

Step 5: Stretch out the rewards

You can try this heel dog command without using treats as the dog gets better at paying attention. If the dog understands your heel command and walks with you briefly, give him a click and a treat. Training should involve increasing the distance covered before clicking to reward.

>> Further reading: 15 Best Dog Training Tips & Why Teaching Dogs is Important?

3. FAQs About Training A Dog To Heel

Teach A Dog To Heel
teach a dog to heel (Image Credit: Canva)

How long does it take to teach a dog to heel?

Since the habit is so developed, it will take 3 weeks to end the process. It might take up to three months if he is a stubborn boy and you are inconsistent with your teaching methods.

How do I get my dog to heel when walking?

To train your dog to come when called, use a clicker or say “yes” and treat it as soon as it comes. Start inside the home and go up and down a corridor and around a large room. Call your dog by name and point to the leg you want him to walk on.

Should a dog heel the entire walk?

Although there are advantages to training a dog to heel, doing so steadily is not ideal for a typical dog in a daily home. They need to go out, explore, and connect with their surroundings.

How do I get my stubborn dog to heel?

To teach a dog to heel, you should hold up a treat in front of its nose, say the word “heel,” and take baby steps forward. The dog’s attention should be directed toward the reward. Give your dog a click, a treat, and some positive praise every two steps if it walks along you calmly and methodically. The heel is a complex command and skill, so be patient with your dog if it requires some time to master it. Consistency should also be emphasized.

>> Another related post that you should know better:

Hopefully, all the information you require to teach a dog to heel successfully is in your head. If you found this post helpful, please consider sharing it from Canvas Personalized.

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Training & Behaviors