How To Train A Dog To Heel

Dog Heel Position Training With VIP Petcare

Walking your dog everyday is not only good for their physical health, but also for their mental health! Regardless of how smart your breed of dog is, most dogs aren’t born with the inherent knowledge needed to properly walk on a lead, or heel on demand. Here at VIP Petcare, we know how valuable teaching your dog to heel can be, so we’ve created a short guide to get you started on the heel training process.

What Does It Mean For Your Dog To “Heel”?

For your dog to heel, they must walk directly next to you instead of leading you or trailing behind you. For a proper heel, your dog must keep up with your pace, regardless if you’re walking quickly or pacing at a slow speed. Additionally, your dog must stop walking when you stop, and start moving when you take a step forward.

Things To Do Before You Begin The Heel Training Process

Before you begin heel training with your dog, they need to have mastered focus commands like sit, stay, and come. Additionally, it’s important to purchase a clicker and some tasty organic treats. Clickers are used to show your dog they have successfully followed your command and to keep their focus solely on you, and the treats are to reward your dog for promptly listening to your directions. If you plan to have a long dog training session, it might be wise to keep some additional treats in your pockets, as backups. Once those basic skills have been implemented, and you have the proper tools, you can administer the tried and true method of heel training: lure and reward.

Begin Heel Training With Your Pup

To start heel training with your pup, find a familiar environment that’s wide open and as distraction-free as possible. Position your pup on your left-hand side, and have them sit and stay. If they remain calm and collected, quickly reward them with a click and a treat. Make sure your dog sits patiently next to you until you are ready to walk forward.

The Dog Heel Position

Start to walk forward slowly, utilizing the command “heel” as you do so. Expect your pup to walk slowly beside you! The idea here is to hold the treats out within an inch of your dog’s face to guide him or her along, and every step or two to give them rewards with a click from the clicker and a treat. If your dog starts to veer off, pull ahead, or focus their attention on anything other than you, you should stop immediately. Call your dog’s name until they look at you, ask them to sit and stay, and then start the process over again once your pup is in the correct heel position.

Additional Tools To Utilize During Dog Training

If your dog pulls on the lead during your heel training sessions, you can purchase a no-pull harness that will divert their motion to either side instead of forward. Additionally, a Martingale Collar can provide more control over your dog’s behavior without the choking effect of a a slip collar, making your dog training sessions safer for your pup’s well-being. It’s not advised to train your dog with a collar that constricts their airflow or administer a shock collar, as both of these methods can inflict severe damage and pain.

Contact VIP Petcare For World-Class Petcare Services!

Here at VIP Petcare, we specialize in a broad spectrum of world-class pet care vaccinations and preventatives needed by every household dog, and also general wellness for all of your pets! With VIP Petcare, it’s easier than ever to maintain your best friend’s health with our mobile pet care clinics all across the country! Our pet care clinics give more people access to pet care services than ever before, as they are conveniently located within local pet and feed stores.

At VIP Petcare, we accept walk-ins during our days of operation at each pet care clinic. If your dog is in need of vaccinations, don’t hesitate to find a VIP Petcare clinic near you, or contact us today!