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A Basic Primer on

teaching your

Dog to Heel

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How to Train your Dog to Heel on Cue

Teaching your dog to heel is not the same as teaching your
dog to walk on the leash and stop. The heel command is used:
specifically for getting your dog to focus all its attention
on you and to walk close to your left side whether on or off

This command is helpful when you need to grab your dog's
attention in a risky situation such as other dogs or
children near you. The heel command should make your dog pin
itself up against your left leg and look at you for your
next command.

The heel command is an advanced technique and may take a
little time for your dog to completely grasp. It is best to
work with your dog in short intense bursts every day until
the behavior is mastered. Be patient and understand that it
is going to take some time for most dogs to master the heel
command without breaking in reaction to distractions.

To start the training you should stand with your dog close
to your left leg while you are both facing the same
direction. You should have some dog treats with you and be
holding one of them in your left hand. You will now simply
look at your dog and call its name. This is to get its
attention and cause it to look at you.

When the dog gives you its attention you should take two
steps forward. If the dog takes the two steps with you and
is still in the heel position, give it a treat, and then
repeat the steps. Each time your dog stays in the proper
position and moves with, praise it, give it a treat and

Once you and your dog have mastered this and your dog can
heel properly ten times in a row it, is time to attach the
behavior to a verbal command. The training is exactly the
same with the verbal command except now you say the dog's
name and follow it up with the word "heel."

As with any type of training, you will have the most success
if you start with your dog in a familiar environment that is
free from distractions. If your dog doesn't get it right
away don't be discouraged, if you just continue to patiently
work with it and give it positive reinforcement you will

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