Dogs are truly like furry members of the family, but they’re not just a cute fuzzy bunch that can make anyone coo ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ at their antics. Your pooch can be a smart buddy that can listen to your commands, making it easier to encourage obedience and ensure they practice good habits whenever you take them out for their morning adventure down the park.
Understandably, a puppy can be overly excited when it’s time to head out in the great outdoors, but letting them grow used to pulling on the leash can lead them to develop a stubborn streak when they’re older. This can be challenging to fix and can make walks a tiring experience for you, so one way to correct this is to teach your furbaby to heel.
Heeling is an important action that encourages your dog to stay by your side as you walk, eliminating the risk of them pulling on the leash. It’s a life-changing command that can ensure your pup behaves properly whenever you go out, plus they may even earn the freedom to explore the neighborhood off-leash!
What You’ll Need for Heel Training:
- Treats, their favorite toy, or a lure stick;
- Quiet area with little-to-no distractions;
- A clicker, though you can simply praise them by saying “yes!” to reinforce the positive behavior;
Simple Steps to Train Your Puppy to Heel
Step #1: Carry the yummy treat and hold them over your pup’s nose, enough so they can smell them without being able to jump on your hand. Be sure it’s parallel and as close to your left leg as much as possible. Alternatively, you can use a lure stick to get their attention so you won’t have to bend down constantly to reach their small height.
Step #2: Be sure your dog is on your left side and is facing the same direction as you. Moving forward, you can say their name to get their attention and follow up with the command “heel.” Start walking after the prompt and stop after a few lively steps.
Step #3: When your puppy stops next to you in a heel position, click and give them some much-deserved treats or praises. Repeat the process to reinforce the “heel” position.
Step #4: If your puppy won’t get in a heel position, it means you’re walking too much. Just take it slow, take a few upbeat steps, and build up until your puppy can heel next to you.
Step #5: When your pup can consistently keep the heel position for 30 seconds, reward them again with treats. Keep the training session short (about ten minutes) and fun so your puppy won’t lose interest; plus, this ensures your furry friends won’t grow tired of the treats you give during training.
The Bottom Line: The Importance of Puppy Training
It’s hard to resist your puppy’s little quirks, but it’s also important to train them when they’re young, so they won’t let their bad habits wreak havoc on your home. Don’t let your furbaby develop poor behavior, and let our expert, dog-loving trainers teach your canine buddies how to properly respond to your commands.
Why Choose Us to Help Your Puppy Grow Into a Well-Mannered Pooch?
We’re one of the best dog trainer blogs in the USA, so check us out anytime if you need some tried-and-tested tips on how to train your dog. We might just have the right trick in our sleeves to get your puppy at your heel in no time!