Teach Your Puppy to Heel Without a Leash

One of my favorite exercises is heel. Heel is when the dog walks next to the handler (on either side), so that the dog’s shoulder is next to the handler’s leg. In this position the handler can turn left or right without tripping on the leash or stepping on the dog.

Although your dog must master heel on a short leash, then a longer line – before you ever go off lead in public, you can introduce your puppy or dog to heel in the backyard or house, without a leash! Here’s how.

Start with your puppy standing or sitting next to you, without a leash attached, in heel position. Say, “Let’s go”, and then take a step. When your puppy begins to walk, mark or click at that instant and then give your puppy a treat. (If you are not familiar with clicker training or markers, visit this page.)The idea is to mark the instant that rascal takes a step, and before he or she walks past you or off to the side.

Practice this one step several times until your puppy is looking at you, anticipating the marker.

Now, take two steps before you mark. Your puppy will walk right next to you. Then take three or four steps before you mark. Increase the number of steps as your puppy learn the game.

As you practice this around the house and in the yard, your puppy will naturally want to walk next to you, because that’s where the good stuff happens!

Alan J Turner – How’s Bentley Memphis

USA Canny Collar Dealer

[Post to Twitter] Tweet This Post