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6 Top tips to get your dog to walk to heel
Dogs love going out for a walk, however unless your dog walks to heel it isn’t as enjoyable for you. Having a dog walk to heel is not only much safer for both of you it will increase the enjoyment of walkies for both of you. Some of these tips have been shared with us by professional dog walkers and while some techniques will work for some of you, every dog is different and they respond in different ways. For our dog Kirk we have used a mixture of these, check out below and let us know if you have any success also submit tips to us to share on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/myanimal.co.uk
1. Mental state of mind
Be prepared, if you allow you dog to get in to a heightened excited state before a walk they will be in this state of mind on the walk. Dogs live by routine, pre-empt their walking schedule by calmly calling your dog to the door and proceed to put on their harness and lead, if they get excited and don’t allow you to gear them up, stop put away the lead and go back to your lounge, repeat until your dog calmly allows you to put on their lead.
2. Sit at the door
Make your dog sit at the threshold of the open front door and make sure you leave the house first, making your dog wait at the door is great way to let your dog know that you are going for a walk on your terms not theirs.
3. Follow the leader
You are the leader, you hold the leash and at any point you can change direction, does your dog know this? Always keep in mind, dogs love routine, if they don’t know where you are going they will need to follow you.
Use this to your advantage, turning, crossing the road, turning back, all of these will help your dog understand that they need to heel. The moment your dog takes a step in front of you, gently turn and go in a different direction.
It can be easy to get frustrated, your dogs natural instincts to follow their nose, to follow their route, their excitement; it can be overwhelming. This is not an exercise in showing anger or annoyance, this is about showing your dog you are leading them. A gentle turn is all that is required, do not tug or pull your dog, you are their leader, if it takes a dozen turns remember next time it might only take 10, you will both get there in the end together.
4. Treat Drop
Rewarding your dog with a treat and the word heel will help establish their place next to your leg, however it’s a tricky business walking, holding a leash and bending to give a treat! Make it easier for yourself! Keep your treats in your pocket and drop one on the floor, it might take a couple of practices but you will both pick it up quickly. Training with positive reinforcement has been proven over and over again to be much more benifical that negative techniques, if your dog loves treats they will quickly cotton on.
Why not try some of our amazing training treats or even one of our treat boxes come check them out by clicking on the images below!
6. Choose a leg
Routine! Play on your dog’s strengths, getting your dog to walk on one side will establish the idea that when you say heel they immediately ensure they are by your side. If they are already by your chosen side it will help them understand that they are doing the right thing.
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