How to Teach a Dog to Heel

How to Teach a Dog to Heel

By Anthony Lee

If you are a dog owner and would like to train your dog, one of the simplest and easiest commands for the dog to learn is the “heel” command. What is to heel for the dog? This means that when successful, the dog will walk alongside its owner at a proper distance, not too far ahead, and not too far behind, usually just matching your stride. You might be asking, how do I teach my dog to heel? Here are a few tips:

1. With your dog at your left side, instruct him to face the same way you are facing. Make a simple point with your finger to the direction you want him to face along with a little prodding and you should be fine.

2. Prepare the dog’s favorite food (a piece of meat, hamburger, etc.) and hold it in front of him. The dog will usually try to take the food from your hand, but you mustn’t give it to him just yet; try to hold him off for a little while.

3. Say the word “heel” and start taking a few steps forward, while keeping the food in front of him, just barely out of his reach. If he does not obey, try to entice him some more. This would require some patience on your part. If the dog obeys and starts walking, don’t neglect to give him some praise and good words. Playing a bit with his hair, patting him, giving him a toy to play with, and other forms of showing your dog some love would be a good thing too.

4. Keep doing this routine in short intervals throughout the day for a period of time, until the dog learns the command “heel”. Results will vary depending on the dog. Some will take days, others weeks, some others even months. It is important that you, as a dog owner, will persevere and keep your patience as this process goes on.

5. As a final tip, try not to use a leash in training the dog. It is recommended that you use his favorite food and positive words and actions during the training process. Enjoy!

Should you being a dog owner follow these tips properly, you will be satisfied when the positive results come out after some time. Patience and perseverance are two traits that need to be properly stressed in this training routine.

Realize that it will take time for your dog to fully understand your command. Realize that it will take time for your dog to obey; many times, dogs are just plain stubborn.

Do not lose hope in teaching your dog to heel, instead try to have fun and enjoy that additional time spent with man’s best friend.

To learn more tips on training your dog, please visit

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