You’re out on a delightful walk with your beloved dog; the sun is out, the air is still, and green fields are stretched out ahead of you. But your large, heavy and surprisingly strong dog refuses to walk comfortably alongside you. He keeps pulling, sending you in every direction and taking any and all relaxation out of your dog walk. Is he simply incapable of heeling?
If only you could get your larger than life dog to behave on your walk, you could actually enjoy your precious moments of fresh air each day. How on earth are you going to get a new Facebook profile picture if he won’t even walk calmly next to you, let alone pose for a selfie? Getting him to heel could also save your body from a shoulder dislocation, or a nasty fall as you’re pulled to the ground when he chases a rabbit on the horizon.
The term ‘heel’ is designed to get your dog, no matter his size, to walk comfortably at your side, without constantly pulling on his leash. He should be able to stay within the confines of the leash without you having to constantly pull it back. While the command itself may sound easy enough, with all the smells and distractions that the outside world offers, actually getting him to stick to this command is not always straightforward.
As a result of it being rather challenging, int can take weeks or even months before he will obey this command every time without fail. You have a better chance of succeeding with this training if he is a puppy. As dogs get older and more stuck in their ways, you may find training more challenging and time-consuming.
Before you begin your training campaign, there are several things you need to get your hands on. As you can probably imagine, you will be using food and treats to incentivize your dog to heel. Whatever you decide to use, make sure it is broken into small pieces, you don’t want your already large dog to get even bigger!
You will also need a comfortable leash and collar before you set to work. Apart from that, you just need a quiet spot in the great outdoors (away from distractions), plus patience and a positive attitude!
Now you’re all equipped, its time to get a handle on your pooch!