Are you tired of your dog dragging you along every time you take him for a walk? Are you afraid of trying to take your dog for a walk off-leash for fear that he is more likely to run away than stay put? If either of these is the case, then perhaps it's high-time you train your dog to heel while walking. You should be aware that teaching your dog to heel means that when you are done training your pup, he should be walking right beside you. Not behind you, not ahead of you, and certainly not wandering around.
The traditional side for your pup to be walking on is the left side, but you can teach him to walk on the right side if this is more comfortable for you. In certain instances, heeling means walking close enough to you that your pup is virtually brushing against your leg as you move. The most important thing to remember is being in the heel position means not pulling on his leash or trying to run ahead when walking off leash.
The "heel" command is meant to tell your dog that he needs to be in a position directly beside you any time you go for a walk. It does not mean pulling on the leash, running ahead, or lagging behind. It allows you to communicate directly, quietly, and quickly with your pup. It also allows you to reward him quickly when he behaves. You can teach your pup to heel both on and off the leash or simply stick to using the leash if you prefer.
Remember, while the traditional heel position developed for hunters is on the left to keep their gun hands free, you can choose either side. Once you have taught your pup to walk on a leash, this is the next natural step in the process and one that should take only a few weeks to accomplish once your pup has mastered the basics of walking on a leash and can be taught to virtually any age dog with patience and time.
Getting started training your dog to heel doesn’t take much in the way of supplies, it is more about having the time and patience to spend working with your pup to make sure he understands the command and what is expected of him when you give it. The only things you are likely to need are: