Your dog's natural pack instincts play a large part in every aspect of his behavior, and this includes his instinct to follow his pack leader. Of course, this means you need to establish yourself as the pack leader from the very beginning. Your dog will always look to you for direction as long as you maintain your status as pack leader no matter what you are doing. Training your dog to walk behind simulates the movement of the pack and can come in handy when you are going for a walk without his leash.
Imagine how much fun it will be going for a walk or jog down the beach, never having to worry about where your dog is. Why? Because he has been trained to walk behind you and maintain his position in the pack. Bear in mind that while this may an instinctive behavior, it will take time for your pup to master it.
There are several positions you can train your pup to walk with you in. He can walk out front, he can walk beside you in the traditional "heel" position, or you can teach him to walk behind you. Most professional dog trainers prefer not to train dogs to walk out front, as doing so allows them to take the position of pack leader. You should never allow your dog to take this position as it can significantly change his behavior.
Ideally, you want your dog to be able to follow behind you without a leash, stay close, and not allow distractions to make him leave his spot. You will need plenty of patience, especially in the early phases of training. Make sure you have plenty of time to practice this every day, this will speed up the training process and allow you and your puppy to get plenty of exercise at the same time.
Before you begin training your dog to walk behind you, he should have already mastered the basic commands, 'come', 'stay', 'down', 'sit', and so forth. He should also be used to going for walks with you on his leash and to be well behaved while doing so. You won't need much in the way of supplies, but you will need:
It can't be stressed enough that you need to maintain your role as pack leader at all times with your pup; this will help ensure he obeys your commands without hesitation. Also, you should never take your dog for a walk off his leash in an area that requires your pup to be on his leash. Not only could you face a fine, but you make things worse for other dog owners.
Is it possible to train two dogs At the same time? I have two that I need to finally put into check.
Hello Scott, I would highly recommend having two separation training session with each dog per day, where you work one on one with each dog without the other dog present. Even if that means that both sessions are shorter. Another dog is a large distraction for both dogs, so when you are first starting this with each dog they may not be ready for that type of distraction. Once both dogs are doing well and can stay behind you when it is just you and him, then the next step would be to take both dogs together, and work on a pack walk with everyone. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
Was this experience helpful?