Jump to content

Questions about heel

Recommended Posts

Smithy is learning to walk at my heel and he's doing a really good job. I decided to do this because it was pointed out to me that when he leads the walk, he thinks he leads me and this affects other behaviours. He does seem to be far more obedient than before I did this! When he gets a little ahead of me I simply gently turn around and that's basically taught him to stay at my side. I also practice in the garden with and without lead, with and without treats, and am now using the word heel to associate it with what we're doing.

However, I was wondering what the boundary is between having him walking nicely beside me and letting him sniff and explore a little? He was never an aggressive puller (apart from the initial few weeks) but he's a strong dog (the vet said he's incredibly muscular) and sometimes he can really pull. I like to stop every so often and say 'go have a sniff' and it gives him a chance to be a little free.

Also, when he really wants to go somewhere we'll be walking and his body will sort of be leaning to the left and his back paws will clip my feet as we walk. In fact, he will often clip my feet with his back paws when not paying attention. For example, if another dog is walking behind us and he's a little on edge, he'll turn around every so often and his back paws will kind of trip over my feet. Is this just him being clumsy?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With my Nate I haven't focused on enforcing a traditional "heel" position but rather on having him stop or slow when he feels the leash tighten.  That way, if the leash is loose, he can sniff and explore but I can keep him by me if I need to.  

Lucy with Greyhound Nate and OSH Tinker. With loving memories of MoMo (FTH Chyna Moon), Spirit, Miles the slinky kitty (OSH), Piper "The Perfect" (Oneco Chaplin), Winston, Yoda, Hector, and Claire.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don’t worry about my dogs walking in front of me as long as they are not pulling. I figure the walk is as much about mental stimulation for them as exercise (for both of us :lol) so letting them sniff and wander a bit is fine. I like having them in front where I can see them better than behind me. I do teach all of them “wait” so I can stop them when I need to. Fletcher is the only dog I kept on a pretty close leash because he was leash aggressive with strange dogs, and at 90 lbs, quite strong!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Agree with the above.  When I used to go jogging with the dogs, I did the same as you.  They had one command for "this is serious now" and one for "you can sniff and pee now."  As long as the leash remains relaxed, all is good.  

On the clipping your heels -- Jeter used to do something similar.  I don't know why, but he's shown in many instances that he doesn't care that much about my personal space.  When he first came here, I had to keep giving him a little hip check and an "On the left" command to keep him off my feet.  


Ellen, with brindle Milo and the blonde ballerina, Gelsey

remembering Eve, Baz, Scout, Romie, Nutmeg, and Jeter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

to modify his tripping start training for what you want inside first. remember training sessions should be very brief, multiple times a day, and lots of rewards.

you might want to teach check in- he comes back to you for a treat while you have him walking on a loose lead. this way he knows you are there, paying attention and not in a constant heel position.also, one generally doesn't keep their dog in heel all the time. at cross walk, near people, near dogs, crowded areas that's when one uses heel. 

 this trainer is showing how to get your dog to pay attention to you- the first step in check in and teaching them what you want. he seems pleasant and patient- i always look for someone informal to teach me a new twist to something i've been teaching. do llook up check in. most people use clickers to mark the action. personally i don't like using clickers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dzQ2_Dejbk

Edited by cleptogrey
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...