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I was wondering how many of you have been successful in teaching your dog to heel? I have a seven month old Lab. He has done well with most everything except the heeling. He knows how to sit, shake, come on command most of the time, he knows the down command. The problem is the heeling. I have read the articles recently posted here. What procedure did you all use in teaching this command? I am thinking of trying the halter with light weight leash. It is my fault because I have not really worked with him a lot on this command yet and I have been using a retractable leash on him that allows him to run ahead of me. Also, once they are trained to walk next to you, do any of you ever allow a retractable leash to be used again? I do not like the idea of shock collars or choke chains or those pinch collars that dig into the skin. Brenda
 

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Molly seems to heel pretty well, we use a harness lead on her. and pertty much I just kept a very short leash on every walk for a few weeks, so she couldn't go ahead.
She soon learnt that it was much more comfortable to walk beside me, I also repeated the Heel command all the time, and praised her when she walked in the right place.
Now I can walk with a loose lead, although she will sometimes walk ahead, she doesn't pull, and a "Molly Heel" command, will bring her level again.

It does seem a bit cruel to walk with such a short leash to begin with (and I mean the absolute minimum needed for her to walk next to you) but it did the trick,
ALso when she was pulling, a sharp tug back would stop it.

I fully expect for her to forget this over the next few months though!
(she's only 17weeks old).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Jibber, Thanks for your advice. It sounds like Molly is doing rather well for you. I think heeling is one of the hardest things to teach usually. Brenda
 

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no problems.
I'm sure Molly will forget everything she's learnt in the next few months...then it will be a complete nightmare!
 

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Hi Brenda

In the first few weeks of training, I kept Molly on a short leash, using a standard leather collar and lead. When she started to pull, a quick "sharp" pull backon the lead, with a firm"heel" does the job. The pull needs to be reasonably hard and importantly, sharp. As many people have said to me, you are better off giving them one quick and reasonably hard pull, as oppossed to continuous pulling / choking "half pulls" that are all uncomfortable to the dog.

Also suggest that you very frequently use the command "heel" and when they are walking to heel, plenty of praise. When you come to an obsticale / change of direction etc, make sure you warn your dog saying the name followed by heel; this way they learn something is about to occur and pay extra attention ... again followed by plenty of praise.

It takes a while, and like kids, they all have their strengths and weakeness, but a bit of patience does pay results.

Good luck and let us know who it goes

Regards

Mark
 
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