Pulling on the lead is one of the biggest behavioural issues that people struggle with when training with their dog.

There are so many different methods and techniques that can be used to help train the dog to walk to heel. Including using many pieces of different equipment.


Heel work

Heel work can be a little bit of a mine field when doing research into how to accomplish it. The first step to heelwork training is to choose a place with NO distractions at all somewhere where your dog is comfortable with. The dog has had the chance to go to the toilet and is ready to work.  This can be your back garden initially.

To start off with do not use any commands as you don’t want to teach the dog that it is OK to pull to the command that you want to use.

Start by walking backwards and getting the dog to want to be with you. Then walk forwards marking verbally when you are happy with the behaviour that you like to see.  Then once the dog is in the right place add the command that you would like to use.

Use high value rewards to show the dog the position that you would like it to be in and reward.

With heel work it is important to focus on where you are going which will bring your dog’s body language up. Use your environment to gage where you will reward.

Then slowly add distractions to your training starting off with a big distance so that you set your dog up to succeed.

When training for heel work consistency is key so if you are taking your dog out when you are not planning on doing any training, try to use a different piece of equipment so that the dog does not get confused.

  • Consistency is the key
  • Use High value rewards
  • Start off in a low distraction environment

Training Tips

Don’t get frustrated with your dog as they need to understand what you want from them.

Initially use lots of reward and never phase out rewards as the dog needs to earn something for their hard work.

Change your pace and direction regularly to keep your dog guessing as to where you are going.

Change your routine as humans get in to habits so is always good to mix up where you walk your dog.

  • Change your Pace and direction regularly
  • Start off using lots of rewards
  • Never get Frustrated