Step #1 First Command - Heel

The first command you will teach your dog will be "heel". As you work this schedule, be sure to stick with it and always use correct signals. Remember to be patient and have fun with your pet.

With your dog at your left side, gather the looseness of the (6') leash into your right hand. The leash should form a "u-shape" but should not be tight. With your left hand, firmly grasp the leash approximately 10" from his neck (you'll need to adjust for the size of the dog and what feels controllable to you). This will give you control as you initiate his training. As the dog responds correctly, you may loosen the leash to allow him to heel with only the "u-shape".

Step forward with your left foot, pat your left hip and say "heel". Start walking forward with your dog parallel to you. He should always remain even with you. If he tries to walk ahead of you, turn and walk in the opposite direction to correct him and teach him to stay even with you. You are basically demanding his attention.

If changing direction does not immediately get his attention back on you, try changing direction by moving sharply to your left. You will thus go straight into your dog, causing him to correct himself.

These things need to be done at a brisk pace. "Bouncy" movement creates excitement for your dog and will help him stay sharp. For a while, he's not going to remain perfectly at your side, so allow his actions to be "okay" over the next week or two. Until he gets the hang of the heel command, keep encouraging him and make it fun!

Work on the heel command for the next three days before going any further with training (note: this doesn't mean that you can't start teaching your pet "fun" tricks that he enjoys as both a reward and for more bonding time).

Quick Tip : Practice at obtaining sharp starts and stops. Always start and stop with your left foot because this is what your dog will cue off of.