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A common goal for dog owners is to have their dog walk politely on a leash. What many people don’t realize is that walking politely beside you really has nothing to do with the leash. The only purpose of a leash is to keep your dog safe. What matters is your dog’s understanding of the position. People who do obedience for competition start teaching their puppies to heel off leash and don’t put the leash on until the puppy is heeling without it. The leash is irrelevant. This applies to pet manners and loose leash walking, too.
This is one of my favourite foundation games for teaching heel (or loose leash walking for pets). The beauty of this game is that the dog is really teaching himself the position that brings reward. There is no food in my left hand. There is no luring in this game. I like luring for teaching some behaviours, but not for heel. Trying to teach heel through luring just teaches the dog to follow food. Once the food is gone, so is your dog.
Come and join us for classes that teach you how to play this game, and other fun games, to help your dog learn to walk politely on a leash!

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