Have you ever wished that you could walk your dog without having him/her pulling you in different directions?
If your answer is yes, teaching your dog to walk nicely on leash will be your first step towards your pleasant daily walks.
On top of this, getting your dog to heel on command will allow you to have better control over your dog during specific situations.
Walking Nicely on Leash vs Command Heel
A very common question from owner is – Must I use the command ‘Heel’ whenever I walk my dog outdoor?
To determine the answer, owner has to understand what the differences are:
Walking Nicely on Leash (without heel command)
Definition : Walk your dog at an acceptable leash length next to you. The dog can be at your right or left as long as he/she is not pulling the leash and dragging you along. He/she is NOT required to stick real close to your leg. Every owner can decide what is the acceptable leash length for your own dog.
Purpose : To have a casual and comfortable walk together.
Definition : ‘Heel’ is a command given to your dog to instruct him/her to walk close to your heel. A more precise explanation: to require your dog’s head or shoulder to be parallel to the your left leg while walking.
Purpose : To have full control over your dog while walking. It helps to prevent your dog from getting distracted and thus landing in mischief. Eg launch at others, bark at passer-by, pick up items from the ground etc.
When to use and which to use?
Walking Nicely on Leash :
No dog wants to walk like a robot sticking close to your heel every single day and for every single walk. All dogs will want to enjoy thier walks with thier owners e.g. sniffing on the ground, looking at different sceneries. Strolling with your dog should be an enjoyable activity. Thus, teaching your dog to walk nicely on leash is a must for all owners.
Firstly, owner has to determine the acceptable length of the leash the dog is allowed to walk. Then, you will need to teach the dog to walk within the acceptable leash length. In other words, walking nicely on leash is when your dog walk anywhere around you (with leash on) within the space he/she is allowed to move. And he/she is not allowed to pull beyond the acceptable leash length.
Once you and your dog has mastered the leash walking, you will not have a dog that will pull you constantly, and your dog will still be able to walk and explore within a reasonable space.
I will personally encourage my students to use the ‘Heel’ command when walking through a crowd or walking past distractions. It also applies to dogs that may have reactive behaviours towards certain people or objects. By giving this command, your dog will be able to focus on the ‘Heel’ task, and there will be a lesser chance that he/she will end up in trouble or in danger.
Both are equally important. Teaching your dog to walk nicely on the leash and obeying the ‘Heel’ command will definitely lead to a much more enjoyable walk with your best friend.
Contact us now to find out more about our Obedience Classes.