Remember that you are the pack leader and your puppy should be taught the basic command of heel.
This is where you have your puppy sit to your left and under your control. This is also an ideal position for your dog to be naturally walking when out on walks. It is not something I enforce as Ralph and I like to have fun on our walks and letting him sniff around is fun for him.
You may want to start by having puppy on lead but it is not necessary. Make sure you have plenty of their favourite treats to hand and that puppy is in an attentive mood. No point in trying this one if they haven’t yet had their walk or they are too tired.
Have a treat in your left hand at the ready.
Get puppy’s attention and then say heel whilst taking a step backwards with your left foot and leading him or her with the treat to behind your left foot.
Now lead them to turn to a sitting position facing in the same direction as you, with the treat. You will want to say heel and or sit again to reinforce the command.
Give them the treat.
Lots of praise and fuss here especially if you and they get it right first time.
I will be honest and say that this took a while for Ralph and I to get right. The step backwards holding the treat low got Ralph to my side but the turn confused him somewhat. I think it is the way I turned the treat around his head to get him to face the front that threw him. I had the same problem with roll over.
Once they are good at finding the right place to sit, it is time to teach them another way to get to the heel position.
This time, you are going to teach them to go behind you to the right and then sit on your left side in heel position.
Have your dog in front of and facing you.
Have the treat in your right hand
Show your dog the treat while stepping back with the right leg.
While your dog follows the treat, swap the treat in your right hand to your left hand while you continue to lure your dog into the heel position.
Once your dog is the correct position ask them to sit then give lots of praise, treats and fun.
I hope you both have fun with this. I did not find it easy and neither did Ralph but we got there. Just remember praise and fun. Reinforcement that they are doing a good job is much better than getting cross because it doesn’t always go to plan.
We might find this photo funny but Training should never leave your dog feeling like a bad dog.
I would love to hear your own training stories and as always if you have any questions, just comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can. I am always happy to receive your photographs for my doggie rogues gallery. You can send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
With Grace and Gratitude
Karen & Ralph