How to Train a Puppy to Heel without Using a Leash

By: David Codr

Published Date: June 29, 2017

By David Codr –

Layla is six-month-old mini Cockapoo puppy who lives with Goldendoodle Roxie who is the same age. One of their guardians sat next to me and my dog Quest on a flight to Los Angeles and he decided to set up a dog training session to help with some basic puppy problems and train puppy to heel and walk with a loose leash.

Both puppies were pretty excited to meet me when I arrived for the session; jumping up and spinning around.

Once the puppies settled down, I went over a ton of puppy training tips and secrets with her guardians; potty training, nipping, mouthing, etc. I also explained how important rules and structure are to puppies. Many people love their puppies to death, but pet at the wrong time and for the wrong reasons and this can confuse the dog or send the opposite message of what is intended.

A great example of this is what I like to call Petting with a Purpose. Instead of petting the dog when it jumps up, barks at or nudges us, we give it a command to sit, then reward it with a pet for listening to us. This is one of the easiest things you can do to train your dog to have good manners. We call this learning to Mand.

Next we separated the pups so that I could demonstrate how to train a puppy to heel. Ironically, I do this leash training without a leash. You can learn quite a few puppy training secrets on the heel in the video below.

Now the above video condensed multiple steps into one video. Normally I would break this puppy training exercise into distinct steps and made sure to point that out to the guardians. They should focus on the circle first, then the step with the treat on the seam of the pant leg and only start raising the treat up once they can take 10 or more steps between giving the treat.

I did also notice that Layla got very anxious when separated from Roxie. This can become a major problem down the road if left untreated. I suggested the guardians enroll the dogs into dog day care but at different locations. This will help Layla develop some independence and boost her self esteem and confidence.

Incorporating doggy day care in this way now will pay off bog dividends for the rest of Layla’s life and ensure she doesn’t develop a case of separation anxiety.

We wrapped things up with a roadmap to success video. You can check it out by clicking the video below.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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