Heeling is a terrific exercise for teaching your dog to pay attention to you

But as I mentioned earlier, on a normal walk you want your dog to have some freedom on the leash so he can sniff around a bit, and relieve himself if necessary. You don't want him to be so concerned about maintaining an exact position beside you that he can't even look around at the passing scenery.

So for normal walks, "DON'T PULL!" or "RELAX!" should be sufficient to keep your dog reasonably close to you without pulling on the leash.

But there are times when you need more control. For example, if you have to walk through a crowd. Or if there is a dog or cat or squirrel passing by. Or if your arms are full of groceries and you can't be tripping over a dog who is walking right in front of you or switching from your left side to your right side.

So let's teach your dog to "HEEL!"

Please note! To COMPETE with your dog in obedience trials, heeling must be extremely precise -- much more precise than what I'll be showing you here. If you think you might have any interest in showing your dog in obedience competition, I recommend the following two books to teach precision heeling.

Beyond Basic Dog Training includes all the details for precision heeling, such as attentiveness, footwork, forging ahead, lagging behind, and crowding against you. This book is a "bible" for those interested in obedience competition, especially with medium to large dogs.

Competitive Obedience Training for the Small Dog also includes precision heeling for obedience competition, but is geared toward the special needs of wee doggies. A fabulous book!

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