Consistency is Key
No matter what you are trying to teach your dog, consistency is key. Dogs like clear definition. They want to know exactly what you expect from them. If you are going to teach your dog new habits and skills, first decide for yourself what you want from them, then stick to it.
If you are going to start walking with your dog, you may want to make sure they learn how to walk in ‘heel’. If your dog loves squirrels, other dogs, and people (like most dogs), you might be familiar with the uncontrollable weave walk, constant shoulder pull, and weird breathing noises that come from your dog while they try to get to the “shiny object.” ‘Heel’ is the command that teaches your dog to walk by your side. This is helpful for both of you so that you are not tripping over the leash, your own feet, or your dog. This command will make the walk or run more enjoyable for you and your dog.
Here are some tips to get you started.
- Start in a setting that has low distractions. We recommend you work on this inside your house before you try it where you know there will be distractions. This will help to set you and your dog up for success.
- Get a good leash.
- Keep a bag of your dog’s favorite treats with you. Our go-to treat is Bil-Jac. Unless your dog has allergies to specific protein sources, this treat is a crowd fave with our dogs at The Pet Station Country Club.
- Decide which side you want your dog to walk on. Typically, heel command is taught on the left side, but you are in charge so decide which side is easiest for you.
- Reward your dog with treats and praise when your dog is doing exactly what you want them to do.
- Redirect them when they are out of heel and show them how to get back in.
- Keep rewarding and redirecting.
- Stay consistent. You are both learning a new habit. Take the time to reinforce and make it a strong habit.
The first several walks will need to be focused on training, not necessarily how long the walk is. Pay attention closely to your dog. Praise them when they are exactly where they need to be. Redirect them when they are not. Rinse and Repeat.
Want to learn more? We have several options for training your dog. Click here to decide which training experience at The Pet Station Country Club is best for you and your dog.