Does my dog always need to heel? Here’s What to Expect

The benefits of heel are the dogs are in a specified place. They know where they need to be. They’re close to you. That way they’re kept out of trouble. It’s a wonderful tool.

Most people don’t exercise their dogs enough. Letting them out in the backyard regularly is not really enough exercise. It’s just an extension of their house. If we closed ourselves in our house 24/7 and we are only exposed to other good things by when one person decided we would get very frustrated, too.

Regular walking, or also known as loose-leash walking, is when the dog has more room to roam. They tend to be out at the end of a leash regardless of what the leash length is irrelevant. It’s however much leash you give them, but they shouldn’t be pulling you.

People ask a lot if it’s necessary or if they should be heeling their dog all the time. Though heel has its benefits, for a traditional dog in an everyday household it is not a good idea or even beneficial to the dog to heel them all the time. Walking around and sniffing their environment and interacting with their environment is very important. There is mental stimulation that occurs. They take in a lot of information using their nose, and it’s an outlet for some energy. It is exposure and entertaining for them.

Often times pet parents have an impression that a good, well-behaved dog has to walk next to their side at all times. That sniffing the ground is a “no-no” and their walking in front of them is a sign the pet parent has no control over the walk. We’ve asked our very own Lead Dog Trainer to answer the question “Does My Dog Always Need to Heel?” and break down the pros and cons. Here’s what she has to say about the matter:

Chad Culp: Certified Dog Trainer

Does my dog always need to heel?

When I take my dog for a walk, should I have him heel the entire time? Or is it ok to let him walk in front of me on occasion?There’s no one right way to

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Does My Dog Always Have to Walk in a Heel?

Being in heel position, for my puppy – or dog, means to be next to me on my left side with her neck/shoulder area in line with the seam of my pants. If I’m standing still, my dog will sit calmly to me, unless or until I tell her to lie down or stand; if I’m moving, she will move along with me, at my pace. The command “heel” does not mean just to walk; it means maintaining a position on my left side, and default to a sit if I’m not moving. For my dogs, heel position is on my left side; for some people, it’s having the dog on their right side. Either is fine.