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How To Teach Off Leash Heeling

This is one of the exercises we all dream about when we envision walking with our dog. Walking with our dog at our side keeping in pace with us. When we stop, they stop. When we run, they run directly besides us. This exercise is really not as hard as it seems, but it does require taking the time to lay the foundation for the skill.

Off Leash Heeling
The first step to off leash heeling is to have strong on leash heeling skills. In preparation for this exercise I like to have my dog on a 30 foot leash that drags on the ground. This is the safety net, if my dog starts to lose focus, I have a way of getting it back.

Begin by heeling on your six foot leash. perform a few right turns and while moving forward out of a turn drape the 6 foot leash over your shoulder and command a "heel" and keep moving. Your dog should move with you. If you need to correct your dog, first use your voice by saying :NO", then command "heel". If that doesn't work you need the leash and more preparation.

Once you are able to perform the skills with leash on your shoulder, the next step is doing heel with only the 30 foot leash dragging on the ground. again if you need to correct use your voice first, before resorting to the leash.