How to Teach Your Dog to Heel

How to Teach Your Dog to Heel
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How to teach your dog to heel means to teach them to walk alongside you. Typically, your left side is where your dog would be trained to walk, but it’s your dog so it’s your call.

This is very useful if you plan to walk your dog without a leash. Both you and your dog will have a blast with this trick.

This takes a lot of concentration from your dog. So, starting someplace with limited distractions is ideal.


With your dog a few feet away and you in the standing position, point your hand down to the side you want your dog to HEEL and call their name. PRAISE and REWARD them when they come.

This first step gets your dog to come by your side while you are still.

As this is the first step, you want to praise and reward them as they move toward this goal. A hearty Good Boy, Good Girl and a treat is fantastic.


Now, with treats at the ready and always given with the hand on the side your dog is, start walking a few steps then stop. When your dog follows, PRAISE and REWARD them. Do this over and over.

The purpose of this step is to add movement to what your dog learned in step one.

You really want to nail this step down since it is key to how to teach your dog to heel. Things get a little more complicated in step 3 and the better you do in this step will help.


Once they get step 2 down, start moving a little evasively and get your dog to heel. PRAISE and REWARD them for successes.

You are purposely trying to fool your dog with your movements as they progress.

Associating a verbal praise and tasty reward for each success is key to nailing this trick down.

Over time, with patience and consistency, they will be by your side no matter what.


Don’t leave a treat in your hand with your dog just following the treat. Make sure they are next to you in hope of getting a treat initially and eventually just for the PRAISE and occasional REWARD.

If you always have the treat next to you, they end up just following the treat. Your ultimate goal Teaching Your Dog How to Heel is to do it with praise alone.

Check out our other dog tricks and tell everyone about your experience in the comments below.

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Steve Larrivee

Steve Larrivee

As a dog lover since his youth, Steve Co-Founded Athenas Pets with his son Kevin to promote dog training to the masses. Athenas Pets, focuses on training products and providing the "know-how" so the average dog owner can train their dog like a pro.

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