What Does Heel Mean in Dog Training | Animal Trainer Blog

Bestanimalart.com – Heel is a command commonly used in dog training, particularly for obedience and walking on a leash. When a dog heels, they walk beside their owner with their head at or near their owner’s knee, matching their pace and direction.

Teaching a dog to heel requires proper leash handling and body language from the owner. The leash should be held with a relaxed grip and kept short, with the dog walking on the owner’s left side. The owner’s body should be facing forward, with their shoulders relaxed and their feet pointing straight ahead.

To begin training, the owner should start walking forward and give the command “heel” while using gentle pressure on the leash to guide the dog into position. Treats and positive reinforcement can also be used to encourage the dog to stay in position. Consistency and repetition are key to training a dog to heel, as it can take time for the behavior to become ingrained.

Overall, teaching a dog to heel can greatly improve their obedience and walking behavior, making it a valuable skill for any dog owner to master.

Understanding What “Heal” Means in Dog Training

Dog training is an essential aspect of being a responsible pet owner. It involves teaching your dog various commands and behaviors that ensure they are well-behaved and obedient. One of the most important commands you can teach your dog is “heal.”

What does “heal” mean in dog training?

The command “heal” is used to instruct your dog to walk or run alongside you while maintaining a specific position. This position usually involves walking with your dog’s shoulder in line with your knee, with their head up and eyes focused on you. The “heal” command is often used during walks or runs, as well as during obedience competitions.

Basic principles of teaching your dog to “heal”

Teaching your dog to “heal” requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. Here are some basic principles to follow:

  • Start by training your dog in a quiet, distraction-free environment.
  • Use a short leash and stand next to your dog. Hold a treat in your hand and place it near your dog’s nose.
  • Begin walking and say “heal” in a clear, firm voice. As your dog follows the treat, move it closer to your leg so that they are walking in the desired position.
  • Continue walking and giving the “heal” command while rewarding your dog with treats and praise for maintaining the correct position.
  • Practice the “heal” command for short periods at a time, gradually increasing the duration and difficulty of the training session.

Benefits of teaching your dog to “heal”

Teaching your dog to “heal” has several benefits, including:

  • Improved obedience and control during walks or runs
  • Strengthened bond between you and your dog
  • Increased focus and attention from your dog
  • Prevention of unwanted behaviors, such as pulling or lunging


Teaching your dog to “heal” is an important part of their training. With patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, you can help your dog learn this command and enjoy the many benefits it offers.

Tips for Training What Does Heal Mean in Dog Training and Other Popular Pets

Training your pet is an important part of being a responsible pet owner. Whether you have a dog, cat, or other popular pet, teaching them basic commands like “heel” can make a big difference in their behavior and overall happiness. Here are some tips for training your pet:

Start with the Basics

Before you can teach your pet more advanced commands, you need to start with the basics. This includes teaching them to sit, stay, and come on command. These commands will form the foundation for more advanced training later on.

Use Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool in animal training. This means rewarding your pet for good behavior rather than punishing them for bad behavior. When your pet does something you like, give them a treat or praise them with a kind word or pet. This will encourage them to repeat the behavior in the future.

Be Consistent

Consistency is key when it comes to training your pet. Make sure everyone in your household is using the same commands and rewards so your pet doesn’t get confused. Also, try to train your pet at the same time every day so they know what to expect.

Be Patient

Training your pet takes time and patience. Don’t get frustrated if they don’t pick up on a command right away. Keep practicing and rewarding good behavior, and eventually they will get it.

Book or Ebook Resource for Studying Professional What Does Heal Mean in Dog Training Animal Trainers

Book Title Description Author’s Name
The Art of Raising a Puppy This book provides a comprehensive guide to raising a well-behaved puppy, including tips on training, socialization, and nutrition. It also includes a section on what does heal mean in dog training and how to teach your puppy to heel on command. The Monks of New Skete
Don’t Shoot the Dog This book explores the principles of animal training and how they can be applied to all aspects of life. It includes a section on what does heal mean in dog training and how to use positive reinforcement to teach your dog to heel on command. Karen Pryor
The Other End of the Leash This book delves into the psychology of dogs and how they perceive the world around them. It includes a section on what does heal mean in dog training and how to teach your dog to walk on a loose leash. Patricia B. McConnell

What Does “Heel” Mean in Dog Training?

Understanding the Concept of “Heel”

In dog training, the term “heel” is used to describe a specific behavior in which the dog walks closely by its owner’s side, with its head and shoulders in line with the owner’s leg. This behavior is commonly taught in obedience training, and it is an essential skill for dogs that need to be well-behaved in public or around other dogs and people.

Training a dog to heel involves teaching it to walk on a loose leash without pulling or straining against the handler, while also maintaining a consistent pace and position. This behavior requires focus, discipline, and a strong bond between the dog and its owner.

The Importance of Positive Reinforcement Training

Positive reinforcement training is a highly effective method for teaching dogs to heel, as well as other obedience behaviors. This approach involves rewarding the dog for exhibiting the desired behavior, rather than punishing it for making mistakes.

When training a dog to heel, the handler can use a variety of treats, toys, and verbal praise to reinforce the behavior. For example, when the dog walks nicely by the handler’s side, the handler can give it a treat or a quick game of fetch as a reward.

By using positive reinforcement techniques, the dog learns to associate good behavior with positive outcomes, which encourages it to repeat the behavior in the future. This type of training builds trust and respect between the dog and its owner, and it is a much more humane and effective approach than using punishment or physical force.


In summary, “heel” is an important behavior in dog training that involves teaching the dog to walk closely by its owner’s side on a loose leash. Positive reinforcement training is the most effective method for teaching this behavior, as it encourages the dog to learn through rewards and positive reinforcement. By using these techniques, dog trainers can build a strong bond with their furry companions and create a positive, enjoyable training experience for both dog and handler.

How to Train a Dog to “Heel” (K9-1.com) | Video

What Does Heal Mean in Dog Training?

Heel is a command used in dog training to indicate that the dog should walk alongside the owner in a controlled manner. When a dog is heeling, it is walking on the owner’s left side, with its head and shoulders in line with the owner’s left leg. The dog should be paying attention to the owner and responding to any commands given.

Why is Heel Important?

Heeling is an important skill for a dog to learn for a number of reasons. First, it helps to establish the owner as the leader of the pack, which can prevent behavior problems down the line. Second, it teaches the dog to walk calmly and politely on a leash, which makes walks more enjoyable for both the dog and the owner. Finally, heeling can be a useful skill in a variety of situations, such as when crossing a busy street or walking through a crowded area.

How to Teach Your Dog to Heel

Teaching your dog to heel takes time and patience, but it can be done with consistent training. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Start with your dog on a leash and stand still. Hold a treat in your left hand and let your dog sniff it.
  2. Begin walking forward, saying “heel” and holding the treat at your left side. If your dog tries to pull ahead or lags behind, stop walking and wait for it to come back to your side.
  3. When your dog is walking alongside you with its head and shoulders in line with your left leg, give it the treat and praise it.
  4. Repeat this process, gradually increasing the distance you walk and the amount of time your dog is expected to heel.
  5. As your dog becomes more skilled at heeling, you can gradually phase out the treats and rely more on verbal praise and petting as rewards.

Remember to be patient and consistent with your training. Your dog may not learn to heel perfectly overnight, but with practice and encouragement, it will become a well-behaved walking companion.

Final Thoughts

Heeling is an important skill for a dog to learn, and it takes time and effort to teach. With consistent training and plenty of positive reinforcement, your dog can learn to walk calmly and politely on a leash. If you have any additional tips or thoughts on heeling, please share them in the comments below. And if you found this article helpful, please share it with your fellow dog owners!

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