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How do you fix a sloppy heel-free in dog obedience training?

My dog Benny is a stuborn little Border Terrier. He has a very sloppy and loose off lead heel. Does anyone have tips on fixing him??

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3 Responses to “How do you fix a sloppy heel-free in dog obedience training?”

  1. walkinglady said:

    You need to back up your training and put him back on the lead. He has to be really sharp on lead before you let him off.

  2. Ginbail said:

    When training, attach fishing line (heavy enough for your dog not to break) to your dog’s collar, with the other end attached to your belt. The dog won’t see it too well and he’ll believe he’s off lead. If you need to make a correction, do so with your hand on the fish line, but immediately let go. Try to convince your dog that he’s working off lead, but that he won’t get away with bad heeling. Use plenty of bait at first, and decrease baiting as your dog’s heeling improves.

    Another training tool that some folks like to use is a small training stick. This can be a 2-3 foot wooden dowel. When heeling your dog, use the stick to guide him in closer to you if he starts drifting. If he starts forging, hold the stick in front of his chest, and guide him back. If he starts lagging, guide him forward at his rump. If he doesn’t sit straight, use the stick to gently position him where you want him. Remember to keep an upright posture and hold the stick in an inconspicuous manner. Use the stick to gently nudge the dog, don’t poke him or strike him.

    Good luck.

  3. Dogjudge said:

    First of all given the size of your dog, I would suggest starting with a solid leash. Dowel rod with a clip at the end. That way you don’t have to bend down as much.

    Food in your right hand and give your dog as little room for error as possible. You want the food to motivate the dog and show him where proper heel position is at.

    You are going to eventually eliminate the food, as the dog demonstrates that the dog understand where heel position is at. At that point, you can start to reward the dog with food dispensed from your mouth, or from your hand. Be careful about using your hand, you may notice your dog wanting to come around in front of you to get the food.

    The solid lead.

    You are going to teach the dog four commands. Back, up, in and out. These are to correct the four directions where the dog can go wrong. If the dog is lagging you put pressure on the lead forward and tell the dog to get up. Etc. in, out and back. When the dog gets into the correct position, reward and praise. These commands are going to be the basis of your off leash control.

    As the dog progresses and becomes more proficient, you give the dog more leash, or more flexibility. You still have your verbal commands.

    Eventually you get to the point where the dog essentially has a loose leash. At that point, and not any time sooner, is when the dog then starts to get to work off leash. The on leash work may take as long as six months to get it to where you want it to be.

    If your dog starts to get loose, and the verbals aren’t working effectively, back to on leash work.

    Hope that helps.




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