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Monday, May 21, 2018

Heel or Stop Pulling on Leash

Obedience Tricks and Tips
Heel or Walk Nice
Stop Pulling on the Leash

Now that you and your dog have learned to find a missing person you can learn other rescue skills that might come in handy, such as, asking your dog to get the first aid kit so you can stay with an injured person. 

Asking your dog to go between you and a loved one or asking your dog to bring you food are easy tasks that can be taught indoors in the comfort of your home whenever you have time.

Unlike the tracking and trailing exercises where you follow your dog's lead these rescue skills require your dog to pay attention to you in order to get directions. It's a good idea to go over some obedience training beforehand. 

These handling tricks can help your dog learn to pay attention. These tips can help you control a hard to handle dog or teach a new puppy manners on a leash.

3 kids we use to Groom

The following tips and tricks can teach any dog how to behave on a leash in a few sessions.

Family Disaster Dog Obedience tricks and tips are for you to use to teach your family dog to be a well mannered member of your pack without having to attend an obedience training course.

The basic obedience commands and lessons are intended to help teach you how to control and handle your dog in order for you to train your pet to assist you during an emergency. 

If you have any problem handling your dog or getting your dog to pay attention when you are training search tactics then use these obedience lessons to teach your dog to pay attention to you and to follow your directions.


Dogs learn faster if the lessons are short and to the point. 

Training your dog twice a day for 15 minutes will bring better results then once a day for a longer time frame.

Dogs have short attention spans; many dogs get bored quickly if the task is not exciting. Dogs do not learn when they are bored.

Read the lesson about collars before you do these lessons. 

These lessons are done using either a flat collar or a regular choke chain collar and 6 ft leash unless otherwise stated. Off leash dogs can learn from these lessons too with praise and encouragement.

These dog training tricks and tips are not the ordinary class room techniques you find in dog training books or classes. These tips and tricks are proven methods for handling a dog.

In order to train a dog, the exercises have to be repeated and rewarded time and time again. 

No dog learns immediately, although I can get immediate results using these handling techniques, the dog has not learned the positioning I want. They have only been placed in the position I want through the use of the leash and my body movement. 

Heel or Walk Nice on a Leash 
without Pulling

I am going to share with you a trick for teaching a dog to walk nice on a leash that is not known to many dog trainers. 

This trick was taught to me over thirty years ago.

I start every dog I train for anything, other then a Bloodhound, with this lesson.

This lesson teaches a dog to pay attention to the handler and at the same time, how to respond to a leash. 

Consequently the dog ends up on our left side because that is where we put the dog by handling the leash in the correct manner.

Handling a dog is not the same as training a dog and many dog trainers have never been taught how to handle an animal, only how to train one.

Your dog can be heeling within 30 minutes by using this lesson correctly.

Any dog can be walked nicely after using this lesson correctly once. 

For the dog to remember to walk nice every time they are on a leash, the lesson must be repeated a few times on different days in different locations.

Use this lesson with a 20 ft leash to teach a dog to pay attention to you.

Use this lesson for dogs that pull on a leash when you walk them.

This lesson takes space, a open field or park works best. 

You may have to read this lesson twice because I generally show this lesson to students in person because the steps can seem confusing. 

First Teach the dog to Pay Attention

To teach a dog to pay attention to you, put them in a flat collar that will not slip off the head and on a 20 ft long leash. Then allow the dog to roam wherever they want. 

You stand in one spot while the dog runs around until the dog goes to the end of the long leash then you start to walk in the other direction. As the leash gets tight and pulls on the dog, you keep walking away. Let the leash pull the dog to turn and follow you as you walk away in the other direction. Repeat.

Some dogs will quickly catch up and run pass you, others go slower and some need a few words encouragement to come catch up because you just changed the direction of the walk. Let the dog go at its own pace while you prepare for them to pull ahead of you as you walk at which point you will again turn around and walk away. The dog will hit the end of the leash if not paying attention, and see you walking away and think "opps, better watch where we are going." 

**Be careful with strong dogs who run when turned off lead because if they run with a 20 ft leash attached to you they can throw you off balance when they reach the end of lead at a high speed. Be prepared for the force of the dog hitting the end of the leash and do not try to hold the dog but turn around using your body and arms to hold the leash and walk the other way..otherwise the dog has the leverage and force not you. Serious injury can result if a person is dragged by a large dog.

Steps and Tips

You will walk in a different direction than the dog and only gently pull on the leash when the dog reaches the end of it. 

You do not speak to the dog but let the leash do the work of bringing the dog up behind you as you gently pull only one time when they reach the end of the leash.

Do not continue to pull the dog, the dog should be able to roam free except when they reach the end of the 20 ft leash and you turn which snaps them to attention as the leash tightens during your turn. 

After a few turns the dog will usually hurry up to avoid the end of the leash and start watching where you are so they know when the leash stops. 

Once the dog is near you then let all the leash out again and let the dog go where they please. 

You walk in another direction until one you is at the end of the leash then again you will turn and pull the dog as you walk in a different direction. 

The dog is gently reminded by the leash to follow you without you saying anything. 

Do not give the dog any attention yet. They are learning to watch you without you speaking. 

Continue doing this until your dog is paying attention. It will only take about 15 minutes.

Do not speak to your dog, let your dog go where it pleases as your turn and go the other direction. 

Let the entire leash out as you walk off and when you reach the end of the leash allow the leash to pull or bring your dog in the direction you went.

Let the leash and collar work for you instead of controlling you.

Keep walking when your dog reaches the end of the leash and soon your dog will be coming up behind you in this new direction. 

Do not turn and follow your dog but let your dog be reminded when they hit the end of the leash.

Soon, your dog will be trying to catch up to you instead of you trying to catch up with them.

Do this over and over again by walking about 20-30 feet as you let out the leash to give your dog the lead, when the dog reaches the end of the leash or if they are not paying attention then you will turn right or left to walk off bringing the dog behind you.. 

Your dog will get closer and closer to you each time. 

After a few times, your dog will be following you instead of you following them.

At this point hold more of the 20 ft leash, about 10 ft and do the same. 

Walk then turn, walk quickly in another direction which will bring your dog around behind you closer to you then they came before on the longer leash.

As your dog catches up to you bring in the rest of the leash in to hold and as your dog passes you to get in front of you again where they like to pull, turn and go in the other direction.

Repeat using 10 ft of the leash until your dog is staying within 10 ft of you or closer.

Gather up the leash and Only let out about 6 ft of the leash this time. 

The leash should always be loose and never tight except when the dog reaches the end of it. 

It is up to you to keep the leash loose by waiting to turn when the dog reaches the end, as the dog turns the leash loosens as the dog comes to catch up. 

If they go to far the leash tightens and you feel the dog hit the end of it, you turn and feel the slack as they catch up. These steps do take practice on your part and you get better at handling dogs as you practice.

If you and your dog spend every day for a week doing that exercise in a large yard, you will see amazing results.

Advancing to Heel or Walk at your Side

Repeat the walking/turning steps again using 6 ft of the leash. 

Your dog will soon stay within 6 ft of you and they will be paying attention to when you will turn and stop walking.

Now you put your dog next to your side and do the same exercise on 2 ft of the leash, making smaller tighter circles with your dog on your side. 

Now you tell your dog what a "good dog" they are as you walk together and you use can use the obedience command "heel" to teach your dog the word to associate with walking next to your side. 

After a few times, your dog is heeling nicely on your left side, near your leg. When you turn or stop so do they.

The more you practice turning and stopping with your dog heeling at your side the better they will be at walking nicely. Next when ever you come to a stop while walking, ask your dog to sit and praise them for doing so. 


When you are finished walking your dog, ready to snap off the leash tell your dog how good they are and say to them, "Ok, time off, or go play" when you release them so they know they can go do their own thing without watching your every step.

Depending on the size and strength of your dog be careful how tight you hold the leash.

If your dog does not bolt off in a run when you place them on the 20 ft leash do the lesson during a daily walk on a 6ft leash.

Any time your dog goes after something and pulls you, you can do this turn and go the other direction maneuver to hold your dog away from what they want.

This works especially well for the dog who pulls you down the sidewalk or if your dog is one who never pays attention and is getting into mischief while on a walk you can prevent and correct this behavior by turning and walking quickly in a different direction.

If your dog is one who blots off at a run or pulls you full blast down the street wherever they want to go then this is the lesson your dog needs.

If you have a large strong dog that will bolt ahead of you when they come from behind you then be prepared to turn and go in another direction when your dog runs past you. Repeat the above steps.

A large strong dog may pull you hard if they are at a full run, be prepared for this and when they reach the end of the leash they may hit it hard, some dogs may become airborne if they are determined runners.

They will only do this once or twice before they stop and pay attention to where you are. They will not hurt themselves even if it looks like they might because a person can’t hold the leash hard enough with a large strong dog for the dog to get hurt, a person’s arm will flex with the power of the hit.

You might get hurt trying to hold a large dog who wants to run. If you have any trouble, you can control the dog by turning and walking in the other direction as instructed above.

Never tie the leash to a solid surface because the dog can hurt its neck or back.

Small dog and Puppy Caution

Caution: The first time or two that you try this lesson with dogs under 35 lbs and young dogs be careful they do not hit the end of the leash hard enough to flip over. 

Smaller and young dogs generally do not hit the end of the leash as forceful as large dogs do but if they are running full blast without paying attention to you or the leash, and if they have never been on a leash before, they might run without realizing they are on a leash and collar.  You have to be extremely careful that they do not hit the end of the leash hard enough to be flipped. 

Teaching a dog and puppy to wear a collar and leash

All dogs and puppies should be taught to wear a collar and leash before trying this lesson. 

You can teach them to wear a collar by first rubbing the collar all over the puppy or dog. This gets them use to the strange object you are waving in their face. After rubbing and petting them first with the equipment, especially if they are scared, then gentle place the collar on the dog. 

Praise and reward the puppy or dog for accepting the collar . Make the collar a fun and comfortable time for your pet.

After a hour or two of wearing the collar then attach the leash. Hold the end gently and follow the puppy or dog around without any force or pressure from you until they are use to being held by the leash. 

Some puppies and unleashed dogs act like bucking broncos or scared to death at the sight of a leash, if this happens talk to the dog gently as you go to them and hold or pet them to reassure them it is okay.

Be careful how tight you hold the leash depending on the size and age of the dog.

This lesson should be done gently with puppies and very small dogs on a leash that is the dog’s size with a flat non-tightening collar.

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Author Amber Higgins

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Welcome UK and worldwide visitors and friends to Family Disaster Dogs online! Although I'm an American author and dog professional the worldwide web has given me the opportunity to connect with some wonderful folks who have contributed pictures for my books. The "Start Mantrailing" book features RRI K9 North Scotland trained Search and Rescue Dog "Amber" on the cover and her teammates training in the book, plus American dogs using my training methods. A portion of sales of the Start Mantrailing book or copies were donated to RRI North Scotland. The children's picture book "My Puppy Can Find Me" has my daughter and bloodhound as illustrations by UK cartoonist Scotty King. You can find the books on Amazon UK or use the contact page to order from me. When you click the links will take you to your own county pages of this site.

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