I have searched through a lot of the old posts about teaching heel. We cannot seem to get Wrigley to walk without pulling my arm off! I have read about the treat thing but she is sooooo into food she just tries to grab it out of my hand. I tried stopping like a tree, she stops with me and stands there then as soon as I start walking she pulls again??
#2 are you planning on enrolling in an obedience class or puppy kindergarten?
Ender learned to "walk nicely" (i.e. not full on heel... but not pulling) at around 13 weeks. What I did was use a ton of verbal praise and treats when he did anything I wanted him to do. Probably one of the most helpful things I found was to teach him to "watch me"... so in the begining, every time he'd look at me I'd verbal praise and sometimes give him a treat. From there he sort of naturally took up a "heeling" station at my left side... treat and praise. As he got used to these things I faded out the treats but made sure to keep up my verbal praise so he KNOWS he is doing what I want.
I'm not sure when he can learn a real heel... I've heard that's a bit more advanced and I'll probably wait until we are in Puppy Kindergarten class or Beginers Obedience before I start with that.
I use "watch me", too and it has worked wonders on getting Dama to walk on a loose leash. I also have her "sit" every time she gets to far (the leash is only 6 ft) and that seemed to get her attention. Now, if I say her name or tug the leash (just so it makes a clanking sound on her collar- not to choke her) she will come back to my side.
First, lets understand if you are wanting heeling (which is very formal, restrictive, and specific) or loose leash walking? There is a big difference.
For both... *When she starts pulling, turn 180 degrees and go in the opposite direction. *You must understand that at first, you will not even make it out of your driveway. *Within a few days you might make it down your sidewalk. *Eventually you'll be able to walk her anywhere. *The key is "consistency". *You have to turn around each and every time she starts to pull. She'll catch on to this little game quickly and realize if she ever wants to go anywhere, she needs to be at your side.
Work on attention "watch me". *When you first start heeling it will only be a couple of steps at a time with good attention.
You can also use treats to help keep her in heel position even though she is a little shark (you can work on the mouthing separately) * Instead of holding the treat between your thumb and finger, make a fist with your thumb on the outside and hold the treat between your thumb and side of your pointer finger (the treat can actually be inside the cup of your hand a little if necessary). *Hold your hand right at your left hip (treat facing out which means your wrist will be turned facing up). *
Since you will have the treat in your left hand, the leash should be in your right hand at your waist with the part which is attached to the dog coming out of the bottom portion of your hand. *By holding the leash this way, you can control forging and lagging simply by flicking your wrist (toward your body for forging, away from your body for lagging).
Thanks for all your advice. I was talking about walking on a leash loosely not necessaryily a strict heel. Thanks so much for explaining the difference.
Sorry the photo is soooo big I can't seem to figure out how to make it smaller!!