Teaching Dog to Heel: Tips for Successful Training

Teaching Dog to Heel

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When your dog is heeling consistently, start to taper off the treats. First, wait for them to heel every other step, then about every five steps, and finally to every 10 steps.

1. Get Your Dog’s Attention

A dog that knows how to heel can make your walks more pleasant. Heeling also allows you to control your dog’s impulses when they are off-leash, which is important for the safety of both them and others.

The first step in teaching a dog to heel is getting their attention. This can be done by holding a treat in front of their nose and using the verbal “heel” command. You can also use a clicker, which helps reinforce the desired behavior.

After the dog has mastered this step, it’s time to begin training for a heel walk. This can be done in a fenced-in yard or your own driveway. Begin by standing perpendicular to a wall and then luring your dog into position with a treat. When the dog starts walking with you and staying in the correct position, reward them for every couple of steps they take. Slowly increase the duration of your walk and then move to outside.

2. Keep It Simple

Heeling is a basic and important command that dogs need to learn. A dog that doesn’t heel can be a safety hazard to themselves and others, especially in busy areas where people are walking and traffic is present. Heeling is also an essential training exercise for dogs who are pulling on the leash. Pulling causes pain to the neck and restricts airflow which can lead to choking, coughing, and other health issues.

To begin training your dog to heel, take them to a quiet location where distractions are minimal. Choose a spot where you can easily control your dog and make sure they are calmly following your other more simple commands, such as sit or down. Grab a leash and a handful of treats. Start by standing perpendicular to a wall and luring them into position with a treat. Then slowly move forward, clicking and treating them every time they walk in their “heel” on your left side.

3. Make It Fun

Heeling is a fun skill to teach your dog. It is rewarding for them to walk close by your side and gives them something to focus their energy on rather than chasing every squirrel, dog, or person they see.

Heels also help prevent reactivity, a common problem for dogs that do not walk in a controlled manner on a leash. When a dog is allowed to wander far enough ahead that they fall out of sight, it is common for them to start following their own agenda, and this can lead to pulling and even leash aggression.

To make training to heel more fun, use a clicker to mark their behavior and use a reward for every step they take in the correct position. Once they get a hang of it, try practicing on a more exciting walk like in your front or back yard. You can then move on to real walks in a dog-friendly park.

4. Keep It Short

If your dog gets ahead of you while walking, you need to practice a simple trick to get it back into position. Get your dog’s attention by calling their name, tapping on their head, or using a pre-taught “watch me” cue. Once they look at you, reduce their heel zone to two to three feet and command “Heel”. As they start walking briskly, tap the lead remotely so that it tightens only when they are in the correct position.

When they return to the heel position, click and treat. Repeat this sequence with them until they are consistently walking at a heel for several steps. Then, gradually work up to longer distances while reducing the amount of treats given. This allows them to learn that the walk isn’t only about getting more treats. It’s about being a good, reliable, and consistent partner. Having a reliable heel is essential for safe walks, especially when a dog is new to the leash.

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Qualities for Effective Teaching

Teaching Qualities You Need to Be a Great Teacher

Teaching is a complex and rewarding profession. It requires many different skills and qualities to be effective. Some of these are innate, while others can be learned through education.

Great teachers serve as role models, impact professional decisions and help students reach their full potential. Learn what teaching qualities are a must-have for a successful career.


As you reflect on your own educational experience, think about the teachers who made an impact on you. How did they inspire you to want to learn? What qualities did they possess that made you feel special?

Great teachers have a passion for learning and for their students. They share this passion with their students by demonstrating enthusiasm and commitment to the subject. They also show their love of teaching by staying up to date on new technologies and instructional strategies.

They have good listening skills and are approachable, making it easy for students to talk with them about problems or concerns. They know their students as individuals and take time to meet their needs by visiting with them outside of class, at sporting events or plays. They have a genuine interest in the lives of their students as people and show this by taking a personal interest in their hobbies and interests. They also believe that passion can be developed, rather than just innately inherent, and therefore are more likely to encourage students to use effective strategies for up-regulating their passion when it is low (e.g., focusing on the topic’s relevance to their life goals or seeking out inspirational teachers).


Patience is the ability to remain calm during a long wait or tedious task. It’s an important quality for teachers, as students often come to class with high expectations and demanding needs. It also takes patience to understand that every student is unique and has different learning styles.

Having patience can help teachers deal with the challenges of working with students of different backgrounds and ages. It’s a crucial trait for instructors to have when it comes to developing their own classroom strategies, as well. Using experiential learning activities is one way for educators to exhibit this quality.

A teacher who has patience can be more empathetic and compassionate towards their students. They can be more understanding when it comes to mistakes and setbacks, which helps create relationships where everyone feels supported. In addition, they can use their patience to motivate students, which is key for encouraging them to keep working toward their goals. Patience can also help teachers cultivate their own professional growth, as they’ll be more willing to explore new teaching methods and techniques.


Adaptability is the ability to adjust your actions and reactions to different situations. This soft skill can help you tackle a project that requires you to think outside the box or handle an unexpected change in work conditions.

Teaching someone how to be adaptable can make her a more valuable member of the team. This quality can also lead to advancement opportunities.

A teacher who is adaptable is willing to try new things and will listen to her team members’ suggestions. This will help her create a learning environment that is more collaborative and productive.

Adaptability can also help a person learn from failure. For example, if a student’s research project doesn’t turn out as planned, she can use her adaptability skills to find ways to improve for next time. Identifying positives from every experience will help her stay resilient and able to move forward after disappointment. She may even be able to apply what she learned to her career.

Listening Skills

A teacher’s ability to listen and decode verbal and non-verbal cues during communication is a critical teaching quality. When a teacher can listen without interrupting and be fully engaged with their student, colleague or customer, they are showing they care about their communication skills.

A key aspect of listening is limiting judgements while focusing on the speaker and their perspective. This includes listening without interruption, avoiding distractions like checking one’s phone and maintaining eye contact throughout the conversation. It also means being able to put yourself in the other person’s shoes, understand their point of view and empathize with them.

Teacher quality is often defined through a variety of measures, including reviewing qualifications and tests of knowledge, observing teachers in action, teacher evaluations and student learning gains. However, research indicates that a more holistic approach is needed to determine teacher effectiveness and inform policies on how to promote and support the development of teaching qualities.

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