The Magical Dog Leash Part 2: Finding Heel

Imagine Your Dogs HERE

If you didn’t catch my last article “The Premise of the Magical Dog Leash” please read it.  In that article I explain WHY flawed thinking and many people’s approach to leash training hasn’t worked.

If you don’t understand WHY things haven’t worked in the past or the common pit falls you won’t be as successful in teaching your dog the appropriate way!

Now it is time to TEACH your dog appropriate leash skills!

What are Appropriate Leash Skills?

Finding Heel Position: Teaching your dog to find heel position on your left side at the drop of a hat on quiet and clear command.

Drive and Focus:  Teaching your dog to play, find you fun, and give you eye contact on command and while you walk and heel past distractions.

Leash Manners: Teaching your dog how long his leash is and NEVER to pull you!

What You’ll Need

  • A Great Attitude
  • Really Good Treats
  • Treat Bag or Tool Belt
  • Clicker
  • Your Dog’s Favorite Toy

Getting Started

You will begin teaching your dog about his leash and heel position at home in your house where the distractions are few.

WHY does your dog need to know heel position?

Because this will make your walking more simple, eventually, and more enjoyable for both of you! You can both learn to enjoy your walk together without having to constantly drill obedience.

I don’t always make my dogs walk in heel position, most of the time I let them be dogs and sniff and wander however they are NEVER allowed to pull me and when I tell them to heel (when I see another dog, a car, a bike, a child) I expect them to come into heel position no matter what else is going on; heel past the distraction and then I can release them and they can go on about being a dog.

Doesn’t that image seem easier than pushing, pulling, yanking, coercing, or treating your dog the WHOLE time or during the eventual whole walk or even hike?

Make no mistake, I don’t care if your dog is 8 weeks old or 9 years old, if you are having problems with his leash manners, he’s pulling you, or your using a “training collar” you’d like to wean him from you are going to begin in the same place.

We are building a firm foundation that will weather any storm of a normal, busy, and distracted life later when you take your dog out in the world!

You may begin in two ways:  By teaching him “Drive and Focus” or By teaching him where “Heel” is both will eventually be integrated to work together.

One of my next articles will be on “Drive and Focus” and then “Leash Manners”.

Ask yourself, honestly, does your dog know where “HEEL” is?  If you said “Heel” while standing in your kitchen without your dog on a leash would he have any clue as to what you are talking about?

If you answer NO (like most people) then you need to step back and build this foundation.  There is nothing wrong with this step back in your training it simply will strengthen the training and eventually leash foundation.

I specifically left out the LEASH in your supply list!  I want you to teach your dog by motivating him not by pulling, pushing, yanking or physically manipulating him.

In order to be the most successful, you must know your puppy or your dog well enough to know what he likes.  Would your dog kill for some homemade liver treats?  Or, do you have a dog that would rather play ball all day rather than eating a tempting treat?  Perhaps you have a dog that loves to bite on a tug toy, or another favorite toy?

My dogs love liver AND balls!  So, I would have both in my tool belt and utilize them at different points for the correct behavior.

Ultimately my dogs want to play, so I would lure them with treats and then when they preformed the correct behavior I would probably play a short game of ball or tug with them to encourage them to continue doing what they did and learning.

Now take your dog into that secluded room with his motivators and lure him into heel position.

Heel position when you are standing still is with the neck/shoulder of your forward facing dog lined up with your left leg.

Heel Position

This is where you want your dog to CHOOSE to be while you are out walking him.  Not where you FORCE him to be but where he wants to be.  If he doesn’t want to be there you will spend your entire time pushing, pulling or making him be there or coercing him to want to be there.

Take the treats (did I mention they should be really good) liver or maybe some boiled chicken breast cut up pea sized or smaller and stick them up, on or near your dog’s nose.  Okay maybe not UP but close enough to get a good and happy reaction.

Place your body in front of your dog, next take a step backward with your left leg while leading your dog facing backward and toward your behind; once most of him is behind you use the teat to lure him around in a U shaped turn so that he is now facing the same direction that you are.  Once he is in the approximate heel position; ask him to sit.

For those of you perfectionist or competitors don’t worry about crooked sits or a dog that is not in the perfect spot.  You can correct and clean this up later once your dog has a better understanding of heel.

If he doesn’t know “heel” in the beginning don’t be tempted to tell him what to do or what he is doing until he is successfully doing it.  This is hard for people to understand, but barking commands that mean nothing hinder your dog’s learning.

Once he begins to understand what he is doing and “where” he is landing based on your body then you can begin telling him as he is doing it.  So as he spins that U-turn behind you tell him “heel” while praising and reinforcing with a treat.

If he does something spectacular or seems to be getting it fairly quickly and he likes toys or balls play a little bit with him or jackpot him with bigger or better treats.  Remember this isn’t just about food rewards and boring obedience you have to make yourself and the act of obedience FUN and stimulating.

At my house a treat won’t keep my dogs from looking at another dog or another distraction but a game of ball or tug would work!

You have to be the fun dog owner and build a bond and a relationship with your dog in order for him to listen to you in times of crisis, stress or distraction!

Continue luring your dog with treats into the heel position on your left side.

Once he is proficient at finding the correct spot by flipping around on your left side, it is time to teach him other ways.

This time, with your dog sitting in front of you, you are going to teach him to go around behind you to the right and sit on your left side in heel position.

Now, I compete and sometimes I am asked to finish (meaning have my dog go to heel position) my dog to the left or to the right, so I use two separate commands for each way.  However if you are not competing it is fine to use the same “Heel” command.

If you are using a new command you will have to go back and teach the dog to go around you before giving a command.  However if you are going to use the same command you may give the command while luring your dog around behind you.

With the dog in front of you, facing you and the treat in your right hand show your dog the treat while stepping back with the right leg.  While your dog follows the treat exchange the treat in your right hand to your left hand while you continue to lure your dog into the heel position.  Once your dog has gotten into the correct position ask him to sit then lavish him with praise, treats and fun.

Continue to teach him where heel position is at while using treats, praise and games as a fun reward.

This process may take several days of training and work but once your dog has seemed to grasp the concept help him to find heel from all different positions around you.

He should ideally be able to find heel position from in front of you, behind you, to the left, to the right, facing you, facing away from you and so on.  This will take time and patience!

Next put some speed on his delivery of this command.  The faster he finds and sits in heel position the more fun and rewarding his learning will be.  Once you know he understands you can fade the luring and the regular treats and insist on speed, happiness, and accuracy of his ability to find heel.

You may also begin playing this game all over the house with and without distractions as he is successful.  You may have to back up a bit in your training to teach him that the command is the same with and without distractions!

Ask him at any given time to find heel position; when you are in the kitchen, when he is asleep on his bed, when he is playing with another pet to ensure he understands and enjoys this game!

Then begin taking this game outside to your driveway, backyard then the front yard etc. until he is proficient and nearly perfect at finding his way into heel position!  Again you may have to back up and teach him the basic foundation again in these different environments.

Be patient and be fun!  The future of enjoyable walking is on the line!

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  1. I can’t wait for my grandsons to see this! They are doing a marvelous job training their parakeets; I know they would love training their dog!


  2. Thanks for an objective and excellent 3 part series.


  3. joan waddington says:

    i have a pup tnat isnt ball mad or food mad so have problane getting her to heel have you any idears


    Minette Reply:

    play with her more to build her toy drives!! Play and a little bit of quick movement with keep away helps build frustration and “drive”.

    Also have her work for her meals to increase her food drive. Or, find something extra special. Even the most unfood motivated dog usually liked my home cooked liver treats!


  4. Yvonne Eland says:

    Hi Chet I have always tried to instill into my pupils that from a very young age puppies should betrained off leash. I do understand that when walking in the street this is not always possible but if trained from young when you then put a leash on your dog it will not pull as it is conditioned to stay at heel EASY HEY.
    Regards from a dog trainer in South Africa


  5. Karleen says:

    Alice, I know you are waiting to hear from Chet in answer to your question, but I thought I would put in my 2 cents worth. I have trained several of my dogs over the years and have always used their name first to get their attention as I was taught in 4-H as a kid. It has never seemed to confuse them and I have a hard time breaking the habit. Everyone trains differently, but I’m with you – if you have more than one dog, they need to know which one you are talking to.

    I know of someone in my dog club who has 3 dogs and works them at the same time. He can call one dog by name and tell it to do something while the other 2 stay in place and wait for their names to be called. So I guess I disagree with the fact that you shouldn’t use their names, but you wouldn’t have to use the name in every situation either.

    But consider if you are in a training class and everyone has their dog in a down/stay and each person were to call their dog one at a time. If no one used their dog’s name, several dogs might come when they hear the word “come” by one person because maybe they couldn’t tell the difference between voices.

    Anyway, I also get a lot out of these training posts. Thanks, Chet, for sharing your knowledge!


  6. Kate says:

    You say to know your dog and therefore what best to get their attention with. My dog Lily is food oriented and loves playing ball, but there is nothing on this earth that will get her attention better than another dog. We’ve got her very well trained in the house, I’d say to about 80% in the yard, but out in public all bets are off. Additionally, she has a quirk where she will only do her number 2 business eight near the curb; most of her pulling is when she all of the sudden decides she needs to poop! She’s like 65 pounds of well oiled muscle and I’m worried she’ll hurt me this winter. HELP!


    Beth Moore Reply:

    Thanks, Chet, for some valuable information. I put my dog, an almost three-year old German Shepherd, through obedience classes and her heeling was acceptable under class room circumstances but sloppy under day-to-day situations. I now know how to work on her heeling and am glad to have the instructions as to starting in the house. We are getting into our winter season when outdoor footing is sometimes “iffy”, so your information is very timely. Once again, thank you.


    Minette Reply:

    I try to use all of my dogs motivators. Just this last week I took my dog to the dog park, but she couldn’t play until she did her obedience routine and ignored everyone, that was her reward!

    Make sure you know your dog’s schedule and when she needs to poop so that you don’t get stuck with this problem. Go out with her or keep an eye on her and after she poops go for your walk.


  7. Rochelle Betton-Ford says:

    Thanks. I think I have confused my 4 1/2 month german shepard, he understands the command sit and of course no, but he has no ideal of the command heel I realize I went about this the wrong way. You are right training without fun is soooo boring for him.


    Minette Reply:

    He will get it! He is young and bright and I am sure he will be excited to find the heel position! Be the most fun thing in his world and you will have a successful working relationship!


  8. Mary says:

    My dog is strong and drags me when I use the leash on his collar. When I use the Gentle Leader, he is much easier to control. If you have never seen one, it has a loop that goes around his nose making it easier to keep his attention, especially when he sees another dog, a cat or a squirrel. A female dog, being a little bigger and heavier than him, is teaching him how to be submissive. That has helped him to calm down. He listens to commands better but I still have to remind him who is the boss sometimes.


  9. One thing I find a little confusing (and I’m afraid that my dog will too!) is why do you get your dog to do “heel-then sit-then treat him”? Why not do just “heel-then treat”? The reason I ask is I wonder if my dog will end up thinking he should “heel-then sit” when I eventually say “heel” to him, since he will have learned that the treat comes from doing “heel-sit” not just “heel” alone.


    Minette Reply:

    First we are teaching him the position, where “heel” is. You will lure him with the treat but you are teaching him to find it without your action of walking first.

    If you want to treat him for moving toward you, or making the “U” turn or just standing in heel, that is up to you.

    I want my dogs to find heel and sit if I am stationary. A “sit” gives me more control than a dog that is standing. So this is a chained behavior, but I like the treat to come at the end after the sit.

    Once you are moving your dog will get the idea to stay with you in that position or to find that position even if you are still moving, he isn’t likely to “sit” if you are still moving…but you do want him to sit if you are stopped.

    It will be easier to understand when I publish my next articles on eye contact and focus, and leash manners then you will see it all come together and how it all works together as a chain. Just keep your eyes out for those in the next few weeks. But keep practicing this behavior 🙂


  10. Anita Davis says:

    I feel realy stupid; I want to try you advice, but I’m confused with the very first instruction.

    “Place your body in front of your dog, next take a step backward with your left leg while leading your dog facing backward and toward your behind; once most of him is behind you use the teat to lure him around in a U shaped turn so that he is now facing the same direction that you are. Once he is in the approximate heel position; ask him to sit.”

    I can’t picture the corret position, am I in front of the dog with my back to him? Then, take a step backward with my left leg. What’s meant by, leading the dog facing backward and toward you behind.I just don’t get it 🙁 Once I step back with my left leg then the dog is basicly on my left side, then do I kinda push him with my left leg in a circle? Just can’t put the words to actions 🙂


    Minette Reply:

    Its okay, I know it can be hard to read it and do it so I recommend our video vault so you can see the training I am doing

    No, you and the dog are facing each other, step back with your left leg he goes from facing you to walking toward your behind (following that left leg that just stepped back) then he makes a “U” turn so that he is now facing the same direction that you were and you ask him to sit in heel position.

    You are just luring him to go from sitting in front of you, to sitting in heel position, by having him make a “U” turn at your side and put himself in the correct walking “heel” position.

    Your left leg just gets the action started and gives him a target to follow, no pushing or anything needed he will just probably get up from facing you and follow your left leg then he should turn himself around so that he is then sitting next to you, on your left side facing the same way 🙂

    Hopefully that helps, if not join me in our video vault so you can see what I am doing 🙂


  11. Netterine says:

    Hi Minette, thank you for a great article. As with many others, your article’s timing is impeccable and has prompted me to come out of the closet with the training issue i’ve been having with my Border Collie x Jack Russel named WoerWoer.


    Your article has given me a few ideas to try with her, but generally what happens is that the moment i put her harness and lead on, she rolls over into submissive position and stays there. She appears to be scared of the lead. Sometimes she’ll walk with no problems, and then suddenly she’ll just keel over and refuse to walk any further and just lie there on her back. I have gotten her to walk again on the occasion, but once she’s started the rolling over thing, it’s only a few steps before she does it again. She’s an incredibly sensitive and submissive dog, almost to the extent of pathetic, and while praise sometimes help, she doesn’t always crawl out of this shell of hers.

    I must admit, in my frustration with the situation, i probably didn’t handle it correctly and in all likelihood made the problem worse rather than better, but i’d like some advice on how to handle it from here on out, as i would very much like to walk her.

    On a side note, i have a Jack Russel as well, which makes training alone with WoerWoer very hard, any advice on how to train them separately without interference?


    Minette Reply:

    This is the Border Collie in her! 🙂 I love Borders!

    First attach a leash to her all of the time so she doesn’t mind it. If it is the “act” of snapping the leash on her that makes her roll over then do it 5 or more times a day attaching harness and leash then taking it off with no walking or training of any other kind with the leash on. Desensitize her to the act of having it put on.

    She may be on sensory overload with the harness, then the leash, then the pulling or the frustration that she may feel from you (not your fault). So tackle each one separately at first. So they are no longer a chain for a while. You can still do the “finding heel” with no leash at first!

    Now find her motivator. Food? Ball? Toy? Whatever it is so you can use it to your advantage. If you are clicker training you will click her for being in heel position or slightly in front whenever she chooses it. If she isn’t going to choose it you lure her with food or her toy and when she steps out in front click and treat or play! Be fun! Get animated let her be herself. Don’t get frustrated or chastise her for being behind, just ignore it. Only praise and play with her for being in the proper position.

    Keep your eyes out for one of my next articles on eye contact and focus and drive. Eye contact will be essential for her, because she can’t give it to you if she is behind you! This should help her to come out of her shell! Just keep your eyes out as I will probably post it in the next few weeks. I can’t publish 4 or more articles on the same topic right after one another, so just keep reading 😉

    As for other dogs, I crate one dog and train another. The crating adds excitement! The dog that gets crated knows he is about to be worked with and can add to my training and the dog I have just worked is tired and enjoys a good break.

    Once they have learned what you want, separately you can put them together and re-teach them to be able to work together. Dogs compete with each other for your time so in the beginning of them being together they will have a hard time, but they can figure it out!


    Deborah Todd Reply:

    Hi Minette,
    Thank you for the advice of crating one dog while you train the other. Once both dogs learn the command seperately, how
    do they differentiate who the “click” or reward marker is
    for when they are working together? I am confounded! HELP!!


    Minette Reply:

    Once they know the command, they will know who preformed and who didn’t 😉 and this is when you can start getting them to do things super quick because it is a competition! I like using my older dogs to help my younger dogs get frustrated and learn faster!

    Just be sure you don’t reward the other “kid” who didn’t perform just because he is also close and cute…otherwise he will never learn.

    If they both do it, but at slower increments click them both once clicked feed the faster of the performs first and the slower second.

    Or you can get clickers with two distinct sounds. But I always had trouble hitting the wrong button for the wrong dog. I could only make it work with a Cheetah and a dog once. The Cheetah had her noise and the puppy had his…I guess I was less clumsy then!

  12. shailendra says:

    thanks for the information. it is helping me a lot and much improvement is being made by my pet who is of German shepherd breed.


  13. Lisa says:

    Hi I love your articles. I have 2 dogs, 6 months and 2-1/2 years. I am haveing a terrible time walking both. They constantly playfit all the time. I am going to start trying to clicker train but I would I have to do this seperatly? I have no room to take one away from the other and when they are apart from each other they go CRAZY! I need serious help. They took me down yesterday right in the middle of of a busy road. Both are labs and my youngest choc. is all muscle and power, I need to learn to walk these dogs together in harmaony. How do I aquire your clicker course? Bruised and broken 🙁


    Minette Reply:

    I would try to separate them at least in the beginning to make it easier on both of you. Otherwise they are going to try to compete, which is okay later in training but can be detrimental in the beginning of training. I would crate one while you take the other outside then switch or crate and work with the other one inside. It won’t take long then you can put them together, but you are setting them up for failure by keeping them together from the get-go.

    You can get clickers online with 2 or 3 different sounds so you can allocate a sound for each dog if you like. Just do an online search of clickers with 2 sounds.

    Once I have trained mine separately then I can put them together and they know who is doing what I want or whom I am clicking. I click the one who is listening and ignore the one that isn’t listening. But this can be frustrating in the beginning if one is being rewarded and the other is not, that is why I recommend separating then once they have it, putting them together!


  14. Diana says:

    Hi Minette, I am very excited to put your advice to use, but I have to admit that I’m having problems visualizing the way I should do it. Would you be able to post a short video, or point me to an existing video somewhere? I’d really appreciate it, since I don’t want to take a chance on doing things incorrectly.

    Thanks again!


    Minette Reply:

    Try our video vault that is the easiest way!

    Yes a 2 minute video is easier to see than to try and read an article with the information! I do most of the videos too so I will make sure to get this video in there and up! I think you will love our training videos!


  15. Minette says:


    The general rule is that you can use the dog’s name with “action” commands if you so desire. For instance, my dog Fury I usually say “Fury, COME!” when I call her. Once I have her with me and she knows I am training with her I don’t usually have to say “Fury, heel Fury, Sit etc but I can if I want or if I have several dogs around.

    But, you shouldn’t say “Fury, Stay” because they get excited to hear their name and then they are more likely to be unsuccessful. Instead say “STAY” so they know they aren’t coming with you.

    Again if you are truly working with 2 or more dogs, you would have to use their name in order to get them to comply, so do what you have to.

    In general, I personally only use their name when I call them when I am only working one dog. But if I am working more than one at one time I use whom ever I am referring to, I just have to understand that in the beginning it may take them some time to understand so I must be patient if (for instance) everyone comes or downs or sits etc because they are trying to be good and listen to me 🙂


    janice smith Reply:

    hi, i have a j russell who was a rescue she is the most obediant dog in the house and listens to every command but outside is totally different and will not listen at all she is not interested in toys of any sort shes not mad with treats either if you let her off the lead she will not come back to you she goes into a zone and you might aswell be talking in french she comes home on her own butonly when shes ready . i also have her daughter who i have had since she was 4 days old she is now two so we have had the dogs for over two years . she has come on leaps and bounds but no matter what we do she will not come back to you and has been known to look at us when she is running past as if to say catch me if you can, i do know that j russells are strong minded and hard to train but our patience is running out with her please help


    Minette Reply:

    I would never let her off leash if she is not listening!! By running off and not coming back she is learning not to listen to you and how fun it is to run away and do whatever she wants. I would do all that I could to never let her get off leash again, or at least until her obedience is 99%.

    You must teach her that commands are the same outside as they are inside. Work in the least distracted environment and then work up as she is successful. I train my dogs inside, then out on the driveway, then in the backyard and then we go out on the street and to parks as they continue to listen to me and are successful.

    If I take my dog to the park and he/she is not listening, is pulling or ignoring my commands…we will leave! I am not going to reward bad behavior by staying.

    And, I make my dogs work for their food…by doing that it makes them more receptive to food training and more eager to listen to my commands.


    Cheryl Wilson Reply:

    I too have a recued J.Russell/Wire Hair Terrior mix. His personality mostly leans toward the Russell side. I have gotten him hooked on playing frisbee and he loves it more than life itself. Occassionally he will run out the front door when company comes or if we are going out to the dumpster or something. When he starts to shoot down the driveway towards the street, I just say. Gus! Come on lets play frisbee, he wheels around like a soldier and is back down the driveway in jig time ready to get on with playing frisbee. In short, you have to find something the dog loves more than running off and use it to your advantage. Terriers are VERY smart and you always have to stay one jump ahead.


    Deborah Todd Reply:

    Hi Janice and Cheryl,
    I have two rescue JR “terroists” :). Although Minette is correct in advising us not to let an unreliable dog off leash, I have found that accepted dog training/behavior theory often fails to address the quirky nature of this breed. Under the theory that a tired dog is a good dog,
    one that I totally subcribe to, leash walking is a joke
    as exercise for my JRs. They need to run for ar least 2-3 hours a day. Fortunately, I live in driving distance to a large fenced in dog park where mu husband can use a ball chucker to run them until they finally slow down. If they don’t run off their abundant energy, they destroy my house
    or fight with each other. I understand your frustration
    Janice. Fortunately, mental exercise also works to tire
    them out. Good Luck! Blessings, Deb


  16. Jeanne Carlson says:

    Could you please give us your liver treat recipe?



    Minette Reply:

    It is nothing too special! First I boil the liver to cook it, and then I bake it at 375 until it is starting to get crispy, or I dry it in my dehydrator. There is no need to use onions, salt, or garlic as all of those things are bad for dogs! My dogs would kill for some liver!


  17. Michael & Barkley says:

    Thanks a bunch for all of your informative and educational articles.

    Are you familiar with “simple Leash”?

    Is it just another useless lazy man’s “gadget” or something that might be worth investigating?

    Best wishes and Happy Holidaze!


    Minette Reply:

    That collar automatically uses a static correction (shock) when your dog pulls 🙁 so no I would not use it!


  18. Estrella says:

    Thank you so much for these articles. I am a dwarf (4’2″) and my husband decided on a husky / shepherd mix named Zoe as our family dog. She can be a sweetheart but she is also strong willed with a huge prey drive. I am the one who walks her and I currently use a “halty’. She hates it and runs when she sees it. I want to be able to walk her without using it. When we took Zoe to training the instructor looked at me and immediately put a prong collar on her. She was scared, shocked by the pain and became aggressive. My first thought was “I can deal with a strong, sweet huskey, but not a bitter, aggressive one”. Your tips should help a lot and I look forward to reading more!


    Minette Reply:

    Good for you! I am happy to be of help!


  19. ZeuZ says:

    I adopted a somewhat rescue Laso/(dad) an Lassie/ Bordercollie Collie (mom) at 4.5 half months. He was kept on a patio specifically with mom and is very diffiant.It seems he has to be diffiant of me. He definetly has some disiplinary issues. It almost seems as though, (I get the impression) that he seems to know, that it can be his way or the highway. When I try to disipline him in something that he should not be doing, he seems to shy or hide or he trys to turn it into a game. It seems to be that he has a complex. Totally male, I’m not going to be intimidated. I’ve read your suggestions of the healing techniques, I will sincerily try ZeuZ with this, with some really good treats, and I don’t want to sound negative about this, but I really question my stubborn dog,on his defiance. I guess, if he likes the stinky treats I get to train him, then maybe I’ll have some luck. I’ll let you know. Thank you Nancy and ZeuZ


    Jessica Reply:

    thanks for that. very helpful. i will start training my dog straight away tomorrow morning, cant wait!! 😉
    think this will help me as I’ve been trying a few different techniques and none of them seem as accurate as these. thanks again.
    chet you always do a great job explaining things and thats why you achieve the best results.
    merry christmas, Jessica.


  20. Karina Small says:

    Hi there …. Im writing to tell you that we have tried your training technics and from the first day we started they started to work soo good. The only thing that we are having troubles with is the potty trsining…. When we first bought our puppy (now 4 months old) we bought training pads and we started to teach her peeing there and she was doing awsome from the beggining. Then after a couple weeks we bought a tray where you place the pad so it wouldnt make messy on the floor and she started good but then after a couple days she wouldnt pee on it and she would pee everywhere in the house( carpet, rug, floor , etc everywhere but the tray with the pad)…. we got rid of the tray as we thought she was feeling unconfy with it and put the pads as we first started putting them but still the same , she wont pee on them , and it is getting worst, we watch her the whole time so when she is about to pee we will put her on the pad but she is too smart and she wont pee while we watch her or now she sits and pees while she sits so we dont notice she is peeing . I dont know what we are doing wrong and my whole house smells like pee now . We love her so much but we are desperetly to find a solution on what we should do …. (we live in an apartment so we can not let her go out by herself as we live in a road with lot of traffic, and we do take her outside but sometimes we are doing other stuff that we cant take her so thats why we are trying to train her to pee in a certain spot) …. could you please help us or advise us what we are doing wrong or what we could do.

    Thanks 🙂


  21. lesley says:

    My 5 month old cocker spaniel will not walk nicely on the lead, she sits beautifully, high 5 and comes back most times when called… I ve tried toys treats etc but she s just not having any of it…. she s chiking herself and I m scared for her


    Minette Reply:

    That is why these 4 articles give you the foundation before you ever really need the leash. First you teach them to find the position, while in your house and not on a leash, then you teach them to give you eye contact, in your house and not yet on a leash. Then you practice those things outside on a leash but not going very far and then you finish off by teaching them leash manners. This gives you all of the skills to keep them from pulling on their leash!


  22. Warner says:

    Can’t wait to start my dog on this step. Sounds like fun.


  23. Kacie says:

    I have a 5 month old husky who constantly pulls on the leash. I understand huskies pull, it’s what they do, but I also know that they can still be trained not to pull. She does well with not pulling on her leash in the house, but she will not listen when we are outside. It is like I no longer exist. She loves treats indoors, but outdoors she doesn’t want them or any of her toys. She becomes distracted by everything else. What else can I do to motivate her to acknowledge me?


    Minette Reply:

    You have to find something that is more motivating for her to listen.

    If treats aren’t working in general outside then train right before a meal or make her work for her food. If she still won’t listen have her skip a meal or two and then use treats and I bet she will listen 😉

    Also training somewhere that doesn’t smell as good like a parking lot with no one around is a good place to start when you first begin outside training.


    Kacie Reply:

    Thank you very much for the advice. I will definitely try that 🙂


  24. Gail says:


    Any advice for a dog that lags behind. I will ask my collie to heel and he will saunter to a heel and then fall back. His play drive has always been low, except with his Boston/pug buddy. He used to pull from behind on the leash, but we seem to be better at that. He is 5 years old.




  25. Michelle says:

    I have a re-homed 5 mth Lab cross. I have been trying to follow you advice for finding heel but my pup is so obsessed by the treat he is snatching at it all the time and can only focus on the food, no matter whether I use a boring or high value treat. He also constantly jumps up me and bites at my arms and hands. I have to end up shouting/growling to stop him or put him down, or walk away. I have tried saying ouch, taking myself off, ignoring, nothing seems to work.
    What am I doing wrong (I know I shouldn’t shout but it is the only thing he reacts to)?
    PS really enjoy your bloggs and tips.


    Minette Reply:

    You can try a few things. If he is that food motivated try working with him with his kibble after you have just fed him. Normally I would say work prior to a meal but if he is this obsessed let him fill his tummy, wait 10 minutes or so and then work him so he doesn’t think he is starving.

    Next keep the treat by his nose, this will keep him from jumping and flying at you. Reward him for sitting and not jumping and if he jumps use the leash to keep him from jumping and don’t reward that behavior. Once he is under control re-introduce the treat to his nose and get him to sit.

    Once he learns that sitting is what you want, you can take the treat from his nose and re-engage his movement to getting him into heel position.

    You also might want to try getting eye contact with him first, since this doesn’t require additional movement so you can reward a more simple behavior. Once he is giving eye contact to you, you can teach him to find heel.


    Minette Reply:

    Also keep the treat tightly hidden in your hand, so he can’t snatch them…when he does it right reveal the treat when he doesn’t keep it hidden!


  26. Michelle says:

    Thanks Minette, this made a difference. I had to wait for him to have 5 mins madness after breakfast, while he runs and plays with toys, then he flops and takes a nap. Before the nap I tried what you said, it helped and will of course need lots of work but a good step in the right direction. I also read somewhere this morning that too much white noise (talk) makes them shut off, so I am going to try to be frugal with my speech and stick to the point and ask only once, which I believe is also a point stressed on this web site.
    Once again much appreciated advice.


  27. Katrina says:

    This is really great and i’ve been using these techniques at home, but the problem is that my puppy is extremely sensitive to any food besides his own kibble (diarrhea). Unfortunately, I’m worried that his kibble isn’t enticing enough for him to pay attention to me when we’re outside (we live in nyc, on a super busy street). Do you have any tips for me?


    Minette Reply:

    Find some great toys he loves and teach him to play games.


  28. Suzanne says:

    My Yorky Poo is a pleasure to work with in many ways. Krosby loves to learn tricks and learns them the first time I teach him. Amazing dog actually. He can jump the moon so I believe I will take him to agility classes soon. He likes to please as well. The one problem I am having which I never had before his big dog friend had to move. He is now seeing dogs on our walk that he has seen many times and some he knows and is friendly to but others he will turn into a tiger to. He growls and wants to go after them. I have never seen this behavior before. I stop him in his tracks and get his attention on other things as to not frighten the dog coming at us. Sometimes I just have to pick him up. THis is not really his usual behavior but one he has picked up. He goes to play dates and loves the ten dogs he plays with big and small. He plays well and has always. I wonder if it has become a leash problem. He tends to want to run over to the dog but there are times people do not want this so I just keep him from being able to meet and greet. I do not want him to build a reputation where people are afraid of him with their dog as Krosby is one of the most friendly dog out there. In the park he with 50 more dogs we do not have this problem.

    Do you think it is the leash? Or protecting me in some way? Or he just does not like that particular dog. Or that the person with the other dog does not want him to play. Dumbfounded.

    Thank you for any insight.


  29. Debi says:

    I cannot envision this….maybe it could be worded differently:

    Place your body in front of your dog, next take a step backward with your left leg while leading your dog facing backward and toward your behind; once most of him is behind you use the teat to lure him around in a U shaped turn so that he is now facing the same direction that you are.


    Minette Reply:

    If you subscribe to our video vault you’ll see it in action!


  30. AnnaMarie DUNNE says:

    Hi everyone,
    I’m confused and frustrated. I have a 5 month old cocker spaniel. Chet I got your book and followed it to the letter. It was sooooo helpful.
    However I am having problems with my dog coming back to me on command. I have trained her in doors to come and she does. However this does not transfer when we go out. She runs off and basically puts her two paws up at me.
    Thankfully I have a small garden in my apartment where I take her so there is no danger of her getting hit by a car. But…. there are foxes in the area and I’m worried they could attack her. the god news is she has responded to most in your book apart from this and lease training, even though I train her every night, with yummy treats. Please help


    Minette Reply:

    search my articles for teaching come. there is a search bar at the top of the page


  31. Phyllis says:


    If you use this “Come lets play Frisbee” as a certain recall in all situations, including calling the dog from getting hit by a car. You want to be very certain never to use this Frisbee command and then not play the game.

    My “emergency call” for my Border Collie was, Do you want to go for a ride?” Whenever the dog had escaped and I needed to use this command, I knew I needed to give her a ride, even if it was a less that two mile around the block. She was never disappointed – I made sure of that, even if it was inconvenient.


  32. Sarah S says:

    I have two chihuahuas (6yrs and 3yrs, mother and son) who i have had problems training, toys dont get them excited enough consistantly and they have no intrest in low value treats, but the real problem is the moment they see a high value treat they start going through every trick and/or behavior they know with no reguard to what i do or say, i have tried putting it away at that point but they contuinue cycling behaviors for about a minute then beg for the rest of the night. I have crate trained them and if they see us bring plates out to eat they go to “bed” without command so i know they can do it, please help.


    Minette Reply:

    let them try their behaviors, just wait them out or lure the behavior you are looking for


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