Walking to heel (aaaaarrrrrrrgggggghhhhhhh!!!!!)

(16 Posts)
2cats2many Thu 23-Feb-12 15:01:18

So, I have been endeavouring to get my 1 year old collie/ lab x to walk to heel for about a sodding month now.

I have done several methods to death including putting food behind my left leg to encourage her to walk there and doing the turn around method where you turn them around every time they pull ahead. I have also tried walking slowly and stopping when she pulls. I am now trying a method where jingle bells are attached to the lead and I shake them vigourously and turn her arpound every time she pulls ahead.

Good knows what my neighbours think I'm up to.

The bells thing seems to be working slightly better, i.e. the first 2-3 minutes are a write-off an then she gets marginally better (i.e. she pulls every 10 steps instead of every one). However, I feel like I am starting from scratch again with every walk. She just doesn't seem to be getting it. She is a clever dog generally, but just won't bloody walk to heel.

Should I just give up and put her in one of those head harness thingies?

OP’s posts: |
PuddinAforeDinner Thu 23-Feb-12 15:11:50

Sorry I can't be of any help but am watching with interest as I have the same problem with my Springer hmm

WoodRose Thu 23-Feb-12 15:18:04

I feel your pain! I have a 15 month old collie who likes to pull. I also tried the stopping and turning around method, but had limited success with it. Recently, I came across my clicker and decided to have a go with that. So far, the clicker training seems to be working much better than the other methods. I find managing the clicker and treats (my girl loves prawn primula) and lead a bit tricky. As I am not particularly co-ordinated, I tie the lead around my waist to free up a hand. It also makes it easier to stand as still as a statue when she pulls. As soon as she comes back to heel, I click and she slurps. To start with every few feet is a click and a slurp. I gradually lengthened the distance between clicks and slurps are offered with random clicks. She is still a work in progress, but her walking to heel has improved hugely and I no longer feel as if I have a dislocated shoulder.

Minimu1 has given lots of useful advice on clicker training to heel. It would be worthwhile doing a search of her threads. smile

SingingTunelessly Thu 23-Feb-12 15:24:10

My young, very strong male Lab pulls like a steam train and I've just put him in one of these puredoglisteners.com/pdl/the-happy-at-heel-harness. The walk we just had was a pleasure for change. I'd already tried every variation of halti there is but this is in a different class.

GinPalace Thu 23-Feb-12 15:24:57

OOooo maybe it is a collie thing - had exactly the same problem with mine.

I tried a head harness but he just walked leading with his shoulder - all his body getting ahead except his head which stayed near me!! He is a very bendy dog. haha

Tried everything and in the end the holy grail for us turned out to be a Lupi harness.


He has walked beautifully at heel ever since. I was stunned something could make a difference so quickly! It doesn't hurt him! HTH

2cats2many Thu 23-Feb-12 17:47:20

OK. Have ordered the Happy At Heel. All fingers and toes are crossed for a magic solution!

OP’s posts: |
RedwingWinter Thu 23-Feb-12 18:08:25

This is the thread referred to with Minimuu's excellent advice on teaching heel. Funnily enough that thread was about a collie x too.


SingingTunelessly Thu 23-Feb-12 21:30:56

Fingers crossed for you 2cats! I ordered the size on their website which said it was for Labs but when it arrived it was too small. I emailed to tell them and they immediately sent out the larger size by first class post without waiting for me to return the smaller one. So good customer service as well.

Let us know how you get on. Have to say at the moment I am completely chuffed given the walk we've had today which was a pleasure rather than an endurance test. smile

WhereBeThatBlackbirdTo Fri 24-Feb-12 14:35:44

I wish there was someway of trying these harnesses out before committing to buy them - I've spent a fortune already on various types and the pup is only 6 months old. The Pure Dog Listener harness looks fabulous - but then so did the gentle leader, non pull harness, padded harness.....

ExitPursuedByaBear Fri 24-Feb-12 14:37:58

Gave up with my Springer. He will walk to heel with my DH, but sees me as the soft option and more fun. Have a halti collar for when he simply has to stay on the lead, but most of the time you will hear me shouting HEEL every three bloody strides.


WhereBeThatBlackbirdTo Fri 24-Feb-12 15:24:01

ExitPursuedByaBear - snap!

SingingTunelessly Sat 25-Feb-12 23:07:25

Oh I agree on the whole wardrobe of other stuff we have loads of it, used a few times and consigned to the cupboard.

Bit of background - my Lab did not have any socialisation as a puppy through no fault of his own so I am starting from scratch with a very strong male Lab. Today was day 3 of the harness and it wasn't quite as comfortable for me at least although Lab is fine. I didn't wear gloves as it was a lovely day and the webbing lead was quite painful on my hand when he pulled towards cyclists/rabbits/vans, etc.

Upside was I managed to control him - no cyclists/rabbits/vans were maimed. smile I'm also using clicker training to get his attention so am going for the double whammy.

2cats2many Wed 29-Feb-12 20:37:55

Just wanted to update on the Happy to Heel. Well, its bloody brilliant.

I'm also using clicker training to teach her where 'heel' is which is helping massively.

Its a great harness.

OP’s posts: |
ladybird160288 Fri 28-Mar-14 13:32:49

18 month old lab,
Walked perfectly to heel.until about 6 months then got too big for his boots and strong too. Started pulling at every walk. Behaves brilliantly at home and at families houses.
We too tried every method to get him to heel again, dreaded each walk. Tried the halting, nose harness, halfchoke chain, clicker, bells, turning.on the spot, walking so far.and returning.to same.spot.if he pulls.

Happy to heel harness arrived today. I'm pretty sure I have the wrong dog! Just walked for half an hour with no pulling, jumping etc! He's been a pleasure to take out!

OneDogTraining Wed 08-May-19 19:57:18

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Alwaysgrey Thu 09-May-19 13:22:10

My 6 month old poodle is an utter sod on lead. Despite being small he pulls. Especially towards other dogs. We’re going to do some intensive lead training. I’m not even so bothered about walking to heel but I’d like him to walk on a loose lead and not yank me around.

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