Heeling With Your Golden Retriever


When your Golden can watch you while you walk backwards, then you are ready to teach the heel.

Heel means, “Walk with me, by my left side, with your neck and shoulders by my left leg. You will pay attention to me and walk as I do; slow, fast, normal, left turns, right turns and anything else.” Obviously, this is a complicated exercise. However, if your dog is watching well, this won’t be too hard for him.

To start, practice the watch me exercise as you have been doing it; backing away from your dog. When he is following you well and paying attention, simply turn your body as you are walking so that you and your dog end up walking forward together with him on your left side.

Picture this in your mind: you are backing away from your dog; your dog is facing you and following you. Back up to your dog’s right as you continue walking. You and your dog should be facing the same direction with your dog on your left. This is the heel. When you stop, have your dog sit.

If while you are walking, your dog starts to pull forward, simply back away from him and encourage him to follow you again. If you need to, use the leash to make sure he follows you quickly. Praise him when he does. When his attention is back on you, turn into the heel position again. Don’t be upset if you have to back away a few times. In fact, the more you do it, the better. Your dog will pay more attention to you if he’s not quite sure where you will be going.

When your dog is walking with you nicely, you can then start eliminating the backing away. Start the heel with your dog sitting on your left side, and tell him, “Watch me! Spot, heel!” and start walking. Praise him when he’s walking nicely with you. If he starts to pull, you can correct him by saying, “Spot, no pull!” However, if he is intent upon pulling or is distracted, simply back away from him and turn him away from whatever is distracting him. 

Please note: This article is part of a collection of dog-related content that we purchased the rights to. Opinions expressed may or may not agree with those espoused by Master Dog Trainer Adam G. Katz. When in doubt, please refer to the advice given in Adam’s dog training book.  This article is provided for your enjoyment, only. It’s relevance to real world working dog training may be limited.

How To Teach Any Dog To Walk On A Loose Leash DVD

Here’s How To Teach Any Dog To Walk On A Loose Leash, In Only Minutes!

You’ll Be Walking Your Dog On A Loose Leash
In Less Than ONE Hour After Watching This Video…

Loose Leash - Before looseleash2

“Before” Shot from video.  And “After” only 5 minutes later…

How To Teach Any Dog To Walk On A Loose Leash! — DVD

The footage on this DVD will absolutely blow your mind!  You will see me working with all kinds of dogs that have never been trained before.  And in only minutes, you will see them go from virtual sled dogs– pulling and lunging at the end of the leash— to well behaved, happy dogs who walk along as if they’ve had years of training!  These techniques are so amazing that in less than one-hour after you watch this DVD your dog will never pull again.

Teach Any Dog To Walk On A Loose Leash “For A Limited Time” At $24.95…

This dvd is being sold for a limited time and is available for the low investment of only $24.95.


I look forward to getting a letter from you, telling me how well-behaved your dog is, and what you plan on doing with him, now that you can take him anywhere and know that he’ll listen to you. Even though I get an enormous amount of mail… keep the letters coming!  I love to hear your success stories!

— Adam G. Katz
Master Dog Trainer & Inventor of the $10,000 Dog Trainer Challenge

P.S. That’s all there is to it… your DVDs will be shipped within 24 hours of the next business day.  And after that, you’ll be further along your way to owning the dog of your dreams!  Plus, you can order with confidence knowing that you’re well on your way to having a dog that never pulls on the leash, again.

P.P.S. A very popular question from our clients outside the United States is “will these ‘Dog Training Secrets’ work on dogs that have been bred outside the US (i.e. UK, Europe, Australia)?” This is a valid question. I have many clients outside of the US.   And yes, these techniques work on ALL dogs, regardless of breeding or background.  (DVDs comes only in standard U.S. format).


How Do I Get My Dog To Stop Pulling On The Leash?

You’ll need to first properly fit a pinch collar and get a leather 6 foot leash. If you feel your dog is a very “soft temperamented” dog, then you can use a regular training collar, or sometimes even a flat leather buckle collar. But in most cases when people have trouble with their dog [pulling->walking on a loose leash] on the leash, the proper use of a pinch collar is the easiest and most humane way of going about fixing the problem.

Hold the 6 foot leash at about 1/3 of the way down, and with two hands, pretend to glue it to your waist area, as if you were connecting your hands and the leash to your belt buckle. As soon as the dog starts to run forward, you need to do a sharp right-about turn, and RUN the opposite direction.

The dog will automatically receive a sharp snap when it hits the end of the leash. You need to do this back and forth, and within about 2 minutes, the dog will realize that if he stays close to you, he avoids getting left out to hit the end of the leash. If he chooses to ignore you, then you teach him that you’re not just going to stand there like a dumb pole, or a tree, but rather you’re going to “get out of Dodge” by running the other way.

When the dog starts staying with you, you can praise him. Soon, the dog will learn that it’s really his choice. If he wants to, he can go all day and get nothing but praise. He also learns that you are a more immediate concern than any of the other distractions. Again, if you have a large breed dog (or one who behaves like a large breed dog!) I would definitely recommend getting a pinch collar.

The pinch collar will make your corrections motivational (i.e., have meaning.) If, when the dog hits the end of the leash (as he does now) it doesn’t feel uncomfortable…. there’s absolutely no reason for the dog to stop doing it. The pinch collar is like driving a car with power steering.

Tips For Teaching Your Dog To Walk On A Loose Leash

Many of you know that for the past couple of weeks I’ve been working on a new dog training video series. There will be five new videos, and it will be combined with a number of other products that I currently sell as one big, colossal, super dog training information package. Or you’ll be able to buy the individual components separately.

The first of these five new videos has already been completed and I thought I’d share some brief observations that were included in this information-packed-teaching-tool, titled, “How To Teach Any Dog To Walk On A Loose Leash (And Never Pull Again!)”

1.) When you hold the leash, you need to keep your hands down by your waist.

2.) You need to walk at a much faster pace than most people expect, in the beginning.

3.) Once the dog is walking on a loose leash in one location, you must then work the technique in different areas, too. Usually about 7 to 9 different locations before the dog extrapolates and automatically walks on a loose leash, anywhere you go!

4.) When you turn (the explanation for this technique is also explained in my book, for those of you who haven’t purchased it yet!) … you need to really come out of that turn as if you just stepped on a bumble bee. This is necessary in order to give your technique that, “Two objects moving in opposite directions” feeling.

5.) You must incorporate sudden stops. If the dog keeps walking then you know that he’s not really paying attention, and this will give you another opportunity to do your right-about turn.

Dog Too Spoiled to Walk on Leash

I have a 4 month old female pup, AmStaff/Boxer (we think – she was a rescue). She responds well to all training, EXCEPT for walking and heeling.

We’ve practiced the loose-leash “turning on a dime” technique described in your book and audio tape at length, but she refuses to cooperate.

It’s not a matter of distraction – when I attempt to train her in this style, she pulls back with all her strength. When the loose leash is snapped, she sits, paws braced, or lays down on her back.

These responses are immediate.

I’ve tried instantly righting her, and continuing the training, but she responds as above just as quickly. This can go on indefinitely. I’ve tried correcting her with a low “No,” and praising her if she responds correctly for even an instant. I’ve tried using treats to get her to at least walk with me briefly…… all to no success.

What else should I try?

Dear Geoff,

It’s a good question you’ve asked.

First, you DO NOT want to work the dog around distractions at this point in the game.

Second, you should not be telling the dog, “No!” and jerking the leash for this behavior. Instead, you need to simply glue the leash to your belt and keep walking.

Now here’s where your problem will arise: You’ve already inadvertently taught your dog that if she kicks and screams long enough (or rolls on her back and throws a tantrum)… that eventually you will stop walking and come to see what’s wrong.

The only problem is… NOTHING IS WRONG!

It’s like if I take you in a helicopter and drop you off in the middle of the desert and tell you that I’m going to leave you there, but will eventually come back and pick you up in half an hour (or 2 hours, or a whole day!!!) … you will simply sit there and not attempt to remedy your situation, as you know that I’m coming back to pick you up.

Eventually, this situation will end and I’ll come back and your problems will be over.

However, if I instead drop you off in the middle of the desert and tell you that I’m never coming back… then all of the sudden you’re in a position where you MUST START TRYING DIFFERENT THINGS TO BETTER YOUR SITUATION.

Maybe you start to look for some twigs you can start a smoke fire with, to draw the attention of an airplane overhead.

Or perhaps you climb on top of a rock, to look for a nearby highway so that you can hitch hike to a nearby pay phone.

But the point is… you start actively looking for a solution because you IMMEDIATELY REALIZE THAT YOUR SITUATION WILL NOT SIMPLY END BY ITSELF.

And this is the same thing you need to teach your dog. And it’s a lesson that will extend beyond this one exercise. Your dog must learn that just because she does not want to do something DOES NOT mean that you will give in and let her not do the exercise.


So… what should you do? The answer is really quite simple. Just keep walking. No matter how much the dog kicks and screams and throws a tantrum, remember: You’re not asking her to do anything she cannot do if she chooses. We’re asking her to SIMPLY WALK WITH YOU.

Now, in light of everything you’ve already taught her (remember, every action you do teaches your dog something)… you may have to keep walking a quarter of a mile before she finally realizes that you’re not stopping and that it’s easier to walk alongside you than it is to be
dragged on her rump.

Trust me… it won’t be a pretty scene for your neighbors to look out their window and see you dragging your dog on her rump down the street.

But when you will be able to take that same dog out for a casual stroll later that evening, your neighbors will wonder if you didn’t trade your dog in for a different one and will gasp at how well she walks alongside you on the leash.

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Dog Figured Out the Leash Lengths

Our Panda learns quickly, however, she is a bit smarter than we can outwit. She figured out leash lengths so we have mixed that up, but now she knows when she has the pinch collar on she’s working and she will listen. Without it, it’s hit and miss. I’ve tried putting the collar on whenever I’m home and randomly doing things with her to keep her on her toes. But as soon as you go outside — she will test to see if she’s connected to the pinch or regular collar (I tried this also to mix it up). What do you suggest now?

Thanks, Sue

Dear Sue: The solution to your problem is that you need to ONLY let her outside when she is on the line, every time & for the next 5 – 6 months. (It would normally be a shorter period of time, but you’ve inadvertently taught her to be collar/leash smar — as you’ve correctly assessed.) Eventually, she will try to not respond — while she’s wearing the long line — and this is when you’ll really need to “nail” her for it. Also, it sounds as if your dog is repeatedly testing you on the same issues. This tells me that you’re not correcting her firmly enough, the first time.

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