2 replies
  1. Jim Burwell
    Jim Burwell says:

    Jo,

    There are two philosophies (at least in my mind) on walking or heeling your dog.
    1. Old school trainers say, “Dogs should be heeled by your side on a walk. That way they know who the boss is because they are required to walk with you. If they are always out in front, you have much less relevance to your dog.”
    2. Another philosophy is allowing your dog to flex out on his 6′ leash or long line or Flexi-Lead (retractable leash). Personally I like flexi-leads because my dogs get more exercise. But if your dog is always out in front, how can this be good? I always practice frequent come commands on a walk to make sure my dogs always come when called around any distraction – even squirrels! I believe as long as you are comfortable with using a Flexi-Lead and call your dog back frequently throughout the walk, everything is okay.
    3. Some people are just not comfortable using a retractable leash – they feel they don’t have as much control as they would with a 6′ leash. The choice is up to you.
    4. Another thing is that I use a structured walk with problem dogs. I require the dog to stay by my side 2/3’s of the walk. It just helps owners regain control of their relationship with their dogs as we work on specific issues they called me about.
    5. Do what’s most comfortable for you. If your dog is a great dog with no particular problems, by all means, go for the flexi-lead walk. She will appreciate the flexible freedom after being cooped up all day. Just remember to do frequent recalls. Take food treats at first to make sure she’s rewarded for compliance.

  2. jo robinson
    jo robinson says:

    I’m confused how the flexi leash and heeling work together. Everyone tells me my dog needs to stay just behind me all the time. Breaks my heart not to let her run around and smell stuff. We live in a condo and it’s the only time she gets out. I have been making her heel for part of the walk, or allowing her to run around as long as it is BEHIND me. She does seem better behaved even tho I am told this is ALL wrong, heh. Can you offer more explanation, please?

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