This exercise teaches your dog the heel position (reinforcement zone) before you even start lead walking.

I did this exercise with G Force about 4-5 times a day for 5 days before I added any forward movement.  Each session lasted about 60-75 seconds and I used the same number of kibble (15 pieces) each time.   Using the same amount each time meant I didn’t try to go too far in the session.  Make it short and successful.  A little bit of play before and after makes the training more fun for your dog.

You can do this exercise with the dog on left or the right or both.  Just make sure that when your dog is on your left, the LEFT hand dispenses the food.  Dog on the right side means RIGHT hand feeds.

When it’s time to add forward movement, just take one or two steps then stop and wait for your dog to move forward.  Be ready to have the food by your side AS your dog gets into position.  Food being presented too early means your dog is being lured and not really thinking about what he needs to do.  If the food is presented too late your dog may move past the ‘heel position’ and turn to face you.

Make progress slowly. Add a few steps at a time (feeding each time you stop).   2 steps, 4 steps, 7 steps is better than 2 steps, 15 steps!

When your dog is following you nicely for several steps, try turning (just a little) in the opposite direction so your dog is encouraged to follow you.  If you turn too quickly your dog will likely cut in behind and more to the wrong side.   In the video demonstration G Force does a lovely tight turn with me staying in the correct position the entire time.  NOTE:  This after about 2 weeks of training!

Have fun and enjoy watching your dog learn.