Message Us

Why I DON'T Train My Clients' Dogs to Heel

In the basic obedience classes I teach as a dog trainer, I don't spend hours training the dogs to heel. I don't even spend much time on loose-leash walking as a trained behavior. I simply direct my students to the smorgasbord of anti-pull gear at the local pet store (front-clip harnesses and head halters), and move on to other items on the curriculum, like safety recalls, jumping up, and leave-it.

Why I DON'T Train My Client's Dogs to Heel It's not that training dogs to heel isn't fun"“it certainly can be, if we toss the out-moded leash-pop and use a modern training plan. But few of my students actually care about their dog's ability to heel. What they want is a dog who won't send them to the hospital with a shoulder injury. And when I have explored the desire-to-heel phenomenon with the few students who do push for it, it seems to be a stand-in for control. Their large, young dogs are unruly, mouthing everyone, barking at the window, and jumping on the table; embarrassing, and even a bit scary. The image of the dog trotting subserviently just behind them provides some longed-for if imaginary relief. I've had young and boisterous dogs, too, so I get it. Loose-leash walking on cue is certainly handy for many dogs in many scenarios, so a lot of trainers rightfully decide that it is worth a bigger piece of their class curriculum pie. However, for my basic classes in the semi-rural area I teach, I always come clean with my students: I have an agenda. I want their dog not to heel. I want walks to be about enrichment of the most delightful, nose-to-the-grass scent-filled way possible. I want walks to be sniffaris.

Walks as Enrichment

Humans tend to walk slowly compared to their dog's normal, unleashed, gait. So although a leash walk might be reasonable exercise for elderly or small dogs, the adolescent goobers in my classes need separate and athletic exercise to tire out their bodies. Leash walks are instead a great way to tire out their minds. On a leash walk, a dog is checking out his world, drinking it all in through a miasma of odors: who went by? When? Which way? Oh, was there a squirrel there? There was. What else? What else? What else? When your dog has nose to the ground or is .'depositing' his own smell, you can imagine that he is enjoying himself in the same way that you enjoy catching up with old friends on Facebook. Or, you know, watching kitten videos: no shame. Enrichment has been a hot topic among dog owners and professionals recently, and for good reason. It's simply humane to provide enrichment for dogs, like toys, chews, games, and more. But not unimportantly, enrichment can help to tire out your dog, and prevent them from enriching themselves"’with your stair rails, your laundry, or your favorite shoes. So, join the sniffari movement with your dog. Next time you head out on a walk, let them sniff to their heart's content. Plan your route to include new and exciting scents, or to the extent possible and safe, give them the option to lead you around. Cue up an audiobook or a new album and feel free to linger with your dog when they pause for a few extra sniffs at the local fire hydrant. They might just need a bit of time to like another dog's post. Dogs to Heel and Dog Seat Covers: Cargo, Dog Bed Liner, Bed Cover: 30% Off Premium Seat Covers

Kristi BensonKristi Benson

Kristi Benson is an honours graduate of the prestigious Academy for Dog Trainers, where she earned her Certificate in Training and Counseling (CTC).  She lives and works in the Parkland Region of central Manitoba Canada, where she teaches dog obedience classes and helps dog owners in private consultations "“ both in-person and via video chat "“ for a full range of dog problems, from basic obedience to aggressive behaviour. Kristi is on staff at the Academy for Dog Trainers, helping to shape the next generation of canine professionals. Kristi's dogs are rescue sled dogs, and for fun she runs them with a dog-powered scooter and on skis. Contact her through her website, and check out her blog, Facebook page, or Twitter for training tips, articles about dogs and training, and more.

 
Marketing by

Reviews From 4Knines Customers VIEW MORE »

The best evaluations of our products come from the people who’ve bought them.

Why Did I Wait So Long?

I should have bought these years ago. Easy to use, easy to clean, and tons of headaches saved in trying to keep a blanket or covering on the car seat when taking the dogs on the trails, camping, etc. Highly recommend.

READ MORE »
Kathleen B.

Second Cargo Cover!

This is our second cargo cover for a new car! Our first cargo cover is 3 years old and still in excellent shape!

READ MORE »
Kenny G.

Love these seat covers.

Love these seat covers.

READ MORE »
Dina B.

Terrific product at a great price

I am beyond pleased with everything about my new 4Knines split rear back seat cover! The fabric is soft and attractive. The fit in my 2018 CR-V is perfect. Dirt just brushes off it, and water beads and wipes right off. It couldn't easier to put on and take off. This is a wonderful product at a great price.

READ MORE »
Donna D.

Excellence

We purchased seat covers, door covers and cargo area cover for our Honda Odyssey. Prompt service, fair prices and great quality. Overall a great company to do business with.

READ MORE »
James M.

XL Back seat bench cover

Love our new purchase from 4Knines. We were looking for a back seat cover that would fit our new 2017 F250 crew cab and this one fits perfect. Highly recommend for those wishing to maintain their seats. The material is excellent quality and it’s quick and easy to put on and take off. We also have the bucket seat covers from this company for our 2015 Yukon Denali and have gotten a lot of use out of them over the last couple of years and they are still in excellent condition and so are our seats. Thanks 4Knines for a great product!

READ MORE »
Amy T.

great product, sturdy, XL great fit for new 4Runner, cleans easy

I was worried this product might not hold up since one I recently purchased from another company ripped w/in 2 weeks from my 30lb Aussie pulling on it when trying to get into the back. I have been extremely pleased with the XL cargo liner. The straps are much more durable with more stitching and better fabric. I have a 50 lb Border Collie mix and 30 lb Aussie. They have already put the liner to the test!!! I have used it numerous times in the short 2 weeks I have had it. The XL was a great choice for my new 2017 4Runner. It allows me to strap to the front headrests and protect the whole back of the SUV. The skirt protects the bumper. It is too long when I only strap to the middle seats but I just fold under the extra fabric and still have the skirt. I use the full length most of the time and reason I got the XL. The fabric is sturdy and protected the back when the dogs spilled water. So far I have used it to haul bags of topsoil, go on a camping trip and visit family. I purchased the liner mainly to protect the back b/c we have flyball practice every week and tournaments every month. That's a lot of in/out for equipment, doggies and crates. I was very glad to see the edges fold up to protect the wheel wells. I am extremely pleased with this product and sorry I wasted money on my first purchase from other company. I have already recommended the liner to fellow flyball teammates. Shipping was great also. I ordered on a Sunday and it arrived Sat. So far I have just swept the dirt off and used a shop vac. Cleans up well and easy.

READ MORE »
Kim W.

Awesome!!

Great quality! Absolutely love it!

READ MORE »
Lisa M.

4Knines.com

For all general inquiries, please call or email us
Phone: 888.602.2509
Email: support@4Knines.com

Sign Up to Our Newsletter

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Nothing but the best for your best friend!
© 4Knines. 2017. All rights reserved | Terms | Privacy