Leash training/heel training


Well-Known Member
I have heard and seen many times that dogs are usually taught to walk on the handler's left. Can you tell me why that is so? Is it just because that's how it's done in competitions, or is there a reason why it's better? It has always felt off to me, though I can't tell you why. With each new dog I've trained, I've told myself, this one I'll leash train on the left. And so far I'm 5 for 5, I've got Coco on my right. :dogunsure:


Well-Known Member
As far as I know, it's because that's the side heelwork is done. I don't think there is any other reason, our puppy class let you choose.


New Member
You are supposed to walk with your dog on your left and your horse on your right. ;)

If you don't have a horse, you just have to do the former.

... As far as I know. :/


Experienced Member
I think it's becouse most people are right handed, and it's easier to hold the leash if the dog is on your left.

I'm left handed...:dogbiggrin:


New Member
I think I read somewhere that the left side is the custom because formal dog obedience training began with the military in the early 20th century and the soldiers would carry their guns on the right side so that's why they would have the military dogs walk at heel on the left side. then when obedience training classes were started for the general public, most of the first instructors were former military dog trainers.


Experienced Member
I've never quite understood this. I always walk my dog on the inner side of the pavement as I would prefer he is not nearest the traffic, hence its either side depending for me! So that means I have two commands, heel to my right, close to my left.



New Member
With my first dog blue he was a Bassett Hound I had him on the inside of where ever I was walking.

I just started training Max to walk on a leash and pretty much let him decide which side he wanted and he chose the left hand side, so we're going with that.

Thanks l l a for the info, very interesting and makes sense.