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3 Super Helpful Heel Dog Training Commands

We’ve uncovered three dog training commands that you’ve probably never heard of. But they’re super helpful and simple to learn.

Whether you’re traveling with your poodle or just out on a walk, there are times that you need to:

✔ bring your dog back into the heel position or

✔ re-adjust his position at your side

Learn These Commands
  • Swing
  • Over
  • Closer
Dog training commands tip iconPoodle Training Tip – To keep the enthusiasm level high during each training session, arm yourself with a pouch filled with your poodle’s favorite dog treats. Even dog kibble works!

Keep the training sessions short. Several 5 to 10-minute dog training sessions per day are more effective for maintaining enthusiasm than one long one.

Dog Training Commands

1. The “Swing” Command

When to Use

There are times that your dog is sitting or standing in front of you and you now need him at your left side in the standard heel position. The “swing” command is an easy way to move your poodle into that position.

Learning the Command

  1. With your dog facing you in a sitting position, hold a treat in front of his nose with your left hand.
  2. Say “Swing” as you move your hand in a wide circle around to your left hip. Your dog will follow the treat with his nose.
  3. Move your hand forward until your dog’s head is even with your left hip.
  4. Say “Sit”.
  5. Immediately give your poodle his treat and praise.
  6. Repeat these steps several times to reinforce the command.

2. The “Over” Command

When to Use

There are times that you have your dog at your left side, but you need to move over to the left for one reason or another. That means your dog needs to move over too. Once your dog understands this command, it’s easy to help him move with you.

Learning the Command

  1. With your dog sitting at your left side in the heel position, hold a treat in front of his nose with your left hand.
  2. Say “Over” as you move your hand horizontally toward the left.
  3. At the same time, nudge your dog’s side with your left knee.
  4. Your dog will move over to get the treat. As soon as he’s moved over, say “sit” and give him a treat.
  5. Praise and repeat!

3. The “Closer” Command

When to Use

Sometimes while your dog is sitting at your left side, you need to move to your right and you want your dog to follow with you and resume a heel position. This “Closer” dog command will accomplish that.

Learning the Command

  1. With your dog sitting at your left side in the heel position, hold a treat in front of his nose with your left hand.
  2. Say “Closer” as you step to your right, swinging your hand in a half circle from his nose to your left side.
  3. Your dog will follow the treat to your left side. As soon as he moves over, say “sit” and reward him with a treat.
  4. Praise and repeat!
For best results, we recommend practicing these commands twice daily (each session lasting 10 minutes or less). When it comes to dog training, sometimes less is more to maintain enthusiasm.

Once you’ve mastered these new dog training commands, it’ll be easier to keep your standard poodle at your side while away from home.

And think how impressed people will be with how well your dog understands commands that they’ve probably never even heard of!

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3 Responses

    • Hi, thanks for stopping by. By 8 months old your dog is capable of learning all the basic dog commands (sit, down, stay, heel, come). Consistency is the key to everything and especially when it comes to dog training. Ideally, you should have 2 short training sessions with your dog every day to learn a new command. Try not to work on more than 1 or 2 new commands at a time. When your dog can perform the command quickly and confidently, move on to a new command, but continue to review the ones he already knows until you’re confident he has fully mastered them.

      If a dog training book would be helpful, I could also recommend “Lucky Dog Lessons” by Brandon McMillan of the CBS program “Lucky Dog”. It gets excellent reviews.

      We have taken our dogs to obedience training (beginner, intermediate, and advanced) and I highly recommend that if it’s an option. It’ll help you to feel confident you’re using the proper technique for the commands with your dog. More than once I’ve been guilty of teaching my dog a command incorrectly without realizing it until the instructor showed me what I was doing wrong. Operator error. Even just having a friend watch you train your dog helps. I think that’s why some dog training schools have mirrors on the wall. So you can see what you’re actually doing – sometimes it’s way different than you think!

      Taking him to obedience training classes also provides an opportunity for your dog to interact with other dogs in a controlled environment (it’s very important for puppies to get socialization).

      At Standard Poodle Owner, we believe in using positive dog training. Most dogs will gladly cooperate if you’re using a treat he LOVES! Like people, dogs are interested in “What’s in it for ME”. And remember, keep the sessions short (no more than about 10 minutes). You should stop while your dog is still having FUN, so he’ll look forward to the next training session.

      I hope that helps. Best wishes to you and your fur-covered BFF!

  • Love the article. I would like to add that there are many Poodle puppies and dogs in rescues and shelters that need to be adopted. The link below includes 1000’s of these organizations in all 50 states.

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