Brandon McMillan Heel Command: How to Train Your Dog to Walk Calmly by Your Side

Brandon McMillan is a renowned dog trainer and television personality, widely recognized for his expertise in cultivating well-behaved and obedient pets. McMillan's unique approach to teaching dogs the heel command emphasizes positive reinforcement, understanding the animal's behavior, and effectively communicating expectations. With his wealth of knowledge and experience, he’s revolutionized the way dog owners approach training, instilling discipline and focus in their furry companions. McMillan's unwavering passion for animal welfare and his ability to connect with dogs on a deep level make him a trusted mentor for countless pet owners seeking to improve their four-legged friends' behaviors.

How Do You Use the Heel Command?

Using the heel command is a valuable tool in dog training. It establishes a clear line of communication between the dog and the handler, ensuring that the dog follows closely and attentively. To begin teaching the heel command, it’s important to have a leash and collar or a harness to maintain control over the dogs movements.

Start by holding the leash in your desired hand and have the dog stand on your left side. Use a positive and encouraging tone to get the dogs attention and give the verbal cue “heel” as you start walking. Begin with short and slow steps, allowing the dog to understand the concept of walking beside you.

If the dog starts pulling ahead, stopping, or veering off to the side, gently correct their behavior by giving a slight tug on the leash or redirecting their attention back towards you. Consistency is key in training the heel command, so be patient and persistent.

As the dog becomes more familiar with the command, gradually increase your walking speed and distance. Practice in different environments, such as parks or busy streets, to ensure that the dog understands the command in various situations.

Reward the dog with treats, verbal praise, or petting when they successfully maintain the heel position. This positive reinforcement strengthens the association between the command and the desired behavior.

With dedication and positive reinforcement, you can teach your dog to walk politely by your side, enhancing the bond between you and your furry companion.

How to Address Common Challenges When Teaching the Heel Command (e.g. Pulling on the Leash, Distractions, Etc.)

Teaching the heel command to dogs can be a challenging task due to common issues such as pulling on the leash and distractions. To tackle these challenges, it’s crucial to focus on proper leash handling and positive reinforcement techniques. By ensuring a loose leash and redirecting your dog’s attention with treats or toys, you can discourage pulling and encourage them to walk calmly beside you. Additionally, gradually increasing distractions during training sessions and rewarding your dog for maintaining focus will help them overcome external distractions. Consistency, patience, and rewarding desired behaviors will make the teaching process more effective and enjoyable for both you and your furry friend.


Through years of experience, McMillan has developed a unique and intuitive understanding of how to establish trust, establish clear communication, and foster a strong bond between dog and owner. By focusing on positive reinforcement and utilizing his innovative techniques, he’s successfully transformed countless dogs into well-behaved and obedient companions. The heel command isn’t simply a physical action, but a symbol of a harmonious and respectful relationship between human and canine. McMillan's dedication and expertise continue to inspire and educate dog owners worldwide, promoting responsible pet ownership and enhancing the lives of both dogs and their human companions.

Scroll to Top