It’s very trendy on dog social media right now to say we should allow our dogs to sniff and roam wherever they’d like on the walk.
While yes, our dogs should be allowed to sniff and explore there is a time and a place for it.
Having a dog that can walk with a loose leash in heel does a few things…
- It teaches our dogs to focus on us instead of the external environment
- It practices impulse control
- It’s a safe position for your dog to be when walking in a city or busy area
The same people who want their dogs to choose where to go on the walk, when to stop, when to sniff are typically the people struggling with reactivity, over excitement, and aggression. When our dogs show us they’re incapable of being neutral on the walk, we have to help them out by providing structure and guidance through walking at heel until they can show us they can make better decisions.