Classic dog obedience training, especially for competition, dictates that your dog should heel on your left side. We're not sure why. We could look it up. There's definitely a reason, but last time we checked none of them seem to apply to modern life, so we'd rather spend that time playing with our dogs instead.

Practically speaking, you want your dog to be comfortable walking on both sides of your body because sometimes you'll want him on your left and sometimes you'll want him on your right.

Both sides are great, but everyone seems to end up with a "preferred" side. Which side should you choose?

We like the right side. There are a number of benefits to choosing the right side, especially if you live in a country where norms dictate you stay on the right side of the road or sidewalk (like here in the United States).

If you're walking down the sidewalk and pass another person walking her dog, having your own dog on your right side means your body will be between your dog and the other dog. That can help you avoid any unwanted interactions.

Similarly, having your dog on your right side when you're on the sidewalk puts him as far from the road as possible. It's safer than if he were in a position to accidentally dart out into the street.

That said, a lot of people on the Harper team prefer the left side. You can't go wrong with either one.

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