Definition of at (or to) heel in English:

at (or to) heel


  • (of a dog) close to and slightly behind its owner.

    • ‘I want to do nothing more than watch the children go roller-skating by, or simply observe that healthy, handsome bloke cross the road with his big, black dog at heel.’
    • ‘Off he would set on his rounds with his faithful collie dog at heel and following, some way behind, was the goat.’
    • ‘Their big shaggy sheepdogs with matted pelts stayed close at heel.’
    • ‘By the end of the song, which has no tune whatsoever, and a performance from the singer that could bring dogs to heel, you feel a bit like squealing and pulling a wacky face yourself.’
    • ‘There are several ways to teach your dog to walk to heel, but you should choose and stick to one to avoid confusing him.’