If it helps, this is my ideal.
May be called "heads up heeling" by some (including me), but this is not the same thing as the really unnatural cranked head positions that some out there are doing with dogs. I don't like to see the dogs bent over backwards with their butts dragging on the ground.
How to "train" this gets complicated, because a good CHUNK of what I had with that dog was what he naturally offered right from the time he was a puppy.
If I start walking and he comes running at my side with his head up and heeling close to me - that's what I want + that what I praise and reward and reinforce.
With Jacks that was pretty easy.
Bertie was HARD because he was always forging and jumping up a little and I over used treats to keep him in the game. And that put excess focus on my hand use too.
My Jovi is a lot like Jacks. Not a forgey dog and I'm not having to lead him by the nose with food to motivate focus. Flaring is an issue, but I'll take that since he naturally wants to stay at my side with his head up similar to Jacks. To fix the flaring, we are going to be working a lot of hallway-heeling in the next month, but it's more doable than trying to work with a dog who is less glued in to me.
With all 3 dogs, I used the same first method of teaching heeling. That's using the left hand to target where their faces need to be. That's teaching the heel position. Where the hand is placed targets how high I want their heads. And always rewarding from that spot.
And with Jovi what I hope to do differently with him than I did with Bertie - hopefully getting the hand up across the middle a lot sooner (as soon as I see he's automatically maintaining a spot at my left side) and reinforce/rewarding when he offers the same heel position with my hand being down in his face. I'm starting to do this a little. Every once in a while I'll do a "choose to heel" thing where I take speed walking away from the dogs with my hand over my stomach and typically his cute little face shows up at my left hip for me to go nuts rewarding and praising.
So basically, I'm saying I DO use the "binding" and or "finger target" for initially training heel position. Then over time the focal point becomes the side of my body (shoulders down). In the video below - you can see where my bad habits come from while training new pups. While training heeling, I put a lot of emphasis on my shoulder/arm. It's not just my hand. And all that has to be toned all the way down. Right now I look like a teapot out there LOL.
<= Do turn sound off
. My birds are loud.