Off leash training is an important part of the dog care process. In my previous blog post, I have discussed the techniques of off leash training for dogs. In this blog post I will discuss some simple tips and tricks that will make the off leash training process much easier for both you and your pup.
Why should you choose to take your pup off leash?
Increases safety of the dog
Off leash training can keep your dog safe. Let’s assume that your dog has not been trained to respond to your commands, if a situation arises where the front door or gate is left open, your dog might see this as a chance to escape. The dog may head into traffic, get pup napped or go somewhere where he or she might get hurt.
Suppose you are on a walk with your dog and the leash breaks. You tell your dog, “come!” However, your dog refuses to respond because he or she does not know the meaning of come.
Your dog may run onto incoming traffic if the leash breaks and the dog is not used to off leash training.
Hence, you must understand that off leash training is not only to discipline your dog. In emergency situations, this might be the difference between life and death.
Off leash training challenges and provides great mental stimulation to your dog as well which works well in increasing the intelligence of the pup.
Tactics for off leash training:
Here are a few tips and tricks you must remember before to start the off leash training for your dog:
Take baby steps:
Do not expect your dog to become proficient in the off leash code of conduct in a day or two. Off leash training will take time depending on the previous training of your dog, his or her temperament, physical conditions etc.
Let the leash be loose
Eventually you plan to keep your dog completely off the leash. Therefore, during practice, you must give your dog a feeling of how it would feel if he or she is without the leash. Keep the leash loose during walks or very long during walks. Judge your dog’s behavior constantly. Keep correcting the incorrect behavior and reward the correct ones.
Incorporate it in daily routine
Incorporate the off leash training in your daily routine. Everyday practice would make your dog proficient. Remember to ensure positive reinforcement by rewarding good behavior.
Understand the limitations of your dog
Not every dog can be a super dog. You must understand your dog’s limitations and work with it. If your dog has certain things he or she is scared of, those must be kept in mind when planning the off leash training activities. If your dog is scared of thunderstorms or fireworks, do not plan off leash activities on days when there is a forecast of thunder or if there would be a fireworks display. Such situations can cause your dog to get scared and run away.
Prior anticipation can help
It is better to anticipate prior situations where your dog might find it difficult to stick to the learned behavior. During such situation, do not let your dog be off leash.
Start training at a place with less distractions
Living room or kitchen is a good choice for in home off leash dog training but the aim should be to train your dog at a place with minimal distractions. This is important as the dog can focus all his or her energy solely on your instructions and commands.
During the start of the off leash dog training, your dog must have his or her leash on.
The act of dropping the leash
Hold the leash and stand next to your dog. When your dog looks at you, say ‘YES’ and drop the leash. Do not make the YES sound too excited. The command should be brief and crisp.
Eventually your dog will learn that paying attention to you gets him or her rewards. From this time on, make sure to give your dog a little leash freedom whenever he or she looks at you. However, before this step, make sure you are in a controlled environment and your dog is aware of all basic commands.
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After your dog finishes exploring the surrounding regions in the controlled environment, he or she will eventually make his or her way back to you. Now you can say a happy yes, offer a treat and encourage your kid to go and play some more.
This way your dog will know to give your attention before he is led off leash.
Periodical leash-on times
After letting your dog be off leash for some time, put the leash back on your dog. Wait till the dog looks at you and pays you attention. When your dog pays you attention, unclasp the leash and allow him to be free again. When you remove the leash remember to say yes so that your dog associate’s yes with leash removal.
Once your dog is done playing for a while, again put the leash back on him. When you notice your dog starting to get bored and tired, it is a good option to stop the training session and go home.
Explore other regions
Switch the off leash dog training location every few days. This will keep your dog’s mind sharp and keep him ready on his paws. The training location can be your backyard, a dog park or other regions where dogs are allowed to roam free.
Once you notice your dog is comfortable in small confined regions, take the practice to bigger regions with more space and people. This will help you train your dog to avoid distractions.
Practice makes perfect
This is one point which has been proven time and time again. Practice makes everything perfect and it is the same with your dog too. Regular practice will make your dog’s brain sharp and prevent him from getting distracted.
A few points to consider when doing off leash training
- Remember, your dog is not completely safe if he or she is off leash. There might be situations where the dog is better if he or she is on leash. Thus, always keep the leash with you in case the need arises.
- Make your dog’s safety your priority
- If your dog gets frightened easily by cars, loud noises or has shown to exhibit any unwarranted behavior, it is better if you do not let your dog off the leash.
- If you notice an aggressive dog on your path, it is better if you put the leash on your dog. Dogs are safe in presence of another aggressor if they are on leash.
Now you are aware of all the tips and tricks of off leash training in dogs. Have you tried this training for your dog? What are your major concerns regarding off leash dog training? Mention them in the comment section below.
If you have any queries regarding off leash dog training, feel free to mention them in the comment section below or you can directly ask me on any of my social media channels. I will be happy to help you. If you found this blog post informative, please subscribe to the blog, so I can send your dog care tips and tricks directly to your inbox.
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Frequently asked questions:
First attach a spare leash to your belt. Make your dog pay attention to you before you let him off leash. Ask him to sit before letting him off. Only remove the leash which is held in your hand but not the one on your waist. Lure him back with treats. Every time you let your dog go off leash, call him back with treats. Do this till your dog stops running when off leash.
First time, dogs should meet on leash. However, the leash should be loose and not too tight as this can cause the dog o become aggressive. However, you should be ready to pull your dog back in case things don’t go as planned.
If your dog is not fearful of sudden noises, does not bark excessively at strangers, does not react aggressively towards other dogs, and does not get scared of incoming traffic, he or she can be trained to be off leash.
The training period depends on your dog. The sooner he or she picks up on commands and adheres to them, the faster the training can go. In case, your dog takes time to learn a new command, do not lose your patience. Keep at it and your dog will soon respond to every command.