How can I work with my rescue dog so that she can play off leash?

We have had her for about 6 months, she is about a year. she is a medium size VERY FAST mix -breed, she has learned many new tricks and has improved her leash behavior a lot, we have gone to dog training classes and we work with positive training methods. Also I run with her so she gets a lot of exercise. I work with her on a long dog run, my yard is not fenced but she can jump 8ft fences as we learned when she was kicked out of puppy day care for jumping their fence twice. I am working with her in the house and on her run, calling her and rewarding with praise and treats. Most of the time she comes, but she has gotten out a few times and runs around the neighborhood, she knows she is loose and doesn't pay attention to my calls, she seems more interested in checking out the neighborhood. What other ways should I work with her? I am worried about her getting hurt. I would love for her to be able to be off leash

Asked by Member 1124955 on Sep 17th 2012 Tagged runawaydog, teachingrecall, callingdogtocome in Methods of Training
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Bruno CGC

I think when dogs go crazy off-leash it's kind of a vicious circle. They are never allowed to be off-lead, so it's super-exciting and they run away, so therefore they cannot be trusted off-lead, ad infinitum.

To break the cycle, I think it helps to find a BIG, reasonably safe place to just let them get out their crazy and run around, with no pressure. Doing that regularly takes the novelty factor out. Something like a school ball field, a beach, a vacant lot, etc. Reward the dog with whatever they really love when they choose to check in with you of their own will, but don't call them. When it's time to go, just act like you're leaving, even get in the car without them. Most dogs HATE the thought of being left alone, so it should work to get them running to you. NEVER chase your dog if they won't come, it just reinforces that THEY are the one in control, not you.

Good luck!

Bruno CGC answered on 9/17/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


The trick here is in this part of your question: "She seems more interested in checking out the neighborhood."

She finds the neighborhood much more reinforcing than coming back.

I recommend looking up 'kikopup' on youtube. She has fantastic positive training methods, and I know she has one for recall!

You need to be sure before you let her off leash that she will not be reinforced for not coming back. To do this you could put her on a really long leash, and make it seem like you really aren't controlling her. Practice the recall. Practice it with kids running by.

When she has the leash on, she can't get to the reinforcing behaviors- chasing that cat, chasing that kid, exploring without your consent, etc. etc.

Look up kikopup, you won't regret it !

Good luck !

Member 1140328 answered on 11/12/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer