Training dogs to walk off leash in open areas and in large fenced in areas.
I've been wanting to teach my dogs to walk off leash in open areas/non fenced and in large fenced in areas. How would I train a dog to do this? How would I train the dog to come immediately when called?
on Oct 25th 2011
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Depends on the dog for the off-leash portion. There are some dogs who are just not trustworthy off leash in open areas for a variety of reasons. Some dogs are more than a year into obedience classes before they're allowed off leash. There are hounds who are just too unpredictable if they catch a scent.
The first step to getting good off-leash obedience is good on-leash obedience through any kind of distractions. It can be done at home but personally I take my girl to classes with me. Another set of eyes is always helpful.
Come is pretty much the critical obedience command. Personally I train it by
1) Not allowing the dog to say no via a long line or a leash at first then working my way up to further distance
2) Making myself the most fun and interesting thing in the environment. Use a high voice, run away when calling the dog. Make your very existence a party for the dog.
3) When teaching the command, don't use your calling word unless you are in the position to enforce it.
I agree some dogs are not trustworthy off leash for many reasons. I would evaluate the individual dog first. To determine if this would be the dog to do this with. How are basic obedience skills? The dog should know them well & do them reliably. Is your dog easily distracted? Can your dog hold concentration?
I would train the dog to do this gradually. You could try with a rectractable leash first. Giving praise when the dog comes when called. Then try enclosed areas off leash. Work your way to short walks with no lead after the dog was able to do well with the first 2 scenarios. Keeping your eye on the dog at all times. If you are into running or jogging I find it easier to control Sailor off lead running. Good luck, hope this helped!
Sailor answered on 10/26/11. Helpful? / 1