Oh…imagine the dream of taking your four-legged canine to a local park, taking him/her OFF the leash, and finally playing fetch without having him/her run away! Well, for some dogs this might be a reality, especially the COOL ones. Unfortunately, for some, the intuitive desire to smell and track anything won’t allow them to trust their newly-acquired “off-leash” freedom. In fact, off-leash obedience doesn’t work for all dogs. Thus, you should first make your dog master the “come” command before trying any off-lead obedience work.
Off-leash obedience is a process
Off-leash obedience is a process. It takes time and repetition in addition to the awareness of your dog. Daily exercises, a stern-voiced recall plus a treat can help your dog to play unleashed. To make your off-leash dream a reality, follow the following simple tips:
- A local baseball diamond. Working with your dog at an enclosed baseball diamond is a great way you can use to prepare your dog for off-leash obedience. Locate a local ball diamond and be sure to arrive there early or late (morning or evening) to ensure that you’re the only person there. Prepare a leash as well as poop bag. Then enter the ball diamond. But you must ensure that ALL gates (behind you) are all shut. This should be followed by releasing the dog from the leash and walking him along the perimeter of that park. It will take a few times of that routine for your dog to begin following/coming to you! Also, practice running backward and combine that with the “come” command.
- Playtime and dogs already off-leash trained. Now that your dog is familiar with a fifty-foot boundary, you can proceed to acclimate him/her to play with other dogs who are already off-leash trained. For instance, when you see an oncoming passersby (whether he has dogs or not), ensure to leash your dog up so that he doesn’t run. If he (your four-legged canine) begins to stray as far as this exercise is concerned, you might have to consider having a four-foot lead that has been attached to act as his stopper. If he tends to roam around and doesn’t seem to stay within the pack, consider repeating tips 1 & 2 for one to two weeks.