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The Off Leash Dog Training Guide

The Off Leash Dog Training Guide

A dog is said to be a man’s best friend, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t occasionally stray from your side. If you tend to be more accustomed to your dog walking you than you walking your dog, or are a bit too familiar with chasing after your dog, who is chasing after a squirrel, then maybe you should look into off leash dog training. Off leash dog training is a great way of training your dog so you can keep him under control when in public, but also to respond to commands, which can help you avoid trouble if your dog suddenly darts towards an unfriendly dog or out into traffic. Like it’s name indicates, off leash dog training keeps you in control of your dog without the use of a leash.

For some dogs, the transition from leash and collar to a life without can be very simple. Others can be frustrating. The key is to be consistent and patient. In order to begin off leash dog training, you’ll need to start with a few basic tools. You can start with a simple but sturdy leash and a collar, but training can be easier if you have tools specially designed for dog training. Choke collars and pinch collars can be effective, but many dog owners shy away because they seem inhumane. The key to using them effectively without hurting your dog is to only apply the smallest amount of pressure necessary to get a response. If you would rather use a simple collar and leash, that is fine as well.

Once you have these tools, you’ll want to begin training in an enclosed environment, preferably a fenced in yard where your dog has plenty of room, but cannot escape if he darts away. Before you begin training without the leash or collar, you’ll want to make sure your dog knows how to follow commands like “heel,” “sit,” or “come.” If he knows these you’ll have a much easier time performing off leash dog training.

To begin, have your dog “sit” by your side, where it normally would if you were getting ready to go for a walk. Have the leash in view, but don’t actually attach it to your dog’s collar. With your arm in the same position it would be if you were actually walking your dog with a leash, begin walking forward, telling your dog to “heel.” Begin walking short distances with your dog heeling by your side. When he behaves well, reward him with a treat. Then gradually make the distances longer, or zig-zag, rewarding him with a treat for good behavior, but using less and less treats as the practice goes on. When you’re ready to try him out in public, begin with a long leash attached to your dog’s collar. Let the leash fall and trail behind him, without holding on, or holding on very loosely. If your dog is able to stay by your side and comes when he is called without running off, then you can remove his collar, give him a treat, and let him be free. If he has some difficulty following your commands, he may need more practice.

Before beginning off leash dog training, be sure to check and see what the local laws are regarding off leash pets. Some counties don’t allow dogs to be in public without leashes. And always remember that even when your dog isn’t attached to a leash, he should still be wearing a collar with proper identification. This will help in case you two get separated or he suddenly darts off and goes missing. Accidents happen and sometimes the squirrel is just too good to pass up. Of course, with off leash dog training, hopefully you can protect against this, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

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