Learning to walk or run confidently with your dog off-leash is important, but not always easy. Whether you're training your dog new tricks to master obedience or strengthening your bond together, a good way to tell you can trust each other is by allowing them off-leash. Here are Dog Nation’s top tips to focus on to get you and your furry friend out there in the great big world, without a leash holding you back!
Getting your dog to come to your side when walking out and about can be tricky, but mastering this command is critical to being able to walk off-leash safely. Being able to communicate with your dog and have them listen back to you is a great first step to feeling comfortable exploring the world leash-free, knowing that your dog won’t walk ahead or behind you, and you can keep them in eyesight.
Picking up on the way your dog interacts with the world, including other pets, people, and items gives you a chance to see how far along your dog is in its training journey. Recognizing bad behaviour and rewarding good behaviour is a great way to further understand how your pet may interact with others off-leash in the future. Making sure your dog isn’t doing things such as tugging on the leash, crying for attention, or generally being disobedient is important to trust that they will be confident and well-behaved off-leash.
Getting your dog's attention is one thing, but keeping it is key. Teaching them to listen and focus on your commands will make going off-leash a much less anxiety-inducing experience for both of you, as you will feel more confident that they understand and will listen to you when you need them to.
A method predominantly used by guide dogs in training, this is an awesome trick to use when planning to explore without the leash. Recall training is a matter of teaching your dog a call or cue that will alert them to come to you quickly, making any experience off-leash safer and more reliable.
All of these tips and tricks are incredibly valuable for both you and your dog to practice and learn before exploring the world off-leash. These steps will ensure the safety of you and your pet in certain situations, and will also allow you to create trust and bond with one another by navigating different environments together.