Off-leash Walking

Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by Nathan, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. Nathan Active Member

    How do I train my dog to walk by my side without a leash? Also, how do I train my dog to notrun away when he doesn't have a leash?

  2. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    How old is your dog?

    What type of leash are you using, an extenda-leash, or a 'normal' cloth leash?
  3. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    There are many many ways to train a dog not to pull, here is one of my favorite dog trainers, Kikopup, (free on youtube)
    showing how she teaches loose leash walking:
    (Kikopup refers to treats, keep all treats raisen-sized, or you'll get a fat or full dog)
  4. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Re: off leash,
    before you attempt off leash heeling, you need a solid "recall", (dog comes every time you call dog).
    Does your dog have a solid 'recall'?
  5. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    This one is even better i think, still from Kikopup.
    Not all trainers on youtube are worth emulating, (some are complete nightmares)
    but, Kikopup IS a good one.
    Bosun likes this.
  6. Husky heaven Well-Known Member

    I used lots of treats to teach Grace to walk to heel off lead. She is trained to come for sausage when I blow a whistle and has an excellent recall in an enclosed area. Out on a walk though if I lose eye contact and she sees something interesting she's gone. Dako is even worse. Luckily I live in a remote area and they allways come back or can be found in my neighbours orchard eating advocados! The moral of the story is some dogs (especially huskies and scent, prey motivated dogs) can never be trusted off lead unless they are in an enclosed area. Start by practising on a long lead, then loose in the garden, then a bigger area like a fenced dog park.
  7. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //"or can be found in my neighbours orchard eating advocados!"//

    avacados are toxic for dogs, you may have to teach your dog "Leave it". Teach the cue, and take dog over to avacados, and teach your dogs to "leave it". I had to do this with my rescued dog, who used to eat poop.:sick: I taught him the cue "Leave it" and once he understood the concept,
    i took him over to some poop, told him "leave it"
    i did this often, daily, for weeks,
    and now he never ever eats poop anymore.

    I bet you could do same thing with your dogs and avacados.
  8. Nathan Active Member

    Thanks for trying to help me. I will try that.
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  9. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Nathan, does your dog have a good recall yet? How old is your dog?

    and lol, for *my* dog, i was using an extenda-leash, and then, when i wanted him to walk loose-leash, i'd shorten up the extenda-leash, and i expected my dog to not pull on the now-shorter leash.
    for some reason, my dog could NOT understand, "i no longer get an extra 15 feet of leash if i pull.." whenever he wore his extenda-leash.

    Or, maybe the continuous lil pulling feeling of an extenda-leash made it harder for Buddy to understand pulling vs. no pullng????

    not sure why, but, USING AN EXTENDA-LEASH ruined my dog's ability to learn "no pull".

    i had to hide all the extenda-leashes,
    and use only cloth leashes on walks.
    THEN and only THEN, my dog could understand, "no sense in pulling, we get nowhere if i pull."

    to counteract the less excercise of using cloth leashes, i take him to school yards, parks, cemetaries, etc, for him to run off leash.
  10. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    LOL Mud's reaction the first time I used an extenda-leash on her was funny. It was actually our Chihuahua's; I am sooo against extenda-leashes because they are so often misused, but I put it on her when we were out of town; don't remember why. I gave her her release word that I use to release her on on-leash walks and she looked at me like, "WHAT?!?!?! I can't run off when I'm on-leash! That's not okay Mom, what are you thinking? Have you gone mad?" It took a little bit of riling her up to get her to kind of walk off in front of me a ways, but she wouldn't go very far on it. On leash means I can't walk ahead of you Mom, don't you remember? :ROFLMAO:

    good advice already. Recall is an absolute must before working on off-leash training. There is a lesson in the classroom on recall. Work on recall a LOOOOOT, and work up to your dog being able to consistently come to you even with lots of distractions. When you start off-leash training, you want to start with a long leash(30-50 feet or so) and let them drag it. This way if they do try to run off, you can keep them out of a sticky situation by picking up the leash.
    Don't start off-leash training until your dog can walk properly on-leash. If your dog can't walk next to you or very very near you on-leash, testing off-leash is just a terrible idea.

    I live in the country, and many of my dogs' walks are out in a field. 100% of these walks are off-leash. But, it is very structured. My dogs have to stay in heel position for part of the walk. After we've walked a little ways and they are paying attention and behaving, I release them(I have a release word that I use to let them know that they don't have to be glued to my side anymore) and they are free to run. But, they can't go out of earshot. So when they get not quite out of hearing distance, I'll call them back. They come back, they have to get back in heel position for a while, and later they'll get released again. In a 1 hour walk they may get released 10 times. Depends on their behavior. If they aren't doing so well, they spend more time walking in heel than running around. They are rewarded for walking nicely by getting to run around as they wish. But, they have to come back. Understand that this works for me because I live where it is safe for me to do this, and my dogs have very good recall. Mudflap has the best recall of the bunch; so far (KNOCK ON WOOD!) I have not found any situation that I cannot call her away from. But I have done a ton of work with really tough distractions to get her to this point. It's all about baby steps. Zeke is not this trustworthy yet, so most of the time his "release" is still on-leash, but on a 100 foot leash. He can run just about anywhere he wants, but I can keep him safe. Gypsy is my newest, and I am already starting this with her. She walks nicely, and she gets "released"--30 foot leash attached. Gypsy does not get to run around for very long at all; she is still very early in her training and you don't want to lose their focus by letting them have too much time to sniff around. She gets less than a minute of free time each time I release her. Nonetheless, it's still rewarding for her. Z gets about 1 minute at a time, and Mud can get up to 2 minutes as long as she's checking in with me. She could probably get more, but you don't want to give them too much time. Too many things could happen, even though I fully trust Mud's recall. The more time they have, the further away they can're that much further away if anything happened and you needed to get to them quickly.
    "CHECKING IN"--Mud has learned that when she gets a certain distance away, I'll be calling her back to make sure she's not too far away. So she'll get to a certain distance, stop, and wait for me. If I don't call her back, she'll just wait till I get closer, then run off again. So she "checks in" to make sure she's not too far away since she knows I will be calling her back.

    Gypsy eventually will be my hunting buddy and will be working a lot off-leash, so I'm spending an enormous amount of time on her recall. Start somewhere low-traffic, where people and dogs are visible, but it's not overwhelming and you are a good distance away so your dog can still focus on you. SOME parks can be a good place to try this. Your dog is on-leash, so it's safe, there are distractions, but fairly far away. Work on recall here after he can reliably come to you when called at home with very little distraction. Then maybe try to get a little closer to the traffic(traffic meaning people and dogs in the park, NOT cars). Work your way closer and closer(over weeks or even months depending on your dog) until your dog will come to you even with joggers passing him, dogs walking past, etc. This is a big distraction for your dog and it will take you a while to get here.

    Hope this helps. :) Good luck and be safe.
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  11. Husky heaven Well-Known Member

    I have read on some sites advacados are toxic but there is conflicting advice as they are also used in some dog foods. Their biggest health problem is they are very fattening and Grace really doesn't need to put on more weight! I have been working on the leave it command in the house with treats as I am tired of loosing here half way round the agility course beacause she can smell a treat someone else has dropped. At least in competiton treats are banned.
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  12. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //"I have been working on the leave it command in the house with treats as I am tired of loosing here half way round the agility course beacause she can smell a treat someone else has dropped"//

    oh, i know i shouldn't laugh, but, i did laugh out loud, i thought this was so funny that i even read this out loud to my guy, we both had a chuckle, and we could soooo picture OUR dog doing the same thing!!:ROFLMAO: too cute.

    Re: "avacados must be okay since some dog foods add in avacados",
    well, most dog foods bought in grocery stores all contain
    ~ poisonous, carcinogenic preservatives,
    ~corn (unidgestible filler)

    and many dog foods contain horrible things like
    actual poop,:poop: ("animal digest")
    cardboard, ("cellulose")
    just all manner of horrible stuff can be added into dog food. Many items known to be toxic to dogs, or proven to cause cancer, can be added to dog foods, is no law against it!!!!!:eek:
    I just don't trust dog food manufacturers at all, not at all. shiver!
    i wouldn't take chance with avacados.
  13. running_dog Honored Member

    I should think that however relatively toxic avacados are to dogs it'll be safer for these huskies to eat them and be anchored to one place than to be roaming around getting into trouble elsewhere.

    Huskies are probably one of the worst breeds/types to train to recall. Many (but not all) hunting dogs are bred to have the aptitude to learn recall or at least stop. Huskies were basically bred to be either chained up or hauling a sled, an aptitude for basic obedience training in an unrestricted environment wasn't in the primary criteria...

    At any rate Nathan's dog doesn't look like one of the difficult recall breeds/types so he can heave a sigh of relief and get back to the baby steps to off leash and recall - doubtless doing all the crazy things that we've all done trying desperately to be more interesting than the rest of the world. Meanwhile the dog looks on unimpressed and passersby look askance at us running, dancing, waving a tug toy, hiding behind trees, squealing like a dying rabbit, or whatever the idea of the day happens to be :ROFLMAO:.

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