Off Leash Dog Training – What Is It And Where Do You Start?

Off Leash Dog Training - What Is It And Where Do You Start?

Training a dog properly is about maintaining control and attentiveness. This is significantly more difficult to do when the dog isn’t leashed. Training without a leash increases the risk of a dog running off or simply refusing to listen. Fortunately, there are ways to train your dog so that they can be trusted to obey rules while they are off leash. Off leash dog training isn’t a simple task but can be made easy with the help of a trained dog behaviorist. 

Responsive to Off Leash Dog Training

Some dog trainers have the ideology that there are ‘no bad dogs’ and any dog can be trained. However, it is universally agreed upon that some dogs are easier to train than others. This is especially true with a more advanced type of training like off leash dog training. You can look for some qualities in your dog to determine whether or not they are a good candidate for off leash training. First, your dog must be responsive to training. They should also be generally unaffected by squirrels or other creatures that could cause them to run off. They should have no history of running off and can socialize well with other dogs and other humans. These are some signs that your dog is definitely up for the challenge. 

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Training Strategies

Before getting into the specifics of off leash dog training, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the dog training ‘state of mind.’ For example, you will need patience. The process can take from weeks to even months of daily training.  Dog training takes consistency and you need to be able to get through the process without getting frustrated or losing hope. 

Dogs do not do well with inconsistent signals in their training. All commands and responses should be carried out the same exact way every time. You should always keep training sessions short, maxing out around 10 minutes a session. These short, digestible lessons help your pup retain the commands and associate rewards with obedience. Finally, it’s always good to teach through positive reinforcement like petting and treats. This is way more effective and humane than negative reinforcement. 

The Process

Now it’s time to break down the entire process of off leash dog training. 

Recall Training

Recall training is the foundation of off leash training. Your dog needs to be able to consistently obey when you recall them. Once your dog has mastered coming to you upon command, it’s time to increase the distance. Use a very long leash and practice recalling at further and further distances. Give positive reinforcement for every obeyed command. 

Sit, Stay, No

These are more foundational commands that your pup must master before they are ready for off leash dog training. If something goes wrong during off training, you need your dog to immediately stop in its tracks and cease whatever behavior is causing an issue. Having a dog stop and sit is often faster than getting them to come back to you. Time is of the essence when you don’t have the safeguard of a leash. 

Identification

Before you begin off leash training, make sure your dog has proper identification in the event they do run off. Keep a dog collar firmly attached to them at all times and consider having them microchipped. 

Training Environments

Once your dog has strong foundational training, start working on off leash commands in a distracting but safe environment like a dog park. If you can train your dog in a busy area with a lot going on, they will obey commands anywhere. Once they have mastered their training at the park, it’s time for a less controlled scenario. Go on a hike where your dog has the freedom to roam but isn’t at risk of being hit by a car. This will allow you to push the limits of the training in an environment that still protects the dog’s wellbeing. 

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Call A Professional 

These advanced tricks are not easy to teach. There are many techniques to remember and they must be executed swiftly. Sometimes it’s best to look into professional dog training in NJ. Beau’s K9 Academy is here to help you train your furry friend. We offer an array of dog training services like behavior modification, in-home training, puppy training, and even advanced search and rescue training. For the very best dog training in New Jersey,  contact Bea’s K9 Academy today. 

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