How to Control your Dog off the Lead

A good way to start gaining control of your dog off-lead is to let it run free, but make it think you still have it on-lead. And the simplest way to do this is to start letting go of the lead when you are in an enclosed park or field.

With the reprimand chain in your hand, allow the dog to stride away from you. Then throw the chain near its back legs, and reprimand the dog, using the one-word reprimand. Next, crouch down and encourage it to come back to you. Praise it as it approaches.

Now try asking a friend or relative—someone the dog knows—to help you. Have your assistant lead the dog a short distance away from you, keeping it on the lead. Instruct him or her to move approximately 10 feet (3 m) away the first couple of times, and then further and further away as the dog makes progress.

Control Dog  Lead

As soon as your assistant has moved away with your dog, throw your reprimand chain so that it lands as close to the dog as possible, and yell the reprimand word. Instruct your assistant to let go of the dog as soon as it responds to your call.

Eventually you will be too tar away from your dog to be able to throw the chain anywhere near it, but this does not matter. The sound of the chain will still reach the dog, and it should respond in the same way as it did when the chain was nearby. A special note: If your dog responds adversely to this word if it stops on the way to exercise—that is, if it panics and you, or deviates from the most tries to run away—stop using direct path in your direction, the reprimand chain, and use. Repeat this exercise several only the one-word reprimand, leaving the lead on the dog until it gains confidence, and seems to understand what you want it to do. A nervous dog will need a great deal of encouragement, which you should give by crouching and praising.

Once your dog is returning to you each time you yell the reprimand word, you may remove its lead and do the same exercises off lead. At this stage you should still leave the check chain on—it is important that you do not remove it, as the dog will not respond as well without it. We have found that, when the dog is off the lead in the early stages of its training, it associates the check chain with the control you had over it while the lead was still on.

Have your assistant lead your dog away by the check chain. Again increase the distance between the dog and yourself, and have your assistant vary the direction in which he or she takes the dog.

If you follow these steps you will find that your dog will eventually refuse to leave your side when it is not on the lead. When this happens, you are well on your way to having a dog that is controllable off the lead.

Filed Under: Pets & Animals


About the Author: Fred Goodson has a passion for pets and animals. He has 4 dogs and is planning to have another one. He is also a blogger who writes about pets and animals. Currently, he is living in New Jersey.

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