How to train your dog to be off leash and not run away from you
Imagine what it would be like if your dog came to you when you called EVERY TIME.
Imagine how good it would feel to be able to walk with your dog off leash, feeling confident that it wouldn’t run away.
Wouldn’t it be awesome?
Freedom for your dog to be off leash
‘Let dogs be dogs’ they say.
Such a simple concept, but how do we give our canine partners the freedom to be themselves in our increasingly complex human world?
One of my goals in life is to help my clients achieve the confidence and ability to run their dogs off leash.
I just feel this is such a great way to exercise your dog.
It is when a dog gets to be a dog: to sniff, to run, to just be.
My only off leash rules for dogs are simple:
#1 – Don’t go too far
#2 – Come when I call
Being one with your dog, unrestrained by that 6 foot ‘prison’ they call a leash is truly the ultimate achievement in the canine and human bond.
Unfortunately, so many dogs can only go off leash in their backyard and even then some are STILL DIFFICULT to catch when you need to bring them in.
In my opinion, that’s no way for a dog or their guardian to FULLY enjoy life.
Let me give you an example of how you can begin to train your dog to be off leash so you can enjoy a good relationship with your dog.
Off Leash Dog Training – Getting started with “the Collar Grab”
Step 1 to off leash freedom is that your dog comes towards you when you reach for their collar!
If you don’t have this skill start on a longline, walking up the line towards them… Then practice this in a variety of different environments.
Start with some place easy – that is, with no distractions in a place they are very familiar with, like your living room or your back yard. Then take baby steps by changing to a slightly more challenging environment, like across the street or at a local park you always go to but during a quiet time of day.
When you walk towards your dog with purpose, as soon as your dog senses you coming they should turn and come towards you.
It’s important to remember that this is not a recall exercise!
I don’t say the dog’s name or my “come” cue, I just walk towards them.
I just walk towards the dog.
When the dog looks up I praise and instantly release any social pressure by backing away from the dog — they are creatures of motion.
Eventually, with repetition, reward and added in layers of difficulty we can start walking in different directions.
When the dog senses their owner move away, they follow.
No need to nag, beg, or forcefully repeat any command again and again.
You become a team.
You are one.
Kona + Susan learning off leash foundations
👋 Meet Kona and Susan (the team featured in the video below).
On leash Kona has a great history of coming towards his owner when she reaches for his collar.
Susan and I took Kona for an off leash run in a new setting!!
We started in a smaller fenced in area, this is the first test, there’s no sense in going to large areas with they can’t handle small spaces.
Kona did so well that we choose to go to a huge mostly fenced area.
Because Susan has worked hard on all exercises in the Shake-A-Paw foundation program, I knew this team would be ready for the added challenge.
Kona did amazing and ended the session a tired, happy dog.
Great work team!!
Want to see more dog training videos?
- 2 simple rules of off leash freedom for your dog: Come when called. Don’t go to far.
- The first step to having an off leash dog is to make sure they come when called.
- And the first step to training your dog to come when called is practicing the “collar grab” so your dog doesn’t run away from you.
- It’s important to that you don’t call your dog – this is not recall training yet!
How does your dog do when it’s off leash? Do you find it challenging to get your dog to come when you call?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
Are you and your canine best friend are ready to enjoy the off leash lifestyle? Contact us and ask about our Foundation Program!
Life is best lived off leash! Isn’t it time your dog gets that freedom too?