In other words, make his response worthwhile! When he is consistently coming to you for the Click! When teaching the recall, plan frequent practice times. Dog barking and growling at me? Here are ours for the comments: I am able to walk my dog but only because his temperament is so submissive that he won't leave my side with out permission. Call your dog to you.
With other dogs, it may not be worth the effort it would take to make them reliable in certain situations; you may need to disallow off-leash play with some dogs in certain situations. Then you can start mixing them up and impressing your friends! For a dog who has freedom all of the time, attention from his handler becomes more rewarding than the freedom. There are very few places where this is safe and most places have laws against not having your dog on a leash. Be sure to follow the same instructions as above for rewarding the dog when he walks without pulling.
I would rather my students strengthen the foundation of their how obedience skills than skipping ahead to advanced obedience and allowing their dogs to create bad train. Be sure to follow the leash instructions off above for rewarding the dog when he walks without pulling. You next use it if your dog finds a tasty piece of garbage or if dog wants to visit another dog. Always keep your dog's safety in mind when your corrections. Off leash obedience is not a skill or a step that is successfully easily taken, off leash obedience is advanced obedience. You should be the first one out you door and the first one in. Instead, go get your dog walk wait until he is ready to come to you on his own.
Why not keep our animals on leash or in a safely secured area at all times? As hard as we may try to contain our dogs, the day may come when a gate is left open and our dogs are off leash unexpectedly. And, besides, dogs love to run, romp, and explore.
Time spent off leash gives our dogs physical and mental exercise, keeping them healthy and happy. While percent reliability may not be possible, the risks associated with a dog being off leash will be greatly minimized through a combination of training and management. For your dog to learn to respond when off leash, start by training without the aid of a leash whenever possible. This may seem obvious. But many of us spend weeks in dog classes working on sit, stay, down, and come with our dogs on a six-foot leash.
This is partly due to the fact that people often and inadvertently use physical cues such as a slight pressure on the leash to help the dog know what they want. When the dog and handler lose that added signal, their communication falls apart. Start at home, in your kitchen or living room.
When your dog can easily and happily move through a repertoire of off-leash skills in your home, move your training to the backyard. When he is an expert in the backyard, move to the fenced front yard, then to a fenced park.
As your dog becomes more and more reliable working off leash, he will find it easier to respond to you even in new environments. How has she done this? She simply incorporates big rewards for good behavior into everyday life. Incorporating off-leash training into daily activities can help you and your dog prepare for off-leash adventures. Your dog will learn to respond to you everywhere, all of the time.
Simply offer big rewards for good behavior when you and your dog play, walk, feed, or just hang out. Think about the types of play and activity your dog finds most engaging. Does your dog enjoy playing with other dogs?
Sniffing the ground in search of gophers? Incorporate off-leash training into each of these activities. For a dog that loves playing with other dogs, you can use dog play as a reward for a fabulous recall or a great down. If your dog loves sniffing the ground and exploring, you can teach him searching games described below. If your dog loves to eat more than anything, have him work for his dinner. Turning your recall practice into fun and games helps both you and your dog enjoy the training.
Back and forth recall game. For this game, you will need another person. Call your dog between the two of you. Each time your dog comes, give a great big happy reward silly play, jumping up and down, great food treat, play ball, etc.
Have your dog stay in one spot. Go into another room and hide. When your dog finds you, give a great big happy reward. Repeat 3 to 10 times, and stop while your dog is really engaged. Once your dog knows this game, you can initiate a game of it unexpectedly.
Have your dog sit or down and stay while you prepare his dinner. Continue to have your dog stay while you take the dinner into another room. Call your dog to you; dinner is his reward. Call your dog to you. When your dog comes, get down on the ground and play, play, play for at least three solid minutes. Ball between the legs. A dog who is appropriately rewarded for his efforts will quickly learn to listen and respond off leash. Make his rewards match the difficulty of the exercise.
In other words, make his response worthwhile! Instead, always make the rewards for off-leash behaviors interesting, exciting, and most importantly, unpredictable. I find it helpful to list all of the things my dog likes — from favorite food and toys, to freedom and doggy play — and rank them in order with his favorites at the top of the list.
For one of my dogs, a tennis ball easily tops all other rewards. For the other, chicken chunks and chasing small animals not a reward I choose to use compete for the number one spot. Freedom, or the chance to run and romp like wild dogs, is probably next on both of their lists. Mix up his favorites, varying which one you give him for which behavior. When you keep your dog guessing, he will stay engaged, giving you an edge in a stimulating environment like a dog park or beach.
For example, when I call my dog to me, she may get a romping game of ball, a chunk of fresh chicken, or a dog treat followed by a release to go off and play again. For an especially difficult recall, she may even get them all. Instead, go get your dog or wait until he is ready to come to you on his own.
Then release your dog to play again. Work on your timing. Ask her to sit, and praise her when she does. Then put the treat-loaded hand back in front of her nose and start walking again. Go a little bit farther every day that you practice. After at least a week of daily practice with lured walking, stop luring her along with your treat-loaded hand, and instead just carry your empty left hand in a natural position at your waist with elbow bent.
When she can walk along without pulling for several minutes, begin gradually increasing—over many daily training sessions—the number of steps you go in between treats so that your dog is walking longer distances between rewards. Reward her every other step at first, then every 5 steps, then every 10, and so on. Eventually, you should be able to walk with your hand comfortably at your side, periodically every minute or so reaching into your pocket to grab a treat to reward your dog.
Options Three and Four use punishment. Punishment should decrease behavior quickly. Ineffective punishment repeated over and over easily escalates and can become abusive. Stop both these methods if your dog yelps in pain, becomes reluctant to walk with you, becomes aggressive, or shows fearful body language like cringing, cowering, trembling, excessive panting, tail tucking, etc. You need to incorporate a verbal warning into this sequence.
Just turn abruptly, letting the leash check your dog. As your dog runs to catch up to you, praise him. When he reaches you, turn and walk in your original direction. If he pulls again, turn around again. He will learn that pulling is unpleasant because he gets checked against the end of the leash and he gets farther away from his destination. Be sure to follow the same instructions as above for rewarding the dog when he walks without pulling.
Be advised that if your dog is running at full speed toward the end of the leash, you could inflict physical damage to his neck if you allow the leash to check him without giving him any slack. Allow your arm to absorb most of the force when you turn so the dog is surprised but not harmed. Some dogs may respond to a jerk on the collar when they pull. Walk holding the end of the leash near your left side, with your elbow bent. You need to incorporate a warning into this sequence. If he does not slow down and gets to the end of the leash and starts pulling, jerk sharply on the leash backward and upward.
Make sure your action is a jerk and not a pull. You may need to do this a couple of times before the dog slows down. How much pressure you exert when you apply the jerk depends on the dog. If your dog is small or sensitive, you will need only slight force.
If your dog is large and tenacious, you may need stronger force. If this method is effective for your dog, it will decrease or eliminate pulling quickly, within a couple of days.
If it does not, try another method or change equipment. Do not keep doing collar corrections or let them become an ineffective habit that is painful and unpleasant for your dog. Use whichever width and material that feel comfortable to you.
Head halters and no-pull harnesses can decrease pulling enough for you without any additional training. For more on getting great obedience on leash click here and here. I would rather my students strengthen the foundation of their basic obedience skills than skipping ahead to advanced obedience and allowing their dogs to create bad habits.
Bad habits are much harder to fix than teaching your dog correct principles and not allowing these bad habits to start. If your dog learns that you have no control while he is off leash and he begins to reward himself, you are going to have a much harder time training him and getting him to listen than if you build a solid foundation and motivate him to pay attention to you and teach him that you always have control no matter what or where he is.
It is not impossible to change bad habits, but it takes a lot more work. Teaching your dog correct principles and working on obedience is much easier and faster than trying to fix issues and problem solve!
If my dog is staring up at me and giving me eye contact and I can motivate him to heel in this position I know I have a better chance to achieve off leash results with him. For help with eye contact and focus click here. Be aware of off leash dog laws and only use spaces where it is legal to unleash your dog or you might be paying a hefty fine! The first thing I do is unhook my dog and let him enjoy a bit of freedom. Essentially I want to see if he is comfortable being away from me and how far his comfort limit takes him.
I, of course, want a dog that cares where I am and does not want to wander too far away from me. As long as the area is safe, I can wander or run in the opposite direction and see if he cares.