One of the most important things you can do for your dog is to teach him to walk off the leash. This will help keep your dog safe and ensure that he gets exercise. Dogs that are kept on a leash are less likely to get into trouble and are more likely to behave properly around other people and animals. It is also important to note that a well-trained dog can be a valuable asset in an emergency. By teaching your dog to walk off-leash, you are creating a bond between you and your pet that will benefit both of your lives.
Why teach your dog to walk off-leash?
One of the best things you can do for your dog is to teach them how to walk off the leash. This gives them a sense of freedom and helps keep them safe while walking. Here are three reasons why you should teach your dog to walk off-leash:
- It keeps your dog safe. When your dog is on a leash, you are always in control. You can always bring them back if something happens. However, if your dog is walking off-leash, they are liable to get lost or hurt if they run into traffic. Teaching your dog to walk off-leash will keep your dog in control even if they accidentally become free while on-leash.
- It lets your dog exercise. When your dog is walking on a leash, they are usually confined to a certain area. By teaching them to walk off-leash, they can explore more and get their exercise in different ways. This can help keep them healthy and fit.
- It teaches your dog good manners. If your dog is walking on a leash, it will usually be following your commands. However, if your dog is walking off-leash, they are free to explore and try new things. This teaches them good manners and helps prevent them from getting into trouble while walking.
How to teach your dog to walk off-leash
Like most pet owners, you've probably tried several methods to teach your dog to walk off-leash. But no matter how hard you try, your dog usually remains a walking lap dog. Here are three easy steps to teaching your dog to walk off-leash:
Step 1: Make sure your dog knows all the basic obedience commands such as "sit," "stay," "come," “drop it,” “heel,” and “look.” Consistent positive reinforcement will help your dog learn quickly and enjoy being outside without pulling on the leash.
Step 2: In a confined area such as a backyard or dog park when it's not too busy. While walking around, randomly start calling your dog to come to you. Rewarding your dog can help them learn quicker. Rewards can be as simple as getting excited with praises such as “good boy” or their favorite dog treat.
Step 3: Once your dog is comfortable walking off-leash in small areas, you can begin expanding the range of confined space until there isn’t any left.
Don’t make your dog dependent on getting treats as a reward. Mix it up so your responses are always exciting and unpredictable to your pup. Use reward responses like a hug, a kiss, or outbursts of exciting praises like “good boy!”
Keeping the commands unpredictable will help get and keep your dogs attention, especially if they have a true “squirrel” moment.
Teaching your dog to walk off-leash can be a lot of fun, and it's an important skill you should teach them as soon as they can learn. Not only will it make your walks more enjoyable, but it will also help them stay safe while out in the world.