Your pet dog running free in the yard is probably the best sight you will ever see.
While it takes long strides across the yard, you will only wish to yourself that you should never have to put up a fence or inhibit his happiness by putting on a leash.
The enthusiasm is contagious and very often, pet parents end up feeling more active than they used to because they simply love accompanying their dogs while they run around.
However, the environment around is unpredictable and nothing is guaranteed. You can never really overcome all the risks but what you could do instead is to secure the area around and to build off-leash reliability.
Learn how to, right here.
If all else fails, you can always consider getting a DIY wireless dog fence (here’s our buyers’ guide). It’s easy to setup and can be quite effective.
Avoid Training With A Leash
While on-leash behavior inculcation seems to help some pet parents; others seem to disagree with the process. When you start training your dog, avoid the leash as far as possible.
You can start training him inside the house and when you feel that he is happily moving around without causing trouble, you could first shift him to the backyard and then move on to the front yard.
The reliability that he develops during this process is what will help him be comfortable in the unknown environment, whether he is on a leash or not.
Combine Play And Training
Training should ideally not be an exclusive experience for your dog. It should be a part of everyday games and fun so that he enjoys every bit of it. Moreover, if you include off-leash training on a daily basis then it is bound to engage your dog for a longer time. Simply remember to have big rewards for good behavior and try as many off-leash adventures as you can.
Train Without Luring
As long as the conditional behavior is what your dog is learning, he will never respond to you naturally. Thus, your idea of off-leash reliability will not help you when the leash is not at hand and when there is a lure in the form of food or freedom. Off-leash behavior rewards should be anything but predictable. Consistent luring will lead to major failures in off-leash experiences.
Rules For Recall
Always make your dog believe that coming to you will be a worthwhile experience so that when he is off the leash, he can be recalled and he will come running happily.
When you want to call out to your dog, learn to notice the signs of disengagement and make use of that. For example, if your dog is busy interacting with another dog on the way, avoid calling out to him repeatedly because it might irritate him.
Look for signs when he is about to move away or turn and then call him out. Whenever your dog comes running to you, make it look like the best feeling in the world so that he loves coming back to you over and over again.