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Off-leash dog training

Victor Boemmels Dog Training, General

training a dog on a leashEvery dog owner dreams of the day that they can command their dog to do tricks, come when they are told, and simply be well behaved off-leash. This is not an easy process, but a non-electric dog fence from Pet Playgrounds can make this simpler. Many trainers recommend training a dog within a safe enclosure which will help alleviate the barrage stimuli that can hinder the training process. If you want your dog to learn to respond when they are off leash, start by training them in a safe enclosure, and gradually increase the time that they are allowed to spend off leash. Like with most things, you need to walk before you can run and this means that if your dog doesn’t know “the basics” like sit, stay, or down you’ll need to start there. Just remember that if you want your dog to learn to respond to you when they are off leash, you need to start by training without the aid of a leash in a safe enclosure. This may seem obvious, but many dog owners spend weeks in dog classes working on commands like sit, stay, down, and come with our dogs on a six-foot leash but when they snap off the leash, their dog may act as if they’ve never been to training class. Unfortunately, on-leash training – while valuable for on-leash behaviors – can’t prepare either of you for the challenges of the off-leash experience. 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.

 

dog fencesOf course, you can’t simply head out to a stimulating environment and expect your dog to behave as he would on leash in a quiet, controlled atmosphere. Start at home in your fenced in yard. When your dog can easily and happily move through a repertoire of off-leash skills in your yard then you can move your training to a fenced in 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. Positive reinforcement training and the use of a reward marker, like a clicker or the word “Yes!” are essential tools for training off-leash. Reward markers let your dog know that he got it right and the reward is coming, even when he’s 20, 30, or more feet away. A dog who is appropriately rewarded for his efforts will quickly learn to listen and respond off leash.

 

dog fencesYour dog is capable of amazing things, but you simply have to know how to train him to do them. Before you can teach your dog how to run and catch a frisbee, you should teach your dog to know how to perform a “down” on cue when he’s near you. Gradually increase the distance between you and your dog as you ask for the down. When you are far apart, it may be inconvenient to keep up a liberal reinforcement schedule for her successes, but make sure you do. You want her to be highly motivated to perform the down as quickly as possible. You may not want your dog to catch a frisbee, or do other amazing things but we all would love to enjoy a walk with our dog running free by our side. It will take some time, but it can be done. Keep in mind that every dog has its limits. Some dogs have special fears that may compromise their off-leash safety – for example, some dogs will run blindly at the sound of anything that sounds like a gun, including a distant backfiring car. Others may have strong drives that can lead them astray, such as the fresh scent of a pheasant for a hunting dog, or the sight of a rabbit running for a sight hound. Get to know your dog’s limits, understand what motivates him, and anticipate when and where you may have problems. You may be able to set up special training situations to work through some challenges.

 

These wonderful dogs were trained by Stephanie Williams of Pawsitive Partners in Connecticut. They can help create a cooperative owner-dog partnership through positive reinforcement training. For more information visit their website at www.pawsitivepros.com or call them at (203) 530-0122. Stephanie selected a Pet Playgrounds non-electric dog fence for her yard, and she loves it!

Use the coupon code PAWSITIVE at checkout to save 5% on your non-electric dog fence kit!

7 Reasons why you should select a Pet Playgrounds non-electric dog fence

  1. Pet Playgrounds offers REAL climb, dig, and chew protection for any breed.
  2. It is nearly invisible. Stepping back just 10-15 feet makes the fence virtually disappear.
  3. It’s the most affordable fencing option to protect your dog.
  4. It can be installed virtually anywhere – by anyone, on any terrain even over rocks, tree roots, and uneven land.
  5. Unlike wireless electric fences that might harm your dog, Pet Playgrounds fences keep other critters out as well as ensuring that your dog does not runaway.
  6. All materials last for 15-20 years and are virtually maintenance free.
  7. Our non-electric dog fence kit has been field tested by PETA, and they loved it! We know you and your dogs will too!