Teaching dog off leash - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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Teaching dog off leash

Dakota knows how to heel both on and off leash. However, when off leash if she sees something more exciting, she'll sometimes take off. When I tell her to come, if she's still after what she thinks is more exciting, she'll ignore me. Does anyone have any advice on how to get her to behave more consistently, specifically with heel and come? I haven't used a clicker (don't even know how or understand them, yes I'm clicker challenged, lol) and I haven't used treats to train her. I should mention that she's 2 yo. I would appreciate any advice. Thanks!
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 08:25 PM
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Welcome to the board! For great training advice, watch vidoes by Tab289 on Youtube:


He explains how to use a clicker, how to train your dog when distractions are present, etc.

"What's there to dominate when your dog is well trained and it does what you ask??" - DoggieDad
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 08:46 PM
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a remote collar. i work at a behavioral center and every dog i've seen trained with it becomes a changed dog. it's like an invisible leash. it is not about punishing the dog. with training, they will anticipate your control over them. believe me, i am one step below PETA so i wouldn't advocate for anything that harms animals. two GSDs actually came in today for refresher lessons and were able to go into a 'down' by a busy street for the entire lesson. more important than having your dog off leash, you have more control of your dog in every aspect of your life. i can't wait until i can start training my puppy with it.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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That's the electronic collar, correct? If so, I have one and you're right. All I have to do is put it on and she's very good. She actually loves putting it on because then she knows we're headed out to play first. I don't use it all the time though. Maybe I should start. Just didn't know if there was another way to get them to behave so well. Thanks.

Hunther's Dad, I'll check out those videos, thanks a lot!
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 09:08 PM
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We're working on recall right now in basic obedience. All our training at this point is on the leash so that after we achieve reliable "come" on the leash we can get the same results off leash. We're starting with a 6' lead and will work with a 15-20' next.

We put the dog into a sit/stay, walk out and face him. Use your come command and begin running backwards, gradually shortening the leash so that at the end of your movement, the dog is right in front of you and automatically sits. Our trainer recommends using a treat at the end of the command - after the sit is completed. By running backwards, you're engaging the dog in pursuit, which is the highest motivator, followed by food.

The trainer says to only use the come command 7 out of 10 times when doing this initial training so that you don't lose the value of the sit/stay. So, in other words, after you command sit/stay, go into a heel, or down, or some other command many times and then command come.

After the come is achieved on the 6' when you have the dog's attention, proceed to working on this when the dog is fully distracted (say nose down a rodent hole) and so on, only going off leash when you've achieved accuracy on leash. If the dog is off leash and doesn't come, you can't correct.

Another word of advice he gave is for those with fenced-in yards. The dog most likely enjoys being outside more than being inside (not sure this is true with Panzer!), so if you say come and the dog ends up inside, he's going to chose not to follow this every time as he'd rather be outside. So recall him, but then play fetch or just give him loving and release many times and only make him come inside intermittantly - at first.

Lots of love & praise, food/treats, etc to make the dog want to come to you rather than do whatever he was doing.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 09:32 PM
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i dont really have any advice. I have one dog i can walk off leash but he wasnt reliable about it until he turned 4 and he's now going on 6 in january. We also had a friend work on his leash manners for us because his dog was Schulzhund trained and Riley was technically my first dog i'd ever trained. I've gotten a great deal better about training since i know how and what to do now. best i have for you is good luck!!! you can do it!!!!
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 09:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veronica View Post
The trainer says to only use the come command 7 out of 10 times when doing this initial training so that you don't lose the value of the sit/stay. So, in other words, after you command sit/stay, go into a heel, or down, or some other command many times and then command come.

Ooops. . . I meant to say use any command other than come 7 out of 10 times. Sorry!
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-05-2010, 11:57 AM
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I don't know if this will help, but I have a "bad" name and a "good" name for my little girl. She's very intelligent and I think she understands when I'm being lax and strict with training. She's always "Lupa" when she does something correct or when I'm in a lax mode. Anytime she does something wrong, won't listen or when I am being strict for whatever reason (such as when I notice another dog before she does and want her under my control before she starts something), she's "Dog." Whether she understands her double name or if she's just responding to the tone of my voice, it works.

When she's off leash and decides to bolt, I say, "Lupa, come!" Usually she will come, but if she doesn't, I say, "DOG, COME!" in a much firmer voice, as in when a parent calls a child by its full name and the child knows it better obey immediately; this is no time to fool around. As soon as she returns, she's "Lupa" again so she never has a negative association with her name nor following commands.

I think gradually increasing the distractions around her during training would be a better route, but I can't properly re-train her (she's 200 miles away until October), so this works in the meantime. Basically, I'd recommend keeping the secondary "bad" name in your back pocket for emergencies until training is complete.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-06-2010, 12:07 AM
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Do you do clicker training? When I was training Dodger to be off leash I used a long leash and I'd give him like 8 ft or so and every time he'd stray form me I'd tell him to heel, click and treat when he had done so. then once he was responding really well on the long leash I'd let him drag his leash and every time he started to wander I would step on the leash and tell him heel and when he'd return to the heel position I'd click and treat. I did this for about two months or so and slowly fazed out the stepping on the leash so he'd just respond to my voice and the click. and eventually I fazed out the click so it he was responding to my voice only.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-07-2010, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by AliPSU View Post
a remote collar. i work at a behavioral center and every dog i've seen trained with it becomes a changed dog. it's like an invisible leash. it is not about punishing the dog. with training, they will anticipate your control over them. believe me, i am one step below PETA so i wouldn't advocate for anything that harms animals. two GSDs actually came in today for refresher lessons and were able to go into a 'down' by a busy street for the entire lesson. more important than having your dog off leash, you have more control of your dog in every aspect of your life. i can't wait until i can start training my puppy with it.
Maybe that's what I need to look into with my adult male dog. He's a mix, he's 4-years-old and he's a good dog; but I want to get him to the point where I can have him off-leash and he's trustworthy. I've been working a lot of his recall training; but I just don't know if I'm getting anywhere.
I'm trying to exhaust every other choice before going to something like this.

I do take him running though, and after we run 3, 4, 5 miles (however many we do) he is FANTASTIC off-leash. LOL he's also too exhausted to want to go anywhere.


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