German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
474 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Now we aren't close to become off leash, but I want to work towards walking Gunner off leash. What are some good things to do in preparation of walking off leash?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,690 Posts
Two things: loose leash walking and recall :) Both are very important
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
27,460 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,155 Posts
I think impulse control is important too. A dog that doesn't think and just runs after an animal might not be great off leash.
I'm not sure if this is something you can teach or not.
My dog is great off leash and we started him off leash in safe areas since he was 10 weeks old (slow puppies are easy to catch :) ). We also worked on recall practically from day 1. Played recall games and also rewarded for voluntary attention. So basically we always had treats on us and would reward when he would come up to us on his own and also practiced calling him back and forth. We practiced at home, parks with little distractions, obedience class, places with bigger distractions, dog park, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
290 Posts
I've always found it's much easier to start off leash walking when puppies are 8 weeks to 6 months old. Around 6 months they start getting more confident and independent so it can become much harder.

Course around 6 months is when I start up with the obedience/official training classes so it's great to plan and fit that in.

Dog Training Come Command or The Fast Recall | Teach A Reliable Come Command


Teaching a Reliable Recall - Whole Dog Journal Article

How to teach ANY dog to Come when called! - YouTube
I agree with starting early and REWARD it. Our pup did great off leash until just recently (7 mo) and I sort of took it for granted. We were out hiking recently and he disappeared from my sight (he was always good at checking in and waiting when he ran ahead), I about freaked. He came when I used our emergency recall, but that little scare made me realize that he is getting more independent and taking more risks. A good recall is critical.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
474 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the responses everyone!!

Yes I agree, starting out young is ideal but he is already 4yrs old (adopted him).
I have been working hard on " leave it " when we are on our walks when there is something he is interested in ( dogs, cats, rabbits, a person etc. ) and is looking long enough. I have also been working on him on a longer leash, letting him walk in front of me then say " heel " and have him get into heel position again ( reward and correction is used ). He is starting to get the hang of that. Just was wondering what else I could be doing.

Sorry, probably should have stated what I have been doing with him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
I agree with starting early and REWARD it. Our pup did great off leash until just recently (7 mo) and I sort of took it for granted. We were out hiking recently and he disappeared from my sight (he was always good at checking in and waiting when he ran ahead), I about freaked. He came when I used our emergency recall, but that little scare made me realize that he is getting more independent and taking more risks. A good recall is critical.
what do you mean by emergency recall?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
441 Posts
Transition slowly. Replace the leash with a light/short lead (like a shoelace with knots or a piece of comfortable but light rope) connected to the choke collar. The idea is to get the dog used to the absence of the leash weight, so they think they are off leash, but you are still connected via the string and can make corrections. Eventually the dog will feel attached to you even when you finally remove the transitional string.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
701 Posts
rock solid obedience is a requirement, recalls are obviously the most important. start doing off-leash ob everywhere you get a chance.

I disagree with the light lead idea. the dog will quickly learn off leash means no boundaries! do what you want! so you may have to use your voice and your hands to correct, let the dog know that you still control him even off leash. ecollar training is always a good thing for this.

always always carry a motivator when you begin off-leash work. i had food in my pockets for 5 months, now i carry a ball everywhere. he goes off-leash when there are no dogs or cars around. rabbits are a work in progress, tips for that would be appreciated!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
441 Posts
I disagree with the light lead idea. the dog will quickly learn off leash means no boundaries! do what you want! so you may have to use your voice and your hands to correct, let the dog know that you still control him even off leash. ecollar training is always a good thing for this.
I assumed from the post title that the OP is asking about heeling off leash rather than letting the dog wander around. With the light leash the dog cannot do what he wants because you have the other end of the leash to make corrections with. If your dog can't heel beside you off leash first then he shouldn't be wandering about off leash IMO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
701 Posts
I assumed from the post title that the OP is asking about heeling off leash rather than letting the dog wander around. With the light leash the dog cannot do what he wants because you have the other end of the leash to make corrections with. If your dog can't heel beside you off leash first then he shouldn't be wandering about off leash IMO.
all i can say to that is, my dog knows in an instant when i take any leash or tab off of him, even the lightweight tabs.
maybe we are thinking about different things. but you are totally correct in that last statement, and we are in agreement there.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top