Does your dog stay with you if you drop his leash? Or does he immediately run off? Leashes are very important, both for logistic and safety reasons. Although we always recommend keeping your pup leashed when you take him off your property, it isn’t a bad idea to do some off-leash training. A Scottsdale, AZ vet discusses off-leash training below.

Basics

Before letting your dog off-leash, work on basic training with him. Fido should know—and obey—simple obedience commands. He should also always come when you call him.

Troubleshooting

If your pooch won’t come on command, you’ll need to figure out what’s stalling him. He may not understand the command. Or, he may not have formed a positive association with coming when called. (Tip: food works great for this.) Your pup could also be nervous. This is one reason we always advocate sticking with positive reinforcement. If Fido thinks he’ll get punished when you catch him, he’ll try even harder to stay away!

Use A Retractable Leash

Long leashes can be great for training. They give dogs the freedom to move more freely, and help them get used to being off-leash. Retractable leashes can also be beneficial. Just keep in mind that retractable leashes can actually be dangerous in certain situations. We don’t advise using them on roads, as your furry friend could run into traffic if the mechanism jams. Fido could also get tangled up with another dog, or even a person. Pick a safe area for working with your pet.

Go To A Fenced Area

If you have a fenced yard, you already have a great spot for working with Fido. A fenced off-leash dog park is another good option. This will let you see how your canine buddy will react in certain situations, such as when he’s surrounded by other dogs.

Be Patient

Training dogs takes time, patience, and lots of doggy snacks. Be consistent, and make sure to reward Fido with a yummy treat when he does well. Use smaller snacks, like bits of kibble, so you don’t overfeed your adorable pupil.

Play It Safe

While off-leash training can be useful, it doesn’t negate the need to use leashes. We still recommend keeping Fido leashed whenever you take him out and about. Better safe than sorry!

Please contact us, your Scottsdale, AZ vet clinic, anytime. We’re here to help!