Dogs off leash: what’s your pet control score?

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Dogs off leash… it’s a pipe dream for most dog owners. Everyone wishes that their dog was that perfectly behaved companion that is so frequently seen on television, running around off leash and obeying every command that is thrown in their direction. When it comes down to it, your dog probably isn’t trained well enough to be trusted off the leash in all situations. To find out if your dog has what it takes to go off leash, consider these helpful hints from Take Your Pet.

off leash

* Your dog needs to be 100% obedient when on leash before you even think about taking the leash off. That leash is your ability to restrain your dog, to keep them and others from danger when they decide to ignore your orders. Make sure that your dog obeys every command you give with the leash on – every time. Even a single missed command can mean disaster off leash.

* Your dog needs to acknowledge and obey any command given immediately. Regardless of who is yelling the command, your dog must understand and obey without question or hesitation. A three second hesitation in obeying the command to sit could be the difference between your dog stopping beside the road or in the middle of the highway.

* Your dog needs to be perfectly socialised if they are going to become one of those ideal ‘off leash’ dream dogs. You need to know how she is going to behave in every situation; around small children, around strange dogs, around wildlife, cars, etc. Make note of how your dog reacts to children of different ages, and of how they behave when other leashed dogs start barking and pulling at their leads in a threatening manner.

* Your dog must be practiced if you’re planning off leash activities. Practice makes perfect when it comes to training your dog, and off leash activities are no different. For many dogs, the leash is viewed as your ability to control their actions. Once the leash is removed, you will need to practice the fact that commands must still be obeyed. This is best done in a safe, familiar environment like your backyard or an off leash dog park.

* Here at Take Your Pet, we recommend that you DO NOT start this training whilst on holidays. When you’re on vacation you are surrounded by strange environments, unfamiliar people, loads of new and exciting distractions, so it’s not the right time to trust your dogs off leash for the first time. Unless your dog is accustomed to being off leash, and is completely under your verbal control, don’t experiment with this idea on vacation. Your dog may become so excited that the unthinkable happens. Don’t risk off leash activities on vacation unless your dog is very well trained in off leash behaviour.

Remember the more time you put in to training your dog the more rewards you will reap in the long run. Reward your pet for obeying commands and be sure to always be consistent with your training. To find an off leash dog park in your neighbourhood click here.

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February 17, 2013 |

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