Off-Leash is a great power as well as a responsibility. So, before getting into it first you need to practice it well. Because you don’t want to get things out of control. When you off-leash your dog by your leash that does not mean that he is free now, you need to make a virtual leash for them i.e. commands. And if you had not perfected this virtual leash then potentially it is dangerous to unleash your canine.

To train a dog to walk without a leash follow the below steps:

  1. Train your dog basic commands first.
  2. Your dog must perfect come, stay, sit, and heel commands.
  3. Find a confined area for training.
  4. Add some distractions and try to keep him focused on you.
  5. Now use the above commands and start walking in your training area.
  6. Now go to a dog park or training club for more practice.
  7. Have patience and keep practicing till you get the confidence.
  8. Now you can take your dog for a real unleashed walk.
  9. Be careful even when he is perfectly trained.

The above steps are the quickies if you are in hurry. But if you really want to know everything about the training then the blog starts from now onwards for you. Below you will get every possible information that will help you to train your Lab walk without a leash in control. So, start reading because you are going to have a great experience with your furry friend.

Requirements:

Before starting your Lab’s unleash training first I want to tell you that you will need some items. These are for better training and control over your dog. So, below are the required things you need to make ready.

  1. A confined area for training: The training area you need for the training. You cannot train your dog on a road.
  2. A Harness: To give you control over him. It is a better option than a leash tied on a neck collar because it gives your dog a feeling that he is free now.
  3. A Long leash: This gives your dog a feeling that he is free but still gives you control over him.
  4. Treats: To praise your dog for every good progress.
  5. Some Toys: To put the distractions to make the training more difficult.

Preparation:

labrador in harness

If you have your training things ready then it is the time for the preparation.

  1. Go to your training area with your dog.
  2. Now make your dog wear the harness you have.
  3. Attach the long leash you have with the harness and let your dog get comfortable with the place and harness a little.
  4. Till then put a lot of yummy treats in your pocket or in your treat bag.
  5. Now you and your dog is ready for the Off-leash training.

Steps to train your Labrador Off Leash:

off leash training

1. Find a confined area for training

The very first step with your dog’s Off-leash training is to get a confined area. I am suggesting you a confined area because your dog is going to be partially unleashed. So, if you are in a fully open area then it will be a bit difficult for you to control your dog. Try to select an area that is not too distractive because it will be much more difficult to train your dog off-leash in a very distracting place. Yes, we will make the training difficult with time but not from the start. So, go and select a proper place for your training.

2. Start with the come command

Now the very first thing that you should teach your dog is the come command. Come command is something that you will need occasionally while you are on a walk with your dog without a leash. Whenever your dog does away from you, you need to call him to you. When your dog is doing something wrong then you need to call him to you. So, start with the come command.

Steps to practice Come command:

  • Start with a short distance to teach your dog come command. And call your dog with (his name + come) command. For example, if your dog’s name is ‘Boxer’ then use the command ‘Boxer come’ instead of just calling his name.
  • As he responds to your command correctly then reward your dog with some valuable treats. Never scold or shout at your dog by calling him.
  • Now repeat the come command and treat process by increasing the distance.
  • Now your can start adding distraction with the toys you have. When he runs behind the toys then correct him and when he comes to you as you call the call command then reward him with the treats. This gives your dog a sense of what he has to do on this command and it is correct.
  • Once your dog has mastered this now you can proceed to the next command.

3. Practice the Stay command

stay command

The next command you need to train your dog is the stay command. You need this command because while you are walking outside with your dog and if you stop somewhere for something then you need to make your dog stay for sometimes. There are many more uses of this command so let’s get started with this.

Steps to practice Stay command:

  • Start with the instant treat with the stay command.
  • Now let your dog wait for 5 sec and as he stays for that time then reward your dog with the treats.
  • Start increase the time for stay and keep rewarding with the each process.
  • Now add some distractions with the toys and try to keep him in the stay position. As he follows the start command reward instantly with the reward.
  • Keep repeating the process to master it.

4. Practice the heel command

The Heel command is something that is the most important command. Because this command lets your dog walk with you. And this is what we want our dog to do. It is very important that you master this command. Because your dog will do his best to break the rules of heel command. So, let me tell you what things you need to keep in mind while training your dog heel command.

Steps to practice Heel command:

  • The very first thing to start with the heel command is to make your dog come in the right position. It could be left or right of you. But the left side is the traditional and ideal side.
  • As your dog come into the position then reward him with the treats.
  • Now move yourself a little and direct your dog to come on your left side. As he comes into his position then reward him.
  • Start moving and let your dog follows you and keep introducing your dog with the Heel word that what he is doing right now is the Heel activity.
  • Keep rewarding him as he is following you correctly.
  • with time you can increase and decrease the speed of walking to smoothen the command.
  • Always remember that the reward is something that will keep your dog on the right track.
  • You can add some distractions to master the heel.
  • Keep practicing it till you master the heel command.

5. Now get on the walking training

labrador walking with man

You have practiced all the basic required commands with your dog. So, now, this is the time for the trial work. Start practicing walking and running in your training area. Use all the commands while training and walking to check if your dog can handle the mix of the commands. Practice it till he gets better at it.

6. Go to a dog park or training club to test off leash

If you think that your dog is doing great in your selected training area then it is time to proceed to the second phase. Go to a dog park or training club and start practicing it there. When you change your place to some other place then this makes your dog uncomfortable a little and in dog parks, your dog will find much distraction. So, you have to practice walking without the leash training here. Keep praising him with the treats so he keeps doing the good work.

7. Keep Practicing

Keep practicing because the more you practice the safer it will become for you to Off-leash your dog in a public place. Keep in mind that you need to be careful while walking with your dog without any leash. Because there can come some situations where your dog can panic and will lose control over him. So, always keep practicing and be alert with this.

8. Have Patience

This is something that you will require a lot while training the Off-leash. Off-leash required a lot of time to practice. So, have patience because in hurry you can do damage to your dog or to others. If your dog has an aggressive temperament then never walk with him without the leash. You need to keep in mind that your dog is a wolf in a collar. And be safe about it if he has not a friendly nature. If you have a labrador then the chances of this being are very low because the Labradors are very friendly dog breeds.

You may like: Reasons why you should get a Labrador Retriever at your home

9. Practice some other optional commands to make it perfect

practcing some other commands

I have shown you three required commands for walking without a leash: Come, Stay, and Heel. No, doubt that they are the most important commands that should be perfect. But there are some more commands that can also be practiced to smoothen the dog walk without the leash. These other optional commands will help in many different situations. So, practice these commands with your Lab too to make your walking journey perfect.

The other optional commands to practice for the Off leash walk perfection:

  • leave it
  • drop it
  • look
  • go to this place
  • Some other, if you think, can be helpful. (Let us know in the comment too 🙂 )

Risks with the Off Leash

No doubt that the Off-leash is a great thing for you and your dog has mastered it. But if something goes wrong then there come some potential risks with it. So, I think you should aware of those risks. So, here are the risks possible when you are off leashing your dog outside of your house:

  1. Your dog will be at risk of being hit by a vehicle.
  2. They can harm humans if got uncontrolled.
  3. They can start chasing other animals and can kill them.
  4. The situation can get worse if they meet an aggressive dog.
  5. They can eat something toxic so be extra careful about it.
  6. They can start soiling in an inappropriate place.
  7. There is a risk of zoonotic diseases.
  8. They can learn bad habits because you are not controlling them now.
  9. You can pay a fine if it is not allowed in your city. So, first, confirm if it is legal to off-leash your dog in a public place in your city.

So, these are the training and the possible information about Off leashing your dog. Hope you liked the article. If you want to know anything more about it or want to appreciate us then leave the comment below. We will do our best to help you. 🙂

Suman Kumar Sahni

I am Suman and I am a crazy dog lover. Actual not dog but I love all the animals. But the cute puppies have some special corner in my heart. I have spent my entire life with dogs since I was 10 years old. So, I think I know what a dog wants from we human. It's Love. And I am trying to spread that love for dogs in this world through this website.

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