Step Four: Supervised Training: Off-Leash
Before taking the leash off of your dog, be sure to follow steps 1, 2 and 3 of the Dog Training Guide. At this point, it really shouldn’t be called training, as you have already accomplished this.
To Prepare for Supervised Off-Leash Training
In this case, preparing is very simple as there is no need to attach a leash. Just be sure that the collar fits correctly and that the right static correction level is being used. Like always, you need to make sure the receiver probes are coming in contact with the skin on your dog’s neck, without digging into his skin. This is important so that the collar is able to deliver the correction.
Allow Your Dog to Run Loose
Simply remove the leash and let your dog run around. Your dog should not be left completely alone at this point. Stay in the yard and keep your eye on what he is doing. In this stage, you should not be trying to distract your dog to test him. Right now, you are simply an observer.
Begin with 20 minute supervised off-leash sessions, and then a few hours spent inside of the house. Three to five sessions a day is ideal.
If Your Dog Is Staying Within the Boundaries
During the first day of off-leash supervision, if your dog never leaves the safety zone, you may choose to extend the duration of each training session to 30 minutes on the second day of training. Each day, you can extend your dog’s off-leash time, providing he doesn’t try and cross the line. Adding about 15 minutes each day to his sessions should work nicely.
If Your Dog Is Breaching the Boundaries
If at any time during this stage of the training process your dog crosses the line, walk your dog back into the containment area. Remember to remove the receiver collar so that your dog won’t get corrected on his way back in.
Now, you will need to go back to Step 2: Static Correction Training. Spend about 3 or 4 days training your dog, or as long as it takes to make sure he is responding to the static correction and not crossing the boundaries you have set for him.
Something to Remember: Whenever your dog breeches the boundary, the first thing you should be checking is:
- Are the probes making contact with your dog’s skin?
- Is the receiver collar working properly? Are the batteries depleted?
Before you do anything else, it is important to answer these two questions first.
If Your Dog Got Distracted and Crossed the Line
Begin by figuring out what distracted your dog. Next, refer to Step 3: Distraction Training and follow the steps outlined there.
What Is Next?
After a couple of supervised off-leash training has passed and your dog hasn’t crossed the boundaries, it is time to move to the final step of the training process.