Off-leash training seems – at least to many pet owners – like the holy grail of obedience.
If you’ve ever dreamed of taking to the trails or going wilderness camping with your pet off-leash, you know how this skill could benefit you. However, many perils and pitfalls potentially such an outing with your pet.
The Benefits of Off-Leash Training
The benefits of taking your dog out off-leash are magnified in Utah, with the dozens of opportunities for hiking, camping and outdoor adventures.
Although using a leash is not an imposition most of the time, any avid runner, cyclist, hiker or outdoors person can recognize how nice it would be for their canine companion to go along for the adventure without needing a tether.
Devoted dog owners may imagine many different opportunities that could be enriched for them and their pet if they could safely venture out without a leash. But they may not fully consider the perils that may complicate that freedom.
The Perils of Off-Leash Training
Yes, you and your pet can derive a variety of benefits from teaching him to stay by your side without a lead. But imagine for a moment the worst-case scenarios you can imagine.
Imagine having the front door open as you prepare to set out on a no-leash walk and – horrors! – the mail carrier pulls up in front of your house. Your pet has successfully barked and growled the mail carrier away every day for months or years from inside the house. Now he has a free shot at him in the wild!
Or, imagine you’re on the trail and you encounter another hiker coming the other direction, with their dog on a leash. What would your pet do? Mind his own business and stay with you, or divert to engage the other animal? What is the other hiker’s dog is also off-leash, but not as well-behaved as your pet?
What do you imagine would happen in any of these scenarios? What would it take for you to be confident that your pet would react appropriately?
Is Off-Leash Control Possible?
Dog trainers understand that no universal rules of obedience exist, and every animal is different. Many dogs – most dogs, in fact – can learn to successfully function off-leash, even in challenging circumstances.
However, this level of responsiveness requires the extensive knowledge and experience that only a professional dog trainer possesses.
The challenge of teaching your dog to successfully function without a leash is only a portion of the process. Another crucial part of the off-leash training process is teaching your pet what to do if, while on an off-leash adventure, you encounter another loose dog who is not well-trained, unfriendly or potentially even dangerous.
The professional dog trainers of Innovative K9 Academy can assist pet owners in achieving a variety of goals, from basic to advanced obedience. Contact our Salt Lake City headquarters today to learn more about off-leash training for your dog.