Off the line: tips for relaxed outings
An interesting trail or spotting a squirrel – there are many stimuli that will tempt your dog to explore on a walk. Teach your dog to listen, the following tips can help with this.
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Also read: Dog Puberty: What You Need to Know
Challenge: keep the hunter in check
Some breeds have a very strong hunting instinct. That’s because their ancestors were used during hunting. In some breeds, such as greyhounds, this instinct is so strong that one cannot let the dog run loose – in some cases, he would stop listening to commands, but follow his nose and chase his prey. Make sure you don’t end up in such a situation. Allow the dog to run loose in fenced areas.
A dog that does not always come when called and is therefore unreliable, belongs on a leash! Also, detection dogs such as a beagle sometimes run away when the hunting instinct gets the better of them. Hunting is problematic because the dog gets its reward from running away even though it doesn’t catch its prey. As a result, its behavior is reinforced with the first steps towards its prey. In most dogs, the hunting instinct can be controlled.back to menu ↑
Teach your dog to listen
Investigate the cause of the behavior: in addition to a strong hunting instinct, there may also be other reasons why your dog does not come to you when you call him. It could also be that the dog does not have enough challenge or is not a good listener in general. Train the coming on command systematically. To play it safe, you can immediately blow a dog whistle after calling the command “here” – so you can use both in the future. If you wave your hands helplessly, don’t train and yell “come on at last”, “come here” or “back”, don’t be surprised that he isn’t listening. This command is best practiced at mealtime, while someone else is walking the dog collar when you put the food in the bowl – then you have his attention.
Once everything is ready, give the command „come“. Blow the whistle briefly and let the dog come to you. Reward him thoroughly. If this exercise is done well, you can practice at other times as well – first at home and then also outdoors. Always use the same command and the dog whistle and give your dog candy. Make the challenge progressively harder at a slow pace. In the beginning, the distance between you and your dog should not be too great and there should not be too many distractions.
Only increase the distance if the previous exercises went well. Also, think about a command such as “loose”. If you give this command, the dog can let off steam and know that the exercise is over.back to menu ↑
Prey insight: tips, teach your dog to listen
If you see attractive prey for your dog – be it a deer, bicycle, or bird – immediately call the four-legged friend to you and hold his attention with a treat until the prey is no longer visible. Teach the dog to sit at the command of a dog whistle – this is often easier than coming right back.back to menu ↑
Attach first, then release
Puppies like to follow their owner and automatically pay attention to where they are during a walk. It is best if a person takes the puppy for frequent walks when it is four to eight months old. This allows this person to bond with the puppy and the puppy will bond with him.
One should do that at least every other day. Take the puppy into unfamiliar territory and let him go. Do this in a safe place with little traffic. Walk-in front and change direction – the puppy should follow you. Do not give him any attention and do not lure him at all. Depending on the age, the exercise can take longer and longer. In the end even 20 minutes, but it is better to start with five minutes.back to menu ↑
Practice on the long line
If your four-legged friend is no longer a puppy and he no longer focuses his attention on you, you can practice this with a long leash and a wide collar – no-slip chain. The line should not be thin, causing it to snag on everything, and be about five to ten meters long. As with the attachment exercises for young dogs, your dog should focus on you – if he doesn’t, the long leash will still give you control.
It is best to practice in an open field where there are not many distractions. Walk up with a completely unrolled line. If the dog pulls in a different direction, the leash tightens and the dog gets a tug on the leash. He should then focus on you again. Proceed calmly and without commands. If he walks beside you, praise him as you move forward with purpose. Even if you stand without saying anything, the dog has to adapt to you. Long leash training requires patience. It is also important that you exercise regularly. In the end, it’s worth it: practice makes perfect!