Cristina Anne Costello

Step 4: Allowing the Dog off Leash

The final step in the training process is that you should be able to remove the leash from the dog and let him enjoy being free! You need to begin by gradually increasing the closely-supervised off-leash time. Then the goal becomes to move to the end goal of completely unsupervised off-leash time in the yard.

The Setup

Fit the Collar with the Correction Setting On

While you are inside the house or the safety zone, set the collar on its appropriate correction level and put it on your dog.

Playtime & Training 

Bring your dog into the yard and remove his leash. Begin playing with your dog inside the containment zone for several minutes. Next, keep yourself busy doing something else, letting your dog roam on his own for a few minutes. Give your dog praise for remaining inside of the boundary zone. Reattach his leash and the session is over.

These sessions should be kept short and frequent at first. You should gradually increase the amount of time your dog spends without being on his leash. As you begin to increase the length of time that your pet roams free, include brief periods of time where you go back inside, watching your dog through a window.

If you find at any time that your dog breaks through the boundary, you will need to go back to Step 2 and work your way back up to step 4. This should be done until your dog shows that he has consistent respect for the boundaries you have set. Having patience and a positive attitude is key. Some dogs will learn their boundaries quickly, while others will take a bit more time.

After your dog has shown consistent and complete containment for a month, it is time to work with him on crossing the boundary at your command and removing the training flags.

Photo by Cristina Anne Costello on Unsplash