Off-Leash Joy

There are few things better than hiking with your dog.

Recipe: Drop dog in woods.  Walk.  Experience dog’s contagious joy.

2 Responses to Off-Leash Joy

  1. Elizabeth Wickman says:

    i would love to do this with my hound but his recall isnt so great its getting there but his nose gets the best of him… how do i get his attention besides with treats

    • David Muriello says:

      If it is a dog that is past puppyhood and it is clearly established that the scents, animals, and other distractions outdoors are far more rewarding than anything else you could provide, it is often best to use management (a long line, for example). That said, with some focused work you may be able to build a high-percentage recall with a food reward or play reward (think tug with a fur toy) – although maybe not a 100% reliable recall. The key in any practice is to make it so that coming to you is always rewarding, but NOT coming is not rewarding (in other words, it leads to the end of being outside sniffing everything). That’s the hard part for most trainers/handlers – sticking to those rules – because it takes so much energy and repetition to keep ending the dog’s fun if he ignores you. This is why training during the critical socialization period is so valuable – it can make a lasting impression that is hard to make at later ages for situations like this.

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