How to Train Your Labrador Retriever to be Off the Leash

When you are taking your dog for a walk through the park, you want them to be able to run free and play with other dogs or get time to explore on their own, especially the very social Labrador Retriever. It is scary to let your dog off-leash for the first time. You might have fears of them not returning or getting lost, but when trained properly, you will have nothing to worry about when it comes to giving your furry friend more freedom.  

Although you can teach a dog at any age to come back to you when called, it’s certainly easier to teach them when they are puppies.

Here are a few tips to help you and your new Labrador Retriever get confident in the art of off-leash training.

Labrador Retriever running along the beach

Build a Training Bond

You and your pup must create a strong bond within early training for off-leash lessons to work. Start by training your dog with simple tasks like ‘sit,’ ‘come,’ and ‘stay.’ They need to know who is in charge and that when they need something, they must look to you for help.

Use a Training Leash

When you feel like your dog responds well to basic training commands, you can try your first attempt at off-leash walking. You must secure your dog in a harness with a training leash attached when you first let them walk free. let the training leash trail along the ground most of the walk. Pick up the end of the leash if you think something may be about to distract your dog.

Practice Makes Perfect

Practice regularly at off-leash trails and public walking paths. Avoid busy dog parks as they are not ideal for small puppies, especially during crowded hours. At about eight or nine months of age, most Labrador puppies have a lot of confidence and little need for your protection 24/7. Therefore, you should start training your puppy from the very beginning. Towards the end of their first year, you should be putting the finishing touches on the off-leash lessons.  

One thing to remember is that once you are both comfortable with them being off the leash, you should never ditch the leash completely. Many public places require you to have your dog on the leash for safety reasons. It’s important to always carry one on you just in case.

Labrador Retrievers are generally an easily trainable dog breed. They are working dogs, which makes them naturally obedient. The best time to train them is when they are very young. Hidden Pond Labradors raises retriever puppies of exceptional health and pedigree, making them the perfect dogs to raise and train.

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