How to Hike with Your Dog Off-Leash
A dog that stays by your side is a good hiking companion.
An off-leash dog is safer if she checks in with you frequently. But teaching your dog to check in isn’t the same as teaching her to come when called – that’s a separate skill. Instead, your dog will just stop by from time to time, without your having to ask.
Start in your backyard or other safe, fenced area in a spot that’s not too novel or interesting to your dog. Hold your dog on leash until she focuses on you even briefly. Immediately say "Yes!" and unclip her leash. That is her first lesson that paying attention to you may be rewarded with freedom to sniff and explore. From now on, you’ll always wait for that moment of attention before you release her to go play.
Want to raise a happy dog who loves to play and cuddle -- but still comes when called and doesn't chew up your favorite shoes?
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