How To Train Your Dog To Come When Off A Leash

by Alessia

One of the things I desperately want to do with Lucas is a dog run or a dog beach, heck, even a dog park. There are so many fun places, especailly where we live, that have social play opportunities for dogs. I know he would love it, but if you’re anything like me, you’re wondering how to train your dog to come when off a leash. Sure, in our backyard Lucas runs free and usually comes inside when we call, but that’s without a bunch of other dogs capturing his attention. I would get so anxious having him loose because I just know that I wouldn’t be able to reel him back in when it was time to go, or worse, if something happened between him and another dog.

dog beach

One of the first things that I’ve read is that a dog run or dog beach should be for trustworthy dogs, not dogs you have to chase after to get them back to you. First, you can let your dog roam on a six foot leash, calling him and telling him to come once. If he does not come, you can reel him in yourself, then calmly reward him before letting him wander off the six feet again. This will help you to control his actions while also teaching him through reinforcement.


When you feel confident, you can take him to the beach or dog park, but rather than letting him fly out of the car straight to his doggy friends, take him on a long walk around with him either behind you or at your side both to tire him out and to establish that you are the boss here as well as at home. For the first few times you take your dog to one of these play places, use a long, 35-40 foot lead so that you can do precisely what you did with the six foot leash. By letting your dog out little by little and calling him back, you are practicing the reinforcement while at the place that may trigger his disobedience.


Spring is approaching (I think), so I am definitely going to invest in the long leash and start training him now to come when he’s on a shorter leash. He’s a stubborn little boy, but I think with practice he’ll let his cleverness shine and opt to be a good dog. Let us know if you have any other tips and tricks for this type of training, or if you’re going to try this with your pooch at home!

Alessia xx

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