Training Tips to Keeping Your Dog Safe from Off-Leash Dogs

By: Sam Kanouse

Published Date: December 11, 2017

In this Omaha dog training session we worked with Doug, a five-year-old Labrador/ Shar-Pei mix, who needed help staying calm and relaxed when off-leash dogs approached him in the neighborhood.

After I arrived I sat down to chat with Doug’s guardians about their main dog behavior concerns. Their main concern was the safety and well-being of Doug in their neighborhood. They explained that there are many dogs who run around off-leash and they wanted to make sure that they were able to keep Doug calm when a dog approached.

Doug wasn’t showing any signs of aggression but at times would get very excited when a new dog approached. To help them keep Doug calm and gain control of the situation I taught them two techniques. The first one was to learn how to look up to his guardians when they gave him the command word “Focus.” This would help him break his attention on the dog approaching and attend to his guardians instead. Second, I taught them how to do an emergency stop so Doug stands quietly behind them while they can move forward to stop the new dog from approaching. To see how I did this watch the video below.

As you can see in the video, Doug caught on very quickly! The emergency stop is extremely beneficial because it allows the guardian to keep their dog safely behind them while they are able to intervene and catch or ward off the approaching dog. This is very similar to the method for training stay. This is important because the approaching dog may not be dog friendly and this will help keep Doug safe.

By the end of the session Doug was learning to look to his guardians for leadership and direction. He was learning how to stay calmly behind his guardians when on the leash and making eye contact with them when they said the word “Focus.” We wrapped up this behavior session with Doug’s Roadmap to Success video, which you can watch below.

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