Step Four: Transitioning to Off Leash

Overview

In this final step, we gradually increase the amount of off leash time that the dog is given until they can spend longer periods unsupervised off-leash. We need to keep a closer eye on the dog in these first few days to make sure we are not getting any breakouts. But, you should be able to quickly move to full unsupervised off-leash time.


Training

Start to allow your dog to be in the yard off leash.  Keep the sessions short and supervised at first, but if the dog observes the boundary then extend the sessions, and start to go inside for short periods and leave the dog unsupervised for a few minutes.  Peak through your window and see what happens.

If you get any breakouts, then you will need to do some more training in Step Two. If there is some particular trigger causing the breakouts, add some training using that trigger as described in Step Three.

Once you are getting complete containment, take a bow! Congratulations on a job well done!

After a month off-leash when your dog is confident of the boundaries we can start working on taking walks through the boundary and removing the training flags.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: My dog is getting bored outside and digging up shrubs. How do I make him stop?

A: As the amount of unsupervised outside time increases, you are going to want to give your dog something to do to keep them from getting bored.  We have a few ideas in our page on curbing boredom.

Q: After a year of being contained my dog has started to go through he boundary?

A: Observe the dog as they go through the boundary and watch their reaction as they cross.

If the dog has no visible reaction (other than perhaps a mild apprehensive expression), then the dog is no longer getting the correction. This the most common cause of breakouts. Typically, we get lazy about putting the dogs collar on and it is hanging loosely around their neck and the probes are no longer contacting the dog’s skin. Fit the collar correctly and do a bit of remedial Step Two Correction Training. It is also possible that the collar is no longer working, test the collar using the supplied tester or on your hand to make sure it is still correcting when the dog crosses the boundary.

If the dog is reacting, by flinching or yelping as they cross, but is going through nonetheless we want to increase the consequence of crossing and do some remedial training. Increase the correction level, and increase the boundary width so crossing the boundary is more unpleasant and takes longer. Then do a few remedial training session similar to those described in Step Two.

Next: Walking Your Dog Through the Boundary and Removing the Boundary Flags


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