Topic: How do I teach my dog to run free

Author: Nuyvilaq Working Dogs

Reading time: 5 min

How do I teach my dog to run free in a controlled manner. For most dogs, running free is one of the best things in the world! Nice to be free and come into contact with other types of dogs. Also all that hassle with leashes for the owner and especially if you have more dogs, walking loose is a pleasure for the owner and dog. Learning to let your dog run free takes time and a lot of energy and perseverance, but then you also get something beautiful in return, which both you and your dog can benefit from for years to come. This story is not meant to teach the dog anything but the dog owner! the dog never does it wrong, only the human can teach the dog wrong.

Teaching puppies to walk free It is easiest to teach your dog to walk free as a puppy, but it can be taught from any age. Even though it may be difficult to let your puppy go free like this, the dog learns the easiest way to walk freely. A puppy is still quite dependent on you, so he will probably stay very close to you in the beginning, even if he is off the leash. You can encourage this by enthusiastically shouting his name every now and then and rewarding him with your voice or the clicker.

Later, your puppy will become more independent and will be more self-explanatory. Keep recalling him regularly and when he comes, lavish rewards make the dog feel like the most important thing in the world. If things go really well, you can taper this off after a while. (keep rewarding with the voice enthusiastically, this way you encourage your dog to come back to you, even though he does not receive any more reward).

What another method is to hide behind a tree from time to time so that the dog has to look for you. The next time the dog thinks I have to stay with the boss because he will soon be gone. Make sure that you do not let the dog search for too long, otherwise it may develop separation anxiety.

Our dogs are trained on the clicker method. The principle of clicker training is to associate the 'click' with the correct behavior, reward that behavior, and make sure your puppy understands why he is getting his reward.

By using the click to indicate the correct behavior, your puppy will know exactly what he did to get his reward. Clicker training is based on positive affirmation - or reward - which means no punishment is necessary.

The best way to get good results is to take a very simple approach to training your puppy. With clicker training, your puppy associates the click with good behavior and expects a reward for doing what you wanted. Start by giving a treat, and as you continue to learn each command, you can transition to a reward with your voice or with a hug.

So in practice with free-walking the intention is that you call the dog here as soon as the dog looks at you, you can press the clicker and the dog gets its reward. If this goes well, do not press the clicker until it comes to you a few meters. And in the end you don't press the clicker until it is in front of you. You will be amazed how quickly you can teach the dog with a clicker.

Make sure you press the clicker at the right time otherwise it will not work.

Often walking free (or listening in general) is less good when the dog is in puberty (on average around 8 months, but often earlier in small dogs and a little later in large dogs). Then you just have to go back into training so reward more or let it run a little further away.

Teaching adult dogs to run free If you bought a dog at a later age through, for example, a shelter or if you have not taught the dog as a puppy, you can start exercising, this can be inside the house, in the garden, in a fenced area or immediately in an off-leash area (but still on a long leash).

It just depends on how quickly your dog realizes that it is very nice to come to you when you mention his name. One dog will understand that faster than another and one dog is simply more obedient than another. Make sure you always have something with you that is more fun than everything that goes on around you: nice smells, dogs playing, children running ... Your dog is supposed to eventually come to you when you call him, in what for circumstances too.



Onze honden worden getraind op de clicker methode. Het principe van clickertraining is om de 'click' aan het juiste gedrag te koppelen, dat gedrag te belonen en ervoor te zorgen dat uw puppy begrijpt waarom hij zijn beloning krijgt.

Door de click te gebruiken om het juiste gedrag aan te geven, weet uw puppy precies wat hij heeft gedaan om zijn beloning te krijgen. Clickertraining is gebaseerd op positieve bevestiging - of beloning - wat betekent dat straffen niet nodig is.

And this is quite difficult for the dog, because he will have to let go of other nice things because of it ... That is why it only works if you have something with you that is always more fun for him than what he has to ignore at such a moment.

These can be sausages, cheeses, pieces of meat, regular chunks, tennis balls or other toys, it doesn't really matter. Preferably this is only used for the walks, so that it does not become a "normal" thing that your dog ultimately does not find so special anymore.

In combination with an extremely enthusiastic owner, this works very well for the majority of the dogs! Of course, from time to time, something will go wrong and your dog may not come right away when you ask him to. Then don't get mad at him if he does eventually come back to you. The dog then learns: when I get to the boss, the boss gets angry! He doesn't understand that you get angry because it took too long. If your dog turns it into a game, you can just keep walking and ignore him completely. Few dogs can handle that and in the end he will probably come after you.

If the "walking free" on the long leash goes well, you can let go of your dog completely and use the same way of training as on the long leash. The reduction works the same as with the puppies: gradually reward less (still with the voice) and in the end you can even only reward with voice, but that differs per dog.

There are plenty of other ways to learn to run free, but in my experience these are the best ways. And as I show in my videos, a Siberian Husky can listen just as well as a Shepherd. Only people this takes time and give the dog time for this and train the dog every day and give him the right attention.

People who train with power belts on Huskies do not train the dog. They think they can get results quickly while you break down the dog completely. And the dog only does it because otherwise he will get power on his neck. Power band = ignorance and not being able to train the dog in any other way.

Good luck with training and if you are busy with training, I am always curious about videos how it goes!


Zorg dat je altijd iets bij je hebt wat leuker is dan alles wat er om jullie heen gebeurt: lekkere geurtjes, spelende honden, rennende kinderen... Het is de bedoeling dat jouw hond uiteindelijk naar je toe komt als jij hem roept, in wat voor omstandigheden ook