Seeing a German Shepherd walking calmly beside its owner, running or playing with other dogs and animals without having to be controlled by a leash is always a very impressive sight to behold.
Your German Shepherd can also be this good off-leash if you provide adequate socialization and training from an early age.
Are German Shepherds good off leash? Yes, they are. Read on to learn more about how a German Shepherd being good off-leash can be achieved.
Are German Shepherds Good Off Leash?
Yes, German Shepherds are good off-leash. They are generally highly obedient dog breeds, and they obey the commands given to them by their owners when properly trained and socialized.
How Do I Train My German Shepherd To Walk Without A leash?
To reduce the risks associated with making a German Shepherd walk around without a leash, you have to make it go through a series of training sessions. These sessions are in different stages, and they include;
- Get appropriate leashes
- Teach it basic commands
- Make sure it wants to be around you always
- Start practicing at home
- Be attentive to where it goes and what it does
- Praise and reward it for good behavior
- Enroll it in a professional off-leash training class or dog daycare
Get Appropriate Leashes
A short and a long leash should be gotten for the training. The short leash is used early during the training, while the long leash is used later when the puppy is showing desirable characteristics. The long leash allows for a controlled level of freedom.
Teach It Basic Commands
This is the basis of any training program. Your German Shepherd must be taught to understand basic obedience commands like stay, stop, come, look, down, sit, find and go.
Emphasis should be placed on loose leash walking, reliable recall, and reliable emergency recalls. Also, make sure that you incorporate hand and body signals during the training.
Make Sure It Wants To Be Around You Always
It is easier to control a dog that never wants to leave your presence. This helps you to keep it safe through supervision and make it not leave your side whenever you are walking.
Start Practicing At Home
You should start practicing walking your dog off-leash at home to determine whether it has learned the commands. The house which should be fenced is a safe environment which is why you should start there.
Make the training more challenging by placing distractions in your dog’s way as an opportunity to give commands and see if it will respond to them. If it performs well at this stage, progress to a larger area like a safe hiking area or a park that allows dogs to be off-leash.
Be Attentive To Where It Goes And What It Does
You should make sure you supervise your dog’s movements when training it to find out the things that distract it easily and ways to improve its focus.
Make sure it is also putting on a bright-colored vest to make it easier to spot. Whenever it starts acting out of control, you should put on the leash back.
Praise And Reward It For Good Behavior
Positive reinforcement is important in every dog training. When your dog responds to commands quickly and shows good behavior, reward it with praise and its favorite treats.
Enroll It In A Professional Off-Leash Training Class Or Dog Daycare
On days when you might be too busy to train your dog, or your dog doesn’t seem to show any positive changes despite all your training, you should seek the help of a professional trainer or a doggy daycare that provides off-leash training.
Benefits Of Training A German Shepherd To Walk Off-Leash
Off-leash training help to improve German Shepherds in a couple of ways, they include;
- To build obedience, trust, and confidence
- To improve physical health
- To encourage mental balance
To Build Obedience, Trust, And Confidence
A German Shepherd that has undergone off-leash training will be more obedient and responsive to its owner’s commands. You can also trust your dog and be confident in its safety from potential dangers.
To Improve Physical Health
Engaging in off-leash training will keep your German Shepherd active and help it burn its excess energy. When your dog is off-leash, it can easily get all the exercise and physical activities needed to keep it from developing health issues like obesity and make it maintain a healthy lifestyle.
To Encourage Mental Balance
Putting your German Shepherd on a leash too much will restrict its movement and ability to grow into a healthy intelligence and emotional capacity.
When a German Shepherd is off-leash, it can maintain a good mental state by exploring and socializing with people, its environment, and other animals. It will also prevent it from becoming affected by mental and emotional disorders such as anxiety, depression, aggression, and destructiveness.
How Long Does It Take To Leash Train A German Shepherd?
For best results, leash training for a German Shepherd will take around 2 to 4 months. This means you will have to exercise lots of patience and make sure that the training is consistent.
What Is The Best Age To Leash Train A German Shepherd?
The best age to start leash training a German Shepherd is when it is around 8 to 12 weeks old. This is around the time that it can comfortably get separated from its mother. It is very important to leash train a German Shepherd at a very young age to make the training process easier.
Are German Shepherds Good Off-Leash? Conclusion
Since German Shepherds can be good off-leash if they are given adequate off-leash training, you can be assured to some extent that they will be safe when left all by themselves when taking a walk or playing in the yard.
Unfortunately, their instincts might overwhelm them, get them distracted and make them fall into an unexpected situation that may cause harm to them, their owners, other animals, or other people’s property.
Therefore, after providing your German Shepherd with the right training, make sure you also supervise its movements to prevent it from running off and getting into trouble or dangerous situations.