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Pippa just turned 16 weeks old today :) and I am wondering when and how to start off leash training her?? I go for trail walks with her once a day (the other 2 walks we do on the leash around the neighborhood to practice heeling, etc.)
She IS off leash also with her dog walker (but she is in a "pack" of older and more mature dogs) and he says she has been excellent (always checking in, etc.).
I am thinking of starting with more remote trails and a check cord so that I can grab her (and the check cord will slow her) if need be. Am I starting too early though??? Any suggestions appreciated!
 

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I may be giving you terrible advice here, but here it is: I started off-leash stuff with my puppy from the moment that I got him. I made sure it was in a safe place, but we went on lots of fun adventures and I'd let him "run free" and he was awesome about always checking for me and coming back. It's great if you can have another person with you and you can work on recall that way. Have your dog bounce back from person to person and praise (or treat) when the puppy runs to you. I think the sticky part is having your puppy in an unsafe place and expecting that she will just know not to cross the street. I've been there and it's terrifying! I'm not sure if it was our constant off-leash adventures or us doing so much fun stuff together, but I have a really great off-leash relationship with my dog. He won't go far without me and always "checks in." If you're in a safe place with her, I'd say go for it!
 

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Now​

I wouldn't do "training" but get out into the country where the pup can start exploring off leash. Make sure you act over happy with everything the pup does. It is best to do this by yourself because you want to "act the fool."

Whenever pup does something good, like coming when called (always start the command with the dog's name) be over happy. Have a pocket of liver treats and give generously.

You have a baby. Too young for formal training but not too young to start getting the love of the outdoors and that you are part of the team. Better to be with you than with anyone or anything else.

Enjoy the fun times. It will make the teen dog years where things won't be nearly as easy more manageable.

Rod a.k.a. redbirddog
 
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