Can Poodles Be Trained to Walk Off of a Leash?

Your poodle may run away and get hit by a car if he becomes frightened or decides to chase something.
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Poodles are extremely intelligent dogs but they can be high energy and excitable. Your poodle certainly can walk with you without his leash but he will have to be well trained to minimize the risk of him taking off. It is not considered to be safe to walk an unleashed dog and some communities and dog parks prohibit dog owners from walking their pets without a leash. An unleashed dog is more likely to be hit by a car, lost or involved in a fight.

Step 1

Start training your poodle puppy to walk beside you off leash as soon as he is old enough to be taken on a walk. The earlier you start training your puppy to walk off leash the better your results will be. A fully grown adult dog may not be trustworthy enough to walk without a leash and stay with you if you do not start the training when he is young.

Step 2

Teach your poodle to come when he is called. If your dog does get away from you, especially while you are attempting to teach him to walk through the streets or out in public without a leash, you must have a way to get him back. You can teach your dog to come by rewarding him with food when he comes to you after you call him. Repeat as many times as necessary until he gets the hang of it and is reliable.

Step 3

Teach your puppy to walk suitably on his leash. You should introduce your puppy to his leash early on. Walk with him and encourage him to stay with you using treats and positive verbal reinforcement. Do not get into a pulling match with your dog or drag him. Keep pressure off the leash, using positive training techniques such as praise and treats to get your dog to follow your lead while on the leash.

Step 4

Remove the leash in a secure setting -- such as your fenced-in yard -- once your dog is reliable and well mannered while walking on the leash. He should not attempt to escape or run off. If he does, he is not ready for the leash to be removed. Call your dog back to you if he does not heel properly while walking without a leash. Reinforce his good behavior with praise and small treats as he walks beside you without his leash. Once your dog has mastered walking well without his leash in a secure setting, you can attempt to take him out in public without the leash, providing you are not breaking any laws and are willing to deal with the possible consequences of an accidental escape.

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