Stepping Outside

Once you have mastered getting your dog to come when they’re called while inside the house, it’s time to move outside!

Using a Long Line is a great intermediary step for off-leash training — if your dog decides to run off or test the rules, you can quickly and easily step on, or grab, the leash to regain control of the situation.

Long Line Tips:

  • Try to make the line as lightweight as possible. You want your dog to feel free and make his own decisions before he realizes that you can actually reach him from fifty feet away.
  • Hold the leash. Do not “reel” your dog back to you; just prevent him from going anywhere.
  • If your dog tries to “test the rules”, pick up the leash and walk backwards. This will turn your dog towards you. Call your dog again. Stop walking when they start coming towards you. Reward your dog when he arrives!

Coming When Called Training Steps:

  1. Once the indoor “Recall” (Coming When Called) is really solid, attach your dog’s outdoor LONG LINE to their harness or collar and head outside to a small yard or isolated outdoor space with little to no distractions.
  2. Repeat the Name Game exercise. Again, keeping it fun, using your HIGH VALUE treats and end on a good note!
  3. Take baby steps. Start on your front or back porch if you have to. Make sure to start with outdoor areas that are quiet and do not have a lot of distractions for your dog. (If he has learned to come when called in your kitchen, you can’t expect him to be able to do it at the dog park when he’s surrounded by a pack of buddies!)
  4. Very gradually increase the level of difficulty by training in outdoor environments where the added distractions are really easy to ignore at first. After several weeks of training, you can add in harder distractions like coming away from squirrels, birds, children, people and other dogs.

Your Goal:

Your dog continues to learn that when you say his name, something yummy and wonderful is STILL going to happen! Once you can get your dog’s full attention by calling their name outside using your Long Line, then you’re ready to start training the Coming when Called without the leash.

To learn more about Coming when Called outside check out our video solution center Zen Dog Training Online!