Check-In Behavior

If you spend time working on all of the other foundation behaviors, it is very unlikely that you will have a dog who will go off leash and completely disconnect with you.

Still, its not something to leave to chance.

You may or may not want to put this behavior on a command. If you do, it might be something like “check in”. OR you may just notice and reinforce your dog for making the decision to check with you on their own.

Depending on how independent your dog is, how far-ranging they feel comfortable going and what is safe - you can vary the timing and placement of your reward to balance their natural inclinations.

-for dogs that value high-energy and independent exploration - you might reward them with a great game of tug when they do show up or even trigger them to pay more attention to you by playing hide-n-seek, or running off in a new direction just before they go out of sight.

-for dogs that are too clingy - play fetch where you pitch the toy off trail and keep moving - or drop a hand full of treats and give them permission to “get it” while you keep moving

-for dogs who range nicely but tend to want to stay just out of reach - play hand-in-collar games or “check-in cookie” games where they come all the way to you, get a cookie or two and then are released to go explore again.

-if you like what your dog does, just let them know occasionally “good girl, go be a dog”.


© 2017 by Andrea Dexter @ Agilityflix