The Open Space is a great place for dogs, so many scents to follow, sights to see, other dogs to meet and greet and unfortunately, livestock and wildlife to chase. Problem is, uncontrolled dogs can also damage the natural environment and threaten other dogs and people. The temptations offered to dogs in the Open Space are differant to those in the controlled environment of your yard or training area.
This page will contain resources useful Training Resources for V&S visitors to the Open Space. In general, we will assume your dog has received “basic” training, Come, Sit, Stay etc. You definately need to achieve that level of training before allowing your dog off leash anywhere.
NOTE: Boulder is tightening up on access to the Open Space and demanding a higher level of control for dogs. The Open Space is an extremely challenging environment. FIDOS does not endorse any trainers who claim to train your pup to OS standards.
Having said that below is a list of resources available:
In the first instance, the Humane Society of Boulder Valley is offering three classes relevanet to the Voice and Sight in the Open Space.
The ASPCA has a pretty good summary of off leash issues at
ASPCA webpage on training off leash dogs
Some Training Videos
Every dog is unique and getting some professional, or at least experienced 1on1 advice with training can save a lot of stress down the line.
Here’s some tips from YouTube to think about.
Some Interesting Books
Theres a lot of books out there giving advice about training.
Heres some books giving a little extra info which are interesting.
Chapter 2 on dogs gives a great insight a dogs behaviour, as well as the chapter on Wildlife but need to read chapter 1 to understand the terminology used.
Some tips to try if you are having specific problems
>Not everything will work for all dogs, but trying a few things improves the chance of finding the right key. Any suggestions welcome.
- Crate Training – Crates are a great way of giving the dog somewhere safe to be when life gets too much, or just as a den,However, getting a dog, especially a puppy used to it can be frustrating, they want to be with you you want to be with them.Rather than locking them in the crate, whining and barking at night (from bitter experience), Try camping out for 2 or 3 nights by the crate in a room other than the bedroom. Dog feels secure in the crate and not alone. I’ve found 3 nights does the trick.
This is at the end because its always worth remembering that dogs are smart and are learning all the time. Sometimes they will learn what you want them to know, sometimes they’ll learn on their own.
For example my hunting dog wasn’t really bothered about greeting people, there were always more interesting scents to follow. Rangers started checking his Green Tag, and pet him while checking, which he loves. He learned to associate the rangers uniform with petting and started approaching rangers, which resulted in me getting lectured a couple of times as the Boulder Law is that dogs must not approach people uninvited.
Similarly I like to greet dogs I meet, but I’m also aware that in welcoming the dog I may be encouraging “conflictive behaviour”.
Whats the answer?
The answer is not only to train the dog in basic behaviour which is easy, but to go the extra mile and train them to understand right from wrong according to local laws. Not so easy, but they are smart.