Following without a leash is a position command when your dog is walking or at a stop. He will learn to hold his position after receiving the proper training by remaining close to the side of your leg and only gazing at you while you remain still. He shouldn't need to be reminded all the time with a command or leash. This is a useful skill for walking in congested areas like city sidewalks or crowded parks, as well as when traversing bushes or going on hikes in places where a leash may not be practical.
Before being taught to follow off-leash, your dog should be proficient in the leash-following command "Heel," as this fundamental action will make learning much simpler. For beginner following training see: TEACH YOUR DOG "HEEL"
It's important to be ready before you begin teaching your dog to "heel" when you remove the leash. I suggest training your dog with an e-collar so that you can effectively remind them. Many people think of the e-collar as a punitive tool, but this is actually an outdated perception. An e-collar will be a useful tool for you to quickly increase the caliber and effectiveness of your training if you use it correctly.
Even if your initial training objective is to untie the leash, you should start with a soft leash and a flat buckle collar to protect your dog.
Snacks are another excellent item to have on hand because you need to grab and hold your dog's attention.
Pick a secure, user-friendly electronic collar.
Keep your dog restrained by a base collar and a 6-foot leash.
Set the e-collar's level. In a setting with few distractions, change the stimulation level your dog requires to reach the lowest level of stimulation he can detect. Starting at the lowest setting, gradually work your way up while keeping an eye on all of your dog's reactions. He may even blink or twitch his ear to show that he is feeling stimulation! Include a reward, like treats or praise, when your dog displays the stimulus he is experiencing.
On your left side, picture a 2-foot circle. As you step forward with your left leg, say "HEEL" to your dog while calling their name to get his attention.
Move away from it in the opposite direction from where he left the circle each time he steps outside of it, then begin e-tapping. Each time he returns to the circle, stop tapping.
You must begin walking with your left foot. If your dog is lagging behind outside the 2-foot circle, pick up the pace and tap him until he comes closer to you. Continue moving forward.
In the event that your dog passes you, turn to the right and pat him with the e-collar as he exits the 2-foot circle to encourage him to move closer to you. When he returns, thank him, then continue.
If your dog approaches you from behind to your right, pat him with the e-collar and pull him back to your left. Stop tapping when he moves back to your left. Soon, he'll get the hang of this 2-foot circle and try to stay inside it.
Prior to this course starting, your dog will have mastered the "heel" command. To be successful, the timing must be perfect. Tap when the leash is tight, not when the dog is coming toward you. Use sweets as a motivator. Until your dog no longer requires a leash reminder, repeat this step in various locations.