Is it at the level of staying put & not running away when confronted with that new situation? How a dog has been taught to socialize is key. Even if you have a so-called rescue dog in your hands, it’s still not beyond hope to rehab its once dormant good social skills.
Yes, there are other aspects to consider when training your pooch to go off the leash. But when encountering new situation, the learned aspects of recalling & minding manners will pay dividends. Staying close to you, not eating poop, keeping in the trail; all that will come with practicing behaviors.
Whatever happens, never give up; remember to, overall, be patient. & “first thing’s first” in starting with the basics.
Sure, there are bound to be some scary moments. You may even get some bruises along the way; maybe when chasing the pooch through the bush as it’s going off on a scent. To be safe, do the off-leashing in places that meet your dog’s level of preparation for that point in time. But always be ready.
Human-pooch trust can only be developed through time. It takes that type of experience. Giving a dog permission to responsibly interact with its surroundings is priceless. It would work towards realizing its full potential. To be able to decide for itself.
All this would be showing how much confidence you’re putting on your dog. & getting this right will, in return, make your pooch trust you back as equally. When you get to that point, there won’t be need for a leash.
It all starts by putting your dog in manageable situations for its level of development. By starting small, you’re building up on true & tried successes. Then manage the risk & difficulty level as time progresses, keeping pace with your pooch’s development.
While possibly taking years of constantly conscious work, it’ll all be time well spent. Isn’t that the point of getting a pooch in the first place?