Off leash fun - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-09-2007, 06:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Tell me about your off leash fun with your dogs. I have been finding remote areas (a closed camp ground, a fairly deserted park with hiking trails) and letting Daisy run with a 50 ft drag line on. She is doing really well with it. Today, she lolligagged behind me sniffing everything and when I called her, she ran ahead. Then on the way back, she ran ahead of me, veering off towards the river and jumping back to the trail when I called her. When we were around people, I was able to pick up the line and keep her close. And she really wore herself out so much more than when she is tethered to me on a 6 ft lead.

But since she is skittish around other dogs and tends to chase cars, I have to be very selective in my areas. But I was very impressed with how well she listened to me and stayed close these past 2 times.

Do you take your dogs off leash? How long til you trusted them completely off lead? Do you call them to you when other people get close? Any other good ideas for off leash fun?

BTW, she also ended up filthy and muddy. So it goes when the dog chooses her own path. LOL

Jenn, perpetually tired mom to DS(9): DD(4.5): DD(2) :
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Old 03-09-2007, 06:52 PM
 
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How old is your dog?

You can use that 50 foot lead to train a good recall aka the "Come" command. Over and over and over. Then when she learns that, you can switch to learning it off leash in your yard or other fenced area. Then you can think about letting her off leash without a trailing line.

My dog was at least 2 years old before he learned to come when called, reliably. Granted, I'm not exactly the obedience master I am sure that if you were dedicated, and/or took some classes, you could teach it earlier.

At 4 years old I was able to teach "Wait" which to me means 'stop until i get there' and used that to keep my dog from stepping off curbs.

I am sure many people who are actually good at obedience training will disagree with me... but it always seemed unreasonable to me to expect a dog to learn something that a human wouldn't be able to learn at the same age. I mean, they're not as smart as we are, so how are they going to learn, at 1 year old, not to chase a car? Except the hard way, and nobody wants their dog to get hit by a car!

I want to add one thing - I had a friend who was in the habit of letting her dog run with a 50 foot lead. It became an issue because it would get caught on things and the dog learned that if she yanked really hard on the lead, it would come loose again. Not really a great lesson to learn for leash training imho. Plus one time the dog jumped in a lake and started swimming with the long lead attached and it got caught on dead wood that was underwater. scary. It sounds like you are supervising it closely, so it shouldn't be a problem for you.

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Old 03-10-2007, 02:45 PM
 
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We're fortunate to have access to a lot of heavy bush areas. Like no people for miles and miles. So we would just take her out there. She was not reliable with "come" when we started taking her, but has a fear of being left behind. So we played on that. We would call to her, and if she didn't respond right away, we would turn around and walk the other way. Pretty soon she started coming back right away.

We don't generally see other people when we're walking her in the bush, but the odd occasion we do, we usually see them first because she's busy chasing her nose, so we call her and leash her until we're away from people again.

Off leash time now generally consists of her racing around the yard (3 acres) while we're doing yardwork or working with the horse, but her favorite thing is to go out with the quad. Then she can run and run, and when she gets tired she gets to ride.

ETA: For the mud, we wipe paws when we come inside and then she stays in her bed until she dries off. Then we brush the dirt and whatnot out. Any big branches get taken out before we come inside, we've got a lot of wild roses that stick in her fur. She rarely needs a bath, I think it's been since about October since I bathed her, and she still looks nice and doesn't have that "doggy" smell.

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Old 03-10-2007, 03:49 PM
 
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Oooh oooh! I love taking our dog Raven on off-leash walks in the woods! We walk on trails that, experience has shown me, aren't very populated. She comes when I call, so if someone comes, I call her to me and hook her leash back on. She doesn't chase wildlife and she's nice to people and other dogs, so I feel comfortable letting her off-leash at times.

Ahhhh, there's nothing like walking with your dog off-leash and then coming home and taking a nap together...
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Old 03-10-2007, 05:41 PM
 
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10 year old Jane (husky/GSD) and I go walking in the woods with my boyfriend and his wacky boston/beagle Wallace. Jane is good off leash in the woods, comes when I call, doesn't care to much about other dogs and then is crippled for most of the next day from her bum leg. She doesn't run too far off, which is due to her age I think, she's mellowed over the years.

She's off leash in my yard too, but mostly just trots around the neighborhood, and if we go to the beach. At my boyfriend's house, she's on the leash or a long lead, since there are too many tempting things around (including an electric fence around his neighbor's goat pen.)

If we are on the street or in transport, she's on a leash.
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