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Do some dogs HAVE to be leashed?

Lizablue22
July 1st, 2006, 10:13 PM
5 weeks ago, we adopted Sally, a wonderful 18 month old border collie mix. She was a stray. At the shelter, they think she came from a farm where she was tied up outside most of the time. Our problem is that Sally runs away. If we take our eyes off her for a second, she runs off to visit the neighbours... she loves all people, especially those who have dogs. We live in the country, surrounded by acres of wooded land, so I'm afraid she will really get lost. Is there a way to train her to stay within sight of us? Or do we always need to keep her on a leash or in a fenced dog run? She has so much energy, and loves to run free, that I hate to keep her on a leash...and there are wonderful walks we can go on together...but I'm afraid she'll decide to go off on an adventure by herself, and we'll lose her.
We have had other dogs, but always as puppies we can train from scratch, so have never had to deal with this type of problem.
Advice would be really appreciated!

LM1313
July 1st, 2006, 11:21 PM
Some dogs do definitely need to be leashed (or confined in a fenced yard.) I know it's hard to confine a dog who loves to run, but it's better than if she ends up lost and starving to death miles away or hit by a car.

glasslass
July 2nd, 2006, 12:14 AM
In my city, we have a leash law. But if I could let them run free, they'd have to earn the privilege first.

mafiaprincess
July 2nd, 2006, 02:00 AM
You've had the dog a mere 5 weeks. Training is not something that happens overnight. And recall is far down the list in order for what is easily learned and done perfectly.

I also agree that off leash is a privilege and not a right. And you'd need to be doing work with the dog to teach it. Not just letting it go and hoping that it won't go bother the neighbours.

I have a cocker spaniel and we are working on recall. I have 75ft of nylon line from home depot with a snap swivel. We play ball, I call her, By now most often she comes. If she does not the line forces her to comply.

I don't believe the dog should be sentenced to 6ft of leash for eternity but it will take some serious work to get great manners from your dog since they won't happen on her own.

I personally believe recall is part of having a bond with my dog. Wasn't until we had worked at it a while and made it a really fun event that it became some what reliable. And it wasn't until after more training that she seemed to respect me enough to comply. And it is still not perfect. So she doesn't get to be off leash unless within a fence.

Lissa
July 2nd, 2006, 02:48 AM
I am glad that you are looking to find a way to have your dog off-leash. Recall is one of the most important commands you will ever teach your dog!

I think that you could definately teach a herder recall in a timely fashion if she hasn't been abused, neglected or traumatized in some way!

She certainly shouldn't be off-leash right now - no matter how much she wants to run. Remember, the more she gets away with running away, the more she will do it (because it is self-rewarding).
To keep her busy in the mean time you can strengthen your bond by training her other basic commands and tricks. This should make working together fun and she will learn to trust you that much faster.
I would also work on attention exercises like watch me and self-control exercises like leave it. It will help her realize that paying attention to you is the right behaviour!

My hound can go off-leash but when he does get distracted and doesn't recall immediately, he goes back on-leash to earn off-leash privileges. During these times we do a lot of training but he also has a dog backpack and knows how to pull a cart as a way of tiring him out on-leash!
The key IMO is to have 2 different recall words because we tend to overuse the very common "come". So I would choose a less popular word and train that as your recall word NO MATTER what. That way if you use "come" too often, it doesn't cause latency (for example, I will often say to Dodger "come here" or "come this way" or come find it" in all different scenarios that really don't require him to formally come anywhere close to me).
A formal recall is when a dog comes immediately, sits directly in front of you and allows you to touch his collar.

Also, another command that is equally important to me is a drop on command...It can take a while to teach but it can also be a saving command when recall is not an option. For example at my dog park, cars are allowed to drive up the main path, if I am on one side and Dodger is on the other I will have him in a down-stay instead of coming across the path to me and possibly getting hit if the driver doesn't see him!

Good luck;)

SnowDancer
July 2nd, 2006, 11:48 AM
My Eskie is always on leash as were his predecessors - mini Dachshunds and a Beagle - all escape artists who do not want to escape - just have high prey drive - plus ability to dig under and jump/climb over fences. The only exception is that weekly my Eskie goes for a walker with a professional and is taken to a fenced dog park with a fence high enough that even he can't jump and he recall with her is perfect. Mommy is a different matter. No road sense whatsoever - and even if he did have some, there is absolutely always a trigger that the dog can't ignore.

Prin
July 2nd, 2006, 11:51 AM
A lot of dogs can be taught to be off leash, but some, like some of the dogs who have been chained all their lives or dogs that were strays for a while, just can't do it (well). My old dobie was chained all his life before we got him and the minute he was free, he bolted- a full out sprint. He knew when he was tied and respected being tied (he never pulled ever), so training him on a really long leash didn't help him. Even if you let go for a half a second, he'd be gone.

Boo on the other hand was a stray. He comes when we call him, even if he somehow managed to get three doors down... He wanders. You can watch him like a hawk, but he senses when he has a tiny window of opportunity (i.e. when you're going to get the cordless phone) and wanders away in any direction.

Jemma NEVER leaves. You could leave her outside all day alone and she'll still be there (not that we do that, obviously).

So yeah, it does depend a bit on the dog, but at the same time, you shouldn't use it as an excuse not to try. We never stop trying with Boo...:o

Lizablue22
July 2nd, 2006, 09:34 PM
Thank you all so much for the great advice and encouragement. I realize it is still early days in Sally's training...and that it will take a lot of work and patience to undo some of her less desirable habits. She is so loving and friendly that I don't believe she has been treated badly. She starts obedience classes next week so we will learn together. And I still hope that one day we will be able to take her for a run in the woods off leash without having to worry about her disappearing...but I know it will take work to get to that point. Thanks again...you have encouraged me to keep trying.

doggirl
July 3rd, 2006, 01:58 PM
Yes - some dogs are not offlead material. You can train a recall with most dogs to some level, but some just are never going to be reliable. Dogs that keep running away are ones that are definitely not ready to be onlead!!

A trainer I once knew told me this story about these people with a dalmatian who was chewing up their furniture. Every day they'd go to work, he'd chew up something more. They were telling the trainer they'd "tried everything" and that this dog was incredibly stupid. The trainer said to them, so every time you leave this dog with this opportunity he chews - and you keep leaving him the same opportunity...and you think the DOG is stupid?? ;)

It sounds like you started letting your dog offlead right after you got him - not a good idea...especially if he's running away. They can get into trouble in a blink of an eye, consider yourself lucky he has not yet, and good luck in obedience. Remember it's much easier to focus on prevention than correction.

Mahealani770
July 3rd, 2006, 02:11 PM
Sorry for the slight thread-jack, but Lissa, how do you teach the dog to "drop" on command and "Leave It" command? Also, how do you teach your furbaby the difference between a "come" command and a "come here right now" recall command?
I've been trying to teach Nicky the "leave it" command, but as soon as I drop some food, he's all over it. Not sure how to teach him self control and to not swarm the crumbs.. lol

erykah1310
July 3rd, 2006, 02:53 PM
If she is predominantly Border Collie, be VERY VERY careful of her herding instincts, If she has it.
The thing with Borders and most mixes is they are ALWAYS looking for a job to do. Many many many border collies will try to herd vehicles and the out come is sad. Alot of patience and stimulating training will help her one day be good off lead. But it is going to take a while.
For me, with Meiko, if he gets it in his mind he is running off, i carry a squeeky toy ( as long as he isnt running from FEAR) and once i squeak it he comes right back. He thinks it s play time. In time you will find what your new dog responds to best,
Good luck!

doggy lover
July 4th, 2006, 09:53 AM
I too have a border collie and yep if he is off leash and gets bord with what you are doing or something distracts him hes off and gone. At our cottage I have him on a line attached between two trees and then a leash hangs down and runs along the line. I take him for walks in the bush and he is on long line, lots of commands to wait if he gets to far ahead. When we play ball up there he is allowed off leash but it is a constant watch that he is paying attenshion or he is recalled to me and put back on leash as yep he will be gone given the chance. Neighbours of ours had his sister from a previous litter and she would run for the road given the chance and it was the end of her too I don't want this to happen to Tucker.

Corrie
July 4th, 2006, 11:56 AM
We also live in the country and we have installed the Invisible Fencing around 2 acres for our West Highland Terrier. She is never out alone, but it does give me some peace of mind when I am gardening and she is with me.

Some people think that because you live in the country there is an unwritten law that dogs are not leashed or confined but can run free to say Hi to the neighbours…not so! I don’t appreciate or want your dog on my property…I have enough poop as it is!

My Yorkshire Terrier was killed two years ago, on our own back deck, by two black labs that were off leash and wandering. They were put down a few days later as their owners refused to put them in a run. :mad:

Also many, many a dog have come to a very bad end in the country from folks who “take it into their own hands” when a dog is found on their acreage.

lewisw
July 4th, 2006, 01:30 PM
If she is predominantly Border Collie, be VERY VERY careful of her herding instincts, If she has it.
The thing with Borders and most mixes is they are ALWAYS looking for a job to do. Many many many border collies will try to herd vehicles and the out come is sad. Alot of patience and stimulating training will help her one day be good off lead. But it is going to take a while.
For me, with Meiko, if he gets it in his mind he is running off, i carry a squeeky toy ( as long as he isnt running from FEAR) and once i squeak it he comes right back. He thinks it s play time. In time you will find what your new dog responds to best,
Good luck!

That is SO WIERD Dani also comes running any time I squeak a toy.
Is this breed specific ? I just assumed her previous owners must have used it as the recall signal since she was a baby !

In the house I can be downstairs in the basement if I sqeek her toy she comes running !

Lewis

doggy lover
July 4th, 2006, 04:16 PM
I believe that it has something to do with herding sheep, the sheep make a high pitch scream type noise when the dogs heard them and it seems to get the dog excited. Tucker has a problem with kids that scream and then run, he wants to chase them, I have to make sure I tell him to leave it. It works when ever he wants to chase something I use leave it including squrrels, bikes and the usual other 101 things that move. Thankfully he has never gone after a car, truck or bus, which could be deadly in the city.

PattiK
July 4th, 2006, 06:20 PM
If you want her to be able to be off-lead, you need to perimeter train her. It is tedious and time consuming, but with the right dog it can work. First of all you have to ensure she trusts you and she needs to earn your trust. And recall must be 100%
You start out walking on lead the perimeter of area she must stay in. You have to do this for close to a month. Then with a long enough lead to reach the perimeter, you allow her to be outside with you on the long lead - able to go only as far as the perimeter. You'll spend a good few weeks doing this. Then you can be out of sight, in the house, away from her, but still watching her on the lead. Once you trust her, you stand outside and let her off the lead, as soon as she goes near the perimeter, you call her back, if she steps over the perimeter, she goes back on the lead. Once the perimeter is established, you can try going in the house with her outside, watching her, if the perimeter is breached, start over.
It can be done, bu as I said it is incredibly difficult it requires 100% recall, mutual trust and alot of patience.
One good tip for establishing good recall, is always be more interesting than whatever the dog is falling, if this means screaming, falling, whatever... Never or try to never give chase as this can be interpreted as a game.
Good Luck

doggirl
July 5th, 2006, 02:36 PM
Does a 100% recall exist? I don't think so. There will always be a distraction greater than the biggest one you've experienced. 99.5% maybe, but I don't believe a 100% recall exists.

OntarioGreys
July 5th, 2006, 05:34 PM
Does a 100% recall exist? I don't think so. There will always be a distraction greater than the biggest one you've experienced. 99.5% maybe, but I don't believe a 100% recall exists.

You are right on there is no such thing as 100% recall, I have seen police dogs and movie dogs get distracted and make mistakes and they get a lot more training than any pet dog does. It only takes one distraction at the wrong possible time and your dog can pay for that lapse with its life.

It is not a gamble I am willing to take with my dogs, that lesson was learned when one of my dog escaped under the fence and he refused to listen to recall, despite being trained and decided to play a game with me instead and ran out onto the road narrowly missed being hit by 2 cars before I could get him on leash again.


This article is definitely worth reading
http://www.gemgreyhounds.org/guide/gde_trst.htm

kaytris
July 5th, 2006, 08:24 PM
believe that it has something to do with herding sheep, the sheep make a high pitch scream type noise when the dogs heard them and it seems to get the dog excited.

slightly high-jacking things here, but I've never heard a sheep squeal unless it was under violent, physical attack - and although herding is a modified hunt, the sheep shouldn't get hurt.

You're on the right track here, though, as the squealing will fire up many dogs Since it sounds like a prey animal in distress, many dogs still have the instinct to dive onto such an opportunity. This shouldn't happen in herding though, the farmer would NOT be happy. :)

Lissa
July 5th, 2006, 09:44 PM
I don't believe that there is such a thing as 100% recall shouldered only by the dog. I do however believe that 100% recall can be attained when WE account for potential distractions.

I read that article and no, I wouldn't let Dodger off-leash from the house to the car because it has the potential to be a high distraction area. I would however let him off-leash in safer environments where distraction are limited but also where he would be safe if he was distracted and ignored me.

There is nothing more distracting for Dodger than the scent of a fox and he can be called off the hunt. It isn't just about trust - it is about attention, training, respect and our bond. I do not think letting him off-leash when I have accounted for the current situation is a risk. What would be more of a risk would be keeping him on-leash and never giving him freedom. I wouldn't blame Dodger for taking off if I kept him on a 6 ft leash for life.

LavenderRott
July 5th, 2006, 10:24 PM
Sorry for the slight thread-jack, but Lissa, how do you teach the dog to "drop" on command and "Leave It" command? Also, how do you teach your furbaby the difference between a "come" command and a "come here right now" recall command?
I've been trying to teach Nicky the "leave it" command, but as soon as I drop some food, he's all over it. Not sure how to teach him self control and to not swarm the crumbs.. lol

As for the leave it command - don't think of using it for food until it is 100% for everything else, especially if you have a dog that is food motivated.

As for the difference between "come" and "come here right now" - there is no difference. If your come isn't a come here right now, then you need to put the dog back on a leash and keep working on it.

OntarioGreys
July 5th, 2006, 10:31 PM
I What would be more of a risk would be keeping him on-leash and never giving him freedom. I wouldn't blame Dodger for taking off if I kept him on a 6 ft leash for life.

When adopting a retired greyhound adoption groups require adopters to sign an agreement never to let their dog off leash unless in a safe enclosed area, and they all recommend getting the dogs out to run at least once a week

Owners learn to find those fence in places, they may ask permission of a farmer to used fenced in areas, they may form groups and ask to rent the use of a ball diamonds or sports field or industrial space, dog training facilities or riding areas. Some have even approached dog park association to ask permission for having a greyhound only hours each week during off hours. If anything the leash rule has created creativity amongst owners to find safe places for their dog to run and it created a sense of community with other greyhound owners, and the bonus is it allows the greyhounds to play with their own kind in their own unique playstyle, because they are competitive by nature and very thin skinned( a nip can leave gaping holes) owners will muzzle so they are not hurting each other during play and because it is greyhound only time they don't have to worried about their greys being attacked by another breed of dog while muzzled.