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Off leash

My Dog Brookie
December 14th, 2010, 04:41 PM
I have a puppy and she is really hard to walk!
Dose anyone know how to teach your dog to be of leash?

December 14th, 2010, 08:26 PM
From what I have read it is best to wait for a puppy to be good on leash before expecting it to be good off leash. This process takes mental maturity for the pup and is best to wait until they are at least a year and a half before beginning to trust them off leash. If you have a safe area where you can let your pup run free or on a long line it could also be a perfect place to practice off leash recall and heel work. Breed of the pup also plays a huge factor, some breeds are bred to stick close to humans and are therefore much easier to off-leash train, where hunting or northern breeds are likely going to cause you more headache.
Do not take the pup off leash anywhere busy that could be dangerous.

My Dog Brookie
December 14th, 2010, 09:55 PM
Thank you so much for the info!
I think it will be a good idea to wait a little bit longer before we let her of leash!

December 15th, 2010, 01:00 AM
I had my dog off leash about 3 weeks after I got her. So she was about 4 months old. Once she knew me and knew her name, no problem. Mind you I wasn't walking her on city streets, we were out on trails in the bush.

I know there's alot of talk about the bond you have with your dog and once that's established I didn't have any trouble, but that's just my experience.

She's still not great on a 6 foot leash, where we live is country, so I usually use a long line which is great for training. Gives them some freedom and you still have control.

Maybe my dog is just weird, cause she's husky/shepherd and I've never had a problem with her running away. Out here if she wanted she could go for miles!

December 16th, 2010, 01:27 AM
you're definitely going to want to make sure that she's got both her name and some idea of what you mean when you say 'come!'. I almost lost my boy. He was 8 months when I got him from the shelter, and maybe 2 weeks after he came home, the 2 year old wanted to let the doggies out to play -- and we hadn't worked on the recall command yet. he darted out between two parked cars, right underneath the back tire of a moving pickup truck. we were lucky that he only had a minor leg fracture and some missing skin. once your pooch has some decent leash manners (maybe a gentle leader collar? it worked wonders for my parents' deaf and super, super stubborn dalmation!) you can try working on off leash walking in a safe place.

December 16th, 2010, 10:35 AM
My trainer says she lives on 30 acres in the country but she doesn't let her dogs "off leash" until they are almost 2 years old. I belive she just puts a longer leash on her dogs,

I will only let my puppy off leash in the trail behind my house. Dachshund is not inclined to splash through a deep ditch to go off trail. Although I usually leave the leash on her and just let her go..easier to catch her if i have to.

However, last weekend when we were out I saw and heard an eagle overhead. It never even occurred to me before to be worried about attacks from above!! So now I have a 30foot I can at least reel her in if I have to!

My Dog Brookie
December 16th, 2010, 05:17 PM
Thanks you guys!
I will try your ideas! I think i will start with a long rope and go from there.

December 17th, 2010, 06:49 PM
It's not clear to me if you want to teach your pup to walk beside you off leash, which is highly advanced training, or if you just want to be able to safely walk with your dog off-leash, dog does not have to heel?

If the latter, you just want to take your dog off leash and not worry about training then I have to ask, how old is this puppy?

Because letting your puppy off leash as soon as possible is a popular and very successful way for many of us to train our pups to COME. Age is critical. Puppy must be very young, I start as soon as I get them at 8 weeks old. ON a U.K. forum I visit some say once pup has reached 16 weeks of age they won't start this.

Very young pups are leery of being alone in the big world out there and most want to stay very close to you. Most only stray a few feet, notice you are not close anymore and race back to you. That's when you call COME. Lots of praise, hugs and reassurance when puppy gets to you. You don't even need treats because puppy's reward is her immense relief at being safely back with you. You can up the ante by deeking behind shrubs and bushes in your yard. I have the luxury of 1,000s of acres of relatively isolated forest to visit where it is safe for puppy to be off leash, away from roads and other dogs. It is important to keep finding new safe places to do this in and I understand it is not always possible for city dwellers.

If this sounds like something that might work for you ask if you have any questions. Let me stress, puppy must be very young and the place must be safe.

My Dog Brookie
December 18th, 2010, 05:07 PM
My puppy is 7 months!
I just want to be able to have my puppy walk safely off leash!

December 19th, 2010, 01:24 AM
All dogs learn at a different pace, there is no set expectations for your dog to walk nicely, thats up to you as the owner and how much time you put in to training your dog.

Dogs aren't born to know what we humans want, they are born as dogs and we have to teach/show them what we want.

Regarding walking on leash nicely, you're gonna have to be consistent with a training method, whether it's stop and go, pull to the side, halti, gentle leader.
Make a invisible line of where you want the dog to be, do not let him or her go past that line EVER (I usually give 1-2 feet of leash) as soon as that dog pulls you give a little tug to the side so the dog loses balance on it's front feet and stops pulling, keep doing this over and over, if you let the dog pull you're rewarding it.

To do with off leash, you're gonna have to do obedience, basic then intermediate. For your dog to listen to you willingly you have to have a strong bond with that dog, some dog bond quicker then others, some have their own agenda and you need to be that agenda rather then everything else out there. (get it?)

Work with sit, sit stay, down ,down-stay. Then work on recall with a leash.

Key to training off leash is you HAVE to have something BETTER then whats out there.

Loki Love
December 19th, 2010, 06:40 AM
Loki just turned 2 in November - we only started trusting/working with off leash in October or so. Maybe we started late or maybe it took until that time until I was sure he was ready (and so was I!).

As previously mentioned, all dogs are different and learn at a different pace :)

December 19th, 2010, 07:53 AM
Hmmm. Your puppy is far too old for my method, outlined above. As others have said walking off leash at heel requires advanced training. At her age your puppy could achieve this if you were working with a skilled pro trainer and you were dedicated to the task. Honestly, it sounds to me that this is beyond you and I think you should be concentrating on basic leash manners. I know of no dog who has achieved an off leash heel without first mastering on leash heeling.

Where are you going for your obedience training classes? What dog training theory do they use? How many classes have you taken? I hope you realize that at 7 months of age your puppy is heading into her teenage stage and if you don't work with her now it is probably going to get worse.

As for simply running free off leash it is my belief that this is dependant on where you walk. I did not hesitate to take my pups to big forests and some neighbours farms where they could safely run without fear of cars or other dogs. Mind you, by 7 months mine had COME down pat. Actually, they had it at 10 weeks.

For our obedience classes I found about 20 minutes of free running off leash was just about a requirement before puppy was ready to settle down and do some training on leash, either in class or on my own. It's the opposite of what many trainers tell you. Many tell you to make them work for their fun time. Mine needed to release some energy before they were able to concentrate in class. This might help you, if you have a safe off leash place to go to.

December 19th, 2010, 12:53 PM
A word of caution for owners of small dogs especially.

Not only must you watch out for birds of prey, like eagles, but for coyotes and foxes.

The sad part of it was that she had seen coyotes on her property previously. I don't understand why she didn't have a long leash on the dog tethered to her. I think the dog would have had a chance even if a coyote grabbed it as probably she could have frightened the coyote away.