Author Topic: Keeping cocker close with a long line.  (Read 112 times)

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Offline Teddy2019

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Keeping cocker close with a long line.
« on: July 27, 2020, 09:28:31 PM »
Hi all,

We have a 13 month old cocker who has always been off lead in fields since he was a pup. He is really good at coming back when using the whistle even with  distractions, not so with a shout if he is in the zone.

Anyway I would like him to stay a lot closer to me on walks as he tends to wander off a bit too far at times. I have a long line but dont really know how to use it. If he goes too far I stand on it and say stay close to him. Has anybody got any hood techniques or ideas on how to use a long line properly or keep my dog close. Ive looked at YouTube videos and tried to do what they do but it doesnt seem to have an effect. I want to teach Teddy that if I ask him to stay close he does.

Offline Barry H

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Re: Keeping cocker close with a long line.
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2020, 09:22:23 AM »
The way I use/used one is to treat it like a lead, but longer ie. coil it up if Jack is near (sniffing/pooing) and let it out if he wants to wander a bit further.   So they can be a bit of a faff compared to a normal length lead but it becomes second nature after a while.  The important thing is to stop the moment he begins to pull at the full extent and encourage him back by your favourite method.  You don't move off until the line is slack.  Lots of encouragement/praise and the random tasty treat.  The more you follow the routine, the quicker he'll get it.  Eventually, when you're confident enough you should be able to drop the line and let it drag so you can step on it in an emergency but still have the now faultless recall...  That's the theory anyway...

A long line is a godsend - and a good halfway house between being on lead and off lead.  I prefer using one to a regular lead as it allows Jack a bit more freedom where he can't be off lead but can be easily shortened where more control is needed.

Offline bizzylizzy

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Re: Keeping cocker close with a long line.
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2020, 10:20:39 AM »
Hi! Yes thats more or less the way I did it. My first trainer used to say 6 months on the long lead and then a lifetime of freedom, - not quite sure if Id go so far as to say that but we did it for 3 months continuously and Humphrey rarely ventures much further than the 10 meters distance when off line now. Its a good idea to praise and occasionally follow up with a treat every time he stops or turns and makes eye contact with you, (clicker is useful if your dog has been trained to it already) The aim is to get him to keep you permanently on his radar so that he learns to automatically stay close.
Just a safety point worth mentioning, - dont use a hand loop and dont wind the end around your wrist - its incredible the amount of power even the little ones can have if they suddenly decide to bolt at 10 meters, you need to be able to let go if necessary -,and of course the lead needs to be attached to a harness not a collar. - Sorry if that is stating the obvious but its amazing how many people  dont!  :shades:
Good luck! 👍

Offline Barry H

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Re: Keeping cocker close with a long line.
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2020, 09:16:29 AM »
Hi! Yes thats more or less the way I did it. My first trainer used to say 6 months on the long lead and then a lifetime of freedom, - not quite sure if Id go so far as to say that but we did it for 3 months continuously and Humphrey rarely ventures much further than the 10 meters distance when off line now.
...
Sounds about right.  In the beginning I was determined to crack it so managed about 12 weeks and the little monkey lulled me into a false sense of security.  It's very easy to think you've got a great recall when they behave themselves for weeks only to see the little monkey disappearing into the distance!   I'm  convinced a lot depends on age with younger dogs being the most unpredictable.  A couple of scary AWOLs and it was back on the long line for another six weeks or so.  Never had a problem once Jack got to about 2 yo but even now he's 5 I still have to keep a beady eye on him off lead and not let my mind wander in the clouds when out for a walk as I normally do. I have serious doubts whether a 100% guaranteed recall is really feasible in practice.  Mind you, these days I don't think he can be bothered doing a runner any more rather than him having a great recall!