Author Topic: Off-lead walking  (Read 1586 times)

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Offline dave w

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Re: Off-lead walking
« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2021, 08:28:25 PM »
spoke to my gundog trainer today and Hugo is booked in on the 3rd of January, He seemed pretty surprised that he had not been off the lead yet and suggested that i do it sooner rather than later and said that once dogs get past 7 months and have never been off the lead are really difficult to get under control, so that's it I'm going for it at the weekend

Offline Katrina

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Re: Off-lead walking
« Reply #16 on: December 18, 2021, 02:24:17 PM »
7 month deadline dave?!

Right I'm going to join you and take the plunge! Good luck!!

I was talking to my (very experienced and amazing) dog walker who walks Oscar twice a week when I'm at work. She has let him off on a long lead and without and says he always, ALWAYS comes back and is perfect at recall.

It's not the recall bit that worries me when I think about it, it's jumping at children who he LOVES! So I'll head somewhere very quiet I think....

Great thread! Xx

Offline dave w

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Re: Off-lead walking
« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2021, 04:30:25 PM »
well took Hugo out today there are some large farmers fields with not much in them took the plunge and let him off he did bolt off at lightning speed my trainer said to take a squeaky toy make a noise with it and walk off in the other direction which was working ok till he saw some birds in the field and off he went chasing them he was coming back after he couldn't catch the birds but once he saw them there was no distracting him from them, one of the fields he pretty much ran right to the other side before he came back which was a bit worrying, not sure where to go from here maybe get a long line and work on his recall ?

Offline vixen

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Re: Off-lead walking
« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2021, 04:48:23 PM »
I think you should have got his recall nailed before letting him off.  Use a long line or flexi lead with a harness.  I used the recall method at the top of the training section and persevere and get a totally  reliable recall. I use a whistle and my girl ( 5 months) returns like a shot. Do as Top Barks advises, at first only use the whistle when he is returning,  The idea is to condition your dog so that when he hears the whistle he will instantly come back. 
The first year of a puppy’s training is hard.  You have to be alert and try to spot temptations before he does and call him to you and treat and keep him focussed on you until the ‘obstacle’ whether it be game/ people/joggers etc has gone past.  If you are unsure if there will be birds around, keep him on a lead until his recall is 100%..
As mentioned, the first year is hard but if you put the work in, you will have a dog you are proud of and can take anywhere  :luv:
Max (GSP)  always in my heart

Offline dave w

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Re: Off-lead walking
« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2021, 07:55:29 PM »
I think you should have got his recall nailed before letting him off.  Use a long line or flexi lead with a harness.  I used the recall method at the top of the training section and persevere and get a totally  reliable recall. I use a whistle and my girl ( 5 months) returns like a shot. Do as Top Barks advises, at first only use the whistle when he is returning,  The idea is to condition your dog so that when he hears the whistle he will instantly come back. 
The first year of a puppy’s training is hard.  You have to be alert and try to spot temptations before he does and call him to you and treat and keep him focussed on you until the ‘obstacle’ whether it be game/ people/joggers etc has gone past.  If you are unsure if there will be birds around, keep him on a lead until his recall is 100%..
As mentioned, the first year is hard but if you put the work in, you will have a dog you are proud of and can take anywhere  :luv:

ive read the sticky and ordered a whistle and a long line and are just waiting for them to arrive, i started panicking that i should be getting him off the lead and did what my trainer recommended which i think would have been fine if there were no birds to chase but not much chance of that were i live ,i think your right i will keep him on a lead until i get his recall sorted, i really cant trust him yet, totally my fault

Offline bizzylizzy

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Re: Off-lead walking
« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2021, 06:30:08 AM »
I think you should have got his recall nailed before letting him off.  Use a long line or flexi lead with a harness.  I used the recall method at the top of the training section and persevere and get a totally  reliable recall. I use a whistle and my girl ( 5 months) returns like a shot. Do as Top Barks advises, at first only use the whistle when he is returning,  The idea is to condition your dog so that when he hears the whistle he will instantly come back. 
The first year of a puppy’s training is hard.  You have to be alert and try to spot temptations before he does and call him to you and treat and keep him focussed on you until the ‘obstacle’ whether it be game/ people/joggers etc has gone past.  If you are unsure if there will be birds around, keep him on a lead until his recall is 100%..
As mentioned, the first year is hard but if you put the work in, you will have a dog you are proud of and can take anywhere  :luv:

ive read the sticky and ordered a whistle and a long line and are just waiting for them to arrive, i started panicking that i should be getting him off the lead and did what my trainer recommended which i think would have been fine if there were no birds to chase but not much chance of that were i live ,i think your right i will keep him on a lead until i get his recall sorted, i really cant trust him yet, totally my fault

Don‘t beat yourself up!  ;) We‘ve all learned by doing, and made lots of mistakes on the way but  this is why COL is so great because we all benefit from each other‘s ! Long lead is a good idea, - as said, I started without a lead which was great for building that bond but a long lead is very useful for giving them a sense of distance and working on a solid recall. You‘ll get there, just need lots of patience and consistency but it‘ll pay out in the long run!  :D

Offline sophie.ivy

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Re: Off-lead walking
« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2021, 03:17:47 PM »
I bought a long lead this morning as Ivy bolted after a pigeon in the woods, she did come back (at a much less enthusiastic pace then she left!) but I can tell she's starting to get a bit more adventurous. I won't even mention what happened when I took my eyes off her for 2 seconds around a group of ladies doing outdoor yoga...

Will be going back to basics with the recall training and focus with distractions over the holidays. She does seem to be regressing slightly this week, she forgot how to 'sit' yesterday and weed in her crate for the first time in weeks. I did read you can expect a few puppy brain 'farts' at this age, or it could just be the fact we've run out of cocktail sausages?!

Katrina - I haven't let Ivy off when there's children around as she loves them too! Every child she sees she wants to greet and lick, which not every child (or parent) is so keen on her doing! That's great to hear about Oscar's recall with the dog walker :D I wonder if she walks him in a pack? The first couple of off lead walks we did, we borrowed our friend's working cocker (a very good girl) and she copied her behaviour. I wonder if you could borrow a dog, or go with a friend who has a well trained dog, for the first few off-lead walks?

I appreciate that you might not want to take my advice after the aforementioned yoga incident :005:

It is tough all this puppy training malarkey, but I'm sure it will all be worth it in the end!

Offline bizzylizzy

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Re: Off-lead walking
« Reply #22 on: December 20, 2021, 03:59:32 PM »
Oh please don’t keep us in suspense! DO tell us about the yoga ladies!  :rofl1:   :lol:

Offline Katrina

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Re: Off-lead walking
« Reply #23 on: December 20, 2021, 07:58:26 PM »
 :005: I NEED to hear more about these yoga ladies too!!!

She does walk him in a pack - she has some very well behaved sprockers with excellent recall and he just does what they do - although she says that she can now recall him independently of the others. I'm going to book a dog field near us for half an hour - it's totally fenced off so very safe from distractions. Plus, I will stay calm... which will be the real challenge in real life.... my panicked squeals are very rewarding  :lol2:

But otherwise I don't know any great off lead dogs.  He has a daschund friend who is a bit cheeky and Oscar just become his wing man for the walk, copying everything he shouldn't!!

I've opted for more "life skills" classes before moving to the recall class with our trainer - I've prioritised them for life with two kids and a cocker... which is very challenging at times  :-\

Offline sophie.ivy

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Re: Off-lead walking
« Reply #24 on: December 21, 2021, 11:08:32 AM »
I don't know if I've ever heard of a dachshund who isn't cheeky :005: I do love them though! Keep threatening a long haired dachshund as our next dog, not sure the husband is on board!

I do find puppies copy behaviour so that's great he's learning from the sprockers! There's a nice secure dog field near us so I'm going to do the same and book it so we can practice recall there. Also to give us a bit of space and time to learn how to use the long line...Ivy wasn't happy about it this morning, wrapped herself and various shrubs up in it and got upset when it was touching her side (strange dog!)

Ah the yoga incident...it was chaos. She wanted to say hi to everyone in her enthusiastic, bouncy manner and licked a few faces of people in the box position. Then as her finale, she tried to nick a long band >:D

Luckily, they all laughed and she got all the cuddles she was hoping for! But I can't show my face in that field from 8-9am on dry mornings now.


Offline Katrina

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Re: Off-lead walking
« Reply #25 on: December 21, 2021, 08:50:48 PM »
 :lol2: :lol2: thanks for sharing the yoga incident  :lol2:

His friend is a wire haired dachshund and totally gorgeous. I can see the appeal! Although he barks at every passing dog... so Oscar join in as if to say "yeah... what my mate said"!  ph34r he never does this on his own! We had hoped the influence would go the other way  :005:

We have a long line too so I'm going to do the same and practice with it... I have visions of lead free walks on the beach so need to put some work in!

Offline bizzylizzy

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Re: Off-lead walking
« Reply #26 on: December 21, 2021, 09:30:09 PM »
 :005: :005:

Offline Lobo do Mar

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Re: Off-lead walking
« Reply #27 on: January 04, 2022, 02:35:23 PM »
Salty was such a nightmare as a puppy that I never let him off the lead (was too anxious about everything else to even think about it, and his obedience was negligible)
Now he's 2.75 yrs I still dont - I use an 8m extendible lead that works well enough for both of us
Since I have been using this, he comes back mostly when I call, and seems to be happiest with loads of cuddles as reward
The problem is when his nose goes down and he starts zig-zagging I know there is nothing except the scent in his world.
That's what he's bred for after all
For example, on the beach the lead means that:
1. he doesnt eat twice his body weight in dead crabs etc
2. he doesnt run up to little children and jump up at them to play, even nipping lightly (still does that)
3. I can get him back to me when I want, not when he decides to come back
4. He can run around and interact with other dogs
5. He doesnt get attacked by some of the semi-feral fisherman's 'wolfs' - its not like Blighty here
6. etc

So, I think I should have let him off before, but we were all just surviving and now he and we are very happy on an 8m lead

He can thunder around the pretty big garden after those pesky birdies that keep encroaching into his airspace after all

Offline sophie.ivy

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Re: Off-lead walking
« Reply #28 on: February 10, 2022, 10:46:20 AM »
Sorry Lobo do Mar, I only just saw your reply!

I think that's completely understandable not letting him off early as there's so much to think about/survive in those early months. I never bothered with teaching a reliable 'off' and let Ivy jump on whatever she pleased, which was the least of my problems at the time, and and am now having to work hard on it. I sometimes wonder if she thinks her name has changed to 'GET OFF!'

I love the name Salty by the way! Perfect for a beach dog :)

The majority of the walks with Ivy are on the long line now. I let her off to play with other dogs (if it's ok with the owner) and 'go find', but wouldn't trust her recall at all in other situations now her nose has kicked in. I don't mind it to be honest as like you said, you're not worrying about the many various ways they can get themselves into trouble. I walk a 11 year old cocker who has never been let off and he's the happiest dog I've ever met so it can't be too hard on them!

Offline Lobo do Mar

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Re: Off-lead walking
« Reply #29 on: April 12, 2022, 08:13:39 AM »
I also have a long webbing lead for the beach
Ironically, despite me being a keen sailor (my last dog always came out with me, and liked it) and hence the name, Salty wont even peek his nose out the door if its drizzling, let alone go diving into the sea. I have never tried him on the boat as its only a 22 footer and there is not enough room for his energy - and I  am not at all sure he would like it.
Mind you, last weekend he did actually dip his paws into the backwash on the beach, even got his tummy a  bit damp :)