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Thread: Off Lead Work

  1. #1
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    Default Off Lead Work

    Now I am very nervous of having a dog offlead near any road - quiet or not - however we have lovely walking tracks here and it would be a shame not to be able to give Doof some running space, especially in the ovals etc we pass.

    Whilst in Melb I was able to give him quite a bit of safe offlead work in an enclosed park. Lots of letting him run free and then calling him - sometimes to sit in front, sometimes for a cuddle, sometimes putting the lead on and taking it off and sometimes for home time.

    Whilst I am not suggesting his 100%, when we left here at Christmas his recall was about 45% - I would say it is now 80%+ - he never refuses to come, but sometimes finishes what he is doing before he comes back.

    I took him for a short walk next to the house - just down towards the oval. Paths leading onto Courts and a dead end street down the bottom. Not only did he keep looking back to see me but he came of his own volition - for a cuddle and just to see what I was doing.

    Earlier today I took him down to the park that's 2 minutes drive from here - a soccer oval so you can imagine that it's quite large and flat. He was excellent - went and had a sniff but came back when i called him.

    He is also learning to drop on command wherever I tell him - which is good for obedience - it also means I have an emergency stop command - though he recognises quite a number of words for drop.

    We had done minimal work at dog training - just some offlead running before class - and until quite recently he would go and do his own thing and not bother about me at all.

    We are in the middle of the training process - not at the end - but I think this shows that nothing beats practice done on the exercise itself. Offlead walking is important as I want him to be able to socialise with other dogs. Many of our parks are stupid - they're built right next to main roads.

    I am also teaching him not to go on the road - which is coming along. I am at the end of the court so I can work on him there - off lead!!

    This is positive progress in our training. When I got Doof I thought I could get him ready for trialing in six months. I have done relatively little with him but I still think he could pass the first level of obedience - which is all on lead.

    I am not going to put him in trials until we are in the higher classes at dog school - for my own confidence - and there's no hurry - he is barely 2!!

  2. #2
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    You have obviously done something right Occy for him to have come along so much in such a short amount of time - well done to you and well done to Doof!

  3. #3
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    Frosty and I start "off lead" in earnest this year in dog classes - since we've been "graduated" out of grade 5.

    She's very good at coming back - no matter what - cos otherwise I hide and she panics. But not quite close enough to go back on lead.

    So off lead classes are going to be interesting. She's not too bad on our local ovals for about five minutes at a time when she's hungry. But if she finds something more fun over there, she's off. I think I'm going to need to work on that.

    I got this from "that other forum" and it looks very interesting in terms of reward without food (using tug of war at the end of each session) and doggy progress. Frosty will quite happily play tug of war at the end of a session but then she doesn't want to go back to work for the next session. Have to work on that too.

    YouTube - nicoleleyden's Channel

    Start with the one listed last - which is the first session and then work up to the more recent stuff.

  4. #4
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    I dont use food - or a toy. He is the first dog I have had whose primary motivation is being told that he good. He nearly turns inside out with pleasure when you tell him what a good dog he is. ATM we are working on medium distraction - kids playing sport, people on bikes - so far no other dogs have come past.

    The paths here are built between houses if that makes sense? they're walking paths that connect pieces of parkland to each other. So there are dogs barking at him - but when they do - he stops and cocks his head and looks at me.

  5. #5
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    except for agility of course which he just thinks is a lark

  6. #6
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    Frosty is pretty good at ignoring joggers, baseball games, football games, cyclists, other dogs walking or barking. I even got her to ignore the open door of the bowls club this morning - and that sometimes has oysters and roast chicken inside.

    She's not too good with horses, tractor - lawnmowers that belt past at 30km/h, or dogs that invite her to play, or cars containing dogs that invite her to play.

    I think we'd be screwed if a cat ran across the oval. However - she likes chasing magpies but can be persuaded to "leave it".

    I'm not sure we can start agility until she has a much better "stay" and recall. However - I've seen the best competition dogs nick off when it suits them so I don't need to look for "perfect", just "mostly".

  7. #7
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    I feel that off lead near a public road with medium recall is an accident waiting to happen should the unexpected occur, much like people taking clipped birds outside on their shoulder, a gust of wind, a startle and they can still get away or people with trusted birds and cats...till one day....then they ask why. I know we can never have guarantees but waiting till recall is better entrenched to me seems responsible and safer.

    Any posts made under the name of Di_dee1 one can be used by anyone as I do not give a rats.

  8. #8
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    Frosty hates busy roads, fortunately for me. One time a dog invited her to play and started running towards one. She stopped and just watched it cross the quiet road and continue towards the busy one. She would have kept chasing it if it had stayed on the oval.

    I don't let her off lead on public roads and footpaths. You just never know when the really loud scary motor bike is going to show up. Or the neighbour's cat.

  9. #9
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    The one thing I need to keep an ear out for is those feral moronic kids and their motor bikes

  10. #10

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    That's great work Occy! It's always good to hear training success stories! In my experience I have found that often it is me that restricts our training progress.. I tend to be a little overprotective and have to force myself to allow my dog to make mistakes (supervised, small mistakes!!) as it is sometimes the only way they learn. Although I'd say my dog is 95% on recall, I am still nervous having him off lead in many places, just in case! Like you said we're in the middle of our training too, although I feel it's me that requires the training more than my dog!!

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