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Thread: To Risk Off Lead, or Not, That is the Question?

  1. #1
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    Default To Risk Off Lead, or Not, That is the Question?

    So my likkle snuggle bunny Pippi's recall has dramatically improved inside the house and around the yard over the last couple of months.

    Previously she would look at you to see if she was going to get anything out of it, and if not, she would ignore you and continue doing whatever ratbag thing she was doing.

    Anyway, sometimes at night, we take the dogs across the road for a blat at the park.

    Barney is allowed off lead once we get there and he goes stampeding off like a race horse but as soon as you say "here" he is right back by your side.

    Pippi goes over on her lead and harness. On the end of the lead and harness I attach a rope (need to get a lunge lead or extension or soemthing), a really long one so she can run ahead of us a bit and pretend she has some freedom.

    She seems to be following Barneys lead and if she is out at the end of the rope and she hears "here" she comes back right away. I have also noticed, she doesnt even go to the end of the lead/rope and stays pretty close the whole time. I am not sure if this is because she knows she is still attached or because she is just not interested in running off at the park in the dark LOL.

    Last night the OH says "Let her off, she wont go anywhere and she will come when we say" and I said no becuase I didnt fancy chasing her down the street if she did bolt and not return.

    What should I do??? Do I try it or what? I am thinking it may be best to find somewhere fenced the first few times to see how she goes, but don't really know where soemthing like that is (although there is a fenced vacant yard near here I could "borrow").

    I have never had this problem before. All our previous dogs have grown up going to parks and beaches off lead (including Barney) since they were tiny so recall has never really been a problem, so I am not sure when the right time to try her out is. I havent tried her sooner becuase even inside she had been terrible til recently.

    But, I feel so mean she cant have the blat off lead that Barney is having becuase he loves it.

    Any and all suggestions greatfully received LOL

    *god, I wrote a novel!

  2. #2
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    I guess I am opposed to dogs off lead anywhere with the exception of fully fenced/unfenced but designated off leash areas/ when officially working/ when officially participating in agility/obedience etc. I think you see my drift, yeah?

    But, I understand both your desire to give your dogs a free run, and your desire to test and strengthen recall. Both of those are good things.

    So, ultimately, I'd personally say find a fully fenced area, or empty designated off leash area (hard, I know) and go for it.

    Hope that helps :-)

  3. #3

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    I agree with V&F use fully fenced parks first before letting her off at a regular park.

    Dogs behave completely different in your yard or on the lead that they would once they are set loose.

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    Yea, that is a good point CL.

    Can see your point too V&F and even though it sound weird, generaly agree.

    All the dogs in our neighbourhood seem to be walked off lead except ours (aprt from the odd time over at the park).

    Will start looking for a fenced area we can go to to let pippi have a blat

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    I've always let our dogs off at the park. I would hate taking the risk if I wasn't sure they'd come back though, and I'd say from your hesitance, don't do it. When you're ready and confident in her then go for it.

    Just out of curiosity, does she follow Barney around? Ours are all pack animals and the ones who lack in recall skills always follow the others. They're easy to manipulate because none of them want to miss out!

  6. #6

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    I have happily taken my dogs to an offleash park, but only when I completely trust them.
    With regards to my current dogs, I trained Tash to heal, stop and recall on my command without exception. She was allowed to run free at dog parks until she started to develop a dislike for new dogs and now we don't even go there.

    Molly is very friendly with other dogs, but I would never let her off lead at a park because:
    a) she is stubborn and will only recall if she feels like it
    b) there is always the possibility that an irresponsible dog owner will be there and their dog will attack her.
    c) I don't want to put my Rottweiler in a position where she has to defend herself, because she could be injured, or hunted down as being a viscious dog.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mollinator View Post
    I have happily taken my dogs to an offleash park, but only when I completely trust them.
    With regards to my current dogs, I trained Tash to heal, stop and recall on my command without exception. She was allowed to run free at dog parks until she started to develop a dislike for new dogs and now we don't even go there.

    Molly is very friendly with other dogs, but I would never let her off lead at a park because:
    a) she is stubborn and will only recall if she feels like it
    b) there is always the possibility that an irresponsible dog owner will be there and their dog will attack her.
    c) I don't want to put my Rottweiler in a position where she has to defend herself, because she could be injured, or hunted down as being a viscious dog.
    Those are all excellent reasons and some of those are why we go at night time to the park in our street when noone is around. I know the schedule of all the other neighbourhood dogs (I smoke out on th eporch alot and see everything....and I am really nosy lol)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jucealala View Post
    I've always let our dogs off at the park. I would hate taking the risk if I wasn't sure they'd come back though, and I'd say from your hesitance, don't do it. When you're ready and confident in her then go for it.

    Just out of curiosity, does she follow Barney around? Ours are all pack animals and the ones who lack in recall skills always follow the others. They're easy to manipulate because none of them want to miss out!

    In th eback yard she follows him round a little. Inside she tends to stick to me.

    At the park though I have noticed she will do her own thing...this may be because she is on lead and cant run after Barney though.

    Usually I have to run along behind them with the lead, looking like a spastic (I dont do running)

  9. #9
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    I have a strict policy that they are only allowed off-leash when there are no other dogs around and the second I spot one, or something I don't like, I simply put them on leash. Prevention is better than a cure.

    I can remember being in the park once with Roxie and Jackaroo, who was only about 3 months old, when another dog entered so I leashed Rox. (Jack was waaay too young to be off lead at that point). The other dog was a heeler of some type who was being walked by a 5 year old girl. Heeler made a beeline for us, I picked up the pup and tried to steer Rox away, she was barking. Heeler got to us and got into a fight with Roxie. The people with the heeler then tried to blame ME, because Roxie was barking, when she was the one on lead being held by a responsible adult who weighs more than she does. Argh, makes me so mad.

    So I understand where you're coming from, Mollinator, with not wanting something to happen. There is a risk with other owners not having a clue. So far I've been lucky but I do only go at times when I know there will be no one there, like dusk or during the day.

    I have found that the dog picks up on my hesitance though. If I get anxious when I see a dog then she has more reason to be upset. Dog training isn't just for dogs!

  10. #10
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    I do that too...they are not allowed off when other dogs are about

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