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How do you know when its time

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Ellie82, Apr 6, 2011.


  1. Ellie82

    Ellie82 PetForums Junior

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    to test them without a lead? We got to a big field which i think will be the best place but I wondered when its the right time to take it off.

    She comes to her name when you call her in the garden, She perfectly fine with other dogs. Im just really scared of her bolting off and that will be it.

    Shes only 8/9 Months old at the moment but Ive seen really young puppies off the lead
     
  2. Devil-Dogz

    Devil-Dogz PetForums VIP

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    If you are not all that confident with her then you could use a long line the first few times (to test her recall - when put in that situation!) The long line will give her 'freedom', but you will still be able to get her back safely if she does bolt - its also a good way to continue with the recall - while out, and shes a fair distance away.

    I always make mine sit, and be calm before the lead is unclipped - and lots of good praise when they have come back on comand!
     
  3. Nellybelly

    Nellybelly PetForums VIP

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    I always let off lead from day 1. I at 8/9 months it's probably best to do it gradually, perhaps using a long line as has beens uggested, as the novelty of beingoff lead can be so much fun that your dog may not be particularly responsive...
     
  4. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    You must "proof" practice recall in the field first on the line, and also with distractions like other dogs, or your dog is likely to not know the meaning of the command in that place and circumstance.

    They are very specific in responding to cues, which is why dogs sit great at home, in the garden and even in the park, but may be not in the training class, embaressing their owner.

    They need lots of supervision, one advantage is most owners can run faster than the puppy, so they're hard to lose in open space. You have to watch out for hazards though, so eyes in back of head are a bonus.
     
    #4 RobD-BCactive, Apr 6, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2011
  5. Jobeth

    Jobeth PetForums VIP

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    I let mine off lead at 3 months at training classes and that gave me the confidence when outside.
     
  6. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    My puppies are let off the lead from day one and I think it would be a nightmare to suddenly let a young dog off at just the age it will be starting to test boundaries anyway. I would definitely try putting a long line on that you can grab if the worst comes to the worst.
     
  7. ian1969uk

    ian1969uk PetForums Member

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    What breed is it?

    There's no way we can let our Foxhound pup off the lead, she gets a scent and her ears turn off. We tried a few times but after she ran into a road, then went missing in the woods for two hours, we had to accept that some breeds are just not designed to have a good recall :)
     
  8. haeveymolly

    haeveymolly PetForums VIP

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    Mine were all off lead at about 12 weeks when it was their first time out after injections
     
  9. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    Did you proof in that place, with the scents present? With a puppy, open grassland and an interesting focus, like other playful dogs, can make the situation more manageable.

    If your pup could reach a road, before you can intervene it seems like it wasn't a safe enough place. Quite honestly, I was out in the park with off leash pup, before he had learnt recall; but he soon got it, and nice and solid, including being able to interrupt trail following or call from woods when dashing off exploring with older dogs (they returned slower).

    On day one, I actually used an older dog, with reliable recall, who the pup was obviously keen on following, to avoid the Wanderlust.
     
    #9 RobD-BCactive, Apr 7, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2011
  10. ian1969uk

    ian1969uk PetForums Member

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    She was in the middle of a wood and followed a scent for over four miles before she got to the road. I only know she ran across the road because I found her in the wood on the other side and there was only one way to get there.

    It was as safe and remote a place as you can get, nothing for miles around, but it seems that Foxhounds run far and fast in very little time at all!

    As for me intervening, it's not especially easy to catch a dog running at full pelt in the opposite direction :p

    I'd read a lot that scent hounds shouldn't be off lead. I hadn't believed it, I do now.
     
  11. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    A wood is setting the dog up to fail. All the terriers and scent hounds etc find squirrel and rat trails etc etc You have to interrupt and recall, before the dog's self rewarding chase/scent hunt behaviours have taken over. In a wood, you have little chance to spot it. I have seen one Fox hound off lead, in open grass and it did have decent recall, indeed I did complement the owner on the achievement and she said she had to watch out near the rabbit warrens etc.

    With a small puppy who has strong drive to follow, then hide & seek games can work around trees, but once your dog is too fast for you, if you haven't got the solid recall already, it's risky like you experienced. Obviously proofing in the off leash area first, with the long line minimises the risk of nasty surprises you can tell what the dog is focussed on.
     
    #11 RobD-BCactive, Apr 7, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2011
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