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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My puppy is now 14 weeks old and i'm just wondering where her training should be at now and in the future weeks? I know every puppy learns at a different pace so just after a general idea.

At the minute she can sit, wait and stay and will come back when called in the garden and house. All of these are a bit hit and miss but mostly good.

She is learning to bring back her toys and drop them for me. I am also teaching her loose lead walking.

I am buying a long line training lead to teach recall in the park. Is she too young to use this or would it be a good time to start?

Her toilet training is going well, she has a few wee's indoors a week but other than those she will go to the back door and sit waiting to be let out. On the occasions she does do it indoors it is usually when i am in the kitchen and she is with me and she doesn't seem to realise she needs to sit by the kitchen door so i will let her through to the living room where she back door is, she will just do a wee on the floor. I have started to pick her up mid wee but is there anything else i can do? Will this just stop as she gets older?

What age are dogs usually let off the lead for the first time? I was speaking to someone with a 6 month old puppy in the park today which was walking off lead and i was quite surprised, this seems quite early, is this normal?

1 thing i think could be a problem is she is always so excited to see people and other dogs. If walking on the lead she will pull to get to people and want attention from every single person. Some people want to make a fuss of her but some obviously don't and i get her to keep walking, following me not going after the person. Is this the right thing to do? If people bike past i get her to sit which she will do and watch them bike past.
 

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It sounds like you're doing very well with the training. Regarding the toilet, at 14 weeks I would still be putting her outside and using your chosen cue word quite often, not just relying on her asking.
Offlead is up to you, when you feel confident. I normally start with a long line and call them back often. When I'm happy that they are understanding that then I'll let them go. With Rosie however, we got her at 9 weeks. She was offlead from the first day she was allowed out. She never strays from the bigger dogs, when I call them she comes too. I call her too, just so she's not just following them if you know what I mean.
Do you have any secure fields close by that you could use to let her off? Always a good place to start with recall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've got a lot of parks near by where i can use a long line lead and was planning to let her off for the first time at my parents as they live in the country so it's a bit safer. I know she's not ready for it yet but i think she is ready for the long lead and see how that goes. I've ordered one online so maybe next weekend for the first session with the lead.
 

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I am a big believer in letting them off lead as early as possible. If yiu have a long line and you are in a safe area, then i'd say give it a try. My dally pup has been off lead since he had his injections and, at 24 weeks, i'm yet to have a problem. Admittedly i may have just got lucky!
 

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I also believe in letting puppies off lead early. In fact, I don't use a lead at all the first few weeks. Then I put the lead on occasionally, because I want the puppy to be used to the lead as well, but I still keep the puppy off lead most of the time.

When the dog is in its adolesence I keep it on lead a lot more, because at that time it's not unusual for the dog to not listen as well as before, so I keep the lead on to prevent the dog from gaining something from disobeying. That way I have had a reliable off lead behaviour when the dog is grown up on all of my dogs (except my current, whom I made some mistakes with; mistakes ending up with her rewarding herself by disobeying, so I don't trust her completely even though I let her off lead on a daily basis).

I think that your dog might well be ready to be off lead. If I were you I'd start easy, for example by letting it drag the lead on the ground somewhere where it's quiet, to minimize the risk for the dog to reward itself by disobeying. Don't push it- the first time it might be enough to let go of the lead/let the dog off lead for a minute or two. If it goes well you'll have confidence and a feeling that you can trust your dog off lead and that is important.
 

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Another advocate of off lead as early as possible, the younger the pup the more dependent they are on you, and will follow you about. I don't do formal obedience of any sort with my dogs, and although I do use some of this type of training, it's very much later on to tidy up what they already know. By the time they are six months old, I'm happy if they have a reliable recall, and if they have a nice sit/stop when they recall, and if they walk nicely on lead (doesn't have to be perfect at this stage). I practise the recall when out with the dogs, get them to sit, reward them, and then release them to 'go play' again, that way, they don't associate the recall with fun ending, and going back on lead. Actually making lead work fun is much more difficult, that's down to the handler learning the skills to make things fun, and let's face it, heel work just isn't the most fun inspiring activity you could think of, but it can be done. The most tempting thing is to pop the lead on and stop interacting with your dog, or trying to interact but that patch of grass is just so much more interesting and I'm going to pull to get to that. If you can find a good class to help you develop your handling skills it will really help when it comes to heel work :)
 

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We're the opposite, and keep our dogs on lead until 6 or 8 months. Setters are notorious for just vanishing off into the distance, and we find that keeping ours onlead to us that bit later gets them used to staying nearby. Henry is just over five months now and still on a long flexi lead - I don't trust his recall yet, so it'll probably be at least another month before he gets to go off it.
 

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I think you have to do what you feel is right for you.

I have busy roads to cross to get to fields and am wheelchair user if he ran off or got under a fence etc I can't easily just run after him. My pup will stay on-lead when out and use extending lead or long line on fields until I'm absolutely sure I can trust him 100% to come back.

My older dog walks beautifully off-lead along pavements and can trust her to go around cars the other way (her between wall and parked car) when I have to go round other side onto road and in places where she can go onto grassy areas and I have to stay on a farm road. When I know I can trust pup to do same where I can't drive next to him then he will be allowed to be off-lead in those places.

My pup also needs to learn first to check back with me frequently for signed commands as I'm also deaf and my speech isn't very good. Cars are usually right alongside me before I realise they are there...My priority is that my dogs are safe when we are all out together, so I think you need to do what's right for your situation.
 
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