1. The wonderful world of puppies starts here
  2. Find answers to your puppy questions below
  3. Click here for more information

Attention new puppy owners! Let your puppy off the lead.

Discussion in 'Labrador Puppies' started by editor, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. editor

    editor Administrator

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    Messages:
    6,285
    One of the saddest questions I ever get asked by people with Labrador puppies over 5 or 6 months old, is "When can I let my puppy off the lead"

    I have decided to make this a sticky because it is so very important for all new puppy owners to know that their puppy should be off the lead from the very first day, whenever possible.

    This video explains why: Labrador Puppy Recall
     
  2. charlie

    charlie Registered Users

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2012
    Messages:
    10,552
    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    Re: Attention new puppy owners! Let your puppy off the lead.

    I couldn't agree more, when we got Hattie at 12 weeks old she was off lead straight away and stuck to us like glue, as that is what puppies do. She has never had a recall issue.

    There is a lady I know who has a 2 year old Doberman and she would not let him off lead until he was 1 year old and she had terrible recall issues with him, he used to leave her in fields and run off home along the main road, he was lucky he wasn't killed or caused a serious accident. There are many new dog owners in our village that are to scared to let their puppies off lead and are now facing real problems as they get older.

    This is the best advice for any new puppy owner. Helen :)
     
    Standgale likes this.
  3. kateincornwall

    kateincornwall Registered Users

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2012
    Messages:
    9,386
    Re: Attention new puppy owners! Let your puppy off the lead.

    So pleased that you put this article up Pippa . It is a heart in mouth moment but rarely does it go wrong with a young pup . I let Sam off lead at 11 weeks, he didnt let me out of sight for a second , its the very best way :)
     
    Standgale likes this.
  4. Jules

    Jules Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    Messages:
    131
    Re: Attention new puppy owners! Let your puppy off the lead.

    Couldn't agree more.

    Unfortunately there is a very popular dog training school around here who used to tell their clients to NEVER let their pups off lead until they KNEW it had a good Recall. The Trainer was a little stumped when I asked how on earth we were supposed to know our pup had a good recall, if we never let them off lead. So they changed their tack and said, no pups should be off lead until at least 6 months old :-\ . Needless to say, I don't go there anymore, but I still see an awful lot of people worrying about letting their older pups off, or having dreadful difficulties once they do finally brave it.

    It's such a shame, as those early lessons in recall, set the pup up for a lifetime of coming when it's called.
     
  5. jade805

    jade805 Registered Users

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2013
    Messages:
    901
    Re: Attention new puppy owners! Let your puppy off the lead.

    I was worried I had done wrong by not having Amy on a lead in the garden yet. She has had both injections so we will be out about soon. In house she pulls on the lead, so worried about how will go when we out.
     
  6. editor

    editor Administrator

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    Messages:
    6,285
    Re: Attention new puppy owners! Let your puppy off the lead.

    Hi Jade,

    Using a harness is a good idea. That way, she is less likely to associate a collar and lead with pulling. Also try and limit outings on the lead. Obviously you will need to have her on a lead when you take her into town for socialisation etc, but puppies don't need formal (lead walking) exercise for several months yet. When you have her on her harness, use lots of treats to keep her really focused on you, and to keep her mind off the lead.

    Pippa
     
    Standgale likes this.
  7. Oberon

    Oberon Moderator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2013
    Messages:
    14,912
    Location:
    Canberra, Australia
    Re: Attention new puppy owners! Let your puppy off the lead.

    I do all my training off-lead as well - in the house, in the yard and out in safe public areas (ie. sporting oval). The only time Obi (12 months) is on lead is near a road, around people (eg at shops or a cafe), or at dog club. When off lead he gets called back every minute or so for a treat and pat and then sent off again. We aim for 9/10 recalls to not involve the lead being put on, so he always sees a recall as a good thing, not necessarily the end of fun times. We also do a lot of 'restrained recalls' where one of us holds him by the harness and the other runs away. When he's pulling like a train to get to the absconding person he's released, and runs full pelt with great excitement to catch the 'escapee'. As he is running the escapee yells 'come!' (our recall cue). Then we switch roles so he can run back to the other absconding person. Basically this channels the desire to chase into a good recall. We started doing this at a few metres distance and now do it over about 200 metres.

    Another recall rule we apply religiously is to never, ever, ever chase the dog. If we have to get him because he is doing something illicit (eg eating a dead fish) or is otherwise engaged (eg found another dog to play with) we do not attempt a recall but walk up to him calmly.

    Our job is made easier as Obi is from show lines, does not have a big interest in hunting and is very people focused (though this means that he wants to run up to every human on the planet - that is our biggest challenge, actually). He is also extremely food motivated and would sell his grandmother for roast chicken.
     
    Standgale likes this.
  8. Labrina

    Labrina Registered Users

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2012
    Messages:
    218
    Re: Attention new puppy owners! Let your puppy off the lead.

    Speaking of puppies off leads, I tried something yesterday during our walk on the beach. Although, I tend to release him to wander and he barely listens to commands unless I'm holding treats. At one point, as I drive to the area McQueen gets his excersise at mostly, he would not bat an eyelid at my command to 'come', I tried something to see his reaction. I got George into the car and actually drove off a little with McQueen in full view from the rear view mirror...He raced behind the car, then of course stopped considering I was getting a little too far ahead as I stopped and watched him for a little bit only to do a 'u' turn and return back to him. Boy did that work! He bolted towards the car and jumped straight in !!! Guess he's gonna be listening next time around ! hehehe...I have actually minimalised his lead control to only public places to be honest and at home when in the garden and unsupervised preventing his normal destructive nature...At this point his belly still controls his selective hearing being that treats are his targets !
     
  9. editor

    editor Administrator

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    Messages:
    6,285
    Re: Attention new puppy owners! Let your puppy off the lead.

    Hi Labrina
    You need to switch from using treats as bribes, to using treats in order to create an automatic trained response. Have a look at this article: My dog won't obey without food

    Pippa
     
  10. drjs@5

    drjs@5 Moderator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2012
    Messages:
    15,742
    Location:
    Fife, Scotland
    Re: Attention new puppy owners! Let your puppy off the lead.

    I know this is diverting the thread, but for most actions I reward only now and again, but jumping into the car is another matter. She just won't do it unless I have a treat actually in my hand. She gets the treat 50-60% of the time I reckon. But no treat= no jumping in.
    Any tips on this one?
    I don't always have a treat on me (shock horror :eek: ) and sometimes resort to picking her up and plonking her in myself ::)

    jac
     
  11. VAl

    VAl Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2013
    Messages:
    47
    Re: Attention new puppy owners! Let your puppy off the lead.

    Just seen this thread, well Chloe is almost seven months old, she is our third lab, one until 15 one until 13, we live close to the beach but did notlet them go until around9 months. Very interesting but now too late to do it at 12 weeks,however,our beach inAnglesey is very popular with loads of people and loose dogs in the summer,so we could not let her go as she would jump up and knock children over.

    However, Chloe is not as biddable as the other two,they were from show stock she is from gun dog stock and there is a difference,she is a strong willed dog, lovely,but deaf!!!!!! Have a large area penned off from main lawn,but she goes on main lawn loose and gets a good run, there is a little gate to the penned off area,now they say labs do anything for food, hmm, she would not come in , so a dog biscuit offered, yep,she came in, this was weeks ago, now she is called in and stops at the gate, she says if you think I am coming for a biscuit then shutting the gate, you have another think coming!!! ::)

    I have even had to put on her lead to drag her in. So,the beach is a no no until somehow we get this sorted. Although I am no youngster, I did try another trick, ie running in to the pen into the back door, she came in then,but it only worked once.
    Some workn eeded, but I am not sure what, hoping she may get more sense soon!!!



    She is not short of exercise , gets walks,but on lead. Working hard trying to stop her jumping up at every passer by, getting her to sit when someone approaches with or without dog, this is working quite well until they say Oh what a beautiful pup,aaaaahhhh!!!
    Then up she goes!!! She is getting heavy so does my back no good at all. She sits at every kerb,but as you all know,it takes time,but our last lab Rosie was a Pets as Therapy dog when only 2,I doubt if Chloe will be so good,but you never know.

    From day one she has brought her ball back, so that is good, but now she has decided when we get to our gate after a walk, she is not coming in, I am not dragging her in, so we just wait until she does come, sounds like she has me on a string, well not really, but I am getting things from this one we have not had before. Had to put her in the kitchen tonight as she barks through teatime even though she has been fed, we sorted this some weeks ago, but it has started again, she is quite fearless, we do not shout, that would not work, ignoring seems best. Having said all this, she is doing very well in other aspects, not been too destructive and we do not have a cage.

    Cheers
    Val
     
  12. stylie

    stylie Registered Users

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2013
    Messages:
    7
    Re: Attention new puppy owners! Let your puppy off the lead.

    We have a 1 year old Lab called Aggie, had her since she was 10 weeks and once she had her last injection we took her to a wooded area and let her off and we have never had a problem with her running off, she always goes so far but checks we are always with in her sight so i think in my opinion let them off sooner rather than later as a puppy will always keep near you.. good luck!!
     
  13. hebegb

    hebegb Registered Users

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Messages:
    6
    Re: Attention new puppy owners! Let your puppy off the lead.

    hi we have a nearly 7 months old black lab (gun dog background) called Hugo. He's my first dog but my husband has always had dogs. We have only had him 2mnths
    as he was orginaly part trained as a gun dog but deemed to timid for the real deal! (i personally don't think hes timid but hey its our win !). Hes got a lovely nature
    with all the puppy enthusiasm that labs seem to have!. I admit i was terrified of letting him off lead but as he desperately needed socialising we had to bite the bullet.
    We did some treat recall at home and lead work (hes awful on the lead and pulls so neither of our kids can walk him as hes so strong!) then took him to the nearest
    dog friendly park. He was pretty excitable to begin with but 6 weeks in he's socialising well, getting really good at recall unless he's in the water! and is learning that
    not every dog he meets wants to play! We've had some gripes from other dog owners but not about him being aggressive just a little over zealous when greeting
    new friends! i find that a bit hard but now just encourage him to 'come' which mostly he does. If we had'nt let him off i think i'd have been pretty fed up with him by
    now as he is so unpleasant to have on the lead!. He's much happier and so am I! We are working on lead walking and any advice on a halti type harness would be
    appreciated as so far I've avoided them but it may help?
     
  14. hebegb

    hebegb Registered Users

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Messages:
    6
    Re: Attention new puppy owners! Let your puppy off the lead.

    Sorry about the appalling layout Its my first post! I'll learn :0)
     
  15. Oberon

    Oberon Moderator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2013
    Messages:
    14,912
    Location:
    Canberra, Australia
    Re: Attention new puppy owners! Let your puppy off the lead.

    Sounds like you're enjoying you new boy, who seems like a normal, happy energetic lad :)

    Some dogs don't mind haltis and walk well on them while they seem to really bother other dogs. There are a few other threads on here discussing haltis and lots of threads discussing pulling :) Up the top of the forum there's a 'search' option, which you can use to put in words you want to search for - it'll locate previous threads and posts on the subject for you :)

    Edit: here's one, with a link to an article on the subject :) http://www.thelabradorsite.com/forums/index.php/topic,2732.msg29254.html#msg29254
     
  16. Dexter

    Dexter Moderator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    Messages:
    11,335
    Location:
    Dubai
    Re: Attention new puppy owners! Let your puppy off the lead.

    Hi hebegb...
    Hello and how you doing?we own a yellow boy called Dexter,he's coming up 13 months now...he's our first dog and I'm an organized sensible person and thought I was totally prepared for him ...ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!pulling was a massive,serious ,miserable issue for me,I thought what I was doing was correct it it wasn't,I just couldn't cope so in the end I 'gave in' and got him on a front fastening harness...which,of course helped no end but I relied on it to solve the problem and it doesn't ::).....The harness rubbed Dex under his leg so I had to have a break from it when he was around 8 months,putting him back on the collar and lead revealed the horrifying extent of the problem......I've said it before but I literally cried.i live in dubai which is awfully in dog friendly,dogs have to be on a lead at all times so I had to be able to manage this....
    I went straight back to square 1 with a new command,'walk' and used all Pippa's articles and a halti....it was a grim time in our relationship but you know i persevered and thank goodness I did.
    We( you might already know this due to my Lamentations about it) are going through quite a challenging time recuperating Dexter after some tail surgeries and he has been on lead walks only for nearly 3 weeks....if I hadn't worked on the pulling situation,I dread to think what these 3 weeks would have been like,it would have been unbearable.he still needs a lot of management and encouragement/reminders and of course rewards but we can present ourselves fairly ok on public ,generally :D.
    My point to this is ,while not to lecture in any way,but lead walking is something you might need to rely on on the future and if Chloe is hard work it could be an absolute nightmare for you .....
    Good luck,any help you need you will find it on here....
    Best wishes
    Angela x
     
  17. Dexter

    Dexter Moderator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    Messages:
    11,335
    Location:
    Dubai
    Re: Attention new puppy owners! Let your puppy off the lead.

    My apologies for calling Hugo ,Chloe,duh! Persevere....it will be worth it and it is possible to fix xxx
     
  18. UncleBob

    UncleBob Moderator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2013
    Messages:
    1,638
    Re: Attention new puppy owners! Let your puppy off the lead.

    Hi all,

    Harvey is now 'ready for action' having had his second vaccination. 8)

    We want to follow the advice here and let him off lead as soon as possible (he had his first couple of short walks 'on lead' yesterday) but we have some slight reservations - what if he disappears through a hedge never to be seen again, or through a hedge up an embankment and out on to a busy road? Do you find a secure testing area first to practice or do you just trust your dog and 'go for it'?
     
  19. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2013
    Messages:
    22,870
    Re: Attention new puppy owners! Let your puppy off the lead.

    I don't think there are any guarantees but think it's pretty unusual for a small puppy to be brave enough to leave you.

    I first took Charlie's lead off in the middle of a football pitch which itself was in the middle of a large park. Then I next tried on a very, very, big beach - about 500m before Charlie could get into any trouble. He never went further than 10 - 15m away so it turned out I had a huge safety margin! This lasted until he was about 4 months old. After that, he was quite happy to leg it over to the other side of the beach to say hello to people and other dogs.
     
  20. drjs@5

    drjs@5 Moderator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2012
    Messages:
    15,742
    Location:
    Fife, Scotland
    Re: Attention new puppy owners! Let your puppy off the lead.

    (not that Julie is wanting to worry you or anything ;D )
     

Share This Page