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

Discussion in 'Labrador Puppies' started by pippa@labforumHQ, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. Alex Wilson

    Alex Wilson Registered Users

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    Hi everyone!
    We have a nearly 5 month old boy called Monty. We've been letting him off the lead for a few weeks now at our local park and some smaller local beaches, more enclosed places where we know he's not likely to do a runner! He tends to just toddle along, have a splash in the sea and say hello to the other dogs. He doesn't really go very far from me at all. We have a larger local dog beach 5 minutes from us which is not enclosed but we're not sure when is best to let him off there. It's quite big and and sometimes has more dogs than people! Would it be better to let him off here sooner rather than later? Also, would it be a good idea to let him off with the family dogs he knows already the first time we try it? I feel awful taking him down there and having to keep him on the lead when all the other pups are off having fun!
     
  2. pippa@labforumHQ

    pippa@labforumHQ Administrator

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    Hi Alex, a harness with a trailing line attached is a good half way house when you take a puppy to more distracting environments. They don't usually get too tangled on a beach and it gives you a chance to take control if he gets a bit over excited. Not suitable for swimming because of the risk of tangling, but for playing on the beach it's fine. Take some fabulous treats and toys and reward him well for checking in with you, and interacting with you. Keep playing with him because what you don't want is for him to have so much fun away from you that he doesn't want to come home.
     
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  3. Keithmac

    Keithmac Registered Users

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    Our Honey's 15 weeks, she is good on harness when walking, sits and waits when crossing roads etc.

    She loves meeting other dogs though, is 15 weeks too late to try off lead?.

    We have a dog friendly park just round the corner where she goes on lead.

    Don't think the family would speak to me again if I let her off tomorrow and she just ran into the distance..
     
  4. Keithmac

    Keithmac Registered Users

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    Took the plunge and she behaved really well off lead!, just had to keep an eye out for other dogs and clip her lead on when we saw any.

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    Thanks for the advice, think we caught her just in time!.

    Her recall was very good, could have been due to the bag of treats mind!.
     
  5. pippa@labforumHQ

    pippa@labforumHQ Administrator

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    Keithmac likes this.
  6. Carrie Davidson

    Carrie Davidson Registered Users

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    I have a pup who is just 12 weeks.. she was doing very well staying close to us off lead, but I had to gone a whole day and had a family member stay with her..

    He had her on lead every time he went out with her, and now She's acting like she wants to run.. And She's really fast..

    I'm now afraid she will try to run..
     
  7. Keithmac

    Keithmac Registered Users

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    Ours is very interested in birds and rabbits but even then she won't go far and always has a look round to make sure we're still there.

    Plenty of treats and keep up practicing your recall as said above.
     
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  8. Alex Wilson

    Alex Wilson Registered Users

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    Thanks Pippa! We've got an extension for our current lead so we might start trying him out on that at the local beach and then work up to taking him off. We took him to the smaller beach on Saturday and he stayed with us the entire time as we were playing fetch so we may take the ball and some treats down with us once we feel confident enough and give it a go that way when it's a little quieter!
     
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  9. pippa@labforumHQ

    pippa@labforumHQ Administrator

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    That's great, let us know how you get on!
     
  10. Jade

    Jade Registered Users

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    In the USA we have very strict leash laws. Dogs are not even allowed on beaches without a leash. Fortunately our property is five acres so we can provide off leash time and it's also partially fenced in. Does that mean daily walks on a leash is a bad thing?
     
  11. pippa@labforumHQ

    pippa@labforumHQ Administrator

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    That sounds wonderful :). And no, daily leash walks are not bad, but they are not an essential part of a puppy's life.

    Loose leash walking is an important thing for every dog to learn at some point because there will come a time when they have to be leashed. But when you have access to private land to train your dog, you have the luxury of being able to avoid many of the problems that arise for people that are forced to put their puppy on a leash before the puppy has learned to walk nicely alongside their owner
     
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  12. Jade

    Jade Registered Users

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    thank you so much. Great advice. I have another problem. Please refer to my new post titled "Help !" in the Training section.
     
  13. Bud Light/Dilly Dilly

    Bud Light/Dilly Dilly Registered Users

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    Per advice from the breeder we got our dog from, we taught Buddy to walk off lead from the day we got him (around the house and in the back yard). Really glad we took that advice. We have an unconventional house which has a bedroom exit door that leads to the back yard, however, my girlfriend's father stays in there, so we don't really use that way to take him to the back yard. That's the only exit from the inside of our house directly to the back yard. Our kitchen door leads to the drive way on the side of the house and then there is a gate that you have to open up to get into the back yard, so that's typically the route we have been taking him to go outside to the bath room every day since we got him. Doing this can be a pain in the ass, since it is a longer walk to go to the restroom for him, but it's really taught him to do well off his lead. He now follows us in and out of the house every day with out a lead just to go to the restroom. And now he just likes to follow us and hang around us when we do simple things, like pack up the car to go somewhere. We also take him to a school with a huge field to let him roam around off his lead and he does a great job of sticking by us as well, even with tons of people around.

    The only time he really needs a lead is when we take him on walks on the street and when we take him to public places with other dogs, such as a dog friendly restaurant. But yea, it's definitely a great practice to let your dog off lead as soon as possible.
     
  14. Sabine74

    Sabine74 Registered Users

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    This is one thing that I really wished we knew, and missed when we first got our puppy. We were to scared that she would take of, didn't know that puppies at 8 weeks would instictually follow you around, were told to make sure that she is on a leash at all times when outside. I signed on here a tad to late, and read this. I think off leash training would be way easier now, if we got her used to follow us from the beginning.. Now she is almost 22 weeks, and just to curious about the world around her. Recall at home with no distraction is ok, not so much if there are distractions like other dogs around. She will just ignore us more often than not. One of our next classes with the trainer will be off leash recall games. I hope that will help.
     
  15. Saffy/isla

    Saffy/isla Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Hi Sabine 74, don't beat yourself up about it, we let our pup off lead straight away at 8 weeks and she stayed right with us always, roll forward to 8 months old and she goes flying across the park to"play"with any dog she sees and recall is non existent! We've had to put her back on the lead and start all over again, so it doesn't always pay off
     
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  16. Sabine74

    Sabine74 Registered Users

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    Thanks for your reply Saffy/Isla. We will get there eventually :) it can just get frustrating at times :p
     
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  17. Ryan Murphy

    Ryan Murphy Registered Users

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    How is this feasable in subrurban areas? there is no where within 20 miles of me i wouldn't see cars every minute. How do you trust a new pup won't just go in the street ? Even the wooded parks with hiking.

    I practice come daily in our fenced in area when i play fetch and she's getting very good at it the last 5-10 days (6 months old, adopted at 4 mo and wasn't trained/housebroken so we been working overtime to catch up to 8 week old pups that were doing it by the time we got them.

    I'm planning on going to some larger hiking/camping parks with a whistle and lots of diced chicken this weekend to start.
     
  18. WillowA

    WillowA Registered Users

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    We had a rescue spaniel we could never let her off the lead. She was 18 months when she came to us and already had 2 homes.
    She was caged for 8hrs a day before we had her. We only caged her in the car as she was too excitable to be free when travelling.
    When out on walks she would just run and run and not come back so she lived her life on a long lead, its a shame how people screw dogs up then put them into rescue as they cant control them when they are the problem not the dog.
    She was too "excitable and boisterous" was the reason for being in rescue. She was a couch potato with us after her 2 hour walk she would run all the time on the flexi led so was really fit.
    We had a another Spaniel from 12 weeks and was let off straight away I used to take her to the park and practice training sessions with her she would sit off the lead but only stay so long before she followed me. I never had any recall issues with her or our Lab when I was young.
     
  19. Verdi’s mom

    Verdi’s mom Registered Users

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    I have a 3months chocolate boy since he was 8 weeks. I have a fully fenced yard which I had to divide in half as he ate all plants, bushes, picked stones and attacked flowers. Other than that he was allowed to run freely there. I might have made a mistake not practising recall too seriously as he is now “very selective in hearing”, especially when he decides to dig, chew on fence or hears neighbours. I am terrified to take him on leashed walks as he nearly choked himself yesterday - a couple of steps behind the gates he knows. He is extremely eager to see and meet anything and anyone. Even vet! :) I do not believe I can allow him a single step without a leash outside my garden. On the other side it is also very painful to see him coughing and choking when on leash... I hope some training classes will help - we have a scheduled appointment with trainer on Thursday and then will decide which approach to take.
    I did not have time to read all the thread, just the beginning and end. Does anyone else have a problem like me? How do you cope?
     
  20. Mikew

    Mikew Registered Users

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    Hi everyone. Reggie is 10 weeks old. Our garden isn’t secure and he can escape! We have to put him on a lead every time he needs to go to the toilet. I’m trying to train him that pulling in the lead is wrong when we are out there. I’d like to just let him off but scared he will get out the garden! Any tips?
     

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