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

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

  1. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

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    Read this post I just made in another thread: Anxious on lead meetings
    It's about anxiety rather than excitement, but the exact same game can be used to great effect.
     
  2. Xena Dog Princess

    Xena Dog Princess Registered Users

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    Ha ha I was just thinking the same thing today - imagine walking down the street with a dog who just strolls past other people without a second glance! I know that it'll take time, perseverance, and patience to get to that point...or close to it. I've just recently started "look at that" after Fiona @snowbunny recommended it. The only problem I'm having is remembering to click when she spots THE PEOPLE, I'm a little slow in my reactions lol.
     
  3. Beanwood

    Beanwood Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Oh yes, the timing is quite challenging! I was hopeless when learning this technique with Casper. It does get easier, and then more fun as you start to relax and and your dog starts to learn this amazing new game. Casper has a funny habit of glancing at me...looking at the trigger...then if I haven't clicked in time I get what i can only describe as a hard stare! :) I am sure this technique has contributed hugely to his much calmer and less reactive behaviour. Although when it comes to deer I could through a whole cooked chicken at him and he would still be off! sigh....
     
  4. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

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    I'm trying to recall, Kate, if there are any deer parks in your area. When I used to live in the South East, we had the luxury of the Royal Parks, with their abundance of deer. They would have been perfect training grounds for deer-obsessed dog, as you can be proactive about them being there, rather than reactive. Maybe a few day trips to Richmond Park are in order? :D
     
  5. Deejay50

    Deejay50 Registered Users

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    Ah, now that all brings back memories of the legendery Fenton, every dog walker's worst nightmare

     
  6. DebzC

    DebzC Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    This thread was the best find a few weeks ago and I encourage everybody to do it! From the first walk Libby was off the lead apart from the first and last little bit along our road. She wants us near so will wait for us or catch up. I also use a whistle and she comes back every single time which was perfect yesterday when the postvan came down a track. Obviously this might change in the next weeks as she becomes more confident about wandering off but I'm so glad I read this advice.
     
  7. Boogie

    Boogie Moderator

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    The secret is to be unpredictable - hide, change direction, go down unexpected paths. That way they have to keep an eye on you and stay close.

    It works with older pups too.

    Bruce (11 months) had lost all recall due to his puppy walker constantly calling him to keep him close. It had the opposite effect.

    I took him to a secure field at first, which has lots of paths and trees. So I could be confident I wouldn't lose him. Then I deliberately 'lost' him by hiding, turning tail and veering off on another path when he was striding forward. He soon started staying closer.

    Now I can walk him anywhere and he keeps a 'proper' distance (20 yards or so).


    ..
     
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  8. DebzC

    DebzC Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Ah yes, I remember us doing this with Ria, our lab when I was a teenager. She never ever ran off again!
     
  9. Anya

    Anya Registered Users

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    Hey guys,

    So I got a lab retriever at 5 months old from the local rescue centre. He is now 8 months old and I let him off the lead straight away. His recall is very good. Except, since he acquired a taste for poop as soon as I let him off the lead he's in search for it and all my recall teaching is out the window because he's determined to find some. They say puppies grow out of it but I'm not convinced. When I do have him on the lead and he goes anywhere near poop I tell him to leave it and give him a treat. He does really well with that. I worry I put too much emphasis on it and I can't really relax on walks anymore as I'm always on my guard. He loves to play with other dogs but then immediately after goes in search for poo. So do I keep him on the lead until I thought him not to eat anymore or just ignore when he does it in the hope he will grow out of it? Help!
     
  10. PenyaBella

    PenyaBella Registered Users

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    New lab owner here, so I'm sorry if this has been asked, but why is it important to let them off their lead?
    I live smack dab in the middle of a city with a lot of traffic and the idea of letting my Bella off her lead terrifies me!
     
  11. Dexter

    Dexter Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Hi there,

    Have a look back at the beginning of the thread and you can see a video in the first post from Pippa,she can explain it way better than I ever could...It's critical for you to be able to train your recall.
    Safety is always the most important thing....you need to find a safe ,open space ,preferably secure ( although I know how challenging that criteria can be! )
    My dog has got a pretty good recall but I I'd never let him off near a road even now at the age of 4....I don't have a huge choice of off lead areas so when I was working through Pippa's Book Total Recall I used places like the tennis/basket ball courts To practice.
    Good luck and stay safe x
     
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  12. em_adams

    em_adams Registered Users

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    I have a 7 month old who has almost always been on a leash when we walk (I live in a college town--trash all around our usual route!) but is off when we go to the park. Is it too late to start trying to get him off the leash more?
     
  13. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

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    It's not too late, but at 7 months, you will have to be more careful. Work on a strong recall (I would recommend the Total Recall programme) and maybe use a long line on a harness for a while. But, obviously, you don't want to have him off his lead near roads.
     
  14. Boogie

    Boogie Moderator

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    I got Bruce at 10 months - he had no recall and was an absconder. I followed Total Recall (there is a great chapter at the back about recovering lost or non-existent recall). It worked within a week!


    :D
     

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