Balancing the need to run with the need to stay safe
Took the dogs for a walk around the pond at my work last night. It's a 1/2 mile loop and late at night there's nobody around. It does border a road though and is not fenced. Basically it's a loop around a large retention pond between three large buildings.
Anyway- With nobody around and a road with little traffic only on one side (and nobody to speak of in the three buildings on the other side) I feel 100% perfectly safe letting Pimg off lead to run around and do her thing. Not to mention Pimg is highly focused on me and has a great recall. We walk a few laps and she runs up the hills, over to the pond, look at (and chews...) the trees, etc. Just getting to be a dog and RUN!
Last night I took Jinks with for the first time. I had him on a flexi lead (standard length- I don't recall if it's the 16' or the 26' one). He clearly wanted to run and chase Pimg, but he'd hit the end of the lead fast. I had him on a harness of course for this reason. I tired to run with them so he could still run, but, well- I'm nowhere near as fast as the dogs...
I desperately wanted to let him off lead, but just don't trust that he wouldn't bolt at this point. We're working on a recall- but it's not there yet. He is able to run free in the backyard, but it's not really that fun. Pimg only wants to play with her ball in the backyard- not really interested in any chasing...
It seems my only real option for off-lead running is a dog park. I just didn't want to go down that road. How do you guys balance the need to run with the need to be safe and stay on lead?
Pimg - DOB: 2/06, CL3, CL2, CL1, UJJ, HIT, CGC
High Jinks vom Neuanfang - DOB 9/12 (Gotchya Day: 1/23/2013) agility superstar in training