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Thread: Do You Totally Trust Your Dog Off Leash? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
01-02-2013 06:44 PM
selzer See, I would work with one off-lead at a time, but no way would I do two. I only got two eyes, and they don't work independently. Those what-if's would take all the enjoyment out of whatever I was doing.

But when I am out with a dog, or if I take two out somewhere and leave one in the vehicle and switch off, that is my bonding time with that individual dog. I prefer to work them separate.
01-02-2013 06:41 PM
GSDElsa
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
I totally agree and find this very respectful. Just because I *trust* my dog off leash does not mean he *is* off leash. I've encountered people who act like they have something to prove, having their dogs off leash. Too often it's these dogs that charge over to mine, hackles up and spitting, and they have to chase them down to get them under control. I keep my dogs on leash more often than I need to or am required too, but having a male GSD I know most people are already leery of him. I let his behavior set a good example and he doesn't need to be off leash to prove that he can be obedient and neutral to other dogs and people in high traffic areas.
Do not even get me started on these people!!! THere is some guy who has a blue heeler that lives somewhere in our neighborhood and he walks his dog through the neighborhood OFF LEASH all the time...and the dog doesn't stay by this guys side, he runs a muck...ROUTINELY comes in our yard to pee on our bushes and snoopes in our windows. We have floor to ceiling windows and our dogs go insane when the dog comes into our yard. We've encountered him on walks before and while he calls the dog back to him, Medo and Elsa go prety batty when they see him and we've gotten some REALLY snide comments from him about them. Finally one day my husband just went totally off on him and what an arse munch he was. We haven't seen him on our street since then........coincidence? Who knows, but if the obscene yelling resulted in him not coming on our street anymore then I'm all for it (as much as I do NOT condone my DH usually acting like that, enough was enough!)
01-02-2013 06:36 PM
GSDElsa Well I'll specify that I think it's impossible to have 100% trust in an animal like a dog in regards to recall. BUT, both of my dogs have proven to me enough that I can trust them as much as it's possible for me to trust dogs. I've called both of mine off wildlife when they've been mid-chase. A high enough pitched and loud enough "HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" does the trick.

I am not sure I'd trust Elsa off-leash somewhere like a city or something. Her focus and drive isn't as strong as Medo's. When he's in drive and focused on me there isn't anything in the world that will pry it off me other than a glace away at the absolute worst. I've been offf-leash heeling at parks and literally had dogs run up to him and shove him and he didn't so much as blink an eye.

For parks and hikes I'm usually off-leash, but always somewhat paranoid of the "what ifs" out there so will leash them if there are a bunch of other people.

Medo is e-collar trained for recall. I need to use it on Elsa too and I probably would never leash them again.
01-02-2013 05:48 PM
Lilie
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
I totally agree and find this very respectful. Just because I *trust* my dog off leash does not mean he *is* off leash. I've encountered people who act like they have something to prove, having their dogs off leash. Too often it's these dogs that charge over to mine, hackles up and spitting, and they have to chase them down to get them under control. I keep my dogs on leash more often than I need to or am required too, but having a male GSD I know most people are already leery of him. I let his behavior set a good example and he doesn't need to be off leash to prove that he can be obedient and neutral to other dogs and people in high traffic areas.
PERFECT response!!!!!
01-02-2013 05:43 PM
LoveEcho I treat it in a case-by-case basis. Echo's recall is 100% and he's never actually given me reason to doubt him, but if we're in an environment where he might get distracted or it might be uncomfortable to others (at the beach if there's a lot of other dogs around, a lot of people around, or somewhere where there's heavy traffic) I tend to keep him on leash just to be safe.
01-02-2013 05:42 PM
RowdyDogs
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
I've encountered people who act like they have something to prove, having their dogs off leash. Too often it's these dogs that charge over to mine, hackles up and spitting, and they have to chase them down to get them under control.
This has been my experience as well. Seriously, what is a leash? I've read multiple postings on these very forums in the last week or so where people couldn't keep their dogs under control with a leash or even in their own homes. I also trust my dogs to respond to any command I give them, regardless of a piece of rope attaching us, because I've never used that piece of rope to force obedience. If they're obedient on a 10ft line 100% of the time, they'll be obedient without one. We practice both with (in public places) and without (in safe places).

Seriously, I'm a professional horse trainer who weighs about 120 pounds at 5'8", so not a lot of muscle. I also have a spinal injury that limits my upper body strength. My lightest horse weighs 900 pounds. No way I can overpower him. Dogs aren't any different. It's a mental game, not a physical one.

I am 100% sure that I could not stop my GSD from doing whatever he wanted, if he was really set on it. I'm about 80% sure I couldn't keep my other 3 (who weigh about half as much) from it as well. Physical strength is not my strong suit, because of said injury. But if you train them right, physical strength should be fairly irrelevant.

FWIW, I hate it when dogs lunge at me and mine when said aggressive dogs are on a leash as well. I just feel safer approaching a leashed dog because there's some element of physical control, and it doesn't raise red flags approaching them because like 98% of dogs are leashed. Loose dogs always raise those red flags unless I know them or I recognize official insignia (LEO, SAR, etc.--but even those dogs are usually on leash unless working, IME), just because I've had so many bad experiences.
01-02-2013 05:18 PM
selzer I agree, though that around people, I hook up the umbilical cord so the people think I have her under control, LOL. Again, Babs, well, it is more than just a recall, it is a bond. And it isn't a scaredy bond. It is like I talk to her in paragraphs, and she knows what I want. I know what she wants by just looking at her. She knows what I want before I ever say anything.

I could call her off a deer or rabbit in full flight, as I could and did with her mother. It's like I know her inside out.

I walked her mother off lead through a bunch of drunks smoking outside of the bar. No problem. Scary only in that if one of the drunks did something really dumb, then well, the umbilical cord wasn't there, and Arwen would have just dodged out of the yayhoo's way. But she was heeling, and I am not sure if they were even aware that she was off lead.

Now both of these I had CDs and RAs on. Working a dog off lead in a ring is not the same as taking them out in the real world. The ring has fencing that any self-respecting GSD could step over, but they don't, well mine haven't so far. There are distractions, but they are not like the distractions of being off lead on the sidewalk, when there are cars, a stray dog or cat, squirrels, humans, and the like.

One night I was heeling with Babs off lead, and a cop came out of nowhere running right at us. We were heeling, so I just put my hand down and closed on her collar. She didn't do anything though.

The other night we were out and she was walking about 10 - 15 feet ahead of me. Why? I don't know. She was quicker in the snow I guess. But when I called to her to find heel, she did. But as I say, there is good communication between us, I can say, "stay out of the street" and she will, "stay out of the mud", and she will go the route of the sidewalk panels away from the mud. It's uncanny how we understand each other.

Today I told her to "Go with her" when I was at the vet. And she did. It is not something I train for. None of it really. I was holding her while the vet tech was learning how to draw blood. This takes more sticks than usual. Another vet tech was in there, and Babs kept giving her kisses. Weird. I was letting her because she was being good and not acting overly afraid or anything. The woman getting the kisses told me then that she told them that I was a good holder and that I wouldn't have let anything happen. Uhm, so I was supposed to be keeping her from eating the lady with the needle? Glad we were clear on that before the fact.

But the dog is seven. If she was eight months old, it would be a little different. I suppose you really should know your dog well enough to trust them somewhat by the time they are seven when you have had them their whole lives. Or, you should know your dog well enough not to trust them in certain situations by the time they are seven. The number of Oh Shoot! moments when the dog totally surprises you should go way down to practically nill by then.
01-02-2013 11:23 AM
Liesje
Quote:
Originally Posted by RowdyDogs View Post
I don't let them off-leash in more populated areas, though. It's not that I don't trust my dogs, it's that I don't trust myself to watch them closely enough or other people to not do something stupid. It would only take a moment for my dog to dart out in traffic or whatever. The distances are just much closer than with wildlife, even playing fetch in an unfenced park or something.

I'm also conscious of other people, because I know that I am always a little wary when I encounter an off-leash dog, even when it appears to be under control. I've just had too many experiences where a dog is in a heel or playing fetch and then spins off to come visit me as its owner helplessly calls it. I don't like it, so I won't subject others to it if I can help it. My dogs stay on leash on popular hiking trails for this reason as well; it's only when we get out into the remote areas that I let them off.
I totally agree and find this very respectful. Just because I *trust* my dog off leash does not mean he *is* off leash. I've encountered people who act like they have something to prove, having their dogs off leash. Too often it's these dogs that charge over to mine, hackles up and spitting, and they have to chase them down to get them under control. I keep my dogs on leash more often than I need to or am required too, but having a male GSD I know most people are already leery of him. I let his behavior set a good example and he doesn't need to be off leash to prove that he can be obedient and neutral to other dogs and people in high traffic areas.
01-02-2013 11:22 AM
wolfy dog WD has a rock solid recall. He is only on leash in high traffic areas and to maintain his leash manners.
01-02-2013 11:18 AM
RowdyDogs I trust all my dogs off-leash. We do extensive hiking and backpacking off-leash and have encountered most kinds of wildlife from rabbits to deer/elk/moose and bear...I think the only thing I haven't run into with dogs is a cougar. The rabbits are the hardest actually! LOL

I don't let them off-leash in more populated areas, though. It's not that I don't trust my dogs, it's that I don't trust myself to watch them closely enough or other people to not do something stupid. It would only take a moment for my dog to dart out in traffic or whatever. The distances are just much closer than with wildlife, even playing fetch in an unfenced park or something.

I'm also conscious of other people, because I know that I am always a little wary when I encounter an off-leash dog, even when it appears to be under control. I've just had too many experiences where a dog is in a heel or playing fetch and then spins off to come visit me as its owner helplessly calls it. I don't like it, so I won't subject others to it if I can help it. My dogs stay on leash on popular hiking trails for this reason as well; it's only when we get out into the remote areas that I let them off.
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