|10-07-2013 09:21 PM|
I start almost as soon as I get them, which can be anywhere from 8 weeks to 3 years. Always in securely enclosed areas at first, though, and only to whatever level I think I can trust that individual dog.
IME, hiking trails are actually a lot easier than wide-open spaces; dense trees and brush seem to act as psychological barriers for a lot of dogs (not all of them -- not even close -- but many) and keep them relatively confined to the trails. Sparser forests and broad, open fields are more inviting to roamers. So I'll take a dog out hiking long before I'll let it run around off-leash on the in-laws' unfenced suburban lawn.
As for recall tips, Patricia McConnell posted a blog about that this very day: Gotta Love that Recall TheOtherEndoftheLeash
|10-07-2013 08:50 PM|
|llombardo||Mine are never allowed off leash except in a fenced in secure area, but yet I find it easier to teach them to heel and come/front off leash. I start as soon as they come home because that is when they do well following you everywhere. As they get older they wander more and it becomes more difficult to teach.|
|10-07-2013 04:23 PM|
I just started practicing off leash recall with my 5 month old pup. We're not at a point where we can do exciting trails or off leash parks with other dogs, but we've been practicing by heading to the neighbourhood baseball diamond that's fenced in to work on his recall. As long as no one is using it for a baseball game, nobody minds. It's not as distracting as some other environments but definitely more distracting than our home/yard and a good place to start with recall practice!
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|10-07-2013 04:21 PM|
Mine start the minute they walk thur the door Obviously in safe places, in public, yes on a leash, but out hiking and such, always very very very young.
Mine always have had a strong pack drive, recall IS the most important command in my book.
|10-07-2013 04:18 PM|
Most pups at a young age have a very strong pack drive, puppies who wander and are lost may not find their way home so they're driven to stay close. When they're young most utilize this drive to work on recall from day 1 when they come home.
If the pup is prone to wandering then I keep them onleash until they've proven trustworthy, but if that trust is broken even once then the leash goes back on until I feel they've earned the trust back. The dog quickly learns that to have fun and run without a leash there are rules that have to be followed
Recall to me is non-negotible. There is no second, third, or fourth try, there is only one try and if they don't listen then game over and leash goes back on. Also, I make recall extremely rewarding, it's a huge party when the dog leaves whatever it is and comes back. Even now when I call my dogs they get a "good boy" and "good girl" and either a quick play session or fun time when they come.
|10-07-2013 03:39 PM|
What age did you start off-leash work/walks?
My girl just hit 6months and we've been working on recall. Command is "here" - she's clicker trained, so first I taught her to target my hand at further and further distance (palm facing her, down by my side) and then added the voice command to the visual once she got it.
She's brilliant in-house, and I take her on a 15ft line out in the local streets/trails, and when there's only minor distractions she is quick to return (we're definitely "in progress" when it comes to distractions like loud machinery, other dogs, kids playing/screaming etc).
But she's nowhere near a stage where I'd be confident with her off leash. Some people on the forums seem to hold with "never off leash until you're very confident in all situations" - and others talk frequently of having their pup off leash from day1/8 weeks and on trails etc.
So I'm curious, what age was your pup when you started? (Anyone who has advice/tips as to improving recall would be awesome too