Leash (off leash training for hikes) - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-30-2012, 06:55 AM Thread Starter
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Leash (off leash training for hikes)

Hi, looking for past experiences with off leash training. My pup is 5 months and has heaps of energy to burn. He's really good on Leash and we are still practising walking to heel. He's doing really well on the leash and is great when coming across other dogs etc. we have also started a socialising class / basic training. We often take him out walks with my parents lab and my partners parents collie. They get off leash when we get up the woods, if it's quiet and no one is round iv let him off for like 5 minutes and he generally stays with the other 2. He tires a bit and comes back to us. It's only been for 5 minutes as I'm unsure I'f this is the right thing to do, I just want him to enjoy his walks. We haven't let him off if anyone is around. Should i be doing this and making it longer each time? I want him to get plenty exercise and explore but I appreciate his recall etc will need to be perfect before I do this around others. Thanks


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Last edited by MaggieRoseLee; 09-30-2012 at 10:53 AM.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-30-2012, 08:06 AM
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i got my pup when he was 9 weeks old. i gave him
a lot of off leash time in the woods. when he reached
the age where i couldn't catch him he was leashed
untill his recall was solid. a long line will give him more
freedom.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-30-2012, 08:12 AM
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it depends on the dog and the level of trust you have in him.

When I get puppies, they are the majority of their time offleash, provided we are in a safe area, so I would say I do ALOT of offleash . I've never really had a problem with them sticking with me/checking in.

It's also a good time when they are really young to work on those recalls right from the start.

Again, it's a matter of knowing your dog, and usually dogs with other dogs will stick together.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-30-2012, 08:33 AM
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trust in a dog doesn't control it. trust in a
5 month old dog in training, i don't know.

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Originally Posted by JakodaCD OA View Post

>>>> it depends on the dog and the level of trust you have in him.<<<<

When I get puppies, they are the majority of their time offleash, provided we are in a safe area, so I would say I do ALOT of offleash . I've never really had a problem with them sticking with me/checking in.

It's also a good time when they are really young to work on those recalls right from the start.

Again, it's a matter of knowing your dog, and usually dogs with other dogs will stick together.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-30-2012, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JakodaCD OA View Post
it depends on the dog and the level of trust you have in him.

When I get puppies, they are the majority of their time offleash, provided we are in a safe area, so I would say I do ALOT of offleash . I've never really had a problem with them sticking with me/checking in.

It's also a good time when they are really young to work on those recalls right from the start.

Again, it's a matter of knowing your dog, and usually dogs with other dogs will stick together.
I'm exactly inline with Jakoda. In fact the younger they are the MORE likely they are to stay with you. As they mature and get more independent, they start making their own choices/decisions and not necessarily looking to us or the rest of the pack.

That said, if you have woods, and a good pack that listens he can run with then I would not delay the off leash thing. In conjunction with the training you are doing he may just always be perfect!





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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-30-2012, 01:03 PM
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doggiedad, maybe 'trust' isn't the right word, 'knowing' maybe?

If you 'know' your dog/puppy? For example, I KNOW my aussie, even at 12 years old if offleash in the woods and sees a deer, rabbit, mosquito, that girl is gonna chase it to China if given the chance, no offleash for her EVER ...My gsd's, I "know" they will stop on a dime when I issue a "COME" or "LEAVE IT"..I "KNOW" this..they've certainly been tested more than once, and must say I have always been blessed with gsd's, that were/are VERY obedient and in tune to what I say/do.

Now if you don't think your 5 month old is 'trustworthy' (there's that word again , it shouldn't be offleash.

I think starting them young really has it's benefits vs one day saying "ok I'm gonna try and let my 5 month offleash and see what happens"

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-02-2012, 09:34 AM Thread Starter
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thanks for all the advice. One thing that has been apparent to me in the short time of having our pup is his willingness to come to us for approval and even on his 'play dates' when hes playing rough with the parents lab or my partners parents collie, you shout 'Drey Come' he comes.

So based on everyones 'how much do you trust him' advice. We decided to give it a bash on sunday. i was a little bit nervous as it would be his first time off leash around other dogs/other people other than my friends and family.

Fair to say Drey passed with flying colours. We went with my parents and their rather oversized lab up the woods to quite a popular walk early in the morning. Have to admit i fell in love with my pup even more seeing him bounding through the tree's and walking with me. many families passed us with little kids and other dogs, Drey often stuck to my side but paused and sniffed forward with a tail wag, and greeted the other dog, he didnt hang around though and while the Lab wanted to play , drey was happy to effetivly , check it out/say hi, then continue walking. On one occasion a family with 2 big rotties came towards us, not for a minute judging a book by its cover but seeing them 100 meters away i thought it best to leash him up and walk past calmly. Again he had a quick sniff and carried on walking. not one of the people we passed stopped to stroke drey so i cant judge him on how he would of reacted with that, but other dogs, he really made me proud.
One especially proud moment was when the lab ran off mid play with drey up to the top of a hill, drey got half way before looking back at us and deciding to return to our side at first time of asking.
appreicate as he gets older and braver things might change a little but i was sure to keep calling him and rewarding him and i dont think it could of gone any better.

One down side though.... an old man was approaching us, alone, without a dog. clearly just out for a harmless walk. Drey was maybe 10 yards ahead of us and i could hear his soft growl and the ears and tail were up. i called him back , and he came, to which the man got closer. I made him sit and i held his collar. the got maybe within 10 yards, drey barked once, i told him it was ok and acted calm. The man passed, drey DID NOT try to pull towards him, and never barked again... after he passed i let go and drey continued forward. i will add this was the first person we came across and did pass single walkers after with no reaction.

later that evening after the dogs ate and slept we took them to the beach which is maybe 50 yards away and let them play....... clear hes a land shark and not a water one thats for sure. his feet touched the sea and he back tracked. quite entertaining. The beach was empty apart from 2 little jack russells who came over yapping their heads off. He just stood/sat by myside and didnt react. Quite impressed with him and i thank everyone for their advice as this was by far my favourite day with our new family member so far!
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-02-2012, 09:57 AM
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Sounds like a great trip! I may have to try this with Grim and see how it goes. The only thing I'd have done different is to leash him instead of hold the collar after he'd barked at someone. You may want to use "hush" or "all done" and leave it at that, though. I don't know how you said "it's ok", but you don't want to coddle if he was reacting out of fear. Since you said you acted calm, I'm assuming you didn't coddle him. I wouldn't even watch him (except out of the corner of your eye) when he does this. Carry on like nothing happened at all. Best way to get them to not repeat the situation. I've never taken a pup off lead for a hike before, but your adventure really sounds appealing! Thank you for sharing your results. Sounds like you've got a REALLY good boy there!

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-02-2012, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Jag, it was a really good day. again everything is new to us so in terms of how far to walk him we were not sure if he would cope but it was somewhere between 2/3 miles and he was fine. It was his first out of town off leash hike so the whole experience was new. Will try to get some pics up but they always seem to come up tiny on this site from my Iphone. Obviously you know your pup better than me and if you trust him off leash , but seeing drey off leash enjoying himself was really worth the early nerves. we dont get many sunny days in scotland either so thought it best to take advantage. Point taken on the command of the bark. Maybe it was first experience nerves , but looking back , maybe i should of just commanded him to 'come' and continue walking and not making a big deal. I believe he would of just came with me looking back. Bit as mentioned , first time and all i thought i was maybe better safe than sorry but your 100% correct.
Im finding when someone new comes to the house at the minute he gives off a couple barks when they enter the door and then he approaches them, they have all been friends and family and i have no problems with Drey telling me that someone has 'come in' but what i am trying to teach is ........'ok tell me someone is there but when i say 'quiet' and aknowledge i want him to 'quiet' that he stops.
Im going to keep preaching this along the lines of when / if he barks. looking to see whos come in the front, then saying 'quiet' once he stops barking having some high reward treats to hand and giving him one as the visitor comes in and sits down. he generally lets the person sit then goes and has a sniff then goes and sits/lies on his rug or next to me anyways? only thing is im worried it encourages him to think he has to bark when someone enters? which although i have no problems with , as long as he stops when i say? see what i am getting at? my brother and people who have visited regular get to walk in bark free, which suggests hes cool with people hes used to walking in and out ? its not a major im coming for you bark, more a.......'someones in the house, take a look'
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-02-2012, 10:33 AM
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Sounds good! Yes, him telling you that someone's coming in but then acting totally appropriate is something I'd be happy with. You're in Scotland?!? I am SOO jealous! I'm Scottish, but I don't think I'll get to see my homeland in my lifetime. I'd LOVE to see any and all pics you take!! Grim does really well in the back yard staying with me or returning when I tell him to. I haven't tried this anywhere else yet, but I'm going to try it (maybe on a long lead) and see if I get the same results. Makes me kind of nervous, but he's still small so I could catch him at this age, LOL!

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"Mr. Grim"- Threaten my handler. I dare you.

Last edited by Jag; 10-02-2012 at 10:36 AM.
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