Training and being off leash in a townhouse neighborhood? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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Training and being off leash in a townhouse neighborhood?

I have a new (well, new to me) 2 year old shepherd and I live in a townhouse. We go on lots of walks and play ball while he on on a long 30 ft. leash, but after last night's agility class (our first one) it is clear that I need to spend more time with him off leash (he got so excited to be off leash after he went through the tunnel that he did about 3 laps around the room before I could catch him). I'm not comfortable taking him off the leash in my neighborhood for fear that he will run into the street- any training tips or suggestions for getting him to learn to come to me right away when called? Any ideas of where we can go (besides a dog park which I don't have) to practice being off leash in a safe environment?

Any suggestions would be great! Thanks!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 04:33 PM
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You may want to check with your local police department. If they have K-9s, they probably have a dog run at the station that could be used. You could just stop in and see if they have a dog run that is open to the public at any certain times. That is where I take Cheyenne. Granted, my husband is a police officer, but their dog run is in a local area and gated, and anyone can go it if it is not being used. We take Cheyenne there several nights a week, just to run and play fetch with her.


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 06:43 PM
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When I lived in a TH I used to keep baby gates in my car. If I saw a tennis court or a tot lot open, I would block off the openings and let my dog run around.

I also would attach a long clothesline and let my dog run like ****. If he got too far away for my comfort I could easily catch up to him and grab the end.

ETA: Just read that you are working on recall. I never did the "come" command when my dog was off leash until we had mastered it at the end of a long leash......My trainer told me never to let my dog have the opportunity to fail. So, if I called him off leash and he didn't come----I only taught him that he doesn't have to obey me.

I got a dog for my husband. It was a good trade.

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Last edited by M&J; 10-11-2011 at 06:46 PM.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-12-2011, 05:04 PM
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Flips Mom, if you go up to the User CP and add your GENERAL location, you may get more specific help for your questions.

Like in you live in NE PA/NW NJ I have TONS of places for an off leash dog.

Truthfully, looks like you fell into the ' no off leash puppy' mire when that's the BEST time to have them safely off leash!

Other thing to work on is 'engagement'

Click this --->



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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-12-2011, 05:18 PM
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you can teach your dog to come indoors.
you can teach him to heel on or off the leash
and to heel on either side. you can also teach him not to go into the street and to stop at all corners. ask your trainer to teach you how to teach your dog to come and heel.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-21-2011, 04:22 PM
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I will start by saying I am by no means an expert. That notwithstanding I would say that you kind of have to cart before the horse doing agility training before you have mastered basic obedience training.

One if not the first thing you need to teach any dog is to come when he is called. MJ's method is basically the one I used to teach my pup to come on command. Additionally you NEVER want to call your dog when you are angry or for any reason that HE might percieve as negative. For example you take your dog out to play and it is time to go back inside so you call him and he comes but he does not want to go inside. Although going inside is not a bad thing your dog may begin to associate the "come" command with "the end of a play time". So rather then using the come command just go get him whenever you want him to do something he considers negative. This really does work, if you make the "come" a "happy thing" then he will pretty much come without fail.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-21-2011, 04:44 PM
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I like the idea of going to the tennis court, maybe using it in the off hours. I sometimes go to a large, vacant parking lot when the business is closed. Try socializing with some folks at a dog park, usually through word of mouth you learn where the safe places are to go off leash. We do "agility" by having our dog jump over the park benches and going through the kiddie structures at the park in the early a.m. hours.

I don't want to sound like a bummer, but be careful having your dog off-leash in the townhome area. They usually have rules and regs about leashing your dog. Also if you are in a higher density living area, there may be too many people and unexpected distractions for your dog to be off-leash safely.
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