Hiking - off or on leash - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
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Hiking - off or on leash

Do you have your dogs on or off leash when hiking? I hike a lot, except summer, in the desert area and I used to have dogs always off leash. Yana had a solid recall so I wasn't worry about her (she did come to me from chasing a rabbit and from sniffing two coyotes, and when I noticed coyotes closing on her from both sides, she ran right to me immediately

Well, Anton is a different story now after he got older and bolder. I work on recall but I'm not happy with the results and I do not trust in his obedience under heavy distractions yet so I decided to have him on leash 100% of the time even when in deserted areas. Another option is to look for e-collar trainer that will help me with this issue.

Also I was wondering those who have their dogs on leash or long line, do you use harness (what kind?) or a collar?

Thank you for your responses!!

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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 11:28 AM
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Re: Hiking - off or on leash

When in an area that there are no other people and dogs I use a long line. It gives them more freedom to explore. I use martingale collars most of the time, however it depends on where we are too.

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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 11:34 AM
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Re: Hiking - off or on leash

You are in Washington. The best Ecollar person i know closest to your areas are either Denise Collins in California.. or Heather Beck and Ivo Saloman in Iowa. Both are members of the IACP ( International Association of Canine Professionals) Not terribly close i know but the closest people that i know personally.

Both of them were trained by Martin Deeley from here in Florida. He's one of the best in his field, he trains gun dogs and is a master with the ecollar. You would be in great hands with either of those people.

This is the link to Heather and Ivo's Site

This is Denise's Site

Hope that helps..

I know it's not what you were asking but i wanted to drop that in for reference


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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 11:44 AM
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Re: Hiking - off or on leash

Depends on the time of year. In the summer, depending on where we are, she is either off leash or on a 6 foot leash attached to her fursaver. (On a dead ring.)

I keep her on leash more in the summer becaue I don't want her running thru the sage brush/bushes because of the possibility of rattle snakes. So a long line would defeat the purpose.

I don't walk dogs on a harness because I really don't like the feeling that I am in the Ididrod! (Since I don't teach mine not to pull when wearing a harness. In my world that is what harnesses are FOR.)

And if something SHOULD happen you have little control on a harness.


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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 12:18 PM
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Re: Hiking - off or on leash

It depends where I am. I do not let her loose on popular trails where there are high chances of running into another person or a bike. (not everyone likes a loose GSD). If that is the case I will put her on a retractactable leash and call her back if I see someone. Works great.

When we hike in Provincial Parks we make sure that we are well into the trail before we let her loose. We keep calling her back to us more for a control thing - not that she wanders far. When she is with other dogs she is more likely to wander out of our sight, but she is never out for long.
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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 12:23 PM
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Re: Hiking - off or on leash

Because of ticks, poison oak, squirrels, and recently running into a rattlesnake, Heidi is ALWAYS on leash when we go hiking. I like using the Sensation harness on neighborhood walks, in stores, etc., but the prong collar seems to work best for her on hikes.

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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 12:23 PM
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Re: Hiking - off or on leash

For me is depends on WHERE we are hiking and who is with me. Chimo ususally is off lead unless we meet others on the trail. We usually hike up to the pond so the others I keep on leash until we enter the field and I can ensure there are no other dogs there. I trust mine, I don't trust other peoples dogs. Rayne and Jethro are just way to eager to dive in the pond and would probably blow off a recall so they stay on leash until I can be certain it is all clear for them. Once the initial burst is out of their systems we do many recalls from the pond successfully and I am fine with that. They are typically off lead part of the way down the trail as long as the return to me when I call them. Chimo again has the "senior special" where he can remain off lead until we near the parking lot, unless another dog or people who appear intimidated by GSD come. I will ALWAYS leash my dogs around other people/dogs rather than have people complain and take that privilege away from me any my dogs. I also see it as common courtesy, although many other people do not extend the same courtesy to us.

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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 12:31 PM
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Re: Hiking - off or on leash

Rafi is excellent off lead but it depends on the area in which we are hiking and on the day. If we are with another dog I keep him on lead b/c he will pack up and chase deer etc. And if he's having a bad day and doesn't recall immediately then I put him back on lead.

I've been working with him on staying right with me even when we see another off lead dog (until I release him to say hi) and that's been going very well. I also vary on and off lead so that he knows how to behave with both. And I always use a flat collar and a regular leash.

When I had fosters or new adoptees I would hike them on a long line and coil the excess in my hand or on my waist with a biner and let them take as much of the line as was safe.

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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 12:41 PM
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Re: Hiking - off or on leash

I live in southeast Georgia, ON the St. Mary's river. While on OUR property I sometimes let him off leash, he stays with me pretty well, anywhere else I keep him on. He's big, but not big enough for a gator to NOT think of him as prey if he walked down to the edge of the water.
Although we did have one on the boat dock a month or two ago, and he actually scared it so bad it itself, lol. Whew. That stunk.

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post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 12:44 PM
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Re: Hiking - off or on leash

Highly populated trails- on leash with a flat collar. I've used long lines and retractables but with 2 dogs they get tangled in each other and around trees and it's a pain.

Otherwise we use an e-collar. I always carry my leash to hook them back up if we run into a spot of traffic. My dogs do not venture off trail, I don't know why they just never have. They tend to stay in about a 12 foot radius and if they get too far ahead I'll tell them to hold up and they will wait until we get closer. I never let them go around a corner without me, that way I always know if someone is coming.

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