Off leash training/Wildlife on trails
Hi all! I'm new to this forum but not new to GSDs. I just recently adopted Ruby (3rd GS) and have been training her with positive reinforcements for 6 weeks (clicker, treats, and now ball). She will be 18 weeks on Friday. I also have a 9 yr old springer that I've trained, but more operant conditioning. He is awesome on our trail hikes and never worried about not having control. My other shepherds were the same. Always checked-in, never got off trail, herded our hiking group and my springer.
So, today my positive training was tested, and I was pleased (I think). I keep Ruby on leash until we get onto hiking trail behind my house. If she gets off trail I say " This way" click, throw ball on trail a little ways. Works every time. She brings ball back after carrying it awhile. Springer (Scout) jumps back on trail as well. Today we came upon a very large moose. Scout has seen many and knows to turn around and "head home". This was Ruby's first. I thought she would bark and guard hair would come up. She was in between me and the moose. I turned to head back down the trail, said "This way", but not very calmly, Scout and Ruby, ran ahead of me! She did stop to check-in (ball was still in mouth) and leashed her (not sure that was the right thing to do), and we headed home. Her tail was not tucked under, ears were perked up and she was definitely trying to pin point moose's location. Any thoughts or suggestions on additional training? We do weekly obedience in class with all the basic training as well. I don't think she was traumatized, but I don't know.