6 month old off the lead?

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ChrissyD
Posts: 8
Joined: 27 Aug 2015, 08:20
Location: Perth, Australia

6 month old off the lead?

Post by ChrissyD » 08 Sep 2015, 09:11

Luther is 6 months old and a placid , beautiful nature (when he's not being a daft puppy). I walk him twice a day and he has a run in a smallish, enclosed dog park 3 times a week. I would love to let him off the lead near the river or beach but haven't had the courage. So many people have told me I've missed the opportunity and should have done it when he was younger, and that I should wait until he is through adolescence until I try off lead totally. I don't mind the walking but don't particularly enjoy the dog park as there are a lot of big, out of control dogs (and their owners). He usually comes back to me if I have a pocket full of chicken! Would you risk it now or wait another few months for him to settle down?

Thanks - all replies gratefully received!

Sandy B
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Joined: 09 Jan 2015, 08:47

Re: 6 month old off the lead?

Post by Sandy B » 08 Sep 2015, 09:28

Hi Chrissy. I understand your fear. Hopefully someone more experienced will come along but I can tell you how it worked with Dolly. I bought a 15 mtr recall lead and took her to the huge field we go to. A very sweet lady said to me "just let her off she will be fine, be brave", well I wasnt brave and kept her on the lead. Next day went again and saw the same lady. She said the same thing and I just did it ! She told me to keep calling her back to me and give her a treat but still run free. When it came time to go I called her and as she was eating the treat put the lead on. I will be honest and tell you a couple of times she has had doodle deafness !! but then ,if you dont mind looking silly, what I do is run in the other direction calling her name over and over and she comes running after me, the treat is given as the lead is put on. 2 things I always do is first always have treats she doesnt normally have, ie chicken, ham or cheese and secondly I always put the lead back on her in a different place on the field so she doesnt learn that a certain place means the lead. Its scary for sure but so worth it when you see your dood have a wonderful time running free. Hope this helps a bit. Just go for it. Good luck and let us know how you go
Love
Sandra and Dolly xx

Noglet
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Joined: 12 Jul 2010, 15:21
Location: Welsh Borders

Re: 6 month old off the lead?

Post by Noglet » 08 Sep 2015, 11:06

Hi Chrissy,

It is scary, but definitely worth it, particularly if they're doodle dashing with other doodles!

We've always been lucky enough to have a reasonably well trained (for that read gluttonous treat-focused) older dog. So, when you recall the older dog and give them a treat, the pup has always learnt to tag along too. You can then give a little call of their name and a treat so that they learn that coming back isn't bad, but good.

So, a couple of suggestions, either, do you have a friend with an older dog who you could walk with a few times to get your confidence? Alternatively, how about a local doodle meet? Yes, it might be chaos, but the dogs will stick together and all quickly learn who has the best treats, which they'll come running for!

HTH, and good luck!

Sarah
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Lawsyd
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Joined: 26 Aug 2015, 07:08
Location: Manchester

Re: 6 month old off the lead?

Post by Lawsyd » 08 Sep 2015, 12:51

I'm really looking forward to how this thread develops as we will have the same dilemma shortly. Based on our previous dog, the only suggestion that I have at this stage is that if two of you are able to walk your puppy (husband?; partner?; friend who your puppy knows well?) then there is less likelihood that Luther can escape. Also, I would suggest a quiet location, at a quiet time, before taking Luther to a busy location, such as a local park.

I'm sure that Luther will come back to you (he will recognise the breakfast; lunch; tea; lady), but good luck anyway.

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Bid
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Re: 6 month old off the lead?

Post by Bid » 08 Sep 2015, 17:22

People are right in that it is easier if you let them off lead straight away when they are still a bit timid, and will come running back to you, but it is still better to get on with it now rather than later when he has gained even more confidence. Practice your recall everywhere you go so it is familiar to him, not just something that happens at home, and the ide a of going with a doggy friend who ha a dog with a good recall is great - he will probably follow the other dog back. Take lots of tasty treats too - ones he doesn't usually have.
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Doodle Dee
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Re: 6 month old off the lead?

Post by Doodle Dee » 08 Sep 2015, 21:36

everyone has a different way of dealing with it and confidence is the best thing you can have. Everyone has given you good advice, all I can add is confidence and continuity. Also don't keep calling him as apparently (as per a police trainer) it becomes white noise! So they don't listen. I found a whistle worked best with Lulu as she always knew she would get a treat (sometimes just be going into my pocket would bring her back). The thing is to look around to see what can make him run and get him back quick. Lulu wasn't treat orientated so it was hard but as she got older the lab in her took over and she became hungry for treats (other people's treats she could suss out in a moment and once even grabbed a humans treat bag and ran off with it). So now I only take "going out" special treats, not any that I would give her at home.

She is excellent, sometimes, so don't get disheartened!

One more thing, I am not sure if you have been to puppy classes but STOP is a good word to teach them and know you mean it. It can help with running off. I practice Lulu's STOP every so often but not all the time

Good luck and let us know how you get on, you won't know until you try
Lulu & Dx

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jonb
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Joined: 19 Sep 2013, 12:09

Re: 6 month old off the lead?

Post by jonb » 09 Sep 2015, 08:50

This was something we took a few months to do with Roker but looking back so glad we did it! Now when walking on paths etc not next to roads etc he will happily trot alongside us occasionally stopping for a sniff of something then will casually catch us up.

I talked it over a fair bit with the dog trainer i was going to and she suggested the long line lead as a good starting point as if they do decide to go wandering you dont have to catch them as such as you have the long line to grab as well. Another thing she suggested is to make it so something is always of more interest than anything else that could be about. With Roker he now just loves chasing his ball which has two benefits.....firstly it means if anything is happening i can take it out and make like i am going to play with it and he will come rushing back over and secondly if i'm struggling to get a long walk in or, as during most of the summer, i'm struggling after cricket to walk properly i can just go up on the field throw his ball around and he gets plenty of exercise without me needing to do much.

Also one thing that helped us was being with someone with a slightly older dog that was already used to being off the lead....partly they gave me the confidence to do it but it also meant that Roker was besotted with following the other dog around so had no interest in running off!! First time i let Roker off the lead we were out with some friends who had their springer spaniel with them. I let Roker off the lead and after an initial moment of not realising he was free to have a run he then just followed their dog around and we called them both back together so he got used to coming back when i asked and things like that.

dexysback
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Joined: 15 May 2013, 20:35

Re: 6 month old off the lead?

Post by dexysback » 10 Sep 2015, 15:19

I would take her to some where with no roads and a group of dogs and just do it, they seem to run off when board so with a few play mates that are well trained she should be fine. My sister got a recue a few weeks ago and she the same didn't want to let off just in case she got lost ,but when she took her to beach after just three days of having her and dexter was there she did it ,she was fine and always comes back when called. She doesn't let her off by any roads cause she seems to like cars ,she is a whippet cross collie and is that fast ,she takes off in the trees and bushes at field but always comes back when called .I have told her to put a small bell around her neck so she can here where she is.
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harleyboy53
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Joined: 29 May 2015, 10:44

Re: 6 month old off the lead?

Post by harleyboy53 » 25 Sep 2015, 15:23

Using a long training line (at least 50ft)is ideal.Two things to try.Its important to call your dog before it gets to the end of the line,so that its still running freely.At that point if your dog turns towards you run as fast as you can away from it encouraging it all the time.If you trip over the line the dog will probably jump all over you that's what is needed at this stage,no formal part to the exercise just lots of fun and games to encourage the recall.If you let the dog get to the end of the line and it tightens,not good for the dogs neck.Also at whatever stage of recall training you are at never go towards the dog always run away and make the dog come to you.A lot of owners call their dog who charges back and then stops about 6 ft away bum in the air head down (you cant get me)the owner takes a step toward the dog and off he goes again because we have now made a game of recall.Returning to the dog running away from you on the long line,when the line is slack at about 25-30 ft if the dog does not turn to come back gather the line in as fast as you can so reeling him in and also back away.When your dog is with you lots of praise.You will almost certainly fall over unless you are practised at running backwards,dont worry about the bruises the dog will love it.You can also practise this on a normal 6ft training lead while walking your dog.Walk at a fast pace and then back away by holding the end of the lead.you have now created a 6ft gap between you and your dog,he has to come to you because you are holding the lead creating a target for his attention .Lots of praise when he gets to you.Hope these ideas help

Jay128
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Joined: 18 Dec 2012, 06:31
Location: Liverpool

Re: 6 month old off the lead?

Post by Jay128 » 27 Sep 2015, 14:20

When Poppy was younger I remember Bid suggesting that we always make ourselves more interesting that what's going on around us when calling her back and I, at time, made a right idiot of myself but it does work. When we went out I always sat Poppy down and gave her a treat before I let her off so that she new she was coming back to a goodie when called her back several times just so I could treat her so she didn't always think coming back would mean going back on her lead. We also had the rule that only one of us would call her and train the children to use this rule, that was more difficult! :lol:
She is now trained to respond to a single call, my arm goes in the air as well if she is at a distance so that she has a physical signal and now she is older I don't always hold a treat in that hand but still make a huge fuss of her. She does run quite a distance in the area we go to too play with other dogs and does tend to mow keep an eye on us so the arm in the air can sometimes be used alone without the call. We also used to play spot the really well behaved dog, allow her to engage with them and when they were called she came back with them, sneaky but it worked.
Good luck. :D
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ChrissyD
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Joined: 27 Aug 2015, 08:20
Location: Perth, Australia

Re: 6 month old off the lead?

Post by ChrissyD » 29 Sep 2015, 12:16

Just a quick update:
Armed with a pocket full of cooked chicken, I took Luther to a large local park on a quiet, warm evening and let him off the lead to chase the ball. Each time he retrieved the ball, I called for him to come and it worked perfectly!! He had a couple of romps with other dogs then just came back to me and lay down for a rest. We then walked back to the car although I put him back on the lead before we reached a group of children playing football - thought that might be pushing my luck!!
So a big thank you to all who offered advice. It was great to see his ears flapping in the wind as he ran towards me! The only downside was that all other dogs can smell cooked chicken in the pocket a mile away!!!!

Thanks everyone

susiet
Posts: 567
Joined: 06 Feb 2010, 12:17

Re: 6 month old off the lead?

Post by susiet » 29 Sep 2015, 21:21

Well done you for taking the plunge Chrissy! :D Sounds like Luther is having a great time and I'm sure you're going to be enjoying your walks with him even more now.

Bet you'll be the most popular person strolling along with that yummy chicken in your pocket!! :lol: :lol:

Happy strolling! :D :D
Flora Doodle
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Jay128
Posts: 1047
Joined: 18 Dec 2012, 06:31
Location: Liverpool

Re: 6 month old off the lead?

Post by Jay128 » 02 Oct 2015, 09:46

Well done. It really is frightening but the pleasure you get when watching them play is fantastic. Long may the happy playing continue. :D
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