View Full Version : How Many Walk Your CKCS Without A Lead?

Majestic Lad
13th January 2007, 08:06 PM
Our Cav has been walked with the lead for about two years now and is not used to being walked without one.

We are reluctant to let him off the lead just in case he runs off and something happens and we would never forgive ourselves.

I understand if we never let him off he will never learn, but feel that its been too long now are worried to try a walk without.

Just wondered how many of you on here walk your Cavs without the lead? or are we the only one :sl*p:

He is so spoilt he tends to do what he wants and is reluctant to listen which makes maters worse. I now we only have ourselves to blame for this :dogwlk:

Any advice/tips with ref the the above are most welcome.

13th January 2007, 08:22 PM
Cant speak for walking my cavalier, as she comes home next wk but I can speak for our last dog (15 yr old lab). We never walked her off line as we got her at 6mths. She went to obedience (3 levels) and did recall off line. However, the instructor warned me to NEVER let her off line in a park etc.. as her instinct was to run as we had to work on the fact she came to us totally unsocialized and definately thinking the dog was the alpha. She turned into a sweet, loving, gentle hallmark kindof dog. BUT I remembered that warning for 15 yrs - she was known to bolt the odd time out the front door. From what I read, her personality on that issue is often present in a cavalier - being distracted and giving chase.

The flip side is all dogs need to experience some sort of free running. Ours had her share when we went north to my parents being free to run on acres and she also had an adequate backyard to scoot about at home as often as she wanted.

Personally with this dog, I will do it the same - it only takes one second one day in its entire life to get distracted, not listen and for diaster to strike. I wont risk it - other familiy members have lost a few dogs to cars. So sad and unnecessary in my opinion. My parents place it now gone for our new cavalier to get that chance, but i do have a sister a good 1.5 hrs away that i fully intend to visit WITH THE DOG to allow the fun a few times a yr where she has a country home.

Barbara Nixon
13th January 2007, 10:24 PM
I never walk mine offlead, nowadays, but have worked two of them (one at a time) in a local park. I used to let two off in fenced woodland or on a reclaimed parkland area, but not anymore. A lady I know (Don't know whether she's on this list) let her boy off last year and has not seen him since. This happened not far from where I used to let mine loose.

13th January 2007, 10:33 PM
I do, but not near roads only where it is safe like the beach or in the woods. In fact where I lived before I just used to open the back gate and we were in fields leading to woods so then it was rare for them to be on their leads.

brid kenny
13th January 2007, 10:37 PM
Me too...in a woods. She loves it.

13th January 2007, 10:48 PM
The only place i can let Cody off lead is at the beach or in the Phoenix Park. Unfortunately visits to both places are rare :( Gavin gets a good run offlead a couple of times a week, i usually bring him to the local park or up to nearby Ongar, neither place is suitable for the selectively deaf Cody :sl*p:

14th January 2007, 01:09 AM
Here's a recent post about the same subject with good information. The general consensus is not to let them off lead unless in a safe fenced area.


14th January 2007, 01:36 AM
Never have and never will.....not even in parks.

We live in an urban area and there are just too many risks for a doggie.

It just takes a second, a bird or squirrel and mine would be off.....

Also, Cavvies aren't street smart, fearless little things might run into the path of a car.

Always on a leash, we even have a very long leash for when we're gardening. :flwr:

16th January 2007, 10:34 PM
I think you can tell by the character of the dog if you can let them of the lead or not. We would only let Sweep off if we were in the countryside with no other animals around. He loved it but would be exhausted afterwards and impossible to catch. Dudley on the other hand is a people dog and loves to walk with you lead or no lead although we have not risked it near roads.

17th January 2007, 01:20 AM
I tink common sense should dictate we simply cannot allow them off lead anywhere there are cars. And also, not before you've spent time training recall until you have a dog that will return when called and are confident that this is the case. :)

This is a basic piece of obedience and any good obedience class will get people started on how to teach this. But you start by working in the house then introduce work outdoors in the garden, always on a long line til you are ready to move to working on the longline with distractions -- eg a park where there are other dogs and people -- then when the dog is reliable and you have practiced and practiced and know they are trustworthy; you'll be ready to let them off lead (within safe areas).

The latter because very few dogs are 100% reliable and anyone who thinks so will almost certainly have that dog someday, sometime run off after a distraction and hopefully it won't be into a dangerous situation. We all have the seen the Crufts obedience competitors that miss a jump, run off, ignore their trainer, despite being some of the best honed competitive obedience dogs in the world! So we have to assume there will always be an exception 'even' for our dogs :) and that we should never have it happen when it poses risks, if at all possible.

All mine are OK off lead within safe circumstances, especially Jaspar. But I know the situations that are too tempting to one or all of them and know they can do the unexpected -- so get them back on lead well before we reach a road for example. I do love seeing them enjoy themselves off lead though. Lily is especially funny as when I got her she was so obese she could hardly run at all. Now she looks like the young dog she is, and when let off lead she runs in huge circles at high speed; runs and runs as fast as she can. :lol: I think just because she can!

17th January 2007, 02:21 PM
. I do love seeing them enjoy themselves off lead though. Lily is especially funny as when I got her she was so obese she could hardly run at all. Now she looks like the young dog she is, and when let off lead she runs in huge circles at high speed; runs and runs as fast as she can. :lol: I think just because she can!

I couldn't agree more! I love watching the smiles on their faces as they charge around in circles trying to catch each other :D

17th January 2007, 06:27 PM
Abbey is off lead, but only in the woods or at the lake--I don't trust that a butterfly wouldn't get her attention and she'd run out in the street. Gus is only 10 months and has a higher prey drive--I don't know if he'll ever be trusted off lead.

17th January 2007, 08:41 PM
lady has never been off lead and am not sure if i would but then again i am such a worry wart, i think that we will just use a flexi lead so she a little more freedom once she's a little better on the lead. At the moment she keeps trying to tie me up and trip me up when we go for walks i think she like to embaress me in front of everyone.

18th January 2007, 02:00 AM
Holly used to be allowed off in a park, but after a scare that happened becahse the park was too close to the road, I now only let her off in certain parks. Thing with her is that she's very fixated on a particular toy and having it thrown for her and then thrown again, so the general rule is that as long as you have that toy, she'll be fine!

Amber follows Holly, so she's not bad. From day one I trained Amber to come to the whistle, as well as voice, and she gets lots of yummy treats for doing so. So when we're in the park and she's distracted and running after Holly, I'll whistle or call and reward her when she comes. So far, she's always come instantly. She's more treat/food fixated than Holly is, so that works in my favour too.

19th January 2007, 01:02 PM
At first Marlon was very good off a lead he would never stray to far and always come back when called.
As he got to six months after he had his little boys op he started getting braver and ran off a few times on the beach - lucky enough (being fairly young) I could run after him and catch him up.
The problem was he run off a few times during the day (when my partners parents look after him) and they couldn't catch him.
Lucky enough no harm done phew !
After that we decided only walks on leads until he was trained to come back on call.
Two weeks of hard recall work on a field, now he is fine again, I also take a ball on a rope with a bell in, which he odores and chases like mad so this is another way of controlling him,

19th January 2007, 01:21 PM
It's really easy to feel once they are trained, they are trained. But they really need regular reinforcement that coming back to you is always rewarding (or any training cue) -- whether the reward be lots of praise, play with a special toy, a treat... Leo and Lily both get very so-so about returning when called unless I work on this regularly with them so I always try to grab some cat kibble (small and easy to carry, for treats) when I am taking them to the park. Good opportunity to do some fun recall work. :)

19th January 2007, 06:07 PM
Last weekend a friend of my daughter's one yr old golden retriever got out of the backyard (loose gate latch - happened to me more times than I care to remember). He was very well trained - but regardless between the backyard and street smack in front of the house - he got hit by a car. The family heard the screeching brakes and immediately ran to window seeing their dog in the road and the driver kept going. The teenage son ran out and held his dog as it died.

It is my own personal belief (I dont mean to chastise those that do this otherwise) that any dog that has not gone through formal off line advanced (not basic level 2) training should not be off line unless in a large fenced area. Today more so than in last 5 yrs there are lots of dog parks to safely reinforce recall. With a Cavalier I fear more so than with a larger dog - as running in a wooded area they are at more risk with wildlife than a larger dog.

Cathy T
19th January 2007, 09:45 PM
Mine are off-leash only in extremely safe places. We have a high school football field near our house where they are allowed off-leash (not legally ;) ) and we'll go up there on a weekend and run. Not even remotely near a street. Also at the dog beach.

Just heard this morning about a little tri fella that slipped its collars in front of the vet's office, right into the street, and had to be pts. Makes me just hug my babies so tight. Unfortunately a Cavalier friend saw it, ran out to the dog, and rushed it into the vet's office.

Neither of mine is to be trusted.