View Full Version : lead or no lead?

11th June 2007, 09:08 PM
Does anyone else have this problem? When I am out with Chloe in the park I always go to let her off the lead but then change my mind. I just cant bring myself to do it, I dont think she'd stray far but am terrified just in case she did!
We then see loads of dogs running round, she is so well behaved on the lead and doesnt pull, would love her to be able to run around in a larger space in the garden but just cant undo the lead, any ideas or is it just me??:confused:

11th June 2007, 10:05 PM
We take Alfie and harvey to an enclosed park most days and I have always let them off from young ages and they have both just followed us around. Sometimes they will be a way behind or in front but they never wander out of sight. I shake their leads and they both come back to have them put on before we reach the car park. I started off by using the extenable leads and calling them back then gradually letting them off.

11th June 2007, 10:56 PM
Try an extendable Lead, that way she can get to run around, but you are still in control of her.

11th June 2007, 11:54 PM
I was exactly the same, and still am a bit. I was in the park one day with lots of nice dog owners and their dogs. Dylan was the only one on a lead and I mentioned my fear to a couple of the men there. One said that this would be a good time to let him off as there were lots of dogs and it was unlikely he would run out of the park when he could play with the dogs. I was given some nice treats and I asked the men to stay close in case Dylan ran off! I was REALLY nervous, you can tell! Dylan was fine. He loved all the dogs and they all like him, especially big dogs.

If recall is good, you should be ok. Try to find a safe park. You can practise recall in a tennis court or on an extendable lead. And have the best treats you can find. I always show Dylan his treats before I take the lead off!

Let us know how you get on. The more you do it, the better you'll feel and unless your garden is very big, you'll never let him have a really good run.

12th June 2007, 12:26 AM
I've been dealing with this a lot lately too...for the longest time I was TERRIFIED to let Fiona off lead. We have been slowly trying more and more though...we had a bbq a few weeks ago, and we realized that she loves being around people so much that she didnt really have any urge to run off, and the few times she started wandering further away we just grabbed her and b rought her back. When we took her to the beach we let her off lead too, and she had a blast! She ran around a bit, but always came back to us. I think a closed in dog park is a good idea to start though, that way you can test it. Good luck!

12th June 2007, 12:48 AM
Great suggestions from everyone! :D Another thing you could try is just dropping her leash instead of taking it off. That way she can run around but you'll be able to stop her from running off much easier.

12th June 2007, 12:50 AM
I was worried about this with Amber, because I'd been told rubies are flightly and never to let them off-lead. So I trained Amber to respond to a whistle in the house, and gave lots of treats and praise when she came back. Now, when she looks like she's wondering, all it takes is a call or a whistle and she comes tearing back. I think though the fact that there's also Holly and Holly's very focused on playing encourages Amber to stay close and play too.

12th June 2007, 01:58 AM
Haha, synchronicity... Just downloaded this month's copy of Whole Dog Journal and they have a topic entitled "Off-Leash Angst". Will get back to this tonight when I have read the article.

Cathy Moon
12th June 2007, 03:09 AM
India and Geordie's breeder made us promise to never let them off lead unless they're in a securely fenced area. I would never break my promise to her. I also wouldn't be able to live with myself if they chased a rabbit or something and got hit by a car!

We have a fenced backyard so they run and play daily. That was another part of our agreement with their breeder!:)

12th June 2007, 04:02 AM
I trust Oliver off-leash...until he sees a cat, bird, squirrel...then he is off like a shot. Needless to say, he is usually on his leash!

12th June 2007, 05:28 AM
Brady ran out of my boyfriend parents house one day in the excitement of the doorbell ringing. and then i of course made the mistake of chasing him out the door to try and get him. he probably would have came back to great the person who entered their home, but instead, i ran out without shoes (socks only) or a coat in the middle of winter with 6 inches of snow on the ground. i was so scared, and i will never let him off lead. the bad thing is, that i live in a townhome, so i don't have the ability to have a fence. maybe if my neighbors dog was out i would trust him to stay by since they like to play, but i doubt it. oh yeah, and one other time at my boyfriends parents house, his grandparents came over with their dog, and his grandma sometimes takes a while to get in the house, so the door was open for a while, and both of them just decided to take off on their own and play around in the street. we were all out there trying to get them in right away and it didn't take long. i've had brady for less that one year, and i've had my share of off leash experiences. but on the other hand that's the only way they can learn their boundaries.

Good luck!

12th June 2007, 09:34 AM
Where we live there are lots of fields and we always let Chester off his lead.

When we took him to puppy classes the trainer said to start with a training lead & master their recall & then let them off their lead as young as possible so they get used to coming back to you. If you leave it too long, till they are hitting their rebellious age, you risk them not taking any notice of you.

She also said to keep calling them back & giving them a treat so they dont think it's the end of play all the time. We still call him back & give him a treat during his walks now.

Sometimes he gets a little brave & runs quite away ahead but he always stops & looks back & if you stop he comes running.

Barbara Nixon
12th June 2007, 10:12 AM
I only let Joly off, in a nearby field or the park and only to work ie closely under control. I used to let both Izzy and Monty off together, in enclosed parkland, but stopped when the foot and mouth outbreak prevented access. When I went back, someone had scattered glass in the woodland and getting there was more difficult, due to building work. Absence got me thinking, what if...?

Then my mind was made up when Anne, who I think has posted on here, lost her ruby, Josh. He ran through a hedge, with a friend's JRT, and she never saw him again, though the friend's dog eventually returned.

12th June 2007, 10:21 AM
With my mum's Cavalier, we learnt what "fearless" actually meant. So we let him off the lead when we were well clear of cars but there were rabbits on the field we let him off. He could smell rabbits but we always pre-empted anything happening because we saw the rabbits well before he ever could so he never saw one.

My own Cavalier, like my mums', dislikes being left alone so will always keep up & never strays when off lead. The only thing that she does is wander off to children if she hears them but not for long - a quick belly rub & she's happy to carry on the walk. She's obedient enough to ignore things if I say "no". I'm happy with her offlead on quiet side roads in my parents' village unlike the other one along with parks. She doesn't go offlead aside from in a park here though. That's not her own fault but the areas'.

13th June 2007, 12:57 AM
Then my mind was made up when Anne, who I think has posted on here, lost her ruby, Josh. He ran through a hedge, with a friend's JRT, and she never saw him again, though the friend's dog eventually returned.

There's a picture of a little ruby named Josh in the 'lost' section of Dogs Today this month. Same dog?

16th June 2007, 05:55 PM
we have a number of people in our rec that never let their dogs off the lead but ALL of them are on extendable ones so they can have a run around. jadan has one that goes up to 8 metres, but i must admit that i only really use that one when i know he isnt going to be let off as time wont allow a longer leash free walk rather than anything else. i know its a personal subject on this site as some have had their dogs run off or know of others that have got into trouble or lost etc so i can only comment on my own. jadan loves to be off leaad but this will only happen AFTER he has had a good half hour walk on lead first and i dont mean just walking sniffing about, but walking on lead next to me!! he can do his buisness but after that no other sniffing is allowed!! took a good while but now he walks next to me with loose leash and only every now and again stops for a really good wiff of something.,its either around our rec a couple of times or pavement walking and then he gets let off in the rec for a run around, by which time he either goes off on one for five minutes and then just sniffs about or just sniffs about! he does soo much better this way as he is already tired out by the walk, but thats just my own way. he used to get a treat every time he came back when he was a pup but now he is older nearly 16months he has to earn them more. i would also practice putting the lead on and then taking it off a few steps away just so he knew that the lead didnt always mean playtime was over. mostly just to get him by something i didnt think he could resist and then let him off the other side of it. (he sounds very good doesnt he but believe me he def has his terrible twos moments!!!) some may say dont do it but i am one of those that says if you dont you will never know. if the basic training is there on recall and you choose a moment when he will be so distracted by other friendly dogs. also you can tell when he looses interest and then can put him back on lead. jadan was let off in woods when very young and would run around out of site we would always panic he would get lost, but we would just call and call and he would sniff us out or use our whislte if really windy as our scent would be lost in the wind, we gave him the chance and he always comes back with a great big grin on his face. yes there was and still is always that chance one day he wont come back but i have two teenage girls and a boy of 11 too and every time they go out i have to believe that they will be ok or i would crack up! any number of things could happen in your home so to not let your furball have a run around for the sake of what might happen means we would all never go about our daily buisness incase anything ever did happen!! sorry if this offends anybody but like i said....only my opinion.

murphy's mum
16th June 2007, 06:37 PM
Murphy is allowed off the lead if we know the area we are walking and know that we are not near a road. If we are near a road he's on his extending lead, I would never let him off near a road.

When he is off the lead he's really good he runs on a bit, then waits for us or runs back he never lets us out of his sight. Unless of course there is a bird to chase!

16th June 2007, 10:27 PM
just to make it clear about my last posting....of course he is only let off away from roads and in places that are fenced off or secure etc!!!!......... though i do often wonder about the dogs that i see that just follow along behind their owners (NO LEAD) right next to the buisiest roads and even a couple of older dogs that i watched the other day whos owner left them wandering around outside on a very busy corner while he went in to the shop!! they just sniffed around outside and when he came out tottled along after him!!! NEVER even going to think of attempting THAT with my ckcs!!! i am all for freedom, but not free dumb!

Barbara Nixon
17th June 2007, 10:11 AM
There's a picture of a little ruby named Josh in the 'lost' section of Dogs Today this month. Same dog?

It could be. I haven't seen the magazine, but Anne never gives up hope, even though he has been misssing for just over a year. Josh is a ruby, who looks older than his 5 years, as he went grey early.

17th June 2007, 04:47 PM
Sydney here,

Mom and Dad hardly ever let us off our lead except if we are in a fenced in area. They don't want to ever risk us getting lost, hurt or, heaven forbid, something far worse. Besides when we travel we are usually in very busy places with traffic and stuff so, plead as we might, we stay on lead and close to Mom and Dad's side. That's why its always good to get home with our back yard where we can go "au naturel", if you know what I mean, wink wink. No peeking boys.

Bark On!

Ruby and Sydney in Virginia :paw: