View Full Version : Training Off Lead

7th March 2008, 07:24 AM
Hi all :),

I have been researching this breed for quite awhile and they seem like wonderful dogs. One thing that keeps popping up, though, is that you must keep them on leash the whole time. I was just wondering if it is at all possible to train them offleash. I own two beautiful golden retrievers and one thing I love about them is the ability to walk them off lead, so I was just wondering if it was at all possible.


Sally :D

lady and amber
7th March 2008, 08:11 AM
Hi and welcome,
I have heard of two cavaliers been hit by cars and killed in the last few weeks, I personally have never let my two off lead when out I just don't trust them not too run off.

7th March 2008, 08:48 AM
They don't have much road sense and will dart off across a road tail wagging to greet anyone they see and want to say hello to..I never walk mine off lead either.Even if they are trained to come when called in an open area eg. a park,I would still not trust them to go for walks in or near traffic of any sort.It's fairly quiet on the roads where I live but ther is always that one time when they can run and if there is a car coming then you have a tragedy.

7th March 2008, 10:38 PM
Yes you can teach them off leash & the club I go to is testimony of that fact. There are a lot of Cavaliers there in high level Obedience training classes, plus agility & other activities that require a high degree of offleash stay & recall.

Having said that, I would never walk my dogs off-leash in an area where there are vehicles. Really, what is the point of taking the risk? Living on acres I don't have to worry about finding offleash areas, but if I did, I be taking my dogs to a dog friendly beach or park that allows off-leash.

Cathy T
7th March 2008, 11:01 PM
Can't trust my two around vehicle roads. Neither of them has any road sense at all. I've heard of the rare exception where a Cavalier is able to walk alongside it's owner in a residential area...but definitely not mine. We have several good sized off leash area we take them to where they can run like crazy but I don't have to worry about them getting hit by a car.

I have heard of two cavaliers been hit by cars and killed in the last few weeks

I've also heard a couple of these stories lately and they make me so sad.

7th March 2008, 11:32 PM
Some of ours have an really strong recall and always come when called. Until they are outside where there are people, birds, squirrels and other dogs. They think everyone is their friend and just take off to say hello without any thought to streets, traffic, etc. So ours are on leash except in fenced areas.

Our dalmatian was curb trained and would not step off a curb or step in a road without permission. He was off leash all the time. We have not been able to train the current crew to do anything like that.

Daisy's Mom
8th March 2008, 12:10 AM
I would think it would take an out-of-the ordinary Cav to ever trust off-leash, for all the reasons listed by others above. There is one in my neighborhood we just met yesterday, though, who was in the front yard with the kids off-leash. I couldn't believe it! I asked the owner how she trained that. She just said that when Charlie was a puppy, and started to wander off, her husband would just say "Charlie!" in a stern voice and he would come back immediately. But the flip side is that he is very shy and the kids said he is afraid of all other dogs. So there you have it -- he is not the common out-going Cavalier personality.

Daisy would be killed when the first car went by, as she thinks cars are prey and must be chased. I have a devil of a time controlling her ON-leash whenever there are people, dogs, or cars around. And we have been working on it. We are in our 3rd level of Obedience classes and I know there is no way we would ever get to the point where she could be trusted anywhere off-leash where we would encounter another person, dog or car, sad to say. I would love to do agility with her, but I'm doubtful we could ever get to the point where she could be trusted not to run to the nearest dog and off the course.

I wish it weren't this way, but I've come to accept it. I grew up with toy poodles who we could have walked anywhere without a leash because they preferred us to anyone else, and saw us as their protectors, but with Daisy it is just the opposite. She is insanely attracted to any human or dog she doesn't know.

8th March 2008, 02:31 AM
I echo all that has been said. Dottie is so outgoing and curious, that she would happily run across the street :dogwlk:to meet anyone, a cat, a dog, a fluttering leaf, etc. She just has absolutely NO FEAR of anyone or anything, so I can't trust her for a minute off lead. I think that it is just best not to take a chance in an area where there is traffic, or even the possibility of an agressive dog running loose. She would run up to a pitbull who was snarling and frothing at the mouth and try to make friends! :eek:

8th March 2008, 03:25 AM
No dog ever has perfect recall. Never. Any trainer will confirm this: there is always something, sometime, that will be more compelling than returning when called. You can train and train but every time I see anyone walking any breed or mix off lead around traffic, frankly I think they are total idiots to run the risk of a dead dog just to prove... what? How wonderful their dogs are? How good they are at training? Walking offlead near traffic to me is always about the ego of the owner and not about the pleasure of the dogs.

This is a separate point from first, the importance of training recall and second, the fact that yes, as far as I am concerned nearly any dog, any breed can be trained to be fine off lead in safe areas. I always allow three of mine offlead on the beach and in very open areas of the park (but i am talking about a park so large herds of deer roam free in it!). I would be less likely to do this however if I didn't have one dog that is nearly perfect on recall as he will always return to me and the others will follow. :) The fourth is deaf and initially I thought she was fine off lead in a group with the others but once took off on her own and though she kept me in eyesight she of course cannot hear to return and was more interested in trotting around to explore. :yikes Now she is always on lead.

ellie and charlie
16th March 2008, 10:00 PM
i have two cavaliers my bitch walks perfect off the lead{but i only do this on large field near our home}she comes back every time.but my dog charlie ran off the field and straight under a car,luckly he laid down and was un touched.if it was a lower car he would not be here today.ifelt so sick and stupid to put him and driver at risk.now i never let them off just have extending leads.

17th March 2008, 04:25 PM
Holly has no road sense, and if we are anywhere near a road then she is ALWAYS on lead! I just wouldnt want to take the risk. She has great recall, but recall - as others have said - is not perfect!
Other than that though we do go out and enjoy the Scottish hills and countryside where she loves to be free! :)

Its just a case of sensible! To be honest I would be the same with any breed!!

You can most certainly train dogs off lead. Holly is only 7 months, but we have been to puppy classes when we first got her, and now attend obedience classes, and she works well off lead. Its just a case of being aware when you are out, like with any dog, that there are lots of distractions! :D

18th March 2008, 06:03 PM
Pippa my cavi is very good off lead. I never let her off lead around cars or a road as even though i do trust her i wont take the risk. I also have trained her to sit and wait at a curb, so if for some mad reason Idotn have a lead I have a back up. Due to obedience classes she is fine at staying at heel off lead if I tell her to. She does like to chase the crows and stuff out on walks btu she wont budge if I tell her to stayat heel, and although she is in the 'A' class at dog training and I let her go free she doesn't always come back first time I call. But I never have a worry if we're in the wood, in a field or on the airfield. She will always come back if I run in the other direction! :) I think with the right kind of training a cavi will always be fine off lead in a safe environment.