View Full Version : Do most people let off lead?

19th March 2009, 06:19 PM
Hi, Ive noticed on my walks that most dog owners let their dogs off the lead. What do most cavi owners do? I have let Leo off the lead but his recall is a bit hit and miss. Sometimes he comes back brilliantly other times no matter what I do he's off and running.

I want to let him have a great run but Im afraid something will happen to him.
I do have a recall lead which about 40ft long and I use that over the forest.
Any advice or tips would be welcome.


19th March 2009, 06:44 PM
I put Dylan on a very long lead. This one is actually for horses. It's about 10 meters long I think.

Rj Mac
19th March 2009, 07:08 PM
Hi there, we're very lucky where we are, that we have plenty of dog friendly walks,where we can let our dogs off no bother,and again we're fortunate that our 3 all have great re-call, for roadside walkies they're all on the lead tho :thmbsup:

I Remember a Sheltie that we had when I was a boy,her name was Zara, and Rebel our late GSD, neither of them were ever on the lead, when I was a boy they'd come on my paper round with me, and never leave my side,

19th March 2009, 07:20 PM
I'm terrified of letting my one off the lead in case she wont come back and gets lost or hit by a car or something!iv had plenty of bad experiences with dogs off the lead so its made me really protective. I probably should let her off because shes good at recall and the few times shes escaped out the front door she came back the minute I called!

19th March 2009, 07:38 PM
I do not let Jasper of the lead I don`t feel happy about doing it as I worry that if he got something in his mind he would be off and I could`nt bear anything to happen to him, I have put him on a retractable lead in the field opposite us, but he has had some bad experiences with big dogs running up to him off lead and he can`t cope with it probably because he is on a lead and does not feel in charge of the situation, I feel he would run off, you always get people say `my dogs alright` but how would you know if you don`t know their dog.

19th March 2009, 08:15 PM
Harley is brilliant off the lead, wont go far, and comes back when i call, he seems very happy to go back on his lead, di

19th March 2009, 08:16 PM
Harry is walked on the lead all the time at the moment. We did used to have lovely walks off lead but slowly the big outdoors became more irresistable than me & my bag of treats we had some scary experiences when he would not come back. The fear of losing him outweighs the enjoyment of seeing him run free. I am working hard on recall as i would love to be able to let him run free again. I'm seriousley considering some 1 to 1 with a trainer as i feel i have so lost my nerve to let him free i need help to overcome my fear no matter how much his recall improves, anyone have any thoughts on that?:confused:

19th March 2009, 08:31 PM
I only let Lucy off lead at the dog park (totally fenced)....Charlie hasn't gone yet too young...but I will do the same with him. Even though I live in a fairly quiet area w/ a lot of walking trails there are too many animals (rabbits, birds, cats and other dogs) for them to chase and I worry that they will get hit by a car or even attacked by another dog. Personally, I don't like people who let their dogs off leash unless their dog has perfect recall. Our Chesapeake Bay Retriever (now PTS) was attacked twice by dogs that were off leash while she was on her leash. One of the times I was 7 months pregnant and the leash got tangled around my legs and knocked me over. I was very upset to say the least. Also, you never know if someone's dog that is on a leash is unfriendly toward other dogs and if your dog runs up to them the dog may attack. Where I live (California) there is also a leash law, so if you let your dog off leash in a public place and your dog bites or injures someone...you're completely hosed from a legal standpoint.

19th March 2009, 08:46 PM
I exercise mine off lead, but I'm very choosy about where I let them off. Although they are reliable with the recall, especially coming back to a whistle, I never forget that they are still spaniels, and if a small furry like a squirrel or rabbit popped up in front of them, they would become deaf and give chase!

The recall training has been hard work, but worth it. I've also learnt to recognise the signs of them getting a little bit too hyper, at which point the lead goes back on for a while until they calm down again.

Maddie was never one for running up to other dogs, but this was Pippin's besetting sin. We now have him trained to look to us for permission (or not) to go and say hello. Luckily where we walk there are a lot of friendly dogs for him to meet and greet. I don't take the off lead work for granted even now, and always reinforce it with play and treats. And some days I just have the feeling that it could all go wrong and keep them on lead.:p

19th March 2009, 09:15 PM
I always let Jasper off lead and felt confident that he would listen and 99% of the time he was great, Gabby on the other hand I was always on my guard, she loves chasing birds, butterflies, moths leaves etc, and I would put the lead on her if I felt the need to. However an incident happened with Gabby the day before new years eve and she very nearly died. Now I do not let either off lead, I cannot physically even leave Jasper off.

Pauline thats a great idea about the horses lead, something to look into thanks.

PS My vet told me it is better for them to have a good hour long lead walking session then a run because it burns more calories. That makes me feel less guilty about keeping them on leads :) Mind you there is nothing better then watching a cavalier running like mad with ears flapping, wish I had access to a secure fenced in field.

19th March 2009, 09:38 PM
I never let mine off lead. I would be too afraid that they would see something more exciting than me and take off or have a run in with another dog!

I would love to have somewhere closed in to let them off lead but for now they are on the lead always, unless they are in my garden playing which is big enough for them to run up and down playing fetch etc.

19th March 2009, 10:10 PM
I usually leave mine on because they are both still young and I'm just afraid they will get away from me. If we are in an area that is somewhat enclosed, I'll let them off.

Elaine 2
19th March 2009, 10:55 PM
I let all mine off lead but never ever near any roads, just in the park or somewhere l know is safe, l must add all my dogs are older now with the exception of one so they always stay by me

20th March 2009, 01:13 AM
Never-- I have had one of mine trained for competitive obedience-- 36 weeks of obedience training and I'd still never 100% guarantee that he wouldn't see something and run into trouble. Nope-- Never Cavaliers are about the least street smart dogs I've ever seen.

20th March 2009, 01:22 AM
After Mindy (who had been a velcro dog up until that point) ran off after something in the bush when she was 10 months old I didn't work up the nerve to let her off lead again for another 10 years or so. We have some safe places to walk and there are no predators here. She did come back from chasing a rabbit last fall when I called her so that eased my mind. I am working hard with Max on recall and he actually is very reliable both on the long flexlead and in the backyard. I don't think he would stray far from Mindy so I "might" try him off lead this spring after this set of obedience classes - Or I might wait until I can test him in a confined area like agility class. Until then we practice recall a lot, both on and off lead, indoors and outdoors.

20th March 2009, 02:49 AM
I did for the first time this week and I was pleasantly surprised! His recall was great and he really seemed to enjoy himself. I am lucky enough to have a large acreage near me with no roads of any kind. It does have well sites, but I checked all of those fences before I let him off!

20th March 2009, 03:56 AM
I've had dogs I could trust off lead that were flawless, but I wouldn't trust a cavalier on a walk off lead. I could trust Pixie away from the road. She would always just stay right with me, follow me everywhere and want to watch everything I was doing,(except when she was in heat, and then she turned into a little whore and was ready to leave home in the blink of an eye! Bandit, OMG, is such a little hunter, he takes off chasing things I can't even see! He would LOVE to chase cars, too if he had the chance (he trys when we go walking around the neighborhood). I'd never trust him off lead. Our back yard is big and fenced, so we get to play out there, but when we go for walks, it is on with the harness and leash!

20th March 2009, 07:14 AM
I was talking about this with a lady at training on Tuesday evenng. She's got a gorgeous 5 month old tri boy, and she was encouraged by another dog walker to let him off lead. She said he was great, came back when called etc. It's the family's first dog, so I felt a little bit of advice might be in order. ;) I explained that when he hits adolescence that perfect recall will likely disappear, and to be very careful about where she lets him off. Always to have treats (high value) and maybe invest in a long line (similar to Pauline and Dylan's one) and keep him on that while training the recall. Oh, and if she does let him off lead, don't put him back on only when it's the end of the walk, but call him to her randomly, put him back on lead then let him off again. I also pointed out that Cavaliers are spaniels, and most will go off hunting if they get the opportunity, and what is right for one breed doesn't necessarily work for others.

I left it there because her little ones puppy class was finished. Hopefully I'll get the chance to talk more to her. He was a gorgeous boy though. I wouldn't want her to lose him.:xfngr:

20th March 2009, 09:04 AM
Kirra has been off the leash a couple of times and had perfect recall - usually bringing a twig or branch with her :)

Although one time a black labrador came bounding over - which I had not seen - and Kirra was distressed as it looked as if it would become aggressive - and Kirra's leash was immediately placed on her. I feel sure she would have ran off in panic - had the leash not been placed on her.

Sadly we know our own dogs - but those of others - we are never sure and as for the owner of the black labrador - she was permanently on her mobile phone - and seemed oblivious to what he was getting up too :mad:

Kirra always walks on her leash otherwise - given most of our roads do not have paving areas - and I always ensure she is close to me and away from the traffic.

Perhaps we are over protective - and yet (quite rightly) they are our loved ones - and we wish to protect them at all times.

20th March 2009, 11:31 AM
I can let Millie and Chloe off lead once we are in a safe secluded park/field and they will always stay within close range of us and come back when they're called.
Rex on the other hand is another story and still cant be trusted :D I normally connect all three leads together once I let Millie and Chloe off, and give him an extra long lead so he has a bit more freedom.
I dont know if we will ever be able to let Rex off lead, I think it will take alot of training before I would feel happy about it.

20th March 2009, 01:35 PM
I don't let mine off lead, the only park in our area is quite large but no matter what direction we walk we're heading for a nearby exit which are all pretty impossible to bypass. Travelling to beaches/parks is quite a chore with Gavins projectile vomiting car sickness :o

20th March 2009, 01:50 PM
I can let Dotty off her recall is brilliant even when there are some wonderful smells around. She is never more than 20 feet away from me stops dead in her tracks if chasing a bird when I call her she comes.
Ziggy is the complete opposite but is getting better. I do let him off lead in the enclosed field and his recall is getting better now but not enough for me to let him off when we go to a huge park woodland walk he has a long line for then. Our local park gets a mix of dogs some nice some not. If the nice dog walkers are there I do let him off because he runs around with peoples dogs I know come back when called he follows suit then.


20th March 2009, 03:45 PM
Thanks everyone......fantastic response. The recall lead we have is just like Dylans and it does give him a good run.
I dont feel relaxed with him off lead so I'll keep him on one, at least I know he's getting a good walk and plenty of exercise.


the doll
21st March 2009, 01:50 PM
I allow Holly off lead twice at least twice a week at the forest park. She has great recall as we have practiced this from an early age. I would never allow her off lead in an area with traffic as she does like to run on ahead and tends to change direction suddenly. This seems to be common with all cavs and I think they should never be put at risk with traffic. We started off lead training with treats at about 6 mths and to date she has never disappointed us. Nothing makes me happier than the sight of her big doggy smile, bounding through the woods with her ears flapping and her tail wagging like mad.:-p

Cathy Moon
21st March 2009, 01:57 PM
I don't let mine off lead unless we're in a completely fenced area. We promised their breeder we'd have a fenced yard for them.

21st March 2009, 02:02 PM
Only in our fenced backyard. All it would take would be a rabbit or squirrel & all 3 would be off.

21st March 2009, 05:03 PM
As long as we are in the local park I will let Tilly off. She will recall 9 times out of ten if she is the only one off lead.

Fern is banned from ever going off lead as she just heads straight for the nearest exit and hops straight THROUGH the gate (skinny little monkey) and we then spend at least 20 mins trying to catch her again.

If Leo could see I would have no issues letting him off... but it would be a little dangerous as things are now.

21st March 2009, 08:09 PM
I don't let mine off lead unless we're in a completely fenced area. We promised their breeder we'd have a fenced yard for them.

Same here.

21st March 2009, 08:14 PM
I try to let Ruby off lead for about 10mins every day but never anywhere there could be traffic as i do think she would go ahead regardless. i always have a check to see which other dogs are around 1st. only once has she not come straight back when called when she was busy saying hello to another dog-little monkey came back when she was ready & then she got a good girl still as i couldnt tell her off or she would have no incentive to recall next time! i practised again& again with her before i let her off so it would be about 3months id had her before i felt she was ready. to begin with she stayed by my side & now she has a little potter off but looks over to me often. we're lucky as there are lots of good enclosed walks so if we're in a good smallish park i stand in the middle so i can see her at all times. just this week she has taken to lying on her back when its time for her lead to go back on but i think she is already getting to know thats 1 game we arn't going to play!:) mostly i guess it all depends on the individual Rubes has never shown any interest in cats,squirrels etc but just seems happiest off lead so she can sniff every single blade of grass!!

22nd March 2009, 03:31 AM
Alice would be gone like a shot after a bird or anything.... Although she's only 4 months I do not forsee this changing. (Perhaps if that trainer from the UK, Victoria Stillwell came and trained her?) :-D We do have a fenced back yard though and we've begn taking her to the local dog park to let her run off lead. Do they have dog parks where you are?

22nd March 2009, 05:09 PM
There are no fenced in "Dog parks" near where I live. I wish there were as the one's I see on American TV programs look great.


22nd March 2009, 07:20 PM
I read this with interest - thought it was only akitas with no recall sense whatso ever!:jump:

i havnt got a cavy - yet. but this is something i discussed with my partner off lead or not! my two are never off lead, it is part of my rehoming contract that they are not and we have had the conversation is it fair to let the little newcomer off and not these two!

Cally, the cavalier we did have, had wonderful recal and was rarely on her lead, except around roads. we are very lucky that we have lots of dog walking places right on our doorstep that are over run with dogs off lead, i think that though you know your own dog you do not know everyone elses so i think i would definately stick to leads!

murphy's mum
22nd March 2009, 07:32 PM
Mine both get off the lead at the beach or the forest walks we do, we are quite lucky that we have lots of good places to take them.

They never get off the lead anywhere near traffic though:)