Henry goes off lead now in the park. He comes back on his own without being called a lot and I always give him a treat when he does. However it is stilll early days so I watch carefully and always check what other dogs are around. He still chases birds but they just fly off and then he comes running to us straight after. It's fun to watch him enjoying that too. It is a large open space. He has learned to play fetch and ignores other distractions when playing it. Those ball flinging stick devices are great by the way. It is great to be able to practice training in a large space, especially as we have a small garden. Now we are practising stay at further distances. I saw a labrador do a sudden "down at a distance" in the park a while ago. Could Henry do that? That seems like the most useful command you could have in the off lead situation really. So we are feeling quite confident at the moment, but will be sure to post if Henry gets eaten by a Bull Terrier :yikes
I find Holly's precious ring works for keeping her close. She's either running to fetch it and bring it back- for her, having the ring thrown is a reward in itself- or prancing around my feet wanting me to throw it! Having said that, I'll never again let her off lead with any other kind of toy. Chloe so far has been great, despite her 'naughty ruby' streak. I'm training her to the whistle for recall (won't work for holly), and again using lots of treats. I think seeing Chloe being rewarded to coming to the whistle is making Holly think it could be a good thing, too..
I totally echo what Karlin says as far as teaching the dogs a word like "treat."
Mine knows the word cookie and I can't tell you how wonderful that is. At first I wanted him to come to the word "come," but in all reality, the important thing is that they are running back to you, right? If I say the word "cookie" I can get him to drop absolutely everything in exchange for a treat...That word works wonders, not just for recall. . . I've used it when he tried checking out someone's puke on the street ( :yuk: ) and also to make him do a quick pee in the yard.. I will say, "go pee for cookies" and he sprints, squats, and sprints back in, lol.
Good luck and let us know how you come along! :flwr:
iv done training classes etc.my ellie wont leave my side of lead soon as i recall she is their,my dog charlie i let off and he ran completly blanked me and ran off the field,my heart stopped i couldnt find him,then noticed traffic stopped,thankfuly they had seen him but he was walking up street on road with a line of traffic at back of him,he still didnt bother when he noticed me.i felt so sick and stupid.i just wont risk it with him again,bought him a long lead instead :drivecar:
Oakley had a run off lead today at the top of the lodge whre there is no exit, tracffic etc - he just ran after Merlin and as Merlin comes when out (he doesn't always come at home!) his buddy was right there with him so they both got treats!
It was great to see them charging after each other around the grass and in the mud puddles!