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Thread: First time letting off the lead!

  1. #1
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    Default First time letting off the lead!

    Charlie had his second vaccinations last week do I'm planning to take him for his first walk next weekend.

    It's been such a long time since having a puppy, do you have any tips? I'm also very nervous about letting him off the lead as we have a big field only 2 minutes walk away that Harry used to do circuits round! I'll take him a good few walks before I let him off the lead but I'm scared he'll run off and won't come back!

  2. #2
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    Unless you are 100% confident with his recall skills I would not let him off lead period. Cavalier's are so easily distracted and natural wonders, I did not plan on letting Fletcher off lead until we have had formal training (we're enrolled in an AKC approved Puppy class that starts in July) and I'm sure he will come when called even if there are a lot of distractions around.

    On our first few walks Fletcher was more interested in trying to bite my shoe laces than walking. But it only took a few times until he got with the program and learned "this way" also because I'm still worried about having him on high dog traffic trails I walked him mostly is in the middle of the street (we have little traffic on our road- its a dead end) that helped I think with the distractions nothing really too interesting to stop and smell. If that is a option for you I would try it at first. A new thing Fletcher just started doing is pulling in the lead so I'm going to borrow a gentle leader from my Mom today and give that a try even tho he wears a harness I don't think the pulling is alright. I hear the gentle leaders work great.

    Melissa

  3. #3
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    Melissa, I had a halti (gentle leader) that I trained my boxers with. It is awesome! I swear by them.
    ~Shari mom to
    Henry, black and tan 12-07-11

  4. #4
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    I'd practice recall with a long line first, and have your pockets stuffed with really smelly, interesting treats, but wouldn't let him off unless your very sure he'll come back.

    Our Murphy is very well behaved off the lead, he was let off the lead quite quickly. He run's on ahead, and then stops, looks for us and either runs back without being called, or waits for us. Misty on the other hand is not good off the lead, especially if she's on the sent of something, so she's only off if were well away from traffic, like the beach or the forest.

    Personally if by gentle leader you mean the "Halti" I wouldn't use it on a Cavalier. They have such short muzzles, and it can easily end up irritating their eyes. I used to see a poor Tri dragged along beside a pram, the Halti was always sitting right along it's eyes and it could hardly see where it was going. That's just my two cents, but I feel a front clip Sense-ible Harness is much better.
    Paula - mum to Murphy(6) & Misty(7), and Jerry our cat.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by murphy's mum View Post
    Personally if by gentle leader you mean the "Halti" I wouldn't use it on a Cavalier. They have such short muzzles, and it can easily end up irritating their eyes. I used to see a poor Tri dragged along beside a pram, the Halti was always sitting right along it's eyes and it could hardly see where it was going. That's just my two cents, but I feel a front clip Sense-ible Harness is much better.
    I'm not sure what type my Mom has not sure it'll even fit Flether but I will see about the eye thing. I have also been shortening his lead when he pulls I also stop and have him sit (hoping the reset him I guess) and tell him gentle sometimes it seems to works. He's not pulling the whole walk but we always walk the same route, I'm trying the see if he always does it at the same spots???? He didn't do it at all this morning. But thanks for the tip.

    Melissa

  6. #6
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    An easy walk harness is also an option, the leash clips in the front at the chest and makes it almost impossible for a dog to pull.
    ~Shari mom to
    Henry, black and tan 12-07-11

  7. #7
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    There are many walking tools out there and if you investigate you'll find the right one for your dog. I use the front clip harness on my Golden and it's been very good. I've been working with him a lot on loose leash walking but it's not a natural way for dogs to walk, so be prepared to practice with him. It's a good idea to start at home. A long hallway is great if you have one and can close all the doors to minimize distractions. Then gradually move to new environments with more distractions. The method I've been using is where I stop and say "ack!" if the leash gets taut. I have him come back to my side and then say, "let's go" or "nice walking" and we set off again. As long as the leash is loose I tell him he's a good boy etc. if leash gets taut, repeat. He got the message very quickly that in order to go toward the object of his desire the leash had to be loose. As soon as it got tight, everything stopped. It's a nice gentle way to enforce and teach how people walk and want their dogs to walk.

    Personally, I would not let aN untrained puppy off leash unless in a fenced area such as a dog park. if you want your dog to be able to explore a bit, bring along a long cord so you can always have a way to pull him back. My two cents only, but I think the safety of the puppy is the most important thing.

  8. #8
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    Bentley's 1.5 yrs old and we would never think of letting him off his lead, even in our yard out in the country. He doesn't know his own name when he gets on a scent, which is most of the time.

  9. #9
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    Hi, my puppy, Jazz is 5 months old and I'm going through recall training with her. Best advice I can give you which I have used is to first get Charlie used to his name - in the house keep calling him to you and then lots of praise when he comes. I also agree with having tasty treats, jazz is very food motivated as most cavs seem to be - her favourite being hotdogs! The key is that the food is more appealing to your puppy than whathever it is they are doing. Make sure you're in a safe place when you first try it and where you can see dogs coming from a distance - my puppy trainer recommended a cemetery! Because it's quiet and enclosed - I didn't try since I find then a bit creepy, but you can get the idea. When you call him use a high pitch and really excited tone which will hopefully get his interest immediately.

    I can walk jazz off lead in the woods now all the time and have done so since she was @ 3 months. I call her back throughout the walk and give her plenty of praise and treat her. Even my day-carers are confident with her off lead now. But I won't trust her anywhere near traffic or bikes etc. Also get him used to being clipped on and off lead so he doesn't just associate the lead with going home at the end of the walk.

    Have fun and let us know how it goes.
    Nicki
    Proud owner of Jazz

  10. #10
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    Our trainer taught us a nice game to practice recall... it needs 2 people though. Person A holds the pup while person B shows the pup a treat and then runs away. When person B is a few feet away, he or she must shout "*dogs name* come!!" and at the same time person A lets go of the pup and lets him or her run to the treat. Reverse and repeat many times.

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