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My BC "IF" was trained without using a collar /lead

She has worn a collar /lead....she is trained (walk with me)She has no more than 20 days experience with wearing a collar or on a lead."IF" is 21 months.

All commands have been taught to her off lead ,un collared.

"IF" has a working set of commands and is always faithfull to them .She is a country dog and a city slicker.

"IF" world consist of everything from deer and rabbits,horses, sheep in the country to traffic,sounds,street crossing,people in the city.She sees and hears it all.She is fully capable to deal with both .

"IF" knows about 16 verbal commands(basic and road work) and 10 nonverbal commands(directional and basic).She has no obsessions(but is extremely enthused when she can swim)"IF" isnt neurotic,she is extremely affectionate..."IF" she wasnt such a drama queen she would be perfect.

This dog has lived her life withoout a collar/lead and she turned out simply amazing.....unleashed.

 

I am wondering "IF" there are others who have trained without a lead and what there results have been.

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My dogs all wear leashes and collars on a regular basis, but much of the time their training is done off lead - we use a clicker to teach a lot of skills which requires no physical manipulation or force, so leashes and such are unnecessary for anything other than safety. I love working off lead!

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Shiloh was trained on and off leash. We live in Toronto and Shiloh stops at every roadway if he is ahead of us. He sits about a foot from the curb and waits while we catch up. He wont dare chase a squirrel, bird or dog off of his leash. Off leash he is a perfect listener.

 

On his leash he will try to chase everything and will listen only half of the time. He is actually much worse on leash...so now we are just having him on leash and as his "reward" for doing a great job we can walk the final blocks off leash. We need him to be able to be leashed since we live downtown and occasionally use a dog walker- but it is a work in progress. He is only 10 months old.

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I much prefer training off lead, the dang thing is always in the way. I

 

That said, I have learned the hard way that what I dog is taught off lead does not always carry over when a lead is attached, so I make an effort to do both.

 

Leashes are a necessary evil, keeping my dog safe from death or injury should he make one bad decision (ie walking along a busy road). While my dogs are trained with distractions I would hate to lose any one of them because just one time they were distracted by that darn squirrel/cat/dog in a fenced yard going bezerker. Also in many places we enjoy visiting they are required.

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Most of us with stockdogs train manners, etc., off leash. I remember one time going to visit a friend with three pups from one litter. My friend said we were going to go to a fun day, which meant that I might need a bit more control on the pups, so I had to stop at a pet store real quick and get them collars. Their leash training consisted of putting the leash on and just heading out to socialize with other folks at the fun day.

 

As Rushdoggie noted there are times when for the dog's safety wearing a collar and knowing how to walk on a leash are critical, so I make sure mine know how. But it's not a huge priority in early training--with pups it just sort of happens as we go to sheepdog trials and the pups come out to socialize (no one would appreciate a loose pup charging out onto the trial field for a little fun after all).

 

My dogs do wear collars. If they should ever get lost (see the recent thread on that very subject) I want them to have an obvious visual symbol of ownership. A collar can be seen at a distance, whereas their tattoos and microchips cannot. My dogs are working dogs and are kept slim and are often dirty (mud is a fact of life here, unfortunately). Without collars, it would be too easy for someone to think they were un-owned strays.

 

J.

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I start my dogs off at home without a leash when training basic manners and foundation sport skills.

 

One of my first goals with a new dog in training classes is to be able to work with the dog off leash as soon as possible. I don't hurry the dog, but once some focus has been established, my dogs work off leash as much as possible in classes. Building the kind of trust between dog and handler that results in a dog who can work safely around dogs who don't always have the same level of focus is a very important component of my training with a new dog.

 

Of course, they need to be able to work on leash as well, so I do tend to toggle between the two during the foundation training period.

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Some of mine have been over the years. Not that I looked at it as being trained off lead but it just happened.

Due to my lifestyle. Living in the country and working from home, with horses, they all had what I used to call a utility handle (no, not as in titles at all but as in everyday handling). Being that they all where well rounded around my clients, taking them with me was never an issue either. However, my travels did not take me places like downtown. So I can not brag on them knowing a ton of commands. The big deal was a recall as close to 100% as possible and a leave it command. The rest was sorted out during actual life with them.

I actually did not figure out that my dogs where "lacking" in training until I started taking agility classes and found out in a hurry that having a dog that knows to actually do their business on lead...is a good thing. Plus during one of our freak weather incidents here, I also found out that some of my young dogs where lacking in lead skills..... :rolleyes:

 

Having said this, I spend a lot of time walking and pushing the issues. My feeling is that my dogs that were raised this way where a lot more solid (for the most part in several things) than the ones that I work with different methods. Again this is a generalization because I can not possibly list all things and all animals that I am drawing this personal conclusion from. To me, you need to be a lot more vigilant, assertive and maybe a bit more willing to get yourself out there, if there is no lead to fall back on.

Same with our horses. If done right, I see not a lick of difference in a horse that is started under saddle for example, without a halter or with a halter. Talking the first saddlings. But I think the difference is in the trainer. If you are not given the tools of a halter and lead, maybe you need to figure things out just a bit differently. It will come in handy.

So my personal deal is that I try to do it every way possible or brought to me so that I can then put it in my tool box for either everyday use or occaisional use.

Hope that makes any sense. I am not the best of putting these things in words.

 

Edit to add, all of mine do wear collars. For id purposes.

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99% of my training is off leash, but I live in a burb and so the leash does go on when walking in the neighborhood once the pup is brave enough to not listen, that was at about four months with both of mine. So on went the leash. Bea my youngest also has an interest in chasing cars at night and though she is doing very well at leaving them on the leash I do not trust her yet to have it off. She is still so young.

 

I did leash training with Colt for a few days so he would keep the leash loose and I am just starting that with Bea, though she already kind of does that since she has been walked on a double lead with Colt and copies most of what he does. Very handy. I do want her to understand the command of "loose leash" though because when distractions happen she does pull.

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My sister's dog (an extra large mixed breed) never wears a collar or leash. She claims that he will listen to her and has a solid recall. The dog is microchipped so that is her reasoning behind not needing a collar. She's gone to Vegas this week and the other sister who is dog sitting insisted on a collar & leash for him because he doesn't listen to anyone else.

 

You should think about the "what if" instances. What if there's a car accident and the dog gets loose? What if you're away from home and something scares the dog into running off? All scary possibilities. At least if there's a collar on her she won't look like a stray.

 

Mine all wear collars, but rarely have a leash on, but can all walk nicely on them.

 

Laura

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My first dog I made a point of having no leash but since I have decided you should never let your dog off a leash if it will not come when called or perform other basic commands. My pup earned the right to be off leash at 5 months old when I was sure she would listen no matter the distraction. At this point she must remain on leash at the beach (as she can't control herself and doesn't listen) for now but is off leash all other places. A leash is a piece of protection equipment that will perhaps save your dogs life in moments of distraction, so I value them highly. But having 3 dogs I prefer walking off leash and I have always trained at home and at training off leash, once again when they earned the right too. My dogs all have bright coloured collars with name tags, microchip tag and rego tags. I am paranoid someone will let them out one night or take them. With their tags all on I have more chance of finding my babies. Their collars get taken off at night while they sleep or when they are inside but get put on when they go outside.

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My dog is a city dog, and a bit of a spook. So she has a collar on ALWAYS, and a lead in the daytime. (Not to mention there's a leash law, and an $85.00 ticket that goes with it.) At night my part of town pretty much shuts down, so I work with her off leash. I notice that when something startles her she circles back to me quickly. I work her off-lead sometimes because I don't want her to freak out about being loose if it should happen by accident. I know of dogs who panic if they are out without a lead, and I don't want her to have that. Her recall is close to 100% on or off lead. I personally prefer an off-lead dog, I feel that they are less likely to squabble when meeting strange dogs, but city traffic being what it is, (and skateboards, bicycles, and all those under exercised, under socialized nutball city dogs, winos and thoughtless, loud teenagers) Sugar is most often leashed.

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I trained Happy primarily off leash..she is good in every situation..its something I have noticed greatly, is my later dogs have all been trained primarly ON leash, and my off leash trained dog is waaayyyyy better then my on leash ones. I stopped to think about this recently and decided, from now on the leash is nothing more then a string legally required to be attached between us, it is not to be a saftey measure, or a device of any kind, then perhaps I can start having more dogs like Happy lol, I rather enjoy being able to do anything with her!

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Rhea and Gunnar were trained off leash since they were 8 weeks old and turned out to have the best recall out of the 3 of them. They also listen better to commands. Of course I've never raised a dog any other way. Masi was already a year when we got her so maybe the comparison isn't fair. If/when I ever get a puppy again I can promise we'll do it the same way.

 

I think I once did a poll on this. Yep, found it... http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/index.p...c=16909&hl=

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We flip back and forth...I trained them first on lead, but looking back at the advice and experience on this board, I would have trained the heel at least off lead -- it would have saved a great deal of frustration, especially with Robin.

 

I've found the boys (promoting them as they're almost a year old) as well as Ladybug highly responsive off lead and very sensitive to where my body position is. They check back more often when off lead than when on lead.

 

Can't wait for the snow to melt to get started again...trudging back and forth in the basement is getting kinda boring, but it does make it impossible for them to get too far if they decide to wander off track.

 

Liz

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