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Working/Playing on a Long Lead


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Skye's recall is not 100% (working on it), so I never allow him off-leash in unfenced areas. I'm thinking of getting a long lead to be able to take him to the park to play fetch, and to work on his recall. But I've never worked with dogs on a long lead before, nor watched anyone do it, and I'm a little nervous. Don't they get tangled up in the lead at all?

 

Anything I should keep mind or be aware of before trying it? I assume I should choose a large, grassy area without any obstructions like trees or stumps, and without other people in the area. Should I hold the lead at all times, or just step on the end of it?

 

Any particular type of lead that's best? How long of a lead shoud I buy? I've seen up to 100 ft. I was thinking of buying a long one, but only using part of it at first and gradually working up to longer distances. Any particular way to feed it out or reel it in to avoid tangles and knots?

 

Thanks for any advice!

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Hi! I have a 30 ft one, I feel like it would be nice if it were a little longer. 30ft doesn't seem like much when a very leggy, loping running dog is on it. One thing to keep in mind is you don't want the dog to run really fast and then choke itself when it hits the end, so when I used it the dog was in a front harness. Also, he was taught by giving a little tug and saying a cue when he was about to hit the end of it, so he would turn around.

 

I generally kept the long line dropped but close to me, so I could pick it up if I needed to. You generally want to avoid areas where it's going to catch on things, because that can be a pain.

 

I have yet to find an effective way to avoid the dog sometimes getting tangled up in the lead. :P

 

I'm interested to hear the responses, as I want to buy another one for future use/hear what other people have to say about how they make it work.

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The day I got Levi (he was an adult) we went to a huge field and just dropped the lead and kept walking. We knew he was too scared to run off and used that to our advantage in the beginning. I would suggest you go to a safe open field, act normal, and while walking just drop the lead and keep walking as if nothing happened. We would take 90degree turns and keep changing direction so he had to keep watching us- he would quickly follow and get a treat just for checking in and keeping close. Within a few days we started to teach the actual recall (we wanted to just build a bond first). The walking around taught him that good things happened if he stayed close and checked in, turning directions taught him to pay attention because we were unpredictable. You can also take someone with you and with both of you having super yummy treats you can call her back and forth. So as she is eating treats from your partner you call her back to you, treat her, and your partner calls her back, and repeat. It helps to speed up the recall too. I know others will have more suggestions but you can also search on youtube for recall games. You should be able to find videos to help show you what recall games people play.

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Also, I found playing recall games to be very fun for me. I would yell in a happy voice 'yes' when he would initially tun towards me. You can gradually increase the difficulty-so if Levi was sniffing something totally distracted I would call him and as soon as he would look up/turn towards me I would either click the clicker or say yes in an excited voice and run the other way. His recall became a lot faster this way. I always keep in mind though that no recall is ever 100% no matter what anyone says. They can be 100% for years and just once choose to chase a bunny into the road. So we always keep that in mind and continue to work on his recall a couple times a month just to keep things fun and fresh.

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Also, I found playing recall games to be very fun for me. I would yell in a happy voice 'yes' when he would initially tun towards me. You can gradually increase the difficulty-so if Levi was sniffing something totally distracted I would call him and as soon as he would look up/turn towards me I would either click the clicker or say yes in an excited voice and run the other way. His recall became a lot faster this way. I always keep in mind though that no recall is ever 100% no matter what anyone says. They can be 100% for years and just once choose to chase a bunny into the road. So we always keep that in mind and continue to work on his recall a couple times a month just to keep things fun and fresh.

 

This ^^.

 

Also, the most likely situation where the lead would get tangled might be when you meet another leashed dog. This could be a precarious situation, particularly with a strange dog, so I would seriously avoid the possibility. I can drop Hannah's lead, so when my sister and I walk our dogs at the track, we do walk both on a long line. However, I can drop Hannah's lead and even unsnap it (the Samoyed would bolt) in the event that they become tangled. Even so, we work to avoid it by keeping them on opposite sides.

 

Waffles' ideas are great. I credit the long line with solidifying my dog's recall, though I agree with the caveat re: assuming the recall is 100%.

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One thing to keep in mind is you don't want the dog to run really fast and then choke itself when it hits the end, so when I used it the dog was in a front harness. Also, he was taught by giving a little tug and saying a cue when he was about to hit the end of it, so he would turn around.

 

Also very good advice! I use a front harness as well, though I sometimes turn it round so the snap is on the top.

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I have been posting about Keeva who is in heat at 11 months. Look at the post Patroling 15 acres. All of my time with her has been offleash.

 

Recall is awesome. However, she is in heat and with alot of help from the boards I have made the decision during the flagging time to keep her on a leash.

 

I purchased a 26 feet(the longest I could get). She does fine (no pulling, no choking no need for a harness).

 

 

Most of our outside traing is with stock and frisbee(during this time neither is any good.) However I realized we could play with the stick which she is obsessed with on the leash I just do not throw it far. She tries to kill it and drops it at my feet everytime.

 

One more week of this.

 

She has been offleash since about 10 weeks. Recall games in the woods and the fields was how I trained her. She comes to the sound of my voice.

 

I even play hide and seek. Don't keep yelling your dogs name just once clear and with excitement. Keeva will run from wherever and sit right in front of me.

 

I have also trained her that one call is all she gets. Calling her name 2 or more times is not acceptable.

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I agree with Waffles' suggestions, but go a step further and couple it with whistle training. We do quite a bit of hiking in the national forest and I don't want to find out that my voice won't carry if my dog takes off so I always wear a wrist whistle. Plus, there's something more compelling about that sharp, distinct sound than the human voice. It came in really handy this past Memorial Day weekend when Jill took off after a coyote :o ...longest 30 seconds of my life!

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I'm thinking of getting a long lead to be able to take him to the park to play fetch, and to work on his recall. But I've never worked with dogs on a long lead before, nor watched anyone do it, and I'm a little nervous.

 

Anything I should keep mind or be aware of before trying it?

 

Yes. Don't have a gin and tonic in one hand and the handle of a fifty foot lunge line in the other, if there is a crazed border collie puppy attached to the other end. In particular, don't get distracted in conversation long enough to let the puppy travel 100 feet at a dead gallop.

 

I will never forget the look on DH's face just before I got jerked right out of my shoes. :lol:

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