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Off leash training

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Are there off leash specialists? All our BCs are allowed off leash (first in safe areas like the National/state forest lands--not during hunting season) and they seem to do fine. I was afraid to let my Aussie off leash (my first real dog) and even though she had a great obedience recall, when she got loose, she had no recall at all. Never again will I use a long line to teach a recall! Our best off leash tool is to take a puppy into the woods and hide from it. Usually that only happens once and from then on, they keep us in their sight.

Barb S

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I started both my dogs off leash from the beginning. I walked them off leash, then constantly changed direction, turning around to walk the opposite way if they got too far ahead. They quickly learned to stay close and keep one eye on me. Now I can take them anywhere off leash. I may get a ticket for violating the leash law, but I know my dogs aren't going anywhere. If I had a grown dog, I'd find a secluded place to try the same thing. Head into the woods. Constantly practice recall. Hide and change direction.

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I taught Mila her off-leash recall in a dog-park, where she could not get into trouble. Then we headed into the woods, with my friend and her adult, trained dogs with whom she liked to play. Only once did she not come back, and I said "goodbye, Mila!" and walked back to the truck and started it up. I could not believe how fast she came down the road, thinking i would leave her! She was five months old then, and she has never been a problem since. If she escapes, though, she will not always come, and i sometimes have to ask her to go bye-bye to catch her. (We never actually go, as that would be rewarding the behavior, but she will load-up and get praise.)


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