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General training advice -- please

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I have a 5 month old now and I've had success with Lilly, she sits and goes down on command, and I can walk without too much trouble on a leash. She responds quite easily to verbal tone. This is good because I am a training novice :rolleyes:


My goal is this, at some point I would like Lilly to be able to go without lead with my family as we walk our land (15 acres). We have a 1/3 acre area that is fenced in for the dogs.


What is the way to get there, and how long might it take. I would like to expand on her smarts as well, as a general farm protector, chicken herder would be nice, but family playmate and companion is the emphasis.


How old before she should be trusted? and How do I get there. I have tried to enroll in obedience classes, but the one that keeps getting recommended here doesn't have enough for a class yet, so I'm working on my own.




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Hi Denise,


If you do a search in this forum, there are lots of discussions on how to establish a good recall.

I generally use a long line and good treats. Let her out to the end of the long line, call her in a REALLY happy voice, treat and let her go again.

I will often call my dogs just to give them a 'hello' and not to put a leash back on, etc.

Puppyhood is so much fun :rolleyes:

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Well, there's no magic age of trust. Many would say after the teenage years (2), but I trusted my BC 100% around age 7 months... so far so good.


I have 5 unfenced acres. I used invisible fence to train the perimeter. My dogs do not wear the collars after preliminary training.


Here's how I would get there.

1. You must have 100% recall, esp if your dog spies something to chase after.


2. Use a very light long lead that you could step on should the pup go too far away. Something like this: http://cleanrun.com/moreinfo.cfm?Product_I...FTOKEN=63254527


3. Be the automated treat machine. Fill your pockets (I like to use Home Depot or Lowes apron ($1) that you tie around your waist) with yummy treats of a few varieties. Make them really small so you dog doesn't fill up. EVERYTIME your dog even remotely looks at you from somewhere else, even if you don't call them, treat the dog. This will help not only so you can walk off leash, because the dog will always look to you for cues, but also in general obedience. This works great in conjunction with the lead line.


4. NEVER let your dog take a step off the property perimeter. Some ppl only exit their property via driveway on leash to 'go for a walk' but as I don't have a walking place, my dogs ONLY ever leave the property in my car. To teach boundries, leash your dog, walk the perimeter with dog on outside and use 'ah ah' (the correction noise) and tug dog back into boundries, never actually letting them step a foot over. Say 'yard' or similar right after the correction noise, wait a sec, say good dog, and treat. THE WHOLE 15 acres.


If you have a dog park or other fenced in area (baseball field, etc) try practicing off leash there. Having a 'here' or 'with me' command is also useful which means be by my side.


Best of luck!!

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Thanks, that just what I'm looking for. Now here's my follow, we have roughly 7-8 cleared acres, the rest is heavy forest where sometimes we walk the creek for a couple of miles, I can see making the woods the off boundaries, but then there will be times where we might want to hike the creek. Would this be confusing to her?


Should I hold off on the family hikes with Lilly (with leash) until she has her boundaries known at whatever age that be?


So far recall has been good, but I got the cart before the horse and she has bolted twice, so I believe I need the long line to enforce my rules. Hopefully it wasn't too big of a mistake.


But thank you for your very helpful replies

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You can do like the driveway thing... always enter the woods from the same spot. Make a special command... have her wait then call her from other side of invisible line. Something to that affect.


You could probably still take walks while training perimeter... just introduce the spot to cross like I said.


You could also cross the line ONLY and ALWAYS on a leash and after a bit take her off leash. You'd always want to carry a leash with you anyways in case you ever needed to leash her.

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