Jump to content
BC Boards

Recommended Posts

My 11 week old bc Aussie mix Lady has to stay home and can only go in our backyard until she has all of her sets of shots at four months.( The vet advised us to do so for obvious reasons). But I am worried that when we start taking her to the park she will run off. How did you train your dog to keep with you without leash. We live in an apartment but she has a back yard and I'm home with her all day and constantly stimulating her mentally and physically. Any advice on what to start with when we start taking her out? Thanks in advance. All advice appreciated!

Link to post
Share on other sites

At the moment she is only a baby and is much too young to be off-lead somewhere where she can run away. She's too young yet for off-leash in parks. Don't let her off-leash anywhere she isn't safely enclosed, for the moment.

 

Start off with a short leash at the park. Then after a while move to a long line (not a 'flexi' or extendible lead, but a really long lead). You start off by holding one end of it and letting her explore at the other end. That will be more than enough freedom for a pup for the moment. And practice calling her back to you at moments when she is definitely paying attention to you and not distracted, and then giving her something delicious to eat.

Link to post
Share on other sites

^^ This.

 

Don't give her the opportunity to run off. Don't call her back to you, allowing her to blow you off, before you've trained a solid recall on leash and proofed it while she's on a long line.

 

If you want her to have the opportunity to run free before she's got a solid recall, make sure it's in a safe fenced area and just let her play till she comes back to you on her own. Whenever she does that, make it a party. Coming to you should always be a joyous thing for her. And don't make her stop playing and leave every time she comes to you. Try to avoid any kinds of negative associations (such as an end to play) when she comes to you. Even while you're practicing recalls, release her more often than not so that the recall is just a good, fun thing and it will still be that when you do eventually need it to end an activity.

 

ETA: I don't say this to be rude, but if you aren't experienced enough with training a dog to know how to train a recall, I'd highly recommend you enroll in a good positive reinforcement obedience class. Puppy kindergartens can be a good first step in training.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You may be using hyperbole, so forgive me if I'm making assumptions here, but you said you are "home with her all day and constantly stimulating her mentally and physically". Keep in mind that a puppy that age will still sleep a good bit. Providing for the pup's mental and physical needs is great, but puppies need down time as well. You don't want her to be perpetually overstimulated. I may be taking you too literally.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My 11 week old bc Aussie mix Lady has to stay home and can only go in our backyard until she has all of her sets of shots at four months.( The vet advised us to do so for obvious reasons). But I am worried that when we start taking her to the park she will run off. How did you train your dog to keep with you without leash. We live in an apartment but she has a back yard and I'm home with her all day and constantly stimulating her mentally and physically. Any advice on what to start with when we start taking her out? Thanks in advance. All advice appreciated!

 

 

Welcome to puppyhood! :)

 

The first thing to know is that if sufficiently distracted, she *will* run off, so for now just concentrate on her learning to walk on leash. Do you live in an urban setting? If so, I believe the risks for an off-leash dog are far more than I'd be willing to risk a puppy with. A gal I know lost a young dog when she was at a park and it chased a squirrel though a hedge into the street.

 

There are just too many things to excite or frighten a young dog when they are new to the world - not the least being other strange dogs. (And don't make the mistake of thinking she must meet all kinds of other dogs. She doesn't.) So start small. Take some puppy classes if you don't feel confident training her alone.

 

But meanwhile, work on calling her to you every so often for no reason, give her a small treat and a big, happy greeting - and then let her go play some more. That way she learns that coming to you is awesome and that you're not going to just make her stop having fun. I have TWO 3 month old pups right now, and the best way for me to get them to come when called outside is to treat them every time they show up at my feet. Needless to say, they are getting very tiny treats. :P Then just let your girl grow up in mind and behavior before you try to do too much, too soon.

 

Last but not least ... please advise what you mean by "constantly stimulating?" Contrary to myth, border collies - and Aussies - do not require constant things to do!

 

With my two puppies, besides the usual sit, lie down and "leave it," the biggest lesson they get is how to calm down! I want them to learn to chill out, chew a toy and just be a dog, not require my constant attention and interaction. There will be times you need to leave her alone or don't have time to do things with her. Don't risk creating a dog that constantly wants you to do things with her and that has no "off" switch. Best of luck! :)

 

~ Gloria

Link to post
Share on other sites

All good advice above.

 

I will just add that even with excellent training techniques, I would not expect to allow a dog off leash in a public park for at least a year - or two. Unless, of course, it is a fenced-in area.

 

And even if my dog was well trained to stay with me (heel), I would never consider letting him/her walk without a leash in an urban environment. Just too many distractions. It would be impossible to train and proof the behavior for all potential distractions.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for all the great advice! I feel great about training her on my own she is very smart and catches on quickly. And I guess I shouldn't have said constantly stimulating her lol I just meant I give her enough stimulation when she is wanting to play I let her be a puppy and let her get her down time I'm definitely not waking her up to do training exercises or anything like that and I let her entertain her self when she likes. But thank you for pointing that out because I'm sure there are a lot of people who make the mistakes you are talking about. She knows the sit stay lay down shake roll over and drop. I have been practicing walking her on leash in the back yard and she does great. I just wasn't sure how long to wait before letting her off and what to expect when I do come to that point of being able to. We live in a very small town so it's not to busy and we won't be taking her to a dog park our favorite is very sucluded we drive about 15-20 min. To get there. There's only one road and the feild we go to is at least 5 acres away from it. I'm glad you said something though because I would hate to lose a dog in such a terrible accident as your friend had. I appreciate all advice I don't take any of it as rude. I wouldn't have posted if I was scared of any contructive cridisicum I'm sure even if it doesn't apply to me someone reading the post can take something positive from it. I will definitely be doing as you all advised and be waiting to take her off and using a long lead when she's ready. I'm not in favor off the retractable leashes.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Good to hear back from you! Thanks for being so receptive to our advice. One never knows how things may be received, especially since the written word lacks tone of voice, smiles, etc. :)

Since your pup is only a week younger than my two, I'll just advise again to go very slow with the off-leash thing. My guys do get off leash time in our little fenced pasture areas and I let them off leash briefly at a sheepdog trial this past weekend - but they were also following my 9 year old dog pretty closely. Plus I called them back every couple of minutes to give treats. The tricky thing with a youngster alone with no adult dog to emulate is that EVERYthing is liable to capture their attention, so you could lose her to a scampering rabbit or squirrel in a heartbeat. Their attention spans just aren't that good and they can sure run fast! :P

I'd say start letting her drag a long line, such as a piece of clothesline, as she gets older and more trustworthy. But again, I'd recommend keeping those loose sessions short, as it only takes an instant for them to catch a scent or see a critter and take off.

I actually feel like a slacker as my guys only know sit and come, we're just starting on lie downs ... :D

~ Gloria

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree people get too defensive over write compared to in person. Hard to judge how a person will react. And don't feel like a slacker lol and when we got my husband's dad's bc together with our they wanted nothing to do with us haha I got a taste of how much harder it would be to keep two bc's attention at the same time. And I totally agree about the attention span topic when she wants to act naughty and has something she's not supposed to sometimes she likes to play the try and catch me game and she's quick on the corners so you can imagine it's fun for me haha it's hard to stay serious when she does it. It makes me laugh.i imagine I'll be waiting until she is almost a year or more to let her off depending on how trust worthy she becomes around that age.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I will add that even if you think you have trained a solid recall as a puppy, around the time the dog hits adolescence, he or she is likely to "forget" what they have learned, and try to test the boundaries. A solid recall can be lost at that time, as I have learned from experience. So I echo the advice about keeping a long leash on until 1 year old, or longer unless in a safe enclosed area.

 

The risk is not worth it!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi! Congrats on the new pup!

 

Everything everyone else said is great and I totally agree with all of it. But I would just like to add something to it.

 

I would suggest going outside with a leash on her and treating her for every moment she keeps her eyes on you and not whatever is distracting. If you can master this it will certainly make recall training easier. Also work on staying and heeling with full eye contact, this will also help recall.

 

Also, you may already be doing this, have you been socialising her ALOT? If she is nervous or confronted while recall training due to lack of socialisation it could reverse training. Ripley (my pup who is 8mo) had his fear period very early. I found it very difficult to train him when he was constantly fearful. You might not have her fear period till she is much older however it's best to socialise young.

 

Hope this helps! I also would like to agree with most of you, I do not recommend dog parks until your dog is much, much older. I have seen one too many fights happen at these kinds of places. If a puppy was involved in one of these you would have a hard time re-socialising it.

 

Good luck !

Link to post
Share on other sites

I started my pup on a long line on the canal towpath and recalled frequently for a reward. Off lead as soon as I could trust him not to fall in the water and he would wait by my side when another dog approached. Limited space to run off, limited number of dogs to encounter under control. Done 1-1 without my other dogs.

 

At 4 months he was off lead everywhere my other dogs were, although with more vigilance and less time. The idea of keeping a dog on lead for a year or more is alien to me but I guess it depends on availability of safe places to go.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The idea of keeping a dog on lead for a year or more is alien to me too, but I guess it's different if people don't have access to safe places. I have several places nearby where a dog can be let off leash without danger. And it is, I supose, very diferent if the dog comes to us as an adult. I've always had pups and found it quite easy to train a good recall from the start, at least good enough for a pup in a non dangerous place.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for a warm welcome we previously had a border collie black German Shepherd mix who passed away due to cancer and Im glad with having this new addition I found a great support center so specific to this very special and intelligent breed.

My husband thought it was odd to keep her on a lead that long as well. But I will do what ever it takes to keep her safe until she is trust worthy. We socialize her as much as we can she has not had a fear period at all. My husbands dad has a 4 month old bc mix that is very fearful and I was wondering why and what causes that since ours is the complete opposite.

 

I agree about the dog parks we definitely won't be taking her to one we never did with our other I know socialization is very important but believe it should happen in a controlled invirnment I have a hard time trusting other people that I don't know on how they have trained their dogs and I would hate for something to happen to mine because of that reason.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the BC Boards. :-)

You have had good advice, and I am glad you are here. I would only add two things: One is, and you probably know this, that there's nothing magic about a year's time in terms of being reliable off-leash. It could take longer than that, or less time.

 

But my experience with all dogs has taught me that it is 100% of the time better to be safe than sorry with regard to a dog's safety. I never take risks. I would never let a dog of any age or level of training off leash in an area where the dog could get away from me or run into the street or get into other trouble until the recall has been proofed to exhaustive thoroughness over the course of months if not years. And then I keep my eye on that dog literally constantly, until I know the dog will do a solid recall, especially if it is a young dog. Even with older well trained dogs I check in with their whereabouts at least once a minute if we are off leash somewhere. It only takes a few seconds for a dog to get into trouble or be killed.

 

Second thing is I recommend getting a whistle. Not the police kind with a ball in it, and definitely not the so-called "super sonic" dog whistle that supposedly only dogs can hear. (How do you know it is working at all if you cannot hear it?)

The link below is to the kind of whistle I use. Reason for the whistle is not to replace the voice recall but to supplement it. If your dog is trained to come also to the whistle it can be very advantageous. In an area where there are other sounds or if you are recalling over some distance, the whistle carries far better and farther than your voice will. I always decide on a certain pattern (one long, two short, or whatever) for the whistle call, to make it more distinctive for the dogs.

 

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Acme-Black-Plastic-Working-Dog-Puppy-Dolphin-Sea-Lion-Pet-Training-Whistle-210-5/190825104?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=2160&adid=22222222227047931064&wmlspartner=wmtlabs&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=146922141960&wl4=pla-257755369871&wl5=9030242&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla&wl10=113509978&wl11=online&wl12=190825104&wl13=&veh=sem

Link to post
Share on other sites

The timeline for off-lead and recall dependability is also unique to each dog, handler, and situation (including distractions and potential hazards). My one dog, Celt, was very dependable at a very young age, even with distractions. Another dog, Dan, is still not all that dependable, especially with distractions. They have totally different personalities. While a long line was not really needed with Celt (where we live in the country), it was needed (and sometimes still is needed) with Dan.

 

I'd rather err on the side of caution than have something happen that I would regret. Remember that it's not just your pup in the equation but also yourself, where you are, and what other people, animals, distractions, and hazards are present or potentially present.

 

Everyone has given such excellent advice!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks sueR and D'Elle

I will definitely be getting her onto a solid recall before anything else and I think the whistle is an awesome idea! Thank you so much!

 

Oh and the thing about not knowing if the dog whistle is working or not because you yourself can't hear it had me laughing and wondering 'yes how can we know if it is working?'

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...