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What do you let your BC do?


WyoBC
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When you have them off the leash? I mean do you let them chase a few rabbits or anything like that? I'm starting to let Black Jack off his leash some now and he's great at coming back everytime I call him with out even thinking about it. But what about when he goes into his eye look at a rabbit? And also how far do you let him run ahead of you? Just something I was thinking about.

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Great question! I know that I call Riven any time I feel her getting too focused. Because if she "zones" in on something, she goes deaf, you see. :rolleyes: I have been letting her run off leash outside in our back yard (not fenced) but always keeping an eye on her, and if I see her heading for the alley, or the front yard I quickly say her name and she knows that she isnt allowed to go that far. The key, at least with Riven, is to make sure that she isnt zoned in on something.... squirrels, kids, cats, whatever. :D Hope that helps you

 

If you dont want Black Jack to kill rabbits, IMO you shouldnt let him chase them either

 

ETA: Sorry I just thought of something. I wouldnt let Black Jack off leash unless you know his recall is 100%. We trusted Rivendell a few days after we got her and it was a huge mistake. Every time you call and they dont come back reinforces they dont have to listen. Seriously, dont learn it the hard way like I did lol.

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I wouldn't let my dog chase anything period. Never know when the bunny will run somewhere dangerous for your dog OR your dog decides that's the time it doesn't heed it's recall.

 

And I agree to keep your dog on a long line until you KNOW you have 100% recall. I knew after I had River for 6months (ages 2m-8m) that she finally had a solid recall that I could call her off anything. I can even call her off fetching a ball!!!

 

As far as distance, it's what you feel comfortable with, but mostly it's your dog. My dogs will run ahead of me while we walk the dogpark path, but will look back to me when they feel they are too far and kinda wait for me to close the distance.

 

The most important thing is that your dog looks to you for direction & protection. This is done with focus work, treat training, etc. Esp when you want your dog to be reliable off leash.

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It's also a good idea to do a "walk around" of the boundaries that you donot want your BC to cross.

 

And then train him to that space.

 

Where he is allowed to run free, but not cross over. This can sometimes take awhile to train.

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One thing I've taught Fergie is "That's not your...."

 

She's allowed to chase squirrels in our yard - off leash and all. Of course, she's out only when we are. But it has sure kept our tomatoes safe for 11 years now. Before that, those suirrels would jump past the cat to steal tomatoes.

 

But she's not allowed to go into most yards on our off-leash neighborhood walks. (That's the dead ends and the pond & field & woods. All others areas are on leash.) Of course, she does have some friends who have said she is welcome to chase those grey terrorists. But she knows the comment - and even knows most of the rules anyhow.

 

Of course, we did not get to this immediately. We spent months working on recall alone. So don't expect too much too soon. The long line along with the commands you want is the best method. One good command is "STOP!" I mean, the interesting animal could be a skunk.

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I agree with all the above. I made the mistake of letting Hoku chase some critters on our neighbors ranch walks, and it became a problem quite quickly. He became more focused on the chase then me, and he started blowing me off, and months of recall work were lost. So I now mostly 'off leash' walk him on a light weight 50' line that he drags behind. At first I kept him in that 50' zone so I could at anytime enforce a recall, or leave it (nasty poo, dead things, etc). He is getting much better, so he still wears the line, but is often further out when I can see the surrounding terrain (no cows, deer, bunnies in sight) I work with his recall, fetch and other games as we walk, and he is doing great. But I still don't feel 100% with lots of cows around, so for my peace of mind, he'll stay on the line for a bit. If you use the line, wear gloves, I got a nasty rope burn when a bunch of calves ran by one day, and he started to give chase. :eek: I tied a knot every ten feet or so, so I can also just step on the line to stop him. The other good thing about the line is that it seems to teach them a radius to stay with you. Hoku will sometimes go out further then 50', but circles back quickly to 'check in' and he always keeps me in sight. We sometimes will duck behind a tree or shrub, and he always comes to finds us very quickly, big party! That has taught him to check in on us a lot. I thought the line would be a bummer for him, but he gets very excited when I pull his harness and line out, as it means a big fun walkie!

 

When we hike in the mountains or on a defined trail (with no cows), I let him completely off leash, do fun games of fetch and try to keep his focus somewhat on me. I have also noticed if I let him eye things, he goes into 'the deaf zone' that Smily mentioned, not a fun place for us humans!

 

Hope this helps!

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A-R-R-G! I'm such a novice with this breed, I could pull my hair out. We go two steps forward and three steps back with this issue, and I'm so grateful for this board to offer help. If I was lazy it would be one thing, but I work almost every day with my dog on recall.

When we are in the yard, (no fence, but big lot and little traffic), we have a session and when I tell her it is over, she happily follows me to the back door---no prob.

At the neighborhood park, I put her on a nylon rope that she pulls behind her as we play--big area---no worries of her getting tangled and throttled as she goes full speed on chase of her toy. When we are done, she comes to me and I give her a drink and put her regular leash on to walk home. There IS danger, however of her getting throttled when she runs on past me and jumps into the the pond to cool off. The result being that the neighbors get a show. Me wading into the freezing pond because even though part of the nylon lead is still out of the water, she has managed to wrap it around her back leg so I can't pull her out without hurting her. Meanwhile, she's lapping up the chemically-laden pond water and I'm slipping in goose poo wondering why I ever thought I could handle a dog who is faster and smarter than me. She did thls the other day--totally out of the blue, we've been going to the park for months and she has never even tried to jump in. Her point: You never TOLD me I can't jump in the pond, and well, I WAS hot....

 

Two days prior to the pond incident, I accidently dropped her leash while we were in the yard and she ran to the top of our hill to visit with a maintenance man. I suspected he didn't want her company, so I yelled "leave" then "come" and she stopped dead in her tracks and came back to me.

 

I discourage any chasing of anything, mostly because I'm working so hard on the recall, I don't need any other issues to work out with her. She WILL ignore a ball when I throw it if I tell her to, which is great progress.

 

Sigh. We'll get there. At least my neighbors, (who all seem to have well-behaved, happy, overweight goldens and labs), have someone new in the neighborhood to entertain them... Charlene

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Originally posted by Beth G:

It's also a good idea to do a "walk around" of the boundaries that you donot want your BC to cross.

 

And then train him to that space.

 

Where he is allowed to run free, but not cross over. This can sometimes take awhile to train.

On that note, my dogs are trained to stay in my yard. My BC is 100% proof, my other dog is unless it's the UPS truck or garbage (it's the non-BC that chases cars ) I used invisible fence to reinforce. BC doesn't wear collar anymore (was only shocked once for proofing) non-BC has to wear it as of late due to running into street after garbage truck (which she wasn't wearing collar) - to reinforce if she does again.
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I aggree with everything above,

I never really had to work on shelb's recall that much. I mean well I never REALLY had training sessions with her. she comes when I say her name. I trained her for 'come' right at 10-11 weeks and had a few problems because i trusted that she would come. and the moment that she didn't resopnd right away she went right back on leash.

since then I let her off leash in a few areas

1. an area that both her and I know, and she knows where she is going.

2. hiking. because she will go about 25 feet in front of me, then stop and wait. 25 feet is the length of the felxi leash as well. and as long as she listens Pete will listen, and Vice versa.

 

As soon as their attn starts to wonder from the walk I.e. bird, people, leafs (she LOVES to eat leaves) etc. I call them back and treat them. I have not had one problem since the first one.

 

although I have to keep pete on lead for hikes as he LOVES sticks and if he sees one in water, (frozen or not) he will go get it and bring it to me. I can get them both to 'leave' something, but sticks are beyond. as soon as he see them he goes deaf and feels nothing.

 

 

I would keep black Jack on a long lead for a bit, as a just in case.

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rabbits depdn on where I am, there is one feild I occiosonaly run my dogs that is in the city but surounded by nothing if that makes sence, in that feild me dogs are free to chase as many rabbits as they likes sometimes they ae out of sight for several minuts before they all come back as a group. however in most feilds I will NOT allow critter chasing, period. Happy and Misty are boundry trained though, they so they can run free and "chase" whatever they choose, they know better them to set paw off the grass, I remeber some kids at one park all wide eyed when Misty bolted off barking at a guy jogging on the other side of the street, she bolted barking and in a fenzy right to the edge of the grass and went no further lol Happys boundry is the sidewalk, if a toy gets thrown into the street she runs to the edge of the sidewalk and drops to the ground. Electra is still learning so she is now allowed to chase anything but me or Happy and misty, and I dont allow her to run more then a few meters from me.

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Thanks for all the advice guys. Well I know his recall is at least 98% because all I have to do is say his name or "come" and he comes back running to me. I still keep him on his leash at night and on his walk in the morning so he doesn't think he doesn't have to wear it anytime. He does like to chase rabbits but a quick "No" and he's back at your feet. I feel pretty comfortable letting him off leash now. I'm still working on his recall in the yard so I can feel 100%. The problem is that we have so many rabbits that they're everywhere! But I think I'll start not letting him chase ANY of them. I don't want him to start not listing to me. He started doing that once yesterday but I tried to get him to stop and he did. He listens pretty well but I have only had him one week so I'm not hurrying anything yet.

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Recall really is essential- as I learned this morning. I've been practicing at the local park for many weeks, getting 9 month old Zoey to come to me when called when she's excited and it's been working pretty well (she likes the tasty treats I've been using). This morning at 6:30am I was at the local park again (it's a large, wonderful park but has no effective fencing to speak of). A neighbor was there also with his Jack Russel. We live in the burbs, but we back up to an extensive wilderness area. Zoey was in the middle of the park area in front of me and I noticed she was looking at something. I figured it was squirrels, but when I looked at the far edge of the park I saw three huge coyotes (at least 40 pounds+ each) giving the dogs a look over. I was surpised Zoey didn't instantly try to chase them- I called her and she came back running back to me in her usual happy state. The neighor called his dog and we leashed them up right away and figured it might be a good time to head home. If you haven't been around coyotes, that may not seem like a big deal, just one is nothing to bother about, but a pack of them makes an facinating and formidable eating machine. Under the right circumstances a group can take down a much larger animal. They have that eye thing going on and one will distract or lure the target with their stare while the others creep up on two or three sides from behind, one will grab the neck and it's over. Our area has no outdoor, domestic cat population. Needless to say, I was very glad to get Zoey back on the leash quickly and make a hasty retreat.

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If mine starts going after a critter, I give an emergency "halt" command, wait for the little thing to get away and then either call him back or go get him. His recall is good and I can call him off geese, but I don't want to risk trying to call him off the chase and him not responding.

 

When Dakota is off leash on our property or on the trail we walk on, he can go as far away from me as he likes, as long as I can still see him and he stays away from the road. When we're anywhere else, he stays by my side until I release him.

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I believe in no nonesence way of raising/treating/training my dogs. If recall as discussed is not 100% do not let him off leash, instead find a long long light rope and let him drag it so you can grab it and redirect his attention if he dosent come when called. I agree on no chasing of rabbits just in case you are in town or near a busy road and he sees a rabbit. However, I will admit I allow mine to chase rabbits at our house, the only dog I have a problem with would be Lila the ACD. The border collies not only stop whatever they are doing when I call but will go right into obedience mode. I bet you are doing fine!! I followed your posts for awhile and am really happy you were allowed to adopt Buddy!!

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Oh ya, when we do go somewhere off leash like a walk down in the creek, I have taught the dogs to only go a little ways away from me, when they would get to far I would call them back and then incorportated the words "Hey thats far enough" so now they (other then Lila) will go that distance away from me and they stop and wait on their own or come back and poke me with their cold nose kinda like they are saying hurry up mom. Lila stays on leash or a long peice of twine, because if I say that to her she clamps her nub of a tail down and runs farther away from me and gets that look (my mom calls it a "go to H***" look).

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I don't let Zoe chase anything, although BOY does she want to chase squirrels. I don't want to risk her chasing one out onto the road or anything. And I have Zoe boundary trained - it's actually kind of funny to watch, she screeches to a halt at the boundary like she hit the end of a rope.

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