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Old 01-06-2013, 03:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Potty training off the leash in the yard - OK or not good?

When we first got Wade we were taking him out to the yard to go potty and keeping him on a leash the whole time. We shortly introduced him to a fenced-in area of our yard and this is now his preferred area to go to the bathroom.

To let him out, we make him sit and then put on the leash. Then we walk him on the leash out to the penned area and keep him on the leash until he pees. He prefers to go #2 on top of a small dirt hill (very convenient for keeping him clean - not) so we release him from the leash to go to the top of the hill to do his business. When he really has to go he'll just head straight to the top, do his business, and come down, but other times he waddles around a bit and stiffs, eats sticks, and tries to play. It can be frustrating to get him to come back to us to get on the leash when he is roaming around like this. So my question is, is it OK to be releasing him from the leash to go to the bathroom, or should we just be keeping him on the whole time? I'm wondering if he's getting a little too bold from not being on the leash the whole time because most times he really doesn't listen when we tell him to come back and we have to approach him (sometimes even chase him) to get the leash back on to take him inside.

Thank you!
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I would say leash him until you can say potty and he potties. Right now, he just wants to play and either doesn't understand the potty command, or you aren't using it. Once you can tell him to potty and he goes, then take him off the leash, have him potty, and then let him have his play time.


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Old 01-07-2013, 12:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Frankly, I would do a bit of both. If you are in a hurry, leash him so you can move on quickly. If not, let him wander around a bit if he wants to. Too much rigidity can leave you with a dog that will ONLY pee or poo when on or off a lead, depending on how they have been conditioned. Some dogs need to walk around for a bit to get things moving, so there may be a reason for his meanderings!

Take some good treats with you when you go out off leash, and recall him a couple of times for a treat, then send him off to sniff a bit longer. That way coming to you does not mean leash on, game over. Only calling him to take him back in risks poisoning your recall cue!
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fjm View Post
Frankly, I would do a bit of both. If you are in a hurry, leash him so you can move on quickly. If not, let him wander around a bit if he wants to. Too much rigidity can leave you with a dog that will ONLY pee or poo when on or off a lead, depending on how they have been conditioned. Some dogs need to walk around for a bit to get things moving, so there may be a reason for his meanderings!

Take some good treats with you when you go out off leash, and recall him a couple of times for a treat, then send him off to sniff a bit longer. That way coming to you does not mean leash on, game over. Only calling him to take him back in risks poisoning your recall cue!
Great advice! Thank you.
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