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I have been REALLY wanting to take Sisko to the parks, local waterfront, Tacoma, Seattle and other places, and like everywhere!! But I can't take him because my mom doesn't think it would be okay to take him because he's not ready, and can't even focus on me for long while we're outside yet. Okay, I get that, but I really want him to explore and sniff around, do things, and get tired exploring.

I FEEL LIKE I'M STUCK馃槨 AND CAN'T GET ANYWHERE OR DO ANYTHING WITH HIM AND FEEL HELD BACK WITH HIM. I'm just going to take him to a small park where he can sniff around and explore today maybe for like half an hour to an hour.
 

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I鈥檓 not saying to go against what your mother says, but to train a dog to follow you off-leash, you need to take him to places where he can be off-leash.

When I get a new dog, I wait 4-8 weeks and then I start. At first I let the leash drag on the ground, but eventually I take it off. The trick is never to follow or run after your dog. He needs to learn to follow, and to go back to you whenever he wanders too far away. If he goes too far, go the opposite way, slowly. Or sit down until he comes back. If you go his way, he will go further and further away, thinking it鈥檚 what it鈥檚 all about : him going off and you following.

It鈥檚 a delicate balance and you need a safe place to do that. And lots of time, so you don鈥檛 rush it. After many sessions, your dog will have learned to look for you and stay close enough. They don鈥檛 like being away from us.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I鈥檓 not saying to go against what your mother says, but to train a dog to follow you off-leash, you need to take him to places where he can be off-leash.

When I get a new dog, I wait 4-8 weeks and then I start. At first I let the leash drag on the ground, but eventually I take it off. The trick is never to follow or run after your dog. He needs to learn to follow, and to go back to you whenever he wanders too far away. If he goes too far, go the opposite way, slowly. Or sit down until he comes back. If you go his way, he will go further and further away, thinking it鈥檚 what it鈥檚 all about : him going off and you following.

It鈥檚 a delicate balance and you need a safe place to do that. And lots of time, so you don鈥檛 rush it. After many sessions, your dog will have learned to look for you and stay close enough. They don鈥檛 like being away from us.
Okay, thank you馃榿! I need to find safe places where I can do this with him, but I think he would wonder and sniff around. Should I still walk away from him? And then throw him a treat and praise party when he comes back and follows me?
 

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Off leash..well I only do that in my back yard. I have worked with a very good trainer who unfortunately recently passed away. He always said the "average" dog owner should not worry about off leash training for the most part. Here it is against the law to have your dog off leash, unless you are at a fenced in dog park. That being said he always said you don't need it. I have taught my dogs from day 1 to sit at the door until I go out and I then tell them its ok. That is important to teach as you won't have your dog bolting out of an open door. Now we do work off leash in our backyard. Renn has learned to heel, sit, do basics and fetch his ball and "bring it". He has also now learned to come when called. Its taken 2 1/2 years but little by little we are getting there. He has just graduated to "whole house", he is now free to roam the house even with my husbands poor balance. He seems to have sensed this and will just sit. He still overly loves my daughter and wants to jump up on her. She turns and ignores him, and he sits, kinda antsy but he now knows she won't engage until he calms himself. We have taught him the hug command so that is the only time he can have paws off the ground. As soon as I am confident with distractions I will begin to incorporate them. I pretty much want him 95% reliable before I do.
 

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I understand both your view and your mothers. I used to walk Snarky off leash all the time. He would usually stay within 30 feet of me. I could easily call him back to put him on leash if I saw a jogger ahead. Pogo, in contrast, has never been trustworthy. He just has too much chase drive. Squirrel, passing FedEx truck...his brain just shuts off and he's gone.

Have you checked out the 10 skills required for a dog to pass the canine good citizenship test? I think setting your sights on his certification will give you a direction and help you maintain consistency. Passing that test doesn't mean the dog is trustworthy in all situations, any more than a 16 year old is a good driver just because she passed a driving test. However, having those skills means the dog has a solid enough foundation that you can move on to bigger and harder distractions, including off leash work.

I believe the Seattle Humane Society has a pretty broad range of training classes. Many are probably not running due to Covid. However, someone may be able to direct you to useful training resources in the meantime.

It sounds like your Sisko is just as tall as my Pogo and has the same energy. Reality is, spoos are a lot more intimidating than a mini poodle or a cocker spaniel. They need to be better behaved, because there will be less forgiveness. Imagine being a jogger, peacefully trotting along listening to Ed Sheeran through your earbuds. Suddenly out of nowhere a dog is running at you full speed...and the dog is big enough to rip your face off. I would be very nervous, and I'm a dog person. A non dog person is going to run. Pogo, off leash, would likely think, "woohoo, game on!" and continue to chase. I'm no sprinter, so the chase would continue until something else stopped it: another bystander, the jogger tripping, the pair running into traffic. I do not put Pogo into this situation because I don't want him dead. Nor do I want his antics to get a stranger injured.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Off leash..well I only do that in my back yard. I have worked with a very good trainer who unfortunately recently passed away. He always said the "average" dog owner should not worry about off leash training for the most part. Here it is against the law to have your dog off leash, unless you are at a fenced in dog park. That being said he always said you don't need it. I have taught my dogs from day 1 to sit at the door until I go out and I then tell them its ok. That is important to teach as you won't have your dog bolting out of an open door. Now we do work off leash in our backyard. Renn has learned to heel, sit, do basics and fetch his ball and "bring it". He has also now learned to come when called. Its taken 2 1/2 years but little by little we are getting there. He has just graduated to "whole house", he is now free to roam the house even with my husbands poor balance. He seems to have sensed this and will just sit. He still overly loves my daughter and wants to jump up on her. She turns and ignores him, and he sits, kinda antsy but he now knows she won't engage until he calms himself. We have taught him the hug command so that is the only time he can have paws off the ground. As soon as I am confident with distractions I will begin to incorporate them. I pretty much want him 95% reliable before I do.
I'm sorry to hear about your trainer. Okay, that's something that Sisko and I are working on(sitting before going outside). Awesome馃槑 I'm happy for you guys!! Sisko still doesn't have "whole house" he can't be trusted yet. How did you guys get there?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I understand both your view and your mothers. I used to walk Snarky off leash all the time. He would usually stay within 30 feet of me. I could easily call him back to put him on leash if I saw a jogger ahead. Pogo, in contrast, has never been trustworthy. He just has too much chase drive. Squirrel, passing FedEx truck...his brain just shuts off and he's gone.

Have you checked out the 10 skills required for a dog to pass the canine good citizenship test? I think setting your sights on his certification will give you a direction and help you maintain consistency. Passing that test doesn't mean the dog is trustworthy in all situations, any more than a 16 year old is a good driver just because she passed a driving test. However, having those skills means the dog has a solid enough foundation that you can move on to bigger and harder distractions, including off leash work.

I believe the Seattle Humane Society has a pretty broad range of training classes. Many are probably not running due to Covid. However, someone may be able to direct you to useful training resources in the meantime.

It sounds like your Sisko is just as tall as my Pogo and has the same energy. Reality is, spoos are a lot more intimidating than a mini poodle or a cocker spaniel. They need to be better behaved, because there will be less forgiveness. Imagine being a jogger, peacefully trotting along listening to Ed Sheeran through your earbuds. Suddenly out of nowhere a dog is running at you full speed...and the dog is big enough to rip your face off. I would be very nervous, and I'm a dog person. A non dog person is going to run. Pogo, off leash, would likely think, "woohoo, game on!" and continue to chase. I'm no sprinter, so the chase would continue until something else stopped it: another bystander, the jogger tripping, the pair running into traffic. I do not put Pogo into this situation because I don't want him dead. Nor do I want his antics to get a stranger injured.
Ohhhh, Pogo.

Okay, thank you! I have, but I should look at them again.

Yeah, they are! I would be very nervous too, and wondering why do they have their dog off leash. Okay, yeah. I understand all of that, and I wouldn't want any of that either.

I was just talking about Sisko traveling with his leash on him, and going to these places.

How tall is Pogo? Sisko is 26 inches.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I understand both your view and your mothers. I used to walk Snarky off leash all the time. He would usually stay within 30 feet of me. I could easily call him back to put him on leash if I saw a jogger ahead. Pogo, in contrast, has never been trustworthy. He just has too much chase drive. Squirrel, passing FedEx truck...his brain just shuts off and he's gone.

Have you checked out the 10 skills required for a dog to pass the canine good citizenship test? I think setting your sights on his certification will give you a direction and help you maintain consistency. Passing that test doesn't mean the dog is trustworthy in all situations, any more than a 16 year old is a good driver just because she passed a driving test. However, having those skills means the dog has a solid enough foundation that you can move on to bigger and harder distractions, including off leash work.

I believe the Seattle Humane Society has a pretty broad range of training classes. Many are probably not running due to Covid. However, someone may be able to direct you to useful training resources in the meantime.

It sounds like your Sisko is just as tall as my Pogo and has the same energy. Reality is, spoos are a lot more intimidating than a mini poodle or a cocker spaniel. They need to be better behaved, because there will be less forgiveness. Imagine being a jogger, peacefully trotting along listening to Ed Sheeran through your earbuds. Suddenly out of nowhere a dog is running at you full speed...and the dog is big enough to rip your face off. I would be very nervous, and I'm a dog person. A non dog person is going to run. Pogo, off leash, would likely think, "woohoo, game on!" and continue to chase. I'm no sprinter, so the chase would continue until something else stopped it: another bystander, the jogger tripping, the pair running into traffic. I do not put Pogo into this situation because I don't want him dead. Nor do I want his antics to get a stranger injured.
I really wanted Sisko to go through the S.T.A.R puppy program too.
 

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Training the CGC skills as Rainfrops suggested is an excellent set of goals. I trained Javelin for doing the CGC myself using local big box pet stores and places like Lowes to do some tasks. AKC has issued CGC evaluators as set of parameters/guidelins to modify the CGC test so people can still get the CGC even with distancing. I haven't given a CGC since isolation/distancing started by can easily see it to be doable. They have also told us that we can do tricks tests by videos. There are plenty of things you can do to up your training and have fun and increased your bond to your dog with leashes on and with distancing still in place.

BTW I would trust Lily anywhere off leash and mostly also trust Javelin at that level, but the only places they are ever off leash aside from at home are in our yard and at my places I train. They both do almost all of their training off leash. With Javelin he will stick with me and recalls really well while training until he gets brain drained. Then there is not much to do to get him back because he isn't able to think anymore. That is not a thing to have happen while playing in a park.
 

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Ohhhh, Pogo.

Okay, thank you! I have, but I should look at them again.

Yeah, they are! I would be very nervous too, and wondering why do they have their dog off leash. Okay, yeah. I understand all of that, and I wouldn't want any of that either.

I was just talking about Sisko traveling with his leash on him, and going to these places.

How tall is Pogo? Sisko is 26 inches.
Pogo is a smidge over 26 inches.

With everything going on in the world, your mother may be dealing with a lot of fears apart from Sisko. Stuff she wants to protect you from, or that she isn't even thinking of consciously. It's very common for people who are worried about stuff they can't control to transfer some of these fears to things they can actually influence. She can't tell your health to behave itself, or the coronavirus to spare her family. But she can tell you not to take your bouncy dog out where he might get overexcited. It's not a rational risk assessment in your eyes, but it makes sense to someone who is trying to hold the most important things in her life together. Just accept it. Otherwise you might find yourself swaddled in bubble wrap and duct taped where she can see you are safe.馃槈
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Pogo is a smidge over 26 inches.

With everything going on in the world, your mother may be dealing with a lot of fears apart from Sisko. Stuff she wants to protect you from, or that she isn't even thinking of consciously. It's very common for people who are worried about stuff they can't control to transfer some of these fears to things they can actually influence. She can't tell your health to behave itself, or the coronavirus to spare her family. But she can tell you not to take your bouncy dog out where he might get overexcited. It's not a rational risk assessment in your eyes, but it makes sense to someone who is trying to hold the most important things in her life together. Just accept it. Otherwise you might find yourself swaddled in bubble wrap and duct taped where she can see you are safe.馃槈
They're like the same size馃樁.

Awwww, thank you! That's very true! 馃槈 Lol if you guys see a pic of me in bubble wrap and duct tape....you'll know what happened馃槚
 

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Should I still walk away from him? And then throw him a treat and praise party when he comes back and follows me?
He will sniff around and get too far. Let him do it, don鈥檛 follow him or he will just go farther away. I recently saw a trainer on tv who goes out of his way to take different paths from the dog, just to trick him and get him into looking for him and backing in his tracks.

You start walking the opposite way, and make a special sound or call his name, but nonchalently, not like giving an order. Let him see how pleased you are when he comes back and runs to you. Don鈥檛 get me wrong, depending on the dog, it can take a lot of practice. But all dogs will do it. It鈥檚 natural for them.

It鈥檚 easier done when the dog is still young, because the instinct to follow is stronger.
 

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It might also be helpful to have a mentor dog friend that Sisko could look to for cues on how to behave in new environments. I took Snoop to Lowe鈥檚 this week since I needed to buy some things and she keep looking to Groot for what to do. Since he was staying close and being calm she followed suit. When I got to my aisle and needed to check a few different options she sat down since that鈥檚 what Groot did. I swear he鈥檚 training her just as much as I am...
 

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Another couple thoughts.

I have been embracing puppy socialization opportunities during social distancing. When I first got Snoop she wanted to say hi to every stranger, which I wasn鈥檛 too thrilled about. Now she knows that isn鈥檛 going to happen and I don鈥檛 have to ask people to please ignore her when we鈥檙e training. If you could go to open spaces (where you won鈥檛 be in close proximity to others) maybe early in the morning when it鈥檚 unlikely there will be anyone around, then I think it鈥檚 a pretty good time to proof focus training in new environments. Downtown Seattle has bee a ghost town lately...

If you want to allow him more freedom to sniff and explore at your local park, you can use a 30-50ft training leash so you can get control of him if you need to but he鈥檚 still able to wander a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
It might also be helpful to have a mentor dog friend that Sisko could look to for cues on how to behave in new environments. I took Snoop to Lowe鈥檚 this week since I needed to buy some things and she keep looking to Groot for what to do. Since he was staying close and being calm she followed suit. When I got to my aisle and needed to check a few different options she sat down since that鈥檚 what Groot did. I swear he鈥檚 training her just as much as I am...
I would love a mentor dog for Sisko, but I don't know of anyone or anyone's dog I could take them with us馃様. That's really awesome that Snoop was looking at Groot for what to do馃挆
 

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Another couple thoughts.

I have been embracing puppy socialization opportunities during social distancing. When I first got Snoop she wanted to say hi to every stranger, which I wasn鈥檛 too thrilled about. Now she knows that isn鈥檛 going to happen and I don鈥檛 have to ask people to please ignore her when we鈥檙e training. If you could go to open spaces (where you won鈥檛 be in close proximity to others) maybe early in the morning when it鈥檚 unlikely there will be anyone around, then I think it鈥檚 a pretty good time to proof focus training in new environments. Downtown Seattle has bee a ghost town lately...

If you want to allow him more freedom to sniff and explore at your local park, you can use a 30-50ft training leash so you can get control of him if you need to but he鈥檚 still able to wander a bit.
Okay, thank you!! Sisko still likes to try to say hi to every stranger. I think the park we went to today will be perfect for that. I think that the local water front would be good too, but only when there's not a lot of people there. I saw Seattle last night, and was like, WOW!

I got a 30 ft leash馃槈, but I want to get a 50 ft one too.
 

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Going back to Dechi's point about teaching the dog to follow, I agree 100% This dramatically improves the dog's centripetal attraction to his person. I taught Javelin to follow and then morphed that into a really rock solid recall by sitting in the yard with him when he was a puppy. We played little games like tiny distance fetch and tugging lots and lots and every time we went out and did that I would get up without saying anything and just trot off (slowly at first and not very far so he could catch up). Once he caught me I gave him lots of treats and pets and played some more. He learned that sticking with me is the best thing in the world. Then I added a come order to that and let him go off on his own in the yard. Once we were not in line of sight I would call him and praise/feed for just the quickest of returns. He values that recall very highly, so much so that despite a healthy chase/prey drive he will come even if there are loose chickens on his mind and in his vision.
 

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I'm sorry to hear about your trainer. Okay, that's something that Sisko and I are working on(sitting before going outside). Awesome馃槑 I'm happy for you guys!! Sisko still doesn't have "whole house" he can't be trusted yet. How did you guys get there?
Time, and more time...I still keep my eye on him though but he was so into jumping that I was afraid he would knock my husband down. Now my husband has learned to ignore him and once he is steady of sitting then he calls REnn over. My daughter he want to jump on but she turns away and ignores him until he is sitting well, if he starts to jump or get out of the sit she turns away again, repetition and more repetition. He gets it now. My next challenge is to get him to behave outdoors on the leash and ignore other dogs and people. We've been in for so long that right now its a bit of a struggle but I'm working on it at distance with short sessions when I see people out and about. Once I can get his focus I'll start at a shopping lot where there will be more distractions. Right now he is zoning so no sense in frustrating me or him.
 
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