Poodle Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Standard Poodle (arriving April 21st !!)
Joined
·
625 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello PF! I have a training question my Poodle People. What is long leash training? Why do you do it, and what size leash do you use for what different circumstances? What it the concept behind this training method? What does it train your dog to do, or not do (or to expect/not expect?)? Thanks for your help!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
167 Posts
I use a long line for a variety of things. It sounds like you want to use it for recall training?

The recall class I took recommends a 50' line. For nosework, I like a 10' line. Formal AKC tracking requires a 30' to 40' line, but for practice, I like a 20' line. For some parkour things we do, I use a 20' line. Sometimes, I just want to give my dog more room to roam, but still have them on a leash (since we didn't do our recall homework......)
 
  • Like
Reactions: 94Magna_Tom

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
9,055 Posts
I ordered a custom 20’ biothane line from Palomine, with a nice light clasp. We use it primarily for “off-leash” time. It drags really nicely and can be grabbed or stepped on in an emergency while we continue to proof her recall in a variety of environments. It’s also nice for leashed hiking, to give her more room for navigating challenging terrain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,113 Posts
Tom are you interested in competing in dog sports?

Most people use long leads to train recall, for walks/hikes where you want the dog to have some freedom while obeying leash laws and being safe, and to do yard work when you don’t have a fenced yard. For recall anything between 10-20’ is usually good and would work while doing yard work. (Yard work like weeding, planting, raking leaves, not more dangerous activity like mowing, using equipment Etc where your dog should be in the house).

For hiking/walking a 10’ works unless you are walking flat open spaces where leashes won’t get caught on rocks, debris, trees etc. then you could use a little longer.

I compete in nose work and depending on where and what we are searching I use a 10’ or 16’ leash.

You might think longer is better, but longer is much more difficult to control. I trained to be able to work smoothly with longer leashes, something I would never do if I wasn’t competing.

Longer gets trapped by outcrops of rocks, tangled in fallen twigs and branches, caught behind tree stumps etc. Longer gets knots as your dog runs this way and that. Longer can be frustrating to use.

My favorite material is biothane. It’s very strong, my daughter uses it to lunge her horses. It’s easy to clean, doesn’t absorb moisture or collect dirt the way that mesh leashes do. It comes in colors such as bright orange so it’s easy to see dragged along fields or roads.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,749 Posts
It's very common for dogs to become unreliable at recall in the teenage months which is exactly when you want to exercise them more! A long line lets you enforce that come means come while you navigate through that period without worry that the dog will take off on you while you have them off leash.

I use a long line to exercise my dog when I don't trust her recall. For example, usually I don't use one these days, but I took her to the beach yesterday and called her to me, planning to take off the leash. She showed very little enthusiasm, looking over in the distance even as she came to me, so I didn't trust her off leash. I kept her onleash for a while, worked on her interest in me, then put on her long line and, eventually, let her drag it. Last fall I let her run leash free at the same park, and the day before I had let her run leash free on a hike, but yesterday, she was distracted, and I didn't trust her recall, so a long line dragging made it safer.

I typically use a 40-50' rope and keep it in my car. Long lines need to be used with a harness so if you hold the end the dog doesn't hit the end with the force being applied to their neck. A harness also prevents it from getting tangled in the legs Yesterday I didn't have a harness, so tied a rope into an improvised harness. So long as there is nothing on the end, and you let it drag rather than holding the end, it very rarely gets tangled. We even played fetch with a long line on when Annie was a rebellious teenaged dog.

I also use a 10-15' line for other things, but a 50' rope works well for offleash hikes through the bush with the dog dragging it or on leash fetch in a field.
 

·
Registered
Standard Poodle (arriving April 21st !!)
Joined
·
625 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the feedback everyone. @TeamHellhound, I do want my Elroy to be good at recall, because I really want him to be able to come with me off leash in many of our adventures. I'll be hiking and exploring new places to hike. OK, so yes, it's used for recall training. Thanks.
@PeggyTheParti, Thanks for the material tip. That's important to know! I guess I'm wondering if I need one right away for my 8 week old Elroy? If yes, what size(s)?
@Skylar, I really don't have plans for ORGANIZED dog sports right now, but who knows where I'll end up. Sounds like you have several different lengths, is that how to go about it? Get a 10, 20, 30, 50 and work up (for recall). Is the reason you use it for dog sports the same (recall training), as you introduce the dog to the sports before they are proficient in recall?
@For Want of Poodle, what material rope do you use? When you say you're able to enforce recall, how do you do it? Assume it's just a flick of the line to remind him? Then that gets his attention back to you and he listens? What if he doesn't want to come back, and he stays where he is? Then do you walk to him, or pull him back/flick line and try commands again?
Thanks to you all!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
I bought my two training leads at the dollar store. They have good clips and were about 15 feet long. I cut them down a bit. I used them so the puppies could run freely outside and play ball. Recall is still not going great. They think it’s fantastic for me to have to try and catch up with them!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
576 Posts
Okay, this is long line.

With dog on harness, have him sit and clip on the long line. Walk. As soon as the dog hits the end of the lead, stop, turn in another direction. Preferably, to to the side, not directly behind and away. Dog's shoulders will be tugged and pulled after you. It does not hurt the dog. Keep walking. Every time he gets to the end of the line, change directions. After 20 minutes you should find that he no longer hits the end of the line. This means he is keeping an eye on you. You are leading the hunt.

Most dogs comply within 20 minutes but I had one that took about 360 minutes over the course of four days. Poodles aren't so hard headed.

I have a book, Forever Home, with instructions. Actually, I still have a couple of new ones. It is for rescued dogs, but works for any dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,749 Posts
Rope- I use a cheap 50' roll from the hardware store. 5/8" polypropylene maybe ? The softer woven stuff,with the ends melted. You can buy a leash clip there too. Biothane is better but rope is cheap.

You probably don't need one for the first few months. I had a Flexi leash instead (controversial).

To enforce a recall (not usually necessary with young puppies), I step on the line so the dog can't run away. I usually do this before I call. I wait and outstubborn her usually. When she was in her rebellious teenage stage, it might take 3 min before she decided the only option was to do as I asked. When she complied, we would immediately go back to walking or playing fetch. Fun things happen when you do what I ask, boring things happen when you don't. If necessary, i flick it to catch her attention or even (in an emergency) haul her in with it.

As an aside - I strongly believe in letting puppies off leash at a young age. There is an instinct that makes them afraid to be alone at that age and I use it to teach check ins and foundation for recall.

A lot of people let their dog off leash for the first time at maybe a year (in the wanting independence stage), or the dog escapes, or they drop the leash... The dog has this first taste of FREEDOM and realizes it's not controlled by a leash and runs and runs and plays keep away. Being offleash is awesome and they don't want to stop. Much safer to teach that returning to the human is worthwhile with a young puppy who still wants to be close to you :) Then when independence hit, I switched to a long line until I trusted her again. Way easier if you have a fenced yard to teach this or access to a bunch of acres in the country.

At 13 weeks, one week after she came home with me when I was confident she knew who I was, wanted to follow me, and understood the word come, I took her to a big field and let her off leash. I had plenty of awesome treats with me. When she didn't pay attention to me - I walked away, ran away, or hid in the forest edge, triggering her to chase. We did this a lot so she now thinks her job is to keep an eye on me when we are out on the trail. If I see her run too far ahead, I simply switch directions and she comes bounding back to me when she realizes she has lost me. Even as a terrible teen with a bad case of 'why?' she would follow me if I walked away from her, thanks partially to that foundation. I would do this even earlier if you have a fenced backyard.
 

·
Registered
Standard Poodle (arriving April 21st !!)
Joined
·
625 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Okay, this is long line.

With dog on harness, have him sit and clip on the long line. Walk. As soon as the dog hits the end of the lead, stop, turn in another direction. Preferably, to to the side, not directly behind and away. Dog's shoulders will be tugged and pulled after you. It does not hurt the dog. Keep walking. Every time he gets to the end of the line, change directions. After 20 minutes you should find that he no longer hits the end of the line. This means he is keeping an eye on you. You are leading the hunt.

Most dogs comply within 20 minutes but I had one that took about 360 minutes over the course of four days. Poodles aren't so hard headed.

I have a book, Forever Home, with instructions. Actually, I still have a couple of new ones. It is for rescued dogs, but works for any dog.
Thank you again!
 

·
Registered
Standard Poodle (arriving April 21st !!)
Joined
·
625 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Rope- I use a cheap 50' roll from the hardware store. 5/8" polypropylene maybe ? The softer woven stuff,with the ends melted. You can buy a leash clip there too. Biothane is better but rope is cheap.

You probably don't need one for the first few months. I had a Flexi leash instead (controversial).

To enforce a recall (not usually necessary with young puppies), I step on the line so the dog can't run away. I usually do this before I call. I wait and outstubborn her usually. When she was in her rebellious teenage stage, it might take 3 min before she decided the only option was to do as I asked. When she complied, we would immediately go back to walking or playing fetch. Fun things happen when you do what I ask, boring things happen when you don't. If necessary, i flick it to catch her attention or even (in an emergency) haul her in with it.

As an aside - I strongly believe in letting puppies off leash at a young age. There is an instinct that makes them afraid to be alone at that age and I use it to teach check ins and foundation for recall.

A lot of people let their dog off leash for the first time at maybe a year (in the wanting independence stage), or the dog escapes, or they drop the leash... The dog has this first taste of FREEDOM and realizes it's not controlled by a leash and runs and runs and plays keep away. Being offleash is awesome and they don't want to stop. Much safer to teach that returning to the human is worthwhile with a young puppy who still wants to be close to you :) Then when independence hit, I switched to a long line until I trusted her again. Way easier if you have a fenced yard to teach this or access to a bunch of acres in the country.

At 13 weeks, one week after she came home with me when I was confident she knew who I was, wanted to follow me, and understood the word come, I took her to a big field and let her off leash. I had plenty of awesome treats with me. When she didn't pay attention to me - I walked away, ran away, or hid in the forest edge, triggering her to chase. We did this a lot so she now thinks her job is to keep an eye on me when we are out on the trail. If I see her run too far ahead, I simply switch directions and she comes bounding back to me when she realizes she has lost me. Even as a terrible teen with a bad case of 'why?' she would follow me if I walked away from her, thanks partially to that foundation. I would do this even earlier if you have a fenced backyard.
I just got my backyard fenced-in. It's only 110'x65', but there's an awful lot of gardens, landscaping, trees, shrubs, a big shed. Plenty of things to explore (and destroy!). I will work on off leash stuff as soon as possible. Probably week 2 (he's coming home @ 8½ weeks old). I have plenty of close line rope and about 100' of yellow polypropylene. Thanks for the tips!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,749 Posts
I just got my backyard fenced-in. It's only 110'x65', but there's an awful lot of gardens, landscaping, trees, shrubs, a big shed. Plenty of things to explore (and destroy!). I will work on off leash stuff as soon as possible. Probably week 2 (he's coming home @ 8½ weeks old). I have plenty of close line rope and about 100' of yellow polypropylene. Thanks for the tips!
Awesome :) I am quite jealous of the fenced yard!

I wouldn't recommend the yellow stuff, (prone to UV degregation, rough if it wraps around your legs and the dog tugs) but the clothesline rope should work.

I have something like this :
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,749 Posts
I put the dog on the long line, call it to me, if it doesn't come, I reel it in. LOL
YMMV with your dog, but I really don't like doing that if I can avoid it.

My goal is leash free so I want to replicate that - I want to train using consequences I can replicate with my dog truly offleash. I can't reel a dog in offleash, but I can turn my back or not keep going or walk away or in some other way make it less fun over there and way more fun with me. It's easy for a dog used to being reeled in to never learn to recall with distractions, or realize they are offleash, can't be reeled in and therefore have no reason to recall. My dad is struggling with that with his dog.

It's really easy to get lazy about recall, force it, and get into a conflict with your dog. Each time my dog makes the decision to come back to me and gets rewarded, her recall is strengthened and she learns when I call, I am cooler than whatever she was doing. If I force her? Returning to me is negative, even if I give her a treat or play a bit. Lesson isn't learned the same way. I actively watch her be less enthusiastic for subsequent recalls if I reel her in. Yes, she needs to learn that come means come, but I don't want to be in the position where she only comes if she knows I can force her. I have bad hands and even on a normal walk may drop the leash and suddenly have no way of forcing anything.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top