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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So we have been training Winnie to go off leash but we have always been a bit worried about taking the plunge fully. Winnie's recall is good until she sees another dog and then she usually goes deaf. We have been working with a very long leash and she got to run around on the local golf course (currently not being used much other than for walking dogs) with the long leash trailing behind her. Yesterday, she met up with the ladies who walk the doggy troupe and proceeded to tangle everyone (oh dear) so we thought it was time to bite the bullet and go for it today. We took the leash off and she was marvellous. Always watching where we were, running around and coming back again to us, also coming back when we called her (although I did have to shake the box of super treats a couple of times). She met the doggy troupe again and ran with them a bit. They continued their walk one way and we went the other and she followed us and not the dogs. When it was time to go home she walked along nicely towards the exit and we put her leash on to walk home. It was so lovely to see her free and she looked happier than ever. A good day all round.
 

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How old is Winnie? I was hoping to have Ruger off the leash one day but am really scared that he may take off. My Schnauzer was real escape artist and would not come back until he was ready. I was always concerned that he can get hit by a car or someone can just take him.
Is there a special training for waking off the leash?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
How old is Winnie? I was hoping to have Ruger off the leash one day but am really scared that he may take off. My Schnauzer was real escape artist and would not come back until he was ready. I was always concerned that he can get hit by a car or someone can just take him.
Is there a special training for waking off the leash?
Winnie is almost 9 months (5 days to go). We were concerned about her running off or someone taking her and we were feeling pressured into letting her off by others but we had to feel comfortable about when the time was right. We had friends and family who let their puppies off earlier but our trainer always told us not to do it unless you are confident with their recall. She said if you do it early they stay near you because they are scared but then when they become teenagers they can get brave and decide that everything else is so much more exciting than coming back to you. So we decided to do it when Winnie was a bit older and at almost 9 months she seems to have had most of her rebellious phase (not sure if her adolescence is over or not but we couldn't wait forever and she does seem a lot more grown up). We have been going to the local golf course which is a nice big open space and we can see her clearly. We bought a 10m lead and practised recalling her between me and my husband back and forth, enticing her away with a ball and then the other calling her back rewarding her with very tasty treats. After we were confident with her recall we widened the distance between us so the lead was trailing and let her chase the ball and bring it back to us. From there we progressed to walking together while Winnie ran around the golf course with the lead trailing behind. If we saw any dogs approaching we grabbed the lead to keep some control. After a few days of letting her run around with the lead trailing we were able to assess her reaction to other dogs and her recall. We then decided to let her off. She gets excited when she sees other dogs so I do have to get the box of 'super' treats out (for Winnie this is the toes we cut off dried chicken feet) and use these to keep her coming back to us but if there are no dogs to play with she just runs around, chases the ball, sniffs everything in sight and follows us wherever we go.
 
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