My dog Chief is almost 2 years old now and has always been on leash because I live in a condo, but also because its the law here and most other places too. I took Chief to my brothers yesterday and he lives right next to a golf course. His backyard is right next to the 5th hole's green, about 25 ft away, but his backyard has a wire type fence. My brother and I snuck on the green and I took Chief out there with us off leash and was really surprised and proud of Chief that he did not run off and listened to my commands. He even chased our golf balls and picked them up and carried them in his mouth. I even took him across the street off leash to throw away one of the poop bags from earlier and again he stayed next to me and listened very well. It is a little scary taking him off leash not knowing if something will catch his eye and then sprint towards it or another person. Even though Chief will not bite anyone and is not vicious one bit, others dont know that and if they see a big 100 lb dog running at them, they would be terrified. Chief seems to be more possessive in the fact that he likes to stay with me or with people, opposed to just running off by himself somewhere. That helps me feel a bit more comfortable having him off leash at times, but I do not do that very much. Considering how well he's been doing off leash, makes me feel better knowing I can try this more and more, but will have to pick my spots and times for this.
How many of you have an "indoor" type lab, such as living in an apartment or condo and has them on leash 99% of the time, but have also taking him outside without boundaries or fences, off leash? Im curious to know how well your lab handles being off leash somewhere that if he wanted, could run off unattended. Im very proud of Chief and its great to know he listens to me so well!
Chief * Chocolate Lab * Born: 6/14/2010 * Acquired: 8/14/2010 * Current Weight: 101.8 lbs. * AKC Name: Chief White Chocolate
I live in a condo as well and usually Saba's walks are on a leash. However at least twice a week we go on a trail or to a park where he can ran off leash. I started to take him off the leash as soon as all his shots were done, around 4 months old. I looked at it as part of training, usually in a somewhat controlled environment and progressed from there.
I live in an apt but always ensure my dogs and fosters have some off leash experience. I find places to do so that are safe. You need to do this more often.
I will add this - some dogs will stay near you on their first experience offleash (with you). DO NOT BE FOOLED. some of these dogs will have no second thought about taking off once they are more comfortable. I see it all the time. Not all dogs but many of them will do this. Train the recall and practice often in safe places.
Make it a point to find safe places for him to be off leash each week. I can't imagine raising a young lab and never letting them run and play. Has he NEVER been off leash??
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
I sit on the porch with Cinder, walk to and from the car, stuff like that and she's great. If a person or dog walks by I tell her 'wait' and she knows she's supposed to wait for me. She's been off leash in unfenced neighbors yards for doggie play dates and listens well.
I've never tried going for a walk without a leash. The other day I saw someone walking with their dog, leash in hand/dog walking free in town and it made me very nervous. The dog would stop to sniff and run to catch up but the owner wasn't watching him. I was afraid he'd wander off the curb.
i live in a house but don't really trust them off leash, except in a fenced in area.
i don't think they'd run after people but squirrels and geese? yup.
another dog? maybe.
I live in a house and Erns takes off as soon as he is off lead.At first he would take off if the door opened. He will sit now and waits to go into the car, but at the beach or park I don't trust him.
Tessa isn't bad and we hike together, but if she is distracted she will take off.
Kassa stayed by my side.
I would never have a dog off lead while walking the streets. We are not allowed to, but many do. I would be afraid something may tempt them.
I live in a house. Cassie is 6mo and she's crated while I'm at work. When I come home she's off leash and follows me in the house. She also plays in the backyard off leash. But on walks she's always on leash. I was always curious if I take the leash off if she would stay near me or run away. So today I have tried it. I took off the leash and she started to run in some plants near by. She wasn't even listening to me. So I grabbed her and put on the leash again. Never again without the leash. I guess she's to young for off leash. But personally I don't think I can trusted her off leash even when she grows up.
Last edited by mistarkos; 05-27-2012 at 05:27 PM.
If dogs do not go to heaven, then I prefer to follow them where they go.
I would make sure you practice recall while off leash in a secured fenced in area. Sometimes all it takes is a squirrel to make them bolt.
Also, be careful when letting a lab play with golf balls. They can slip right down their throats before you even know it.
That'll do, Chief. That'll do.
"There is no cure for birth and death
save to enjoy the interval."
I used to take Cinder to the tennis courts and let her run. It was fenced in and the size of six courts. Perfect for tossing a tennis ball for a puppy to retrieve and I didn't have to worry about her running away.
Layla is off leash at least a couple times a week. I believe that the stronger your relationship with your dog and the more you fulfill a dogs needs (exercise) the closer they will stay to you and the more obedient they will be off leash. I started training her as a puppy when I was the 'safe' familiar thing. She would always have to have me in sight. It was and still is a big game. I would go in the opposite direction that she is going so that she has to check in to where I am at often. It has worked wonders! The tricky part is that you have to always be looking out for things that will excite your dog. You have to know at what distance they can handle the distraction. For instance, Layla's boundary before bolting with another dog used to be around 50 ft. I knew that I had to have her on a leash before any dog got within 50 ft of her. Now, at around 2 years old it is more like 5ft. Now, it has gotten to a point of if she senses a dog, human, horse, or bike before I do she immediately sits. She does this because that is what she has done several times a week for her whole life and she knows as soon as they pass she can get to sniffing and running. Now, there are those rare cases when baam we turn a corner and Layla is within her 5 ft boundary. At this time I have a second to decide one of two things, let the dogs sniff butt and run around for a minute or I bolt in the opposite direction. No matter how excited Layla is, she will stop whatever she is doing to follow me. Especially if I am running.