Anyone have any suggestions for me? We have an 18 month old lab and would love for him to be able to be off his leash in the yard, but he is a runner! I am so afraid he's going to run away or into the road. Any ideas??
My first purebred Lab was never allowed oustide without a leash or she would take off.
If the dog has all ready learned to not come when you call, take some steps back and have a couple months at least of having him on a long line and play the recall game of calling and giving him a special treat when he comes, even if you have to haul him in with the long line telling him he is a wonderful boy. As I said, my first one I could never fully trust off lead. My second one was great. The jury is still out on this one.
Susan UCDX GRCH Dunn's Marsh Caleb of Waltona UDX3, OM3, RAE Canadian UD, RE FallRiver's Micah of Waltona GN RAE, Canadian CD, RN
Read the best advice sticky in the "puppy/training tips" section for advice on teaching recall. You really do need to practice it as much as they say- it's a command that Gabby and I do at least five repetitions of every day. Also make sure you don't use your come command when you can't enforce it until it's 100% trained.
Also, your best bet for getting the dog to stay in the yard is a fence or invisible fence. A lot of dogs are just too interested in other things.
We have an invisible fence and I love it. We trained Tucker on it for almost a week before we gave him full access. He has never been shocked, (or atleast that I know of) he hears the beep then steps back. I like it also because he can run and play and I know he is safe within our yard.
The fence comes w/ flags. On the first day I put a leash on Tucker and I would walk up to the flags make him sit, then I would tell him to get back and we would walk away. Then we would get a ball and work on him staying even though there was something he wanted on the other side. On the 2nd, 3rd and 4th day I still had him on the leash but this time I turned the fence on so he would hear the beep when we got close to the flags. It is basically the same concept as before w/ just the flags but instead of just seeing the flags now he heard a noise as well. We also continued throwing the ball over but not let him get it. We did this around the entire perimeter on the fence. On the 5th day I let him go w/out the leash but I turned the fence all the way to the max so he could only get about 5 feet to the fence before he heard the warning beep. We even sent our kids to play outside of the perimeter to see if he would stay in the yard and he did. Poor baby...he wanted to go with them so bad, but he didn't.
We left the flags up for 2 weeks then removed them. With each passing week I turned the fence down so he could get closer before hearing the beep.
I take the collar off at night when he comes in for bed and sometimes we don't even put it on him.
A few weeks ago I thought I better test the battery and it was dead. Who knows for how long?? But Tucker stayed right at home.