I have a really big problem that is driving me mad! My dog (2.5 months old) walks ok when his leash is on. They told me I should start training him without a leash. I trained him to come when called, to sit, not to bite, to throw woods and leaves. The problem comes when he finds food in grass. He takes it and runs away, no matter how much I call him to come. People here told me not to chase after him (for he runs away, thinks I am playing with him). I would really like to teach him to walk without the leash on, but what to do when he must eat everything?? I am scared he might get poisoned. Any advice? Else from not letting him without a leash.
2.5 months is, IMHO, too young to begin off-leash training. He's a baby and needs the leash for safety issues.
At six months, take a traditional obed course. It'll be your first step toward eventually working off-leash. But that's miles ahead, I'm afraid..........
I agree w/what dweck said.
Zoe is nearly 4 and the only place she walks off leash is at the beach, where there is not much for her to get into.
Linda and Zoë, the Umlaut
a good puppy kindergarten class will get you started on leash manners and 'leave it/off'.
Meantime, think long and hard before you let your pup off leash
That age is certainly not too young to start off-leash training, as long as you are in a safe area. I usually don't even buy collars for my dogs until they are a year and every bit of training I do is off leash.
Remember the leash is a safety tether, not a communication tool. If you rely on the leash then you will have a great deal of difficulty teaching your dog to stay with you when the leash is gone. Reward your puppy at every opportunity when he is close to you and he will have no reason to leave you, nor will he have any reason to pull on leash when you use it. Play games with him and run away from him and praise him for following, spin him around in circles then run away and encourage him to chase after you, point out interesting things on the ground for him to see, find him sticks to chase or butterflies to tackle, chatter to him and praise him for any effort he makes to be with you. He will quickly learn that he had better watch you because interesting stuff always seems to happen when he does.
This early foundation is so very important and the sooner you start, the better off you are. It will make it so much easier to convince him to leave other dogs or distractions when you have already established yourself as somebody who is terrifically cool and exciting
To the point, have really yummy treats on you and if he picks up something off the ground, exchange it for a yummy treat...just give him the treat and praise him for giving up the found object.
To err is human:To forgive, canine."
Eventually they figure out that cigarette butts aren't that good to eat. olice:
When you figure out how to get them from eating everything... let me know! Rowan always does that but last night was worse.. the she took off on me.. and was being this 'wild crazy' puppy.....it wasn't a good sight. :-\
(Rowan is 2.5 months old too)
Hah...these are Labradors. The short answer is, you can't.*When you figure out how to get them from eating everything... let me know!
In all seriousness, I responded to this thread in Lab Chat. I agree with FallRiver that he is NOT too young to start off leash training as long as the training is controlled. By controlled, I mean in a fenced in area or having the pup on a long line. It is NOT good to let ANY dog loose in an unfenced area without a solid recall...doing so is a recipe for disaster.
The problem with finding food on a walk and getting the dog to 'LEAVE IT' is a toughy. As I said in the other thread, even my dogs are not great at this...if they find some food when off leash it is normally devoured before I can utter the words 'LEAVE IT'. The best thing to can do is walk where people are unlikely to drop litter.
Wow - I don't think I'll ever trust my adult lab that much, never mind a pup! That's just me though.
Work on the command "leave it" with a leashed dog at home or in your yard/park. The leash is simply to ensure he doesn't get to the item you want him to leave. Use a toy or treat, something he really loves. Walk near it. Only start saying "leave it" when he isn't lunging for it. The first few times we had to stay quite far from the object, but with time we could walk right over it.
Never give a command you cannot re-inforce. If you start this off leash and say "leave it" but he GETS to it then you just lost all authority and that command means nothing.
Kaytris: Thank you for the link. I was always untrusting of unleashed walks around town - too many strangers, people afraid of dogs, TRAFIC!. But i've crossed so many unleashed and behaved dogs I was starting to believe I was being way too over protective. That story brought me back to reality - safety is for the best.
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
You are definitely not being over protective -- you are being responsible.Kaytris:* Thank you for the link.* I was always untrusting of unleashed walks around town - too many strangers, people afraid of dogs, TRAFIC!.* But i've crossed so many unleashed and behaved dogs I was starting to believe I was being way too over protective.* That story brought me back to reality - safety is for the best.
A lot of idiots in my area walk dogs loose along sidewalks/roads. Because I live on a reasonably quite road that connects to several popular walking trails, we get a lot of dog walkers come past our house. Just this morning I saw a guy with a young Lab off leash outside the house. As he was walking by, there was another loose dog being walked unleashed on the other side of the road. Naturally, the Lab bolted towards this other dog, crossing the road and almost getting hit by a car. Unbelievably, the guy didn't even leash it afterwards. I see this type of thing on a daily basis.* >