Took Jas to the park. He ran about doing normal, doggy things and then randomly tried to scale a wall. He managed to cock it up, and crash in to the top of the wall with his chest and face plant on top of it. He now has grazes all over his chest, chin, and back legs. He keeps showing me his sore leg as if to say 'WTF?! Did you do this?!' This sort of thing is a fairly regular occurence, btw. He is permanently covered in scabs where he has dived through hedges or barbed wire, and on one memorable occassion he sliced most of his pad off on broken glass but still kept running. Is it a spaniel thing? <ponders>
Fallen into deep lake twice from steep banking, currently looking like he will lose an eye or at least eventually go blind due to snaffling around in the undergrowth and getting a thorn stuck in his eyeball.
Age - ancient at 5 months. That's a whole lifetime of stress left for me then
Althugh, friends Vizsla has a huge cut next to her eye chasing a rabbit through bracken while we were out just now!
I don't want to sound lecturing but if you have a dog that bolts/chases or does ridiculous thing it is a good idea to work on the down command with them as it is really useful in situations like that where you can just tell them down and relead if necessary
Yes, that is wise. My dog will respond to "WAIT!" if he is in mid-recklessness, but probably wouldn't if he was at all-out top-of-the-scale fever-pitch arousal. And what's needed is a wait/down that works even in those situations.
Despite his hardiness and determination, if he is not at all-out arousal he is actually quite thoughtful about the need to preserve his own life and safety. I've often seen him think twice about risky moves. Notably when (despite my best efforts) he got within reach of a cat and remembered the sharpness of cats' claws, but also when he is deciding whether or not to do an almighty leap or plunge into a speedy river. But of course he still needs me to work at protecting him from himself, so working on the "Wait!" is very wise.
I second the down command. I've a collie and he is mental, so I practice random downing everywhere with him. There's three basic types of recall; down with the dog in mid stride returning to you is the stopped recall, recall and sit in front ('present') is the 'novice' and recall mid walk/run (me and the dog) to heel. Can't remember what that's called.
If I'm stern enough, it works. Mind you he looks around for whatever it is I'm stopping him doing/chasing! I have to really mean it though, and do it regularly as part of 'play' training.
We go to dog training and the instructor recommended it, he saved his own collie from running off a cliff with the stopped recall. Instructor reckons it's the most important thing when out. Oh and always walk back to them in the down stay to avoid spoiling the normal recall.
My lab will walk along beside me sniffing and generally behaving himself - now. Only because he's old, slightly wobbly on his feet and cba to run anymore.
In his youth however, he had a thing for chasing buses - didn't matter if he was on a lead, or in a field in the middle of nowhere, if there was a bus he was off and nothing worked. No road sense, nor would he have cared I suspect.
I once owned a golden retriever who ploughed through a barbed wire fence and pratically disembowelled himself. He semed totally unfazed by it and wanted to carry on running. He needed so many stitches in his chest, tummy and legs that they had two vets working on the stitching. First thing he did when he got home was to jump over the stair gate.
Pimmsdog is a mad lab collie cross. He runs through everything but the most stupid thing he has done to date was chase a child upstairs at my parents and forget where he was and turn the corner as he would on our stairs. He ran straight into the wall as their stairs are straight. There was blood everywhere as he split his eyebrow open. Plenty of ice later he could just about open his eye
The Terrorist has a deal more self-preservation now that he's nearly 8. But at a 18 months old (and when being looked after by a very capable, dog-owning friend while we were on holiday) he managed to sneak upstairs and get onto her first floor window-sill. Somewhere in the dim, doggy brain he realised this wasn't the best idea he'd ever had but being unable to work out how to go backwards he launched himself into space instead. She was in the front garden when it started raining terriers and said it was one of the worst moments of her life. He landed, quite unhurt, in the flower bed having squashed the contents of it.
But of cliffs, I still remember getting the saddest of postcards from a family member who'd gone, with her lovely little dog, to Cornwall on holiday. It started with the words "We're devastated to tell you that X died yesterday after following a rabbit off a cliff edge". She said it all occurred in seconds and actually, despite normally very good recall and no great interest in chasing small furry creatures, he'd plunged to his death before she'd actually had time to call him back. So I don't let the Terrorist anywhere near cliffs off a lead. Ever.