What age did you let your dog off the lead?

(57 Posts)
heatseeker14 Sun 03-Nov-19 22:14:36

I’m wondering when would be good to let our 14 week old pup off the lead. He is generally good at coming when called in the house. At the moment he is on the lead when I take him out for a walk and in our garden when he needs to wee/poo.
Think I need to start teaching off lead recall in our garden and then work up to a quiet space outdoor elsewhere.
Everyone I meet say I should let him off sooner rather than later, but I’m worried that he will pester dogs and get attacked. He doesn’t seem to read signals other dogs give out because he is super excited. I don’t think it is right to let him loose to annoy other dogs and their owners.
Please can you tell me what age you let your dog off the lead?
Did you use a long trailing lead to begin with?

OP’s posts: |
FuriousFlannels Sun 03-Nov-19 22:25:50

12 weeks. I found a quiet field and we played chase me games in which I tried to get away from him and he stuck like glue to me. Every time he 'caught me' he got a treat.

He has always been brilliant off lead in terms of staying close to me.

NotYourHolidayDick Sun 03-Nov-19 22:27:37

Mine are always off from the word go at 8 weeks. You need to catch them while they are still nervous babies not adventurous preschoolers. You need to make an utter wally of yourself, be the most exciting toy in the area and be brave.

Hairyfairy01 Sun 03-Nov-19 22:31:47

The sooner the better. The younger he is the less likely he will be to go too far from you. Other dogs tend to be more tolerant of puppies imo, he may get a warning snarl but it’s unlikely an adult dog will physically attack a puppy in my experience.

Stellaris22 Sun 03-Nov-19 22:33:01

About 12 weeks. We found an enclosed training space to practice recall, but are very lucky to be in a lovely dog community. It's stressful at first, but as long as you put in the hard training totally worth it. Good luck!

It's also useful to find other dogs to socialise with to teach doggy manners between themselves.

EdWinchester Sun 03-Nov-19 22:34:56

As soon as he was allowed out.

talia66 Sun 03-Nov-19 22:48:20

Agree with everybody else have been doing recall with my pup straight away. My experience with my previous dog / as young puppy's they just want to stick to you like glue - when they reach teenage hood everything is more interesting than you and they can develop selective hearing!! So the sooner you start practicing the better. If you are nervous look up dog walking fields and see if there are any near you. I have one round the corner - it is a big field, enclosed and you can hire it for £6 for half an hour x


Boristhecats Mon 04-Nov-19 06:14:28

Mine i did when I got him as a pup. But he was a nervous dog and didn’t stray very far and came back when I called all the time ..... until he hit teenage years when most dogs are like actual teenagers and become deaf. Then he went back on the lead and I did more training with him and he was fine again after a while. Until he saw rabbits or deer.

GoFiguire Mon 04-Nov-19 06:17:09

Is your dog called Fenton, Boris?

JustaScratch Mon 04-Nov-19 06:34:33

We didn't let our dog off lead until after he was neutered which was at about 8 months (he was a rescue). He was on long lead first and we practiced recall in the garden as he hadn't had much training. He's brilliant off lead now and makes me look good in public by coming as soon as I call him. smile Different situation I know as he was older when we got him, but just explaining our thinking.

adaline Mon 04-Nov-19 07:07:51

From the word go, so at 12 weeks once he'd had all his jabs.

However his off lead time is now much more limited due to where we live. He's a beagle and true to type will stick his nose on the ground and go totally deaf if he gets a scent - we have lots of livestock around here so he only goes off lead at the beach or in enclosed fields as it's too risky otherwise. I would hate for him to get into danger just because he was too busy finding a rabbit/deer/fox!

BiteyShark Mon 04-Nov-19 07:09:53

I can't remember exactly but it was around the 4 month age and we should have done it much earlier.

In fact it was because a trainer I contacted said don't delay we eventually took the courage and as others have said if you leave it too late they get to teenage phase and run off.

The idea is that you totally nail recall when they stick with you like glue as a young puppy. Then by the time they hit the wayward teenage phase whilst they ignore you they do actually know what recall is but are choosing to deaf but they do come back eventually rather than running off completely.

BiteyShark Mon 04-Nov-19 07:11:28

Btw our recall was 100% as a puppy, went to 0% as a teenager but when he matured we got it back to 100% but it took months.

LolaSmiles Mon 04-Nov-19 07:13:32

As soon as they were safe to be out around other dogs. Around 12/13 weeks I think.

Other dogs were brilliant at teaching then dog socialising rules. Puppy didn't want to go too far from us because we were their safety net.

I'm glad we did it so young as their recall and off lead behaviour is great.

heatseeker14 Mon 04-Nov-19 07:23:05

Thank you for your replies. I just need to be brave and get on with it! Did you use a recall line or just let them off? DH is off work today so think I might try it when he is around!

OP’s posts: |
Girlintheframe Mon 04-Nov-19 07:29:00

We practiced recall at home/garden. Then had him on a long line for about a month or so. Always walked him some where with as little distraction as possible to start with and made sure we had high value treats with us.
The other thing our trainer told us that every time he did 'come' even if it meant him ignoring us for 5 minutes 1st was to make an absolute fuss of him and reward him.

Spied Mon 04-Nov-19 07:37:49

6/7 months. I was terrified my pup would run away(1st time dog owner). I put off letting him off for so long it made it all really difficult and worrying.
If I had the time all over again he'd have been off lead from the beginning.

stucknoue Mon 04-Nov-19 07:39:40

10 weeks as soon as vaccinations were done. Vets advice was to let him off whilst we could still run faster than him and he would be still wary enough to stay near us ... it worked, brilliant recall, walks to heal off lead etc

billybagpuss Mon 04-Nov-19 07:40:41

Try a long line for areas that you are less familiar with, we have a few safe (fish) places, eg. our local field and the common where I can see her and have always let her off. But at 19months she is just coming out of teenage arsehole stage (which started at 6m) so there have been many places I can't let her off and I still won't in woodland or our canal bank where she can disappear out of sight.

Her recall went from 100% to 0% and is now probably at around 80%.

But I agree with everyone else, right now she won't want to be too far away from you so you can start to train yourself as much as the pup.

stucknoue Mon 04-Nov-19 07:41:19

No line, just loose but he's super smart, not all breeds are as clever or quick at learning

EleanorReally Mon 04-Nov-19 07:44:33

Agree with above, she stuck next to me like glue since i let her off as soon as vaccinated.

BiteyShark Mon 04-Nov-19 07:45:08

No line but we went to an area with a bit of undergrowth which meant he couldn't see me if he went far but I could clearly see him. This area was far away from roads and other dogs.

stayathomegardener Mon 04-Nov-19 07:45:20

Which breed?
I think the advice would be different depending on that.

joffreyscoffees Mon 04-Nov-19 07:46:41

Mine aren't allowed off lead sad they're horrific runaways - they're beagles so scent drives everything.

BiteyShark Mon 04-Nov-19 07:47:34

Sorry should have said we practiced for weeks beforehand recall in the house and garden with a whistle (spaniel if that helps).

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