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No off lead walking anyone else's dogs struggling(17 Posts)
Hi everyone. Just wondering if anyone has got any words of wisdom here. With lock down and living in a rural area (lambs) we are not walking our dogs off lead at all 2x labs nearly 4 and nearly 9. We take them out on 3 walks a day and let them out to a small patch of enclosed garden as and when. We can not leave them in enclosed garden bit for v long as they become destructive and disruptive, barking at stuff etc. We are in scotland and are still in the situation where we can not drive somewhere to walk them normally during lambing go to some forestry commission woods which are great. We are at a huge loss how to help them burn off energy. Playing with them in our garden has resulted in them running away now we just can't trust them for more than a few seconds off lead. They are also v reluctant to do their business on lead. How is everyone else fairing any tips?
How big is the enclosed garden. Could you grab a couple of balls and bounce and roll them about. When I do this for my dog it's like a HIIT workout for him as he is knackered in a few mins.
Can you get a couple of long leads and allow them more freedom but still on a lead?
Have you ever done any agility or scentwork? You could look up some YouTube videos and engage them with that at it can be very mentally stimulating and tiring for them. I used to practice turning in different directions for agility around the kitchen chairs. Scentwork can easily be done around the house.
I’m in Scotland and I’ve been driving to exercise my dog - I don’t go to beauty spots, avoid places I think will be busy, and it’s all local. How far away are the woods you usually use? Are they likely to be busy?
I'm in Wales and have to be out and about a lot but have never once been questioned (we're still, officially, in lockdown too). I would be unconcerned about being caught tbh.
@BiteyShark thank you that is so helpful. The enclosed bit isnt ideal as paved and then thick shrubs tho a reasonable size but Im going to persevere to see if it makes a difference. Think will need to do one on one and put up with one howling indoors as its too chaotic with the two. Ditto for scent and agility stuff great ideas.
Think I might look back into long leads too.
@MaryLennoxsScowl I know people that are doing that too and would consider it as woods are 3miles away but forestry commission and car park closed. Folk from the town might be able to walk there and i have concerns it would be busier than usual. Plus although they couldn't do harm there I am concerned about them running off and spending hours looking for them as now seems to be the case when they get the chance.
@Lucywilde its a thought and willing to consider. They are lab bitches not massive or overweight but they are strong. I think I would need to take out separately if doing that and didn't really want to do that. We tried years ago with eldest and she snapped it but it was more like sting than strap. Has anyone got any recommendations for brands/types of these with bigger dogs? Thanks
Any chance there might be anyone locally hiring out an enclosed field for dog exercise OP.
I live semi rurally, not Scotland though, and there are always enclosed fields for hire for as little as £5.
I'm in Scotland and have been driving to our local forest, as it's too much of a hassle to juggle the pram and dog by the roads. It's not been that busy, even though it's walkable from our town, and DDog can be offload all the way round. I find if we go early, between 9-10, it's dead. It gets busier towards lunchtime and afternoon.
I think by long line people don't mean retractable. They mean a long line that's a strap. You can get them to lunge horses with so I imagine they should be strong enough for your dogs!
They sound like they will be useful for when you can eventually go wherever you want as you may need to backtrack on recall training too.
We have been taking our dog out quite late to the more popular woods near us. There is hardly anyone around then. And in the day we have a walk on the pavements around us and a play in the garden. We only have one, smaller dog though. And luckily a good bit of garden for ball chasing.
Sniffing is supposed to really tire them out. Can you look up some basic scent work starter games? We did a few a while ago - hiding treats/toys in boxes, around the house etc.
There's a dog kennels by us which hires out a field for dogs to play in. It's not very expensive as it's not exclusive use (though probably could be).
Is there anything like that near you?
I've been taking mine to the beach and letting him run once or twice a week. He can't run off anywhere and there are no livestock around either!
He's fine on lead walks for the vast majority of the time but I wouldn't subject him to constant lead walks for weeks on end unless it was for medical reasons.
Are there any secure fields near you? I would ask on Facebook and see if anyone would be willing to hire a field out to you so they can run.
I've been using a retractable lead, it's about 8 metres! And going to the sniffiest places I can find at the quietest times! I've also really tried to vary routes etc.
Have you tried things like getting them to work for their food by scattering in grass and undergrowth so they real have to sniff it out? A bit of scent work in the house or garden? Or doing obedience drills - if they don't know this stuff now is the time to teach them (heel off-lead, sit, lie down, stand - with lots of praise and rewards). You also teach the odd trick and work on sit-stay.
All this can easily sound dull to people but it really engages dogs' brains - it's what I do when I have a dog who is lame or has a cut pad, or if I have a couple of really busy days and they get less off-lead time than normal. IME, a five-minute sit stay is mentally taxing for an active dog.
Thank you so much everyone for all your help. I think we really do need to go back to basics and do some more training as well as getting creative with stimulation/exercise.
Can you take them on a bike ride? It be a great way for them (individually!) to burn off some energy...
@Ylvamoon, Might try that but feel I wouldn't be in full control even with one dog.
Played with dogs one on one in the garden with a ball and frisby I just did 5ish mins each. No running off and losing interest, so will build on that. Then went for a 25min run with both of them. Had them on loose leads and they enjoyed chasing me and seemed knackered afterwards.
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