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How far away do you let your dog go when off lead?
36

Stackers382 · 20/06/2020 20:46

Just that really. I know it’ll be different in different situations but if you were walking through a quiet wood with no livestock, how far would you let your dog go?

Our dog is 10 months old, he used to stay within 10 feet of us-just sniffing the sides of the track ahead. He’ll now disappear into the forest, we keep walking and he’ll suddenly pop out ahead of us. He keeps his eye on us but I can’t always see him. It’s different in a park (I don’t actually let him off in parks at the moment) but this is in a forest that’s very quiet, often just 1 or 2 other dog walkers.

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Disfordarkchocolate · 20/06/2020 20:50

Never did. For me dogs should be on leads.

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SlightyJaded · 20/06/2020 20:50

Pretty much as you describe. We have a spaniel and she likes to head off and sniff in the woods and imagine she is going to catch a squirrel. She runs off ahead and darts off the path left and right and then reappears up ahead a few minutes later.

I call her name occasionally if I am walking quite briskly ahead so that she has a sense of where i am.

My rule of thumb is that this is only ok when you have trained excellent recall into your dog and know they will return when you call them. And when you are familiar with the woods and know that they can't encounter a road or anything.

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Floralnomad · 20/06/2020 20:51

I have a patterdale x and he’s not allowed more than about 50m away and definitely not out of sight . I don’t let him off at all in woods / forests or anywhere with water as he is intent on killing as many woodland creatures and birds as he can catch and loves to go down a hole . Fortunately I discovered the hole diving thing when he was on a longline but it was still quite scary getting him back .

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SlightyJaded · 20/06/2020 20:51

@Disfordarkchocolate

Some dogs need to run off lead.

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SlightyJaded · 20/06/2020 20:53

Oh yes and if you know they aren't going to harm any other animals. I have seen our dog encounter enough ducks/birds etc to know she won't harm them and although she'd love to catch a squirrel, I don't think it's ever going to happen and I'm not convinced she'd do anything other than try and play with it if she did

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Butterer · 20/06/2020 20:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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Floralnomad · 20/06/2020 20:58

I do think people need to keep in mind that it’s not just about killing other animals / birds some dogs do just chase and that’s not very fair on the wildlife as they don’t know they’re not going to get eaten and are terrified .

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Butterer · 20/06/2020 20:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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Twooter · 20/06/2020 21:00

What slightly jaded said. I’m confident with his recall, don’t let him off at all if there’s livestock nearby and put him on the lead if I see people approaching or if we’re near a road.

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PurBal · 20/06/2020 21:00

There has been more than one close call when MIL dog hasn't come back...

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LochJessMonster · 20/06/2020 21:02

Same as you’ve described, he often goes out of sight in woodland but as long as I can hear him or he checks back in occasionally I’m not too worried.

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DeborahAnnabelToo · 20/06/2020 21:03

I've been wondering about this. I get edgy if our dog is out of sight but dh doesn't seem fussed. Her recall is reasonable but she loves to thunder through the undergrowth. Is it OK if your dog goes feral (without killing wildlife etc) for a few minutes?

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DramaAlpaca · 20/06/2020 21:04

I do exactly as @SlightyJaded does, also with a spaniel. He has excellent recall, whatever he's doing it only takes one whistle and he's by my side in an instant. There are lots of places for safe off lead walking where we are.

Our other spaniel, however, has always had to be kept on a lead or she'd be three fields away before I could stop her. Now she's older she can be let off after a few miles when she's starting to get tired, and she's grateful to be recalled because it might mean we are going home Grin Also, if she's off lead when she's still feeling frisky she encourages the other dog to forget all about his excellent recall and he listens to her, rather than us. So on the lead it has to be, most of the time.

It's funny how some dogs have brilliant recall and others don't. Both of ours were trained the same way by DH who's an experienced working spaniel owner, but one always wants to please and the other is a feisty wee thing.

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HogDogKetchup · 20/06/2020 21:05

Spaniel too and he’s extremely needy and loyal! He disappears into hedges and bushes and pops out from a totally different direction than you’d expect. I feel totally relaxed about it. If I whistle he’s by my side.

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AmberRoseGold · 20/06/2020 21:06

My 10 mo lab seems to have zero interest in chasing any wild animals. Will return and check in with me on walks every couple of minutes but I do now let her go out of my sight. But she will return upon my whistle. Plus I am currently trying to train her to stop to a different whistle pattern using a ball. And she is so keen on the ball that she doesn’t want to stray far from it atm.
But if we are near children - not mine- or a dog on a lead I will have her to heel or on the lead. She is behaving really well atm and I feel like we are finally benefiting from all the training slog! Lovely to feel proud of her (PFD)

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loopylindazdaughter · 20/06/2020 21:08

@Disfordarkchocolate totoally diagree, a dog gets more exercise off lead, it builds trust between you both and allows the dogs to learn trust and relax on a walk.

My dog can be abit shouty on a lead, he seems to be super protective when on it. Off he just leads the way, sniffs around and tends to have a lovely time. Of course recall needs to be excellent

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Pipandmum · 20/06/2020 21:09

One of my dogs is not trustworthy - he'll always come back but after he's run after any other dogs, jumped all over the owners and kids. My other dog is very obedient and in 8 years she has never not come when called, and is hesitant when approaching others. First dog is on lead unless I'm on my own (he loves his ball). Second dog is off all the time when not on the street. But she never goes far away.
If you are confident in your dogs recall and behaviour around wildlife/people fine. If you are near farm animsls always keep your dog on a lead - you do not know how they will react to its presence.

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HogDogKetchup · 20/06/2020 21:10

Unless you have ample land it’s very cruel to keep a working breed on a lead. Everyone should be able to understand this more after lockdown. Besides, OP wasn’t asking for a judgment but opinions of people who are like minded.

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BurtsBeesKnees · 20/06/2020 21:13

I have a border terrier and if she gets a scent if something she's off. I live in a very rural area with little farm land so I can let her go without worrying about farm stock, land or roads. But she does worry me sometimes but so far has always popped up next to me, so she obviously knows where I am. I'm thinking about a tracker onto a collar, so if she does go missing I know where she is. But I've heard horror stories about terriers getting their collars stuck etc and owners finding dead dogs.

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dogwithmohican · 20/06/2020 21:19

My last dog had 99% recall (deer were a weakness) and I would let her go out of sight and some considerable distance safe in the knowledge that she would return immediately when called. She would also stay at heel if asked. Current dog has selective deafness so I keep him in sight and put him on the lead if I see dogs or people approaching.

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Honeyroar · 20/06/2020 22:16

I only let them run ahead when I can see them and see what’s coming/ ie, bikes, horses other dogs etc. Their recall is mostly good, but I think it’s a bit rude to let them run ahead where I can’t see them, sometimes people are scared or their dogs are worried by off lead dogs. I’ve had nervous/reactive dogs before, I guess I’m just wary. They still get plenty of hurtling around when it’s clear.

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Ylvamoon · 20/06/2020 23:03

Grin mine really just trott a few steps in front or behind me... ok, sometimes they get distracted and fall further behind or run ahead to say hallo to an other dog. But they soon catch up and are back in 'formation"!
... Ahh the joys of companion breeds, no need to train this kind of behaviour either!

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StillMedusa · 21/06/2020 02:03

Mine's off lead in our local country park or woods; we both know the exits and pretty much every hunting spot (she only ever catches shrews and then has no idea what to do with them so I take them and let them scamper away!) Recalls to my whistling, but can take a minute or two to return. I can usually hear her in the bushes as her tag jingles! She's 13m old.

I clip her on if another dog approaches on a lead or I don't know them.
I do have a tracker on her harness..just in case!

I can't imagine keeping my dog on a lead all the time.. her joy is in running free and mine is in seeing her gallop and race and snuffle freely!

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GeraltOfRivia · 21/06/2020 06:58

Mine's off lead most walks as he needs to be able to look about. He likes to mooch ahead but constantly goes back and forth so I can see him and is rarely out of sight. He is 14 months and recall is improving all the time. I can trust him not to jump up these days and m, unless people have food, he's more interested in sniffing grass and trees.

I do only walk him in the local dog park or nearby woods and trails. I'd never let him off in the "people park" where everyone picnics. That would be a disaster, he'd eat everything. We're working on that!

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Sostenueto · 21/06/2020 07:20

My present dog great at recall but is never far from my sight as she is in love with her ball! Loves the beach and will run ahead a good distance but always checks where I am ( bit of a mummies dog). If I see other dogs I call her to me and she comes as she has had a few bad experiences with other dogs attacking her or chasing her.. Without excellent recall I would not let her off lead.

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