Off-leash freedom!

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

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Im just a little- guy
Barked: Mon Feb 18, '13 6:51pm PST 
'm a big believer in the power of free running. Lets the dog go at their own pace, really stretch out and use their muscles, stop and sniff whenever they want, and most dogs just love it. For me, watching my dogs running full speed in a huge open space is a beautiful sight. They also seem to get a lot more mental stimulation out of an off lead hike than with something like running next to a bike.

I enjoy watching my dog do this too. I let him off leash on the walk today. He was sniffing and running. It was funny watching my short little dog get stuck in a snow drift from his sprinting.

It would be sad not to have these nearby trails were my dog can be free.

It ain't over- till the fat- kitty sings
Barked: Mon Feb 18, '13 9:21pm PST 
Leashed and off leash is like night and day with Sophie. We live in a highly populated urban area so driving to the nature reserves are really the only safe with no cars, off leash areas we have. But we both just LOOOOVVVE the time Soph has off leash. She runs through the woods like a deer...sometimes chasing a deer...and leaping, spinning, complete freedom...so great to watch.

She has perfect recall when we're alone out there but I wouldn't risk any streets with her off leash. If she saw another dog or squirrel she'd race right through trafficshock I wish we lived more out in the woods sometimes...

Im just a little- guy
Barked: Tue Feb 19, '13 11:01pm PST 
I will not let my dog off-leash were there are cars nearby or businesses. I did let him off leash in a ski village (no cars) for a while. He was doing great until he began to enter the ski shops. He is a people dog and likes to go where there are people to pet him. I started leashing him after he ran into a bar. He went throughout the entire establishment while people ooed and awed at him. He got lots of reinforcement to do this again. No more off-leash at the ski village.

Where I live off-leash dogs are normal and common. Even in towns there are off-leash dogs chilling outside shops. In towns like the OP described with lots of dogs there are probably less reactive dogs because most of them have been socialized by their environment. I noticed in Breckenridge the townie dogs were very mellow and plentiful. There are dogs in shops, dogs tied out in front of shops, dogs on sidewalks, dogs being walks and many off leash dogs following their handlers perfectly. I can bring my dog into almost all the retail shops there.


Woo-woo- whineybutt
Barked: Wed Feb 20, '13 1:14am PST 
Just wondering, but when you walk your dogs off-leash what do you allow them to do ?

If I walk Nare off-leash down my road he goes onto peoples property.. like maybe 5 feet in, only to sniff. Sometimes will mark a bush or mailbox.
I don't feel comfortable letting him do this. I don't want someone to get mad at us. But I don't know how the majority of people feel about it. Then at the same time it feels that.. that is the freedom of no leash. Letting them sniff and stuff. If I limited Nare to just walking on the road then it would be like leashed walks.. I love it when Nare is off-leash. He loves the freedom, checking in on me, investigating, etc. I'm just a very anxious person I guess. People get kinda mad cause I'm the only person who walks my dog, and when we walk past their house their dogs bark and go wild at us. Then there are people who worship my feet for walking him..
Trixie Bean!

none so blind as- those that will- not see
Barked: Wed Feb 20, '13 2:56am PST 
Like Tyler, I am in the UK and Trix spends a LOT of time offleash. We walk in one of the biggest parks in the country and whilst there are a lot of dogs in there, there are also a lot of places where she can be offleash without a problem. She isn't great with other dogs, so I do leash up when I see another dog BUT for the most part the majority of dogs are offleash and problems rarely happen. Even the dogs WITH issues usually have a VERY good recall.. I know I can call Trix away from other dogs even within a 15ft radius and ive seen others do similar, or simply get their offleash dog in a heel and explain to others that they don't like other dogs. People are pretty respectful here anyway- if they see me put Trix on the leash, they leash their own dogs.

I think when dogs are brought up in a culture where being off-leash is the norm, not the exception, there tends to be fewer issuey dogs, for whatever reason.

Mischief is my- middle name
Barked: Wed Feb 20, '13 6:20am PST 
My dogs are awe-inspiring beautiful to watch running, but only if it's within a fenced area. Otherwise it's panic inducing laugh out loud

Giving them the freedom to run and chase and explore in an area bigger than our backyard is why I risk the dog park.

I\\\'ll do- anything for a- treat!
Barked: Wed Feb 20, '13 7:09am PST 
Nare, when walking Lupi leashed or unleashed, I don't let her investigate people's yards. Some people really don't want dog pee ruining their grass, and I respect that. I don't care if we cause their dogs to bark. They can walk past our house without Lupi going ballistic, so it's not really our problem.
Lupi doesn't have any interest in approaching people, so I didn't have to worry about that. Even when she saw a dog she wanted to meet, she just wagged her tail, inviting them over.
If walking on a sidewalk with shops etc, I keep her in a heel. But when we're hiking in the woods, I tell her to "go run!" She tears off after every squeaky noise she hears, but always returns when I call her.
Even if she's staying right by my side, I still love the feeling of no leash. It seems like she's walking with me simply because she wants to, instead of being forced to. Not that I yank her leash or anything-you know what I mean!
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