letting off the lead

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    Can anyone give me any tips on how to let my dog off the lead the first time? My husband has let her off a few times in a small area but only when know one is around. Where she is only 6 months she likes to run off if she sees another dog or person and where she is quite a big dog could look quite threatening, even though she wouldn’t hurt a fly. Also where she is a fast runner if she gets off we are scared she would be long gone before we could catch up with her. She is fine in the garden and we try to teach her “come” and “stay” but in a big space it’s a different story. At the moment my husband is the only one who can take her for a walk as she is just too strong for me and I just get pulled in every direction. Imagine the scene in 101 Dalmations where they are trying to get roger and Anita to meet up, thats how it looks when i take her over the park. My other dog is no problem off the lead but then she is 5 and quarter the size, but we can’t seem to remember how we taught her to come back.
    Any advice would be good


    hi – ok, what has happened is that you have missed that vital time of getting the recall classically conditioned – this is the learning time that stays with the dog for life and if fluently trained – the dog has no choice – like you breaking out in goosebumps if a fork is scratched down a plate.  what you have now is operant learning – the dog has learned that choices can be made so what you have to do is condition (train) the dog that the best choice is to come back – the success will depend on how much success the dog has had being off in terms of ‘a good time’ ie having more rewarding fun than being with you – this is called an extiction burst.

    you need to go back to basics – in the house – with treats (and clicker if you use one) sit on the floor to begin with and do loads of recalls – rewarding everytime – when fluent and reliable – extend it to the garden – this is called upping the criteria – then take it off your ground to somehwere small and totally enclosed – a neighbours garden for example then test it on the free running walk – never ever risk a criteria jump unless you got it fluent and reliable in the last place – if it breaks down back up a level.  i would also get it on a visual cue and a whistle cue – 3 blasts of a 2 10 1/2 whistle is the norm.  get the above then going back to criteria 1 – in the house – whistle then normal cue after very fast – it is always new cue old cue when adding a cue for established behaviour.

    work as silently as you can – don’t over fuss – and when you go up the criterias increase the treat values – so for me it is cheese in the house, sausage in the garden and livercake or chicken when free running.

    hope this makes sense  ;D


    Thanks for your help, I think I know what your trying to say. She knows how to sit and she comes when we call her in doors and in the garden, its just the wide open space of the parks that makes her go crazy. If I start from the beginning and use a whistle? can I buy these from any pet stores? Should I whistle then ask her to sit, etc, and then reward?


    noooooo not yet ;D reward each behaviour has it happens  – thats the advantage of a clicker cos you can click for the decision and then wait for the dog to be back before you reward. you must get it in stages – don’t do so fast – get it on one cue before transfereing to another cue – if the whistle is to be first then start with the whistle – in the house, garden, neighbours etc. many pet stores sell them – dont buy a silent whistle – they the silver things – get a 2 10 1/2 or 2 11 1/2 black gundog/falkoners whistle – if you have a problem getting one i can post you one x


    Thanks will look for that whistle. Am I being a pain but I am abit confused, are you saying use both a clicker and a whistle or just one or the other. I really appreact your help, thank you. People get quite weary of her when shes walking around the park because she comes as aggressive which shes not. I thought it was wrong to learn her too early, but now wish I had.


    do you use a clicker ? ie is she charged to a clicker – if not then just the whistle unless you want to start clicker training which is  a whole new thing???


    Thanks for replying,  no i haven’t used a clicker so we will just use the whistle. My husband has gone to get one now. we will wait for a time when there are no interruptions just her.


    Just to let you know we couldn’t get hold of the whistle but bought a clicker instead. Waited until it was quiet, read all the information and started with getting her to sit. Even though she could do this by voice I wanted to start all over again so she understood it with the clicker. She got this straight away. Moved on to getting her to lie down, and after a couple of minutes she got what she had to do. I stuck to these two last night and when I stopped she followed around my feet!!! I am amazed at how quick she has taken to the clicker. Looking forward to trying some more tonight. Thanks for the advice.

    Tried it with my other dog so she didn’t feel left out and it took alot longer for her to Lie down, but she got there in the end. 😛


    please please remember – the clicker is not a cue – it is a marker- what u click for is what you get and if you mis- click you MUST still reward. ggod luck.  i recently posted in badsey’s posts about the 3 ways a clicker can be used – i also have a clicker jargon dictionery i put together sometime ago that i can email out if anyone wants a copy


    could you email this to me  as well , if thats possible


    of course – just tried to but you have everything hidden – email me at kizkiznobite@aol.com and i will return it


    have come out of hiding now  ;D ;D


    I would be very grateful if you could email me this, thank you


    Ooh could you email it to me too please Bev? I want to try clicker with my pup when I get him  🙂


    thank you kiz , will pesure later this eveing , looks very techical and you need a good thinking brain ;D
    to read it

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