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Huskies Off Lead

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Not read all replies but would of hoped no-one would of put NO as to put this would imply they are tethered when not on a lead which I do-not agree with :(

Mine are never off lead when out walking but run free in the garden :)

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James, when it comes down to it - I really don't care if you take your dog to the dog park and I mean that in the nicest way possible. I don't like dog parks and I always advise caution and common sense to anyone who feels they MUST use them, but I choose not to use them for myself. If you want to - go for it! I don't see the point or benefit to them or see what my dogs would get out of going to a small fenced area with dozens of other dogs running loose together, that they can't get from any of the other things we do. I can guarantee you that my dogs get out more and do more than the average dog and probably most of the dogs on this forum. But going dog parks are not or never will be one of the things I do with my dogs - that's my choice and I'd appreciate it if you'd respect it rather than banging on about me "needing to be in control of all situations" or "being over-protective". And I DO mean that in the nicest way possible :)

alright alright! :P, was just a potential observation ;), yeah we can agree we are very different dog owners, and I guess thats what makes forums interesting, there'd be hardly any discussions at all if we all agreed with each other! I would never suggest your dogs don't and I'm positive your dogs get all the fulfilment any dog could ever want.

I might start a thread about it, if it wouldn't be too controversial ;) I don't like to do 'how to' training over the internet though because what works for my dogs will not work for every dog.

well its entirely up to you, I get what you mean though, every dog is different and different training methods yield different results depending on the dog, but it could possible give some indication or techniques for people to try at least ^_^

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well its entirely up to you, I get what you mean though, every dog is different and different training methods yield different results depending on the dog, but it could possible give some indication or techniques for people to try at least ^_^

To give you an idea... :)

My youngest dog was always totally reliable in our training sessions because she was switched on already, the bit I struggled with her recall was when I'd have her off leash for walks/runs etc outside of training and she'd get distracted by a scent - she'd come around 90-95% of the time (and when I'm talking about recall I mean she comes within two seconds of me giving her recall command, the first time I give it. I don't count reliable recall as a dog who comes 'eventually' the second, third, tenth time you call them). She has an exceptionally high scent drive even within the breed. But I wanted that last 10% reliability so in the last few weeks actually I've started using a remote training collar to cue her when she's off leash but fails to recall immediately and now her recall has come along very very quickly to a very reliable level.

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Hi James, hope you are well!

My mindset is that I can look after myself, yet Harley needs me to look after him. And I love him and want him to grow to be a happy old dog having lived the best doggy life he can. I look to create a balance between doggy needs and safety. Anything that could kill him is a big no-no, things like risk of fights is a risk I look to mitigate. I believe that as long as I act in accordance with these thoughts I would put Harley's safety first.

At home, Harley can come into the drive with me or front garden. Yet this is only for short moments, he is managed, as I know there are a couple of cats around. If we are doing the front garden for example he'll be with us but tied out.

I would let Harley off in a dog park (anyone know of any secure ones in the North Hampshire, South Berkshire, West Surrey area?) as he is non-aggressive and looks to me for leadership when attacked. He is fast and agile and runs to me when there is trouble, so even with aggressive dogs in there I wouldn't be too worried. Dogs need to interact, and schooling and nipping and the occassional fight I must live with in order to let Harley be a dog. Yet at the same time I would do everything in my power to monitor him and check and manage his behaviour. I wouldn not just sit and have a coffee, or just play on my phone, maybe the way that some mother's do at the ball parks....grrrrr...another thread there perhaps...

I carry out risk assessments, and then look to manage that risk. And the risks themselves and how they are managed are constantly changing as my experience and knowledge grows. For example, I'm pleased I learned from this forum and researched further into off-lead, otherwise Harley may be dead now...even with all the woodland around me there are fast roads that run through and I would never want Harley to run onto them...

Best regards,

Smiler

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@Bec What are some exercises to teach a dog that you are of higher value? Kissu lunges on the leash when we walk, just passing another dog, because he simply wants to say hi. He even sees my moms dog of higher value, and tries to play/dominate him as soon as he sees him. Surely that would stop if I was higher value?

I've asked trainers here but their response is he needs more socialization and ask if I have taken him to a dog park before.

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Hi James, hope you are well!

My mindset is that I can look after myself, yet Harley needs me to look after him. And I love him and want him to grow to be a happy old dog having lived the best doggy life he can. I look to create a balance between doggy needs and safety. Anything that could kill him is a big no-no, things like risk of fights is a risk I look to mitigate. I believe that as long as I act in accordance with these thoughts I would put Harley's safety first.

At home, Harley can come into the drive with me or front garden. Yet this is only for short moments, he is managed, as I know there are a couple of cats around. If we are doing the front garden for example he'll be with us but tied out.

I would let Harley off in a dog park (anyone know of any secure ones in the North Hampshire, South Berkshire, West Surrey area?) as he is non-aggressive and looks to me for leadership when attacked. He is fast and agile and runs to me when there is trouble, so even with aggressive dogs in there I wouldn't be too worried. Dogs need to interact, and schooling and nipping and the occassional fight I must live with in order to let Harley be a dog. Yet at the same time I would do everything in my power to monitor him and check and manage his behaviour. I wouldn not just sit and have a coffee, or just play on my phone, maybe the way that some mother's do at the ball parks....grrrrr...another thread there perhaps...

I carry out risk assessments, and then look to manage that risk. And the risks themselves and how they are managed are constantly changing as my experience and knowledge grows. For example, I'm pleased I learned from this forum and researched further into off-lead, otherwise Harley may be dead now...even with all the woodland around me there are fast roads that run through and I would never want Harley to run onto them...

Best regards,

Smiler

I do totally agree with this, the only trouble is, people have their own interpretations of level and severity of risks.

The part I bolded I am a huge believer in and could not possibly agree with you more, the nipping and schooling are fine and its a part of a dogs social world, Grey school Kita,nipped and pinned her alot when they 1st met..... now they are very good friends, and Grey even looks after Kita at the dog park, if a dog is getting to rough with her, to a point where she looks uncomfortable, Grey steps in and breaks it up :), Like you I am constantly monitoring the dogs, partly because I want to make sure everything is ok, but more so because I simply cannot take my eyes off of them, they are amazing to watch as they run and play in a huge pack of huskies :D not a chance in hell id rather look anywhere else :D

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@Bec What are some exercises to teach a dog that you are of higher value? Kissu lunges on the leash when we walk, just passing another dog, because he simply wants to say hi. He even sees my moms dog of higher value, and tries to play/dominate him as soon as he sees him. Surely that would stop if I was higher value?

I've asked trainers here but their response is he needs more socialization and ask if I have taken him to a dog park before.

I didn't know we had trainers here! :)

IMO more socialisation is the opposite of what you want to do. He has a high value for other dogs so letting him play with other dogs MORE will only increase his value for other dogs.

I'd be doing a lot of focus work, start building your commands reliably in a low distraction environment - start with something like 'look'. Have your dog performing it reliably at home for eg and then gradually increase the level of distraction so you aren't asking him to focus at times when he's not capable of it. I'd also be making sure that you don't let him get too over aroused around other dogs, stop that behaviour now because every time you let him get carried away with other dogs he is getting rewarded for it. If he can't greet a dog calmly he doesn't get to greet it at all.

I'd also be upping the amount of time you spend training him and playing games with him - make yourself more fun so he develops higher value for you and the rewards you offer.

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Oops sorry, wasn't specific. By "here" I meant where I live.

And ok. Thank you! :)

And by 'look' do you mean 'watch me'? We've been working on that using those words a little.

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And by 'look' do you mean 'watch me'? We've been working on that using those words a little.

Yep!

I also forgot to add - reinforce your focus commands with the highest value reward you can - steak, roast chicken etc or a tug or toy if your dog prefers that. Keep the reward rate high and frequent until the command is very reliable under high levels of distraction :)

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I live in the valleys and have open mountains and footpaths, I always let my Rocky off the lead he does love to wander and sometimes cones back with a rabbit but so far he has always come back. Once or twice he has taken off when a rabbit runs out but comes back, I have problems when near lakes as he goes straight in after the ducks and swims non stop for 45 mins before he comes out.

I know there is always the possibility he will take off but so far so good and I keep to familiar places not too far from home. I started off letting him off in a rugby field which is 99% enclosed and when infelt confident I went outside.

I don't however say it is right to let them off, only do so if you are confident of your dogs personality and can do it regularly so they get used to it.

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I've noticed that lots of folks who stated "no" mentioned that they have 50ft to 100ft leads they use instead. We live next to a nature preserve, and once Stark had all his shots, we started going out there regularly. The area is fenced in, but in the way most Texas land is fenced in, with ragged barbed wire that has been stretched, broken, or run down by cattle and deer. When he was younger, he wouldn't run too far away, as he didn't like being out of sight of me. But, I've recently stopped letting him run free on the land because he took off after deer and disappeared for 30 minutes and he chased down a coyote, which I had to climb over two fences and physically drag him away from them (neither coyote or husky was injured). So, I purchased a 50ft lead to take him out on the land, but he won't explore with the lead on. He walks next to me, like he is onleash. I've even dropped the lead and just let him drag it behind him, and he just looks depressed and sniffs of the immediate surrounding area. Do your dogs run or romp with the lead on? It's so hot out right now, we haven't done it more than twice. I guess I'm just wondering if it's worth continuing to take him out there with the lead, in hopes he will eventually not notice it so much.

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I've noticed that lots of folks who stated "no" mentioned that they have 50ft to 100ft leads they use instead. We live next to a nature preserve, and once Stark had all his shots, we started going out there regularly. The area is fenced in, but in the way most Texas land is fenced in, with ragged barbed wire that has been stretched, broken, or run down by cattle and deer. When he was younger, he wouldn't run too far away, as he didn't like being out of sight of me. But, I've recently stopped letting him run free on the land because he took off after deer and disappeared for 30 minutes and he chased down a coyote, which I had to climb over two fences and physically drag him away from them (neither coyote or husky was injured). So, I purchased a 50ft lead to take him out on the land, but he won't explore with the lead on. He walks next to me, like he is onleash. I've even dropped the lead and just let him drag it behind him, and he just looks depressed and sniffs of the immediate surrounding area. Do your dogs run or romp with the lead on? It's so hot out right now, we haven't done it more than twice. I guess I'm just wondering if it's worth continuing to take him out there with the lead, in hopes he will eventually not notice it so much.

Depends on each dog. Glala goes mental when she's on the long leash, sometimes I need to remind her there's a human on the other end of the leash who doesn't like his arm getting dislocated :D She is less crazy compared when she is loose (by accident) but still much more active than when she's on a short leash. I think she's mental by default and we just trained her well to be nice when on a short leash. When o the long leash I generally let her do whatever she wants.

I would say: stick with it. At some point he'll figure it out. An accident can happen in a matter of just two seconds. If it isn't a car (even when the traffic is only 1 car per 30 minutes), it can always be another animal. What if the coyote fought back? Or what if your husky happened to kill that coyote carrying a disease? What is she killed sheep? What if she didn't got back after 30 minutes and got lost? Even though the changes are very slim, it can happen. I'd *personally* wouldn't risk it.

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Ours are off lead 3 or 4 times every day.We walk them in the same places most days but they are free in fields,woodland,and the famous Celtic Manor Golf course(Home to the Ryder Cup last year).We take them to the beach sometimes,and they are off lead there too.The only problem I have is with Thunder and other male dogs,cos he will run straight up to them,and can be a bit aggressive.I would not let them near sheep or other livestock,but their recall is generally no different to other dogs,and even when chasing squirrels,,on one occasion a fox,and mice /rabbit hunting etc,they always come back.The girls,especially Mystie,are excellent,and Lycan at present WILL NOT leave my side,even refusing to follow the other 3.It's actually a problem at the mo,cos my husband can't walk him without me.He has to drag him away from the house,and keep him on lead the whole walk or he will just run straight back home.He took him out with my neighbour yesterday,without me,and she has a husky too,so there were 5 huskies,but they only just stopped him from bolting back home.It's a little worrying,he is 5 months at mo,but I am going back to work in Sept,and it will be Jon who walks them in the morning,so we don't know what will happen.I am trying to wean him off me over the next week,by not going out with him in the mornings,but 2 days ago my daughter had to bring him back,cos he refused to walk!!.What am I going to do with him??.No probs off lead there then!!:)

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Ours are off lead 3 or 4 times every day.We walk them in the same places most days but they are free in fields,woodland,and the famous Celtic Manor Golf course(Home to the Ryder Cup last year).We take them to the beach sometimes,and they are off lead there too.The only problem I have is with Thunder and other male dogs,cos he will run straight up to them,and can be a bit aggressive.I would not let them near sheep or other livestock,but their recall is generally no different to other dogs,and even when chasing squirrels,,on one occasion a fox,and mice /rabbit hunting etc,they always come back.The girls,especially Mystie,are excellent,and Lycan at present WILL NOT leave my side,even refusing to follow the other 3.It's actually a problem at the mo,cos my husband can't walk him without me.He has to drag him away from the house,and keep him on lead the whole walk or he will just run straight back home.He took him out with my neighbour yesterday,without me,and she has a husky too,so there were 5 huskies,but they only just stopped him from bolting back home.It's a little worrying,he is 5 months at mo,but I am going back to work in Sept,and it will be Jon who walks them in the morning,so we don't know what will happen.I am trying to wean him off me over the next week,by not going out with him in the mornings,but 2 days ago my daughter had to bring him back,cos he refused to walk!!.What am I going to do with him??.No probs off lead there then!!:)

I've seen your group off lead and they are amazing....Having kept Lycan we know how he is about walking. If you remember I told you that he dug his heels in and wouldn't move on the first few tries but after a few days we did manage to get him to walk with the group. As far as my two being off lead. Sookie is brilliant and will stay with us and she will come back without hesitation and allows me to do pretty much anything with her. Now Diesel on the other hand I would not trust. She does go off the lead depending where we are. I am fortunate to have alot of property to let her off on safely but we would never dare do it anywhere but this area. She is like talking to a brick.

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I've noticed that lots of folks who stated "no" mentioned that they have 50ft to 100ft leads they use instead. We live next to a nature preserve, and once Stark had all his shots, we started going out there regularly. The area is fenced in, but in the way most Texas land is fenced in, with ragged barbed wire that has been stretched, broken, or run down by cattle and deer. When he was younger, he wouldn't run too far away, as he didn't like being out of sight of me. But, I've recently stopped letting him run free on the land because he took off after deer and disappeared for 30 minutes and he chased down a coyote, which I had to climb over two fences and physically drag him away from them (neither coyote or husky was injured). So, I purchased a 50ft lead to take him out on the land, but he won't explore with the lead on. He walks next to me, like he is onleash. I've even dropped the lead and just let him drag it behind him, and he just looks depressed and sniffs of the immediate surrounding area. Do your dogs run or romp with the lead on? It's so hot out right now, we haven't done it more than twice. I guess I'm just wondering if it's worth continuing to take him out there with the lead, in hopes he will eventually not notice it so much.

have u tried running around with him - so he gets used to it? both of mine run around like nutters with the lead on - but then theyve never been offlead so dont know that they are missing out on anything

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Just had a phone call from a lady who wants to give up her young female. It is a classic "husky" story. The dog has been off lead since she was a baby puppy and was (in her owner's mind) 100% trustworthy - always came back when called, totally obedient. Away they went on holiday, taking the dog with them. As usual they let the dog offlead and the first thing it did was to chase and attack a field of sheep. The owner now wants to rehome the dog because she "can't trust it any more."

We tried to explain that the dog was exactly the same dog as it was before it attacked the sheep - nothing has changed and it was her stupidity and refusal to listen to advice which was the problem, not the dog. Unfortunately, like so many, the dog has to suffer because of the owner's mistakes and now we have to find a new home for her.

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Raindog that is so sad. Luckily the farmer didn't want the dog shot. Husky or not unless dogs are specifically trained to keep away from sheep they should be kept on leads. I love the term ADHD - attention deficit husky disorder. Huskies do things if and when they want to and that includes coming back when off lead.

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I vote no, I know if I let Zeus off the led he'd run and not come back. The only time I'll ever let him off the lead in a non-enclosed area is up at a friend's place where everyone brings their dogs (middle of nowhere) and he stays with the dogs as opposed to running off because he wants their attention and wants to play. That being said, he's not properly socialized yet because he's a rescue (we're working on it) so he hasn't learned to ignore other dogs.

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Personally with my 3 I don't let them off. If Dorset was to ever give public a fully enclosed dog park then I would consider letting them off ONLY in the enclosed area.

However, when my 3 were puppies and I didn't know them as well as I do now then Yes we did let them off lead in the new forest and yes soon learnt it wasn't a good idea when they hit adolescence and Gizmo went after a horse, nearly getting kicked!!! Since I haven't had them off lead!

Marley does have a good reliable recall and I reckon that he would be reliable off the lead. But, because of his issues with other dogs (Particularly un-neutered males) I wouldn't let him off as I wouldn't be able to control him fully if we did come to a situation where another male was about.

Gizmo is good on lead for coming back if I want him to come next to me whilst we pass another dog or something is about to pass us but again he has issues that I believe will be with him for life and would rather he stay on lead where I can keep the situation under control. the same with Bandit too.

Going on their issues, this would be something I would be considering before letting them off in an enclosed area as again, even in an enclosed area I connot keep a situation under control so would probably end up not having them off lead for my own peace of mind.

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Personally with my 3 I don't let them off. If Dorset was to ever give public a fully enclosed dog park then I would consider letting them off ONLY in the enclosed area.

However, when my 3 were puppies and I didn't know them as well as I do now then Yes we did let them off lead in the new forest and yes soon learnt it wasn't a good idea when they hit adolescence and Gizmo went after a horse, nearly getting kicked!!! Since I haven't had them off lead!

Marley does have a good reliable recall and I reckon that he would be reliable off the lead. But, because of his issues with other dogs (Particularly un-neutered males) I wouldn't let him off as I wouldn't be able to control him fully if we did come to a situation where another male was about.

Gizmo is good on lead for coming back if I want him to come next to me whilst we pass another dog or something is about to pass us but again he has issues that I believe will be with him for life and would rather he stay on lead where I can keep the situation under control. the same with Bandit too.

Going on their issues, this would be something I would be considering before letting them off in an enclosed area as again, even in an enclosed area I connot keep a situation under control so would probably end up not having them off lead for my own peace of mind.

Same here, have tried it but simply wasnt a good idea. Best to follow peoples advice and not let them off. :)

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