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Rachael_Astro

Letting Huskies Off Lead

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7 hours ago, Luna the husky said:

I get the feeling that was a dig at me...


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??

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Hi Luna,
Yes the first time I joined this forum, the FIRST thing people said to me was, "No Offleash"! 
I don't think it's anything personal...it's like a blanket caution that they give to all new husky owners 🙂

I have seen why...
my Rumo is such a smart and obedient dog - great leash manners, great house manners. I can bring him into petstores, to cafes, anywhere.
BUT every once in a while when we are out, he will see a running deer or a running cat, and it's like he loses his mind.
He forgets I even exist, and would he run across oncoming traffic to get that animal? YES.
There is part of his brain, some kind of primal instinctive hindbrain, that is devoted to the HUNT and it's like his normal "higher thinking" just shuts down and he takes off on pure instinct.
I'm sure this instant full reaction is what would make him a successful hunter - but I see clearly that is not safe to let him go offleash.

With intense e-collar training, I might have a chance at breaking his mindset...
but I'm not an experienced dog trainer who understands how to use all the thresholds, etc.
Easier just to keep him on a long line (25') or let him free in fenced areas. Since he generally prefers to stay close by, the long line doesn't really bug him at all.

 

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Hi Luna,
Yes the first time I joined this forum, the FIRST thing people said to me was, "No Offleash"! 
I don't think it's anything personal...it's like a blanket caution that they give to all new husky owners 

I have seen why...
my Rumo is such a smart and obedient dog - great leash manners, great house manners. I can bring him into petstores, to cafes, anywhere.
BUT every once in a while when we are out, he will see a running deer or a running cat, and it's like he loses his mind.
He forgets I even exist, and would he run across oncoming traffic to get that animal? YES.
There is part of his brain, some kind of primal instinctive hindbrain, that is devoted to the HUNT and it's like his normal "higher thinking" just shuts down and he takes off on pure instinct.
I'm sure this instant full reaction is what would make him a successful hunter - but I see clearly that is not safe to let him go offleash.

With intense e-collar training, I might have a chance at breaking his mindset...
but I'm not an experienced dog trainer who understands how to use all the thresholds, etc.
Easier just to keep him on a long line (25') or let him free in fenced areas. Since he generally prefers to stay close by, the long line doesn't really bug him at all.

 
He sounds like my girl Skyla, she's crazy obedient and does everything I ask her to but put a cat or squirrel in front of her and I'm glad she's on a lead , you see a switch in them when they go into 'the zone' lol

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Luna chases squirrels but it’s over a very short distance so there is no harm in it imo. Hell shes not long learned that they run up trees... used to see her looking about as if to say where the hell did that go... grey squirrels are the cause of the demise of red squirrels so...


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We also have 2 cats, one that has almost no tolerance for her (or me unless she wants fed) the other gives her a lazy swipe as if to say beat it, I’m trying to sleep here. Luna just wants to sniff them. From a very young age I have watched her get better and better and sneaking up on squirrels until she caught her first one so I let her have it, it’s her reward for progression. I know most of u won’t agree but it’s every day life for prey and predators alike.


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I've learnt the hard way twice, fortunately there weren't any dire outcomes but there could have been the second time had it not been for a dog proof fence. Even on the lead she can bolt, another dog walker I was chatting to threw his dog a ball, I didn't see him do it and Luna shot off after it, pulled my arm nearly out of the socket and the lead just went with her. Fortunately she came back when called. She also pulled me right over when another dog ran past and she took off after him despite him having already run past once and been ignored by her. Luckily only my ego was a bit bruised as there were several dog walkers all standing and talking lol.

Today was her first time in an enclosed safe space, she wasn't impressed or terribly interested in doing anything more than wandering round and sniffing, I did more running than she did! There was some agility equipment, she managed to go down one tube but to sniff the insides, coaxed up and over one apex with treats and over an almost flat jump twice. I'm not sure it's worth trying again unless I can find another dog who would run round with her. The people had a huge great Harlequin Dane but he wasn't let out which was a shame lol.

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Wow, I've been pretty fortunate, my fur ball will hang out in the garage with me and the door is open to the street and not once has he tried going out. Even if another dog walks by he will just watch and barking. I wont try walking him in leashed though.

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I too am fortunate Luna doesn’t know her jumping potential, in fact down the woods there is pieces of old trees that have fallen over and cut up with a chainsaw, these things are at most 4ft high and I’ve always given her a hand up so I could photo her. Same with garden she’s never once tried anything, if she’s not playing with my daughters old furby which she loves coz it talks etc etc, I took off any bits that hung off, she can sit with her head between fence slats. What I have also noticed is 90% of dog walkers have their dogs off leash and there is sometimes one person shouting on their dog( a beagle) they all chase each other and their sticks/balls.


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I have never had a dog that I could not have off leash. But they were every breed but Husky. LOL

I don't even trust our dog parks (I stopped going to them 10 years ago because of past experiences with bad dog owners) But I even worry when they are at daycare. Luckily their daycare has a double fence and my pups are flagged so they are watched very carefully.

My neighbor's kids came by one day and opened my front door. Just stood there with the door open. Before I knew it, the pups were out the door and down the street having the time of their life.

 I started door training them. It's taken awhile but they are getting better. 

After that day, seeing how they had no recall when ADD sets in, I will always keep mine on a leash. 

 

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I’m pretty sure I got lucky when I got Luna. She has never been a dog trying to bolt at every opportunity. When we get deliveries she likes to be at the door to help rummage through the bags to see if we got her anything. When we get a takeaway she’s right there to get a biscuit from the driver. There is a dog trainer walks his Alsatians and they are so well behaved where we go and he told me Luna was the best behaved husky he’s ever met.... but that’s luck I think, has to be.


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It may be  partially luck. But I believe that dogs will follow and not run from a true leader. 

(Pack dogs in the wild never run away from the pack leader and non of them are leashes to the leader. LOL)

In other words, I know I have to keep working with my pups. Right now they run the house.

 

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I’m pretty sure I got lucky when I got Luna. She has never been a dog trying to bolt at every opportunity. When we get deliveries she likes to be at the door to help rummage through the bags to see if we got her anything. When we get a takeaway she’s right there to get a biscuit from the driver. There is a dog trainer walks his Alsatians and they are so well behaved where we go and he told me Luna was the best behaved husky he’s ever met.... but that’s luck I think, has to be.


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Just be careful because you might not be so lucky one day, Astro’s mum and dad were perfect off lead they always came back, until one day his dad didn’t and was shot by a farmer


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