Off leash walking?

Road dog

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#1
Who here walks their dogs off leash. I take mine out for a long romp nightly, weather permitting. In urban areas this is more difficult, but out in the rural area where I live nobody minds as long as the dogs are well behaved. I usually meet other folks doing the same thing.

IMO I think that off leash walks (if they can be done safely) are great exercise and stimulation for the dogs.
 

Brattina88

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#2
Me! :)

I very much agree !!

I have been criticized in the past for doing this, but I honestly believe that the dogs are listening to me more closely, and I pay much more attention to the surroundings when they are off leash. I would never let a dog off leash who isn't 100% reliable with come - which mine are. I know when its not appropriate, and I *only* unsnap the leash when I'm certain the environment is safe...

I go hiking / camping with the dogs (actually its hard for me to see why people hike w/o dogs lol), and I think its an incredible bonding experience, and not to mention lots of fun ;)
 

SiNNiK

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#4
i put a leash on Chance while we're in the neighborhood and parks because of the leash law, but when we get into the undeveloped areas about a block from the house and the school area a little further on i let him off the leash and we'll bike/jog most of the time while we're out.

100% recall, over the past 11 years, he's heeled while encountering dogs, cats, ducks, and deer without hesitation. yesterday morning we were out at the school and saw the deer that live out there, i let him off leash and told him to go get 'em (no way he'll even get close to those deer, they just melt into the woods and then they're gone), he ran after them for about 30 feet then decided to come back and check on me. i've come to learn that his prey drive is pretty low compared to some high energy GSD's, but they really do drive him bonkers.
 

ToscasMom

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#5
I confess. I've done it. My home hovers at the edge of a city but there is plenty of country setting beyond. There is a wooded area and there are some fields I have gone to with Tosca and it's fairly remote. I hardly see much wildlife there, but I unleash her and we kind of walk and play. She usually ambles around and goes bonkers over the birds, but doesn't really go far from me. She barks her butt off though, sniffs this and that. I don't do it now that there is snow, but she really enjoys it, especially this last fall. Overall, she's very obedient. She has work to do on some things (or I do) but recall isn't one of them. She's perfect with recall so I don't worry much. She's really happy after we do this. The rest of the time it's just walking with me and hanging out on my land, which isn't small, but I think she gets bored with the same trees, the same squirrels, the same spots. Or maybe I do. lol.
 

Dreeza

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#7
Oakley is almost always off leash. He is a pain in the butt on leash, and just doesnt get enough exercise (we'd have to walk him for like 5 hrs straight...) off leash he can run back and forth all he wants, and gets 5x more exercise than on leash. The reason i feel safe doing it is cause he is 100% trained to not go in the road. He has stopped mid-chase (he LIVES to chase bunnies) if the bunny crosses the street. If he accidently steps into the road (each time we have to cross, he has to sit and wait for my ok) he will imediately jump back and sit next to me.
 

dogstarsleddogs

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#8
Well, the puppies can run off leash, but the others cant. (They will be long gone) I'm pretty remote, and they all stay withen about 100 yards of me. If I go off the property with them, they're on the leash. (Well, not actually the property...if I'm farther then about 1/4 mile from the house)
 
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#9
Oakley is almost always off leash. He is a pain in the butt on leash, and just doesnt get enough exercise (we'd have to walk him for like 5 hrs straight...) off leash he can run back and forth all he wants, and gets 5x more exercise than on leash. The reason i feel safe doing it is cause he is 100% trained to not go in the road. He has stopped mid-chase (he LIVES to chase bunnies) if the bunny crosses the street. If he accidently steps into the road (each time we have to cross, he has to sit and wait for my ok) he will imediately jump back and sit next to me.
Impressive! How on earth did you train him to stay off the roads? My parents' dog is hopeless when it comes to roads, so I have to keep her on leash at all times, unfortunately. Unless we're at the park; but her recall is iffy, so there can't be any people/dogs/anything around for that to work out. :rolleyes:
 

BostonBanker

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#10
Meg is almost never on leash. Every week I have to go searching for one when we go to agility.

(actually its hard for me to see why people hike w/o dogs lol)
I've wondered the same thing! Whenever I encounter people without dogs on the hiking trail, I just think, "Huh?".
 
B

Bobsk8

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#11
There is a leash law where I live, and it is rather a pain when someone has their dog off leash and it starts running up to you, sometimes with the owner a block away. I hate it to be quite frank. There is one flea infested Cocker Spaniel whose owner has an excuse every time I see her, of why the dog is not leashed ( she can't find the leash, the dog ate it, the cat hid it, blah. blah) I can just see the fleas hopping around on this dog, and thought of it running up to Smokey is :yikes: I finally told her that I was going to take a picture of her with my camera phone and give it to Animal control if I saw her again.. That seems to have ended the problem , for awhile anyway.....
 

Muttlies3

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#12
I used to take my dog, Kiara, walking off leash all the time.

Now I am strictly against it. Kiara got spooked from our yard while off leash and went missing for 5 days. We are so lucky we found her after searching endlessly. We spent around $400 on supplies putting up signs and many sleepless nights crying.

Sure, it can be fun but it is a lot safe on leash. For hikes/walks where you are not around dogs or other people, invest in a strong retractable leash.
 

Doberluv

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#13
99% of my walks with the dogs are off leash. It's a pain to walk 3 or 4 dogs on leashes. LOL. Once in a while I go down to the corner store with just Lyric (my Dobe) and I snap on the leash when we get nearer to the store and the road. On my little road, I let Lyric go off leash because it's a dirt road full of pot holes with hardly any cars and if they do come, they're going about 10 mph. If I see or hear a car coming, I tell him, "heel" and he comes busting to me and around to my side and heels. He's very solid on his recall.

But mostly we all hop in the car and drive for about 2 miles to a hiking area in the wilderness where I rarely see any human or dog. Now, with all the snow, some trails are groomed and some aren't and are too hard to walk on so we sometimes go on this little dirt road that goes around the lake....no cars to speak of at all.

They all run but never too far ahead and have a good "check in" policy. LOL. If they go off the road into the woods, I let them a little bit, but will tell them, "trail" and that means they're to return to the main trail or road in this case. They never go out of my sight.

Toker, my son's dog is another story. She started out well, but has run off too far and out of ear shot on a few hikes and made me very nervous so she needs work before I'll take her again out in the woods off leash besides here on my property and the surrounding land where she never runs off. Weird.

The dogs all love to hike and Lyric couldn't possibly get enough exercise on a leash. I'd have walk clear to Miami. So, yes, mostly off leash.

No dog is 100% reliable on the recall IMO. There is always a chance that one time, something will out-do you.

Lyric has a very good recall and has come when in mid chase of deer, dogs, squirrels. He hates to be too far from me, keeps stopping and waiting to see if I'm coming along. And the Chi's are too chicken to go too far from my ankles.

However, I still feel that there is always the possibility and I just won't risk it near somewhere dangerous, like down by the highway which is not really like a regular highway. It's a straight-a-way and a car here and a car there going 35-45 mph.

I've been slacking off a little lately and taking really short walks...the holiday, guests, the single digit cold. B-r-r-r-r....gotta get back into the regime.
 

oriondw

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#14
If your dog is 100% reliable when off-leash, go for it. Some dogs around here behave bullet proof.

If your dog is not 100% reliable, dont complain when your dog gets mauled or hit by a car.

Simple as that.
 

Brattina88

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#15
I've wondered the same thing! Whenever I encounter people without dogs on the hiking trail, I just think, "Huh?".
exactly! where's the fun in that? LOL

( she can't find the leash, the dog ate it, the cat hid it, blah. blah)
That cat hid it ? :lol-sign: Now that's a good one. It's actually an excuse I haven't heard before! LOL :eek:
I'm sorry that has happened to you. The owner has no right to let her dog off leash like that. Irresponsible owners like that are the reason there are leash laws, and its frustrating to say the least for me because I feel its not very fair. My dogs would never do something like that (nor would I LET them) and let the leash law still applies... (though, I admit, I will unleash them anyway in appropriate areas even if theirs a county law or whatnot...)

I used to take my dog, Kiara, walking off leash all the time.

Now I am strictly against it. Kiara got spooked from our yard while off leash and went missing for 5 days. We are so lucky we found her after searching endlessly. We spent around $400 on supplies putting up signs and many sleepless nights crying.

Sure, it can be fun but it is a lot safe on leash. For hikes/walks where you are not around dogs or other people, invest in a strong retractable leash.
There are always risks when walking. Something can still happen to you dog if they're on a long line or a retractable leash ! While you are not comfortable letting your dog off leash (for a good reason :)) its not fair to judge that all dogs need to be [retractable] leashed at all times. Kiara got spooked and ran off, and thats unfortunate... Missy got spooked one time and she ran so fast ,and jumped into a heel position I nearly tumbled over! lol!


My dogs are off leash a lot. I'll even let Maddie off leash in town, because she heels regardless of other people walking or what not, but I'm not stupid. She's leashed if there's a lot of people, or other dogs, or traffic... She's usually off just to walk with me to the car.
Now, I would do the same thing with Missy, but her breed simply scares people. I don't want there to ever be even a remote chance of her scaring somebody by stepping toward them or something... I'll let her go straight to the car, though, too...

And just for the record (lol) I do own a couple sturdy retractable leashes... I got another one with a flashlight and a radio built into it for Christmas (LOL)
And they're on it when they need to be. Which isn't always ;)
 

DryCreek

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#16
Gotta be the devils advocate here....

No pet, dog, cat, rabbit etc. should be allowed to run free. They should either be contained on a yard or on a leash.

It is the law in many places and should be considered common sense and responsible. It's all fine and dandy that your pets do well walking off leash, but there is always the chance that a situation will arise that is detrimental to you or your pet, or possibly someone else pet.

All it takes is a second and next thing you know, your pet, or someone else's, is involved in a possibly dangerous situation.

It's also the polite thing to do in regards to other people. I know that I do not want to have to deal with someone else's pet not being under leash control, no matter how well behaved they are.

All owners are responsible for their animals, and the only way to have a guaranteed 100% control, is on a leash.
 

Brattina88

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#18
does it make sense for me to agree, and then continue to do what I'm doing? lol

Maybe its because I don't trust other people, and other people's dogs

DryCreek, I agree about the containment. I've seen things happen to dogs that are on a leash or in a fence, though. There are dangers everywhere, really...
but in a sense my dogs are contained, to a diameter, by my voice...
I totally understand why some disagree ;) But I invite you to come meet Missy. She may change you mind (lol)

Bob - I agree with that article as well. Which is why my dogs are always on a leash where there's traffic (or other similar dangers) ;)
 

Muttlies3

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#19
All I've got to add, wether or not anyone agrees with me, is that I hope and wish none of you have to go thru the pain we went thru.

From now on, I take every percaution possible that I can. Kiara has the best recall of any dog I know. She is glued to me. However, it happened to us. I never would have expected her to run off. Simba, Nala, or the new puppy.. yep, I'd never doubt that they'd take off after something. But not Kiara.

When Kiara and I went hiking in Utah, most of our time was spent off leash. She would run ahead of me, and then come running back full speed as soon as she felt she was too far.


We spent many countless nights at the dog beach, off leash, and we were completely fine.


I'm also not sure what you all think about pet psychics, however I had one read Kiara recently.

I never told her that I allowed Kiara off leash. She told me that Kiara told her while she likes being off leash and it's fun and exciting, she prefers being on lead. She said she feels more connected to me and safer.

From now on, Kiara and I run together while she is on lead. It is safer, eases most of my worries, and a lot healthier for me to run along. ;)

I may, on ocassion, let her off lead if I feel it is "safe." But who knows If I'll ever trust her again.
 

Doberluv

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#20


See those hills across the way? That's the same environment as where I'm standing taking the picture. Down below is a golf course and near that is where the little corner store and a few other little places are. My dogs would think I was nuts to keep them on a leash here where we're hiking. LOL.

Same place:


You can hear if a car comes along from a mile away. I've only seen one car come by this winter so far. It's an old logging road that hardly anyone in their right mind drives on in the winter...hardly in the summer either and if they do, they're creeping. Same area as the other pics.
 

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