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Who is off leash trained
Old 01-20-2013, 03:05 PM   #1
lucymyhavanese
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Question Who is off leash trained

Just wondering who trained your havanese and how you trained your havanese to be very obedient and come when called off-leash
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:31 PM   #2
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Just wondering who trained your havanese and how you trained your havanese to be very obedient and come when called off-leash
Kodi is, but it's a LOT of work, best started at a young age.

The MOST IMPORTANT thing, is that it's like potty training. You MUST set it up so that it's easy for the dog to do the right thing, and very hard for them to make a mistake. You must NEVER call your dog unless you are 95% sure that you can get him to respond immediately and with enthusiasm. Most people start with "Come, come C O M E ! ! ! " over and over, (while the young dog pays NO attention, or worse, purposely plays keep-away!) from a very young age. Dogs that have had this sort of start on the recall will be even harder to train.

And there are some breeds (notably sight hounds) as well as some individuals of other breeds that just can't be trusted to recall reliably in the open EVER. They are just wired to follow anything moving. They act completely instinctively, without even thinking.

I had three things in my favor with Kodi.

1. He is EXTREMELY people oriented, so his favorite thing is being with me anyway.

2. When he was learning to be off leash, he was accompanied by an older, well-trained dog that he adored. So we could call both dogs back together, and Kodi happily did what the older dog did. (and still got HUGE praise for it!!!)

3. Kodi and I have worked with EXCELLENT positive-based trainers from the time he was a small puppy. They (and reading TONS about positive training methods) helped me avoid many of the pitfalls that other people make. This hasn't been inexpensive, but has been extremely rewarding, both in terms of my dog's behavior and in terms of all the fun we have had working together.

Then it just takes a LONG time, and many, MANY positive repetitions to get (and KEEP) it reliable. Even now, when we are out in the woods, I ALWAYS have cookies in my pocket. Several times in the course of our walk, I will call him back to me, pat him and tell him he's wonderful, give him a cookie and release him. As a result, when I see someone coming toward us on the tracks with another dog, even if he heads toward the dog, I can call him back, and he will turn right around and come back to me. I don't have to worry about him getting in any trouble with a reactive dog.
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:56 PM   #3
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Mine started off with nice walks off leash. I can say there not trained like Kodi and I am probably stupid to let them do what we do . But they just have always followed me and has never been a problem getting them to come. I have however had a couple people get mad at me when they barked at them while off leash Bad mom! I do try to get their leashes on if I see someone coming or if a big dog is around. But for the most part are walks I don't run into anyone. I have a feeling that's why they aren't trained to walk on a loose leash.
These are old pictures I thought I would share of Maddie on one of our off leash walks she was about 16 to 18 weeks old.
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Maddie at 5mo old
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Old 01-20-2013, 04:44 PM   #4
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I am wiling to train Lucy however hard it is to have a reliable recall and although she almost 3 years old the saying "You can't teach an old dog new tricks" doesn't really apply to ANY dog. Especially since I want to get Lucy involved in agility after she goes through a 12 week recall and off leash training class at port Chester obedience club. Plus Lucy loves me but she also loves lots of dogs.
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Old 01-20-2013, 04:47 PM   #5
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That sounds like fun ! I
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Maddie at 5mo old
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Old 01-20-2013, 05:10 PM   #6
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Atticus is off to a good start and is off leash trained in certain situations. I agree with everything said by Karen. It basically takes a long time, ongoing practice and you are, in my opinion never done training/rewarding recall. Atticus will be two in March so he is still very young and is often free and on all types of leash. He has a very long flex leash for his sniff walks in places that I don't feel comfortable with him off leash. He also walks with out pulling on a 6 foot leash, and will follow a "with me" command on either side that is basically a heel. He will follow a "with me" command off leash too and stay close to me in certain areas like leaving my house to go to the car with out running off to play in the yard. He is allowed off leash on my or friends property where I know there will be no strange dogs, cars etc. When he is just with me in the woods he has an excellent recall. I have not worked with him(YET) much with distraction i.e. calling him away from other dogs who are playing. If I don't think he will come I use his "wait" command and go get him. I find the "wait" to be a good one, if he sees something ahead he is more likely to feel comfortable waiting than turning his back on it and coming. I still do not use "Come" which will eventually be my serious recall word. This is a sacred word, still saving it! I have done much of my early training on long lines and dragged leashes. If you keep in your mind that you always want your dog to succeed and never put then in a position to fail you will only call them when you know they will come,be close if need be, have treats,don't expect difficult recalls to happen if you haven't trained for them. They are choosing you over all kinds of wonderful things,freedom,smelly stuff,friends, it's not easy and must be rewarded! Good Luck!
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Old 01-20-2013, 05:11 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Suzi View Post
Mine started off with nice walks off leash. I can say there not trained like Kodi and I am probably stupid to let them do what we do . But they just have always followed me and has never been a problem getting them to come. I have however had a couple people get mad at me when they barked at them while off leash Bad mom! I do try to get their leashes on if I see someone coming or if a big dog is around. But for the most part are walks I don't run into anyone. I have a feeling that's why they aren't trained to walk on a loose leash.
These are old pictures I thought I would share of Maddie on one of our off leash walks she was about 16 to 18 weeks old.
You were lucky, Suzi, that like me, you got one that just naturally wanted to stay with you. Then she probably helped train Zoey to stay close. If I remember, you didn't have barking problems until Zoey entered the mix... she probably taught Maddie that!

As far as walking on a loose lead is concerned, it is entirely possible to teach different behaviors under different conditions. Kodi heels very properly in the ring, as I'm sure you've seen in our videos. He also will walk happily on leash, not in heel position, but without pulling if we are on a casual on-leash walk. He knows that in the agility ring, he is expected to work away from me, at speed, and on either side as requested, but still pay close attention to my direction. And then he knows the off leash, in the woods "rules" too. I'm sure, if he were a conformation ring dog, he could also learn to walk away from me, but on a loose lead, in that situation.

It's a matter of teaching each skill, and teaching them what the rules are under different circumstances. I know that most people who show in breed AND obedience use a different leash/collar set for one than they do for the other, just to help the dog differentiate in terms of what is expected. (a BIG difference is that when heeling in the obedience ring, the dog must sit in heel position every time the handler halts. As you know, you NEVER want a dog to sit in the conformation ring!!!)

To help Kodi know when heeling is required and when it doesn't matter and he can have more freedom, he wears a harness for casual walks and, of course (because the rules say they have to!) he wears a collar in the obedience ring. He runs naked in the agility ring. (some venues allow collars, others don't so I just don't use one period)

So, I guess my point is, if you WANT the sisters to learn to walk on a loose lead AND behave while running loose, you can certainly do that, but it does require training!
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Old 01-20-2013, 05:19 PM   #8
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I am wiling to train Lucy however hard it is to have a reliable recall and although she almost 3 years old the saying "You can't teach an old dog new tricks" doesn't really apply to ANY dog. Especially since I want to get Lucy involved in agility after she goes through a 12 week recall and off leash training class at port Chester obedience club. Plus Lucy loves me but she also loves lots of dogs.
Oh, I never said you couldn't teach her at this age... I said you'd have to work HARDER! (and 3 years old is actually a very YOUNG dog (this is something my trainers often remind me of if I get frustrated with progress in a certain area, as Kodi is 3 too!) in terms of training... It's just easier the earlier you start!)

And you are right to take your recall and off-leash training class before even trying agility. It is imperative that you be able to keep their attention off leash to get anything done in the agility ring!

Just don't be surprised if it take you significantly longer than 12 weeks to put a really reliable recall on her if it's a significant problem now. Most trainers will tell you that a really reliable recall takes AT LEAST a year to solidify with most dogs. There are exceptions, of course, in both directions. But to expect it to take less time than that is asking to be disappointed.

It's fantastic that you will will be taking a class with her... that is a GREAT first step!!!
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:49 PM   #9
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Oh, I never said you couldn't teach her at this age... I said you'd have to work HARDER! (and 3 years old is actually a very YOUNG dog (this is something my trainers often remind me of if I get frustrated with progress in a certain area, as Kodi is 3 too!) in terms of training... It's just easier the earlier you start!)

And you are right to take your recall and off-leash training class before even trying agility. It is imperative that you be able to keep their attention off leash to get anything done in the agility ring!

Just don't be surprised if it take you significantly longer than 12 weeks to put a really reliable recall on her if it's a significant problem now. Most trainers will tell you that a really reliable recall takes AT LEAST a year to solidify with most dogs. There are exceptions, of course, in both directions. But to expect it to take less time than that is asking to be disappointed.

It's fantastic that you will will be taking a class with her... that is a GREAT first step!!!
I am really grateful for your support and I hope maybe Lucy could be like your dog! You and your dog are an amazing team I am most definitely going to take more than 1 of those classes if not 4 or 5 because I really want little Lucy to be reliable recall proof
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:51 PM   #10
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Atticus is off to a good start and is off leash trained in certain situations. I agree with everything said by Karen. It basically takes a long time, ongoing practice and you are, in my opinion never done training/rewarding recall. Atticus will be two in March so he is still very young and is often free and on all types of leash. He has a very long flex leash for his sniff walks in places that I don't feel comfortable with him off leash. He also walks with out pulling on a 6 foot leash, and will follow a "with me" command on either side that is basically a heel. He will follow a "with me" command off leash too and stay close to me in certain areas like leaving my house to go to the car with out running off to play in the yard. He is allowed off leash on my or friends property where I know there will be no strange dogs, cars etc. When he is just with me in the woods he has an excellent recall. I have not worked with him(YET) much with distraction i.e. calling him away from other dogs who are playing. If I don't think he will come I use his "wait" command and go get him. I find the "wait" to be a good one, if he sees something ahead he is more likely to feel comfortable waiting than turning his back on it and coming. I still do not use "Come" which will eventually be my serious recall word. This is a sacred word, still saving it! I have done much of my early training on long lines and dragged leashes. If you keep in your mind that you always want your dog to succeed and never put then in a position to fail you will only call them when you know they will come,be close if need be, have treats,don't expect difficult recalls to happen if you haven't trained for them. They are choosing you over all kinds of wonderful things,freedom,smelly stuff,friends, it's not easy and must be rewarded! Good Luck!
that's really good that you have a good recall at that young of an age
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