Border Collie Owners - Off Leash Training?

Discussion in 'Obedience Training' started by MissyBC, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. MissyBC Experienced Member

    How did you teach your dog to be off leash? Did you start with them off leash right from the start or did you use long lines?

    Missy's a hair away from being off leash, it's just the car chasing I need to nip in the bud. All other times her eyes are on me 98 percent of the time (y), or she's sniffing the ground.

    My plan is to pretend she has never chased a car, but if she shows interest to tell her leave it (it's worked in the past as long as I kept her on her toes...)

    A good acquaintance of mine last year told me "don't even look at the road... and see what happens..." MAGIC!! so I'm going to try this again.

    She chased a car and barked at it yesterday at the park so that was a fail, but they say a new day equals a fresh start, right?

    Sunday on our walk, I took her to the park. There were no cars around, so I let her 15' lead drag a little bit... (I didn't let it get past me though so I could grab it if I needed to.)

    I'm sooo close, and you will ALL know when I let her off leash officially for the first time, of course! I'm not taking any chances!! She will NOT be going off leash until I know for sure that she will leave cars alone. So no worries!!
    Tâmara Vaz likes this.

  2. Evie Experienced Member

    Evie's been an off lead dog since day one. It's the one positive side of having a shy dog; they're that scared of being left behind that they wouldn't dare wander away from you lol!

    When Evie did start getting a little too confident and ignoring my recalls as she thought she knew better, I'd be mean and hide behind trees etc, so that she couldn't see me when she DID want to come back to me. I like to keep her on her toes so that she does keep checking in.

    Good luck with Missy, never had a car chaser so I'm not very helpful there sorry.
  3. Anneke Honored Member

    Both Jinx and Cooper have been off leash since the first day I got them. But only in a safe place. Usually that would be in the woods for us.
    I can let Jinx off leash in my town too, she doesn't chase things anymore, except for cats...But she did have issues with bicycles and cars, not huge, but still.
    Cooper can be off leash too(if there are no dogs around), but I have to keep an eye out for skateboarders and skeelers because he will chase those! I don't see enough of them to be able to train him out of it, unfortunately. But he isn't off leash in town anyway, because of his dog issues;)
    I have to add though that Jinx was 8 weeks old and Cooper was 10 weeks old, when they came to live with us.
    If I were to get a dog that was past the 4 month age, I would not be so confident to have them off leash.
    When you get a young pup they are still very focused on their "parent"(being me) so they don't run off to meet the big world on their own.
    Past the age of 12 weeks they are more confident to do things on their own, so their "parent" is not as interesting anymore.
    And I did use long lines when they were going through puppy adolescence.
    I also did recallers 1(susan Garrett) with Jinx wich was a big help.
    2SpoiledAussies likes this.
  4. MissyBC Experienced Member

    Missy was 4 months to the day when I got her. All she knew back then was sit and get down. She now knows 47 tricks. I am determined so maybe she'll be an exception? We'll see!! She's 2 years old (almost 2 and a 1/2) and she's been on a long line since she kept running off as a pup...

    Run Away Incidents are...

    1. She ran off, but didn't go far, because she didn't know her way around too much.. but she only got loose by mistake (my mom attached the leash to her tag ring... oops!!)

    2. Another time, my mom put the collar on wrong... another oops!!

    3. At 6 months of age or so, I was playing fetch with Jack, my neighbour's lab in our backyard - Missy was tied up but then my dad suggested for me to take her off her longline and "see what happens..." well she ran off after the ball, looked back at me with the ball in her mouth, and said with her eyes, "You can't catch me!! Ha ha!"

    4. One more incident was when my parents and I took her for a walk at night and someone had left the mudroom door open... well, she didn't go far then either... ran circuits around our backyard and my mom caught her on that one. (last summer?)
  5. threenorns Well-Known Member

    i don't let dandy off leash except at the park - he used to be off-leash all the time bec we lived in the middle of about nine gajillion acres of Crown land (heavy bush). of course, for amusement, he'd chase cars (everybody on the road knew the speed limit between gelert road and the peacock bridge was 15kph if they didn't want him coming after them, which was actually very useful because ppl seemed to think the dirt road was an unsanctioned NASCAR track).

    his big thing is still skidoos and ATVs and that's because a guy used to play with him by having him chase the machine and see how fast he could go (he could overtake at 30kph on a clean, dry trail). he's ***miles*** better now - now it's just a quick feint and barking. the one time he did bolt after it and i lost the leash, he broke off immediately on recall and i think that was bec he was expecting to be caught short by the leash and was surprised when it didn't happen, lol.

    when we moved to town, it was a seriously major transition for him. in the first 20min of his first walk, he met more ppl and dogs - i kid you not - than he'd met in his entire 2-1/2yrs up to that point. he's much better now, though - i can let him off leash at the park and he won't head for the highway (the only exit). after tonight, i think maybe i could even relax if he gets out of his leash bec he's so much more focussed on me now. before, i think he put me on the same level as the house or the zip line - just another annoying anchor.
    Anneke likes this.
  6. Maura Well-Known Member

    Instead of going off leash, go longer leash. Put a 30' leash on her. You can get a hunter's line, very light nylon and orange. Work her as you have, just letting her get farther away.

    On a shorter leash, like 10', take her to a busy city area with lots of cars. Sit on a bench and watch the cars go by. Make cars no big deal. On the heel, walk her through parking lots full of cars. Station the two of you at a place where cars go in and out, but slowly, like the entrance to a church parking lot just before and just after services.

    I started off teaching my bc to not go in the street or road. He can be alongside on the shoulder, but not in. Every time he would put a step in the street I'd say "roooad" and pull him back (harness). They are smart dogs and learn to stay out of the street.
    threenorns likes this.

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