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How to get her to behave off-leash

Discussion in 'Dog Training' started by KelAndRoxy, Dec 27, 2003.

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  1. KelAndRoxy

    KelAndRoxy Boxer Booster

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    In addition to my little Boxer girl I also own a horse that I keep at a stable that is very lenient about allowing owner's dogs to come out and play too. I would love so much to bring Roxy out to the stable with me but she has to be well-behaved enough to stay off the leash and still stay by my side and listen to me. Right now with all the people and distractions and everything she would just run around acting crazy-and probably get hurt as there are horses with big hooves around. She's almost 8 mos old so I know I'm probably asking a lot of her at this stage but how do I get her to the point where she's well-behaved around other dogs, people, horses? She graduated Basic Obedience and did very well. She knows all her basic commands; we are still working on getting her recall command a little stronger. I want to have a well-behaved dog that I can take anywhere with me and know that on-leash or off-leash she'll be right near me. I love having a dog and since we live in an apartment I love taking her places where she can run around but I don't want to be afraid that she's gonna run off. Does anyone have any advice on how I can go about achieving this? I know it's going to be a process and something gradual but I just need to know where to begin. Also, if anyone has any advice on how to make her horse-savvy that would be much appreciated too. Thanks!
     
  2. Tulsa-Dan

    Tulsa-Dan Your Friendly Moderator

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    Of course, continue working the recall so that she is as reliable as any dog can be.

    Then take the dog with you, ON LEASH, when you go to the stables. Show the dog what behavior is expected of her each time she goes (staying close to you, not wandering off, etc.) and guide her thru the experience, one small step at a time. If you are consistent, then you can begin to take small steps and work with her off leash, after several MONTHS of showing her exactly what is expected of her in the stables. Then you can test by taking her off leash to the stables and see if she stays by your side. Then just work it that far. Then when she is reliable off leash just going to the stable door, you can begin taking her inside, off leash and giving her the commands you want her to obey, one at a time and test her, again in small steps. Don't overwhelm the dog by just throwing her to the wolves as it were to test her out. Take it slowly and consistently and the dog will learn and understand that this is always the way she is to behave when going to and at the stables.

    Good luck.
     
  3. KelAndRoxy

    KelAndRoxy Boxer Booster

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    Thanks, Dan! I keep looking at all the other well-behaved dogs that go to the stable and thinking "I want Roxy to do that" but really had no idea how to go about it. On retrospect I probably should have started taking her earlier when she used to stick to me like glue so that by now she'd be used to all the sights and sounds but hindsight is always 20/20 :rolleyes: This definitely gives me a good idea of where to start and what to do. Now I have to do puppy training as well as horse training at the stable-sometimes I think I should just live there! Much appreciate the help!
     
  4. Barron's mom

    Barron's mom Completely Boxer Crazy

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    Roxy will get there!

    Barron did well with the 'come' command until one day at the dog park several years ago when Barron failed to 'come' back to me when called. I did not return to the park until I worked extensively with Barron and could trust him to 'come' when called.

    I called his trainer back, who recommended that I place Barron on a 50-foot clothesline rope and eventually shorten the length of the rope as he progressed. For instance, once you master the 'come' command with the 50-foot line, shorten the line to 25-feet, 10-feet, etc.
     
  5. KelAndRoxy

    KelAndRoxy Boxer Booster

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    Barron's Mom,
    Just out of curiosity, why would you decrease the length of the line? It seems to me that if the dog comes at 50 ft he'll come from a shorter distance also. I'm not trying to be flippant or question your instructor's expertise but I was taught just about the exact opposite and am interested to know what the theory behind your technique is. I know if I had started Roxy out at 50 ft she would have never learned. I was taught that you start out at about 5-10 ft in enclosed familiar surroundings with no distractions (i.e. my living room). As the dog progresses and understands what is expected you gradually increase the distance, start working on it in unfamiliar surroundings, add distractions, and onward and upward. Right now I'm working with Roxy on recall with distractions as she seems to have mastered everything else. I know there's lots of different techniques out there and I'm just curious about yours. Could you explain it? Thanks! :)
     
  6. Barron's mom

    Barron's mom Completely Boxer Crazy

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    I can't speak on the theory of coming when called off leash because I am not a dog trainer. I can only speak on what my trainer taught me, and what worked for me. The one common theme is getting your dog to come when called from all distances. You are welcome to try whatever technique(s) you feel works for you, as it appears as though you had some knowledge of these techniques before you asked for suggestions on this post.
     
  7. tanya22

    tanya22 Super Boxer

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    I was curious why you would go from a lot of rope to a short rope. Vise vera seems to make more sence.

    I think you need to make trips to the stables when you are planning to just work with the dog. It is too dangerous and frustrating to add a horse to the mix until your puppy is clear on the rules.

    You are lucky your stables allows dogs. My boyfriend does not allow them at his place. It is just not safe. Ava (11 mnth boxer) lives with the horses and still needs constant reminding where she belongs.
    Like you I long for the day she will be reliable and safe while I am riding.
    Patience and work does slowly pay off.
     
  8. Krikkit

    Krikkit Boxer Insane

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    I don't think that you would start with a 50' recall, but rather, with 50' of line. As the dog becomes more and more proficient at 'off lead' type training, the length of the line is cut to make it shorter, until the dog has just a couple of inches of the line attached to his or her collar. Starting out with a very long length of line is basically for safety - you have plenty to hold on to if necessary :)

    Sharon
     
  9. Barron's mom

    Barron's mom Completely Boxer Crazy

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    Thank you, Sharon. I couldn't have said it any better!:) This technique definitely worked for Barron, and that is the reason I feel comfortable recommending it to others.
     
  10. KelAndRoxy

    KelAndRoxy Boxer Booster

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    duh! that makes more sense, sharon. i totally misunderstood that. sorry, barron's mom, now that i get it, it sounds like a great idea :D

    Tanya 22, I 100% agree with you about not working the dog and the horse together. Since I got Dan's advice I sort of made up a plan. I'm going to take Roxy out there and work with her for 20-30 min, then, while I work with my horse, Roxy can spend some time in Taz's stall where she'll be safe and secure. Since Taz is also in training (she's only 2), sessions with her are also fairly short so Roxy won't need to be in there very long and she can have a chewy or something to keep her occupied. That way I'm not making a billion trips to the barn each day and everyone's getting their time in. I definitely am not going to introduce Roxy to the horse until she's 100% reliable especially since Taz is so young too; she's also unpredictable. I'm just going to make sure I take as much time as Roxy needs to become as reliable as any dog could be so I'm not putting her, myself, or the horse in a potentially dangerous situation. I'm sure someday the hard work will pay off even if it's a year down the road! :D
     
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