Leashless!

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JackDawg

Boxer Buddy
I am more of a reader than a poster, but I wanted to share our good experience. We finally got the nerve to let Jack off leash (only in certain areas) on walks. He is doing really great! If gets more than 10 yards away, he comes running back. And to really tire him out, my wife & I will get about 200 yards apart and play "Go get momma/Go get daddy!" He's definitely a sprinter and not a long distance runner; he slows down considerably after the first couple... Just not sure what he'll do if he spots a cat!?!
 

oscarsmuumy

Boxer Buddy
My puppy, Oscar, is deaf and always stays within sight until he sees another dog, then its playtime and he's off. Buster had excellent recall, being able to hear helped, and never used a leash with him except to tie him outside a shop for a few minutes. He would wait at the kerb until told to cross and never chased other animals. Remarkable for a rescue dog.
 

kathysboxer

Boxer Insane
We have been working with Tyson for about the last month off leash. He does great!! Some people who see him are afraid of him. But after talking to them, they are ok. We always tell them we would never leave a dog off leash that may harm someone. Tyson loves it too.
 

JaspersFam

Boxer Booster
How does one even get started doing this?

i would wait till he is five to six months at least... with jasper if he was ever off the leash before the last month or so he wouldn't listen to us AT ALL... now he is fairly well trained, but like the other posts, if almost any moving thing distracts him he is off to the races.. although personally i don't think it is ever a good idea to have a dog off his leash unless it is a large open area and you are alone or close to it... unfortunately you just never know what they are going to do or what another dog is going to do. i can't even count how many times a supposedly TRAINED dog will come running up to us while the owner runs after them saying " oh they never do that"
 

ericamichele

Boxer Pal
How does one even get started doing this?

I have no idea if I'm right on this or not, as Willie is the first dog I've ever had the responsibility of training, but here's what we've been doing: We put him on a 20-foot leash and in a quiet place, we hold on the leash and practice "come" a few times. Once we have his attention, we just kind of...let him go. He doesn't bolt, which is MAJOR improvement, and he generally stays pretty close. When he goes too far, we call him back, and he comes most of the time. When he doesn't, the long leash lets us retrieve him, for lack of a better word, without chasing after him. If he didn't come back when asked, we hold on to the leash and keep him close, practice sit, stay, come, or other tricks he's good at to re-gain his interest, and keep trying. It's worked pretty well so far..Any further advice would be greatly appreciated!
 

larrygs

Super Boxer
I think you are on target. We have used a similar technique for our three boxers in the past and are currently training Layla this way. Let me add a few thoughts.

Two of ours ended up being quite good off leash. They would stay near or return on command, we could walk trails without concern, and they would know the boundaries of our property as if it was an invisible fence. On the other hand, Lucy would simply drift off at her own desire and never look back. (Real frustrating) As we know, boxers have their own personalities.

Even with the two who were good, we would never have them off leash unless it was safe. You never know what might happen.

Same as the 20 foot leash technique, we practice and play with them while on a long loose rope in large fenced in areas, eg football fields, from early on. If nothing else they learn to stay in the vicinity as we walk around. We use "wait" (don't go farther), "here" (get closer but not a recall), "let's go" commands as well as "come,"

It can be hard to do, but to get them to follow you, try running the opposite direction. Nothing like a chase to get their attention. BTW, this doesn't work all the time.

Regular obediance training is pretty much a must do if you are going to have a chance for off leash.

There is a concern to weakening the recall to "come", when they are off leash, so we avoid using it in situations we know they won't listen.

Currently trying to get Layla to help me do yard work while she is off leash, but with a 15 foot rope. I give her a ball and throw it occasionally, so she doesn't get too bored. Most of the time she is doing pretty good. When she does leave the yard, I get her and put her inside the house. It is clear she knows better, so I am hopeful she'll figure it out the ramifications of exploring. We'll see.

Good luck to anyone trying off leash. It is really nice if you can do it in safe areas.
 

Gatorblu

Boxer Insane
Thor can go without a leash. He'll stay close, and if he starts wandering too far away, all I have to say is "far enough". He'll either wait for me to catch up or head back. Arabella is a whole other story! A leaf can blow by and she's gone!
 

Jastra

Boxer Pal
I guess we are really lucky, our girl Layla is leashless everywhere except on walks.. she wont leave our front yard and even in unclosed parks she will stay close and will always look back to make sure we are there. She heels better off leash than on.. so i say "heel" and she walks beside me. The other day was the first time i realised she does listen to me.. she was off leash out the front and two maltese terriers came walking by, and I was like "layla, leave it, come"- and she stood there with her front paw up for a while and came back. We have had her off leash outside and in parks since she was a puppy.
 
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