Lots of land; walks consist of leash or go free?

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treybearor

Boxer Pal
Hey guys! I have just purchased a fawn Boxer that is 2.5 weeks old as of right now. I will be taking the pup home on January 8th, 2013 and as a new owner I have a few (so many) questions that I've been researching.
I own about 200 acres of land that consists of fields and woods and one concern I have is whether or not I should keep the pup on the leash when we go for walks or if I should unleash it and walk the trails on my land. I don't want to create a wondering monster because I know it is their instinct to explore and that's totally okay!! But, I am concerned that it may not come back when it needs to. I want the pup to be happy as possible, but I also want him to respond and return to me when needed. Any suggestions?????
 

CoraBoxer

Super Boxer
Will you ever leave your property with the dog? Go into town, to family/friends, camping, vet etc? If so i'd recommend leash training. Once the dog is older and leash trained I don't think it would really matter. A very young puppy won't run very fast, but thats relative to an older dog. Pray drive isn't as developed/much of a problem either. My pups would follow me around and rarely walk off in a different direction. I think leash is also a good idea for introducing the dog to all the different things it may encounter on the trails. Maybe do a bit of both? Structure the 'run free' time. Use a bell (cow) around the collar or lights? Remember to also be visible to the dog. They can run off looking for you. I think its so awesome you have all this land. Living in the city, it can be tricky finding somewhere to let the dog run free without stepping into a dog park.
 
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srennie

Super Boxer
Definitely leash train the pup. That way s/he will be used to it and the pup can travel with you to the petstore or park, etc. where there are leash requirements. Having a leash trained dog doesn't mean they can never be off leash. You will want to make sure you have a really good recall on the dog though. I'm not sure what types of wildlife you have where you live but being able to call the dog off of a skunk, etc. will be very important!
 

TyTysmom

Super Boxer
I would definitely start by leash training and command training. Once the pup can prove he/she has EARNED the right to be off-leash by obeying commands (primarily come) on a consistant basis then I would start letting him/her off leash.

Good luck!
 

treybearor

Boxer Pal
Thank you both for your tips and suggestions! I'm sure I'll be searching through forums for every little question I have as a new boxer owner!
 

treybearor

Boxer Pal
Upstate (Northern) New York, near Potsdam. A lot of wilderness for a dog and fun places to go, except we do get some cold winters after January.
 

larrygs

Super Boxer
I may differ a little from the advice so far.

You certainly need to leash train for many reasons. So do that. It is now neccessary to have dogs on leash just about everywhere you go.

However I would put priority on training off leash. Boxers tend to stay nearby rather than be roamers. Of course that doesn't mean they won't chase something or ignore your commands unless they have been trained otherwise.

IMO if they are always on leash, they do not easily develop self control, correct decision making, solid recall. It is so great to be able to walk a trail, visit someone, go camping, sit at an outdoor cafe, whatever, with your boxer chosing to be well behaved. You will not need to worry about them darting out of open doors, jumping 6 foot fences, jumping on people, etc.

We had the opportunity of living in Michigan and upstate NY with fields and trails to walk and train off leash for a couple of our pups. By far they were our best trained and most trusted on or off leash.

Training them to behave off leash is relatively easy when starting young and really nice later on. It is a valuable opportunity you will miss if you wait too long.

I would put priority on the off leash, but would certainly do both.
 

johann

Boxer Insane
I agree with larryg. Also, I'd work on teaching heel while the pup is off leash...then having them on a leash in public is not going to be a struggle because you aren't using it to direct them.

You can always have the puppy drag a very thin, light rope (clothesline like) so that you can get him back quickly.
 
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