Transitioning to farm life


Boxer Insane
We're buying a farm, closing next month. It's on a very rural road in a very small town (1500 people?).

Currently, we live on a busy road in an area with limited off leash areas (well, there are off leash areas, but Johann is not good with other dogs). Johann is very used to his life on a leash or in his fenced backyard.

We plan to put up a small dog run fenced area off the house, but there is nothing there right now. He'll be on a cable run/harness when we are not outside with him (for potty breaks, etc). But, I'm wondering how to teach him to stay with us, off leash, when we're outside. He has a good recall and is getting somewhat sedate in his middle age. The road is very, very quiet (we've yet to see another car on it) and we will have 30 acres of land.

Would it make sense to have him drag a long lead until he gets the idea? Or, are we looking at a lifetime of being on leash bc he's never had this kind of freedom before? Ideally, I'd love to have him just hang out with us when we're outside, play fetch in the big field, etc. All animals will be fenced/inaccessible to him.
Edited to add that he will obviously still be an inside dog and not outside off-leash/unattended


Reasonable Moderator
Staff member
It sounds like a similar situation of mine. I only have 5 acres though. I have a 50 x 50 meter fenced area, which my dogs can access with a dog door. They are always outside with me when I go out. They are pretty good most of the time. Allie is the explorer and I have to keep a close eye on her. She always comes when called. I put a long line on Dante when I first adopted him, but he never seemed to go too far.

Johann will probably learn to hang around. As long as his recall is fairly good, just call him when he wanders off too far. He should figure out how far he can wander without him being called back.


Boxer Booster
I couple years ago I moved to three acres where Sammie can run free where previously she was mostly only on leash except for dog park visits. Luckily the property is mostly tree-lined on all sides and she really took to the natural borders pretty quickly. I never leave her unattended and call her back if she starts to inch to close to the street (which is also very quiet.) She's pretty good most of the time although Sammie has never been one to care about other critters. I never have to worry about her taking off after a squirrel or anything like that. My biggest thing to watch is that she doesn't follow her Rottweiler buddy home. We frequently get visits from the dog across the street and her and Sammie play but I have to watch Sammie and remind her that although her friend gets away with crossing the street, she must stay in her yard. :)


Boxer Insane
Has he had any exposure to critters? Mine have all been hunters and loved to chase any small prey there was. Once they got their sights on something, their recall was gone. So for me a fence has always been a must. Not to mention it has also kept the coyotes out of the yard.

Congrats on the new home!


Boxer Insane
I live out in the country side and I think it's a must to have your back yard fenced off .. We fenced ours off and then planted trees around the boundary , so my back lawn , decking/ BBQ area & sheds are enclosed so he has ample space and it's safe .. Imo it's asking too much to expect a dog espically a boxer with high energy not to think of rabbits ect as sport .
Roge goes out in the fields to run supervised and loves it but I would never dream of letting him have the freedom of wondering about alone..


Boxer Insane
I'm sure that we will eventually fence is some part of the yard, but it's not doable right now due to $$. Johann used to be off leash at horse farms all the time, so he's pretty good with critters. He's good at sticking close by, and also getting pretty lazy.
He'll def. not be allowed outside alone unless he's tethered. He's a good dog, but still a boxer. :p

Thanks for the suggestions and ideas. :D


Boxer Insane
You also have to be mindful of neighbouring farms with their livestock, here the lambing season is coming to an end but cattle calve all summer so if a dog put chase on a pregnant animal it is possible to abort ...
Unfortunately it's legal here for a farmer to shoot a trespassing dog if it's causing trouble ..


Boxer Insane
I hadn't thought of that Roge. I'm pretty sure chasing livestock is grounds for shooting a dog in Maine as well. sadicon We'll have to scope out the (not so close) neighbors and see what they have for animals/dogs