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Discussion: Off leash!

in: 'Bent; 'Bent > 2024-01-13

Jan 16, 2024 4:43 AM # 
Carbons Offset:
Was this his first time truly off leash? The other times have been trailing the long line, haven’t they?
Jan 16, 2024 4:44 AM # 
Carbons Offset:
Ah, I just saw that you let him off the long line on Friday too.
Jan 16, 2024 5:47 AM # 
You pay good attention, CO!

Like a video game, there are several "levels", The long line is the first step. The next level for Stephen was to go off-leash in areas where there was less temptation, i.e. fewer deer and bunnies. On this hike, we passed through areas where there were deer nearby and we debated whether it was safe. He definitely behaved differently in those areas but he still responded when we called him.

The best moment for me was when an actual SQUIRREL!!!!! ran across the trail in front of us. He ran one meter off-trail but stopped when we called his name. He didn't come back right away but he didn't continue after the squirrel, so I'll call that a win.

At this level, dog treats are awarded occasionally when he comes back on command. 'Bent also sometimes uses a whistle and gives him an extra good treat. We're already doing less of this since he seems inclined to just hang out with AdventureDog.

The hardest levels need to wait until the snow melts. The snow slows him down and shows his tracks if he runs off. In spring, there are more interesting smells and it's easier to run away fast. We'll also have to test him without AdventureDog there to keep him in line. We're hoping that he'll develop good habits over the winter and continue on with them.
Jan 17, 2024 3:51 AM # 
Carbons Offset:
The squirrel is a BIG test! Good job, Stephen!

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