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Discussion Starter #1
Does anybody ever let their dogs off-leash in an open dog play area? Just curious. I was on a hiking trail with Jed today, and I longed to take him off the leash so he could romp freely. But I knw from past experience that it was a bad idea.

Recently we were in a friend's backyard which is fully bordered by a thick hedge. Behind the hedge is a fence with one 10" gap, and Jed managed to find the gap, wiggle through, and make it through two other backyards until he found a golden lab sleeping soundly in a sunroom, who he was successfully able to disrupt.

We got him back, and he came back inside, where he celebrated his victory by eating half a chicken.
 

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I use to take the boys out to my uncle's ranch, and let them run free. They would chase rabbits until they could run no more. :lol: They could run for a mile in either direction with nothing to bother. I haven't done it in a while, because I have to chase them down with my truck to catch them. Also, I can't let them run out in the pasture during rattle snake season.

We should do it again, before it warms up too much for the snakes.

 

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I do sometimes. It depends on where I am.
I do take my gang for fun runs in my fields. No rattle snakes here in Norway.
 

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Chloe used to love to go to the off-leash dog park. (It tuckers her out too much now -- she is a ripe old 13.5 years old.)

She actually did better off-leash than on. She always kept her eye on us and wouldn't let us get too far away before she would trot up to catch up with us. She was a rescue and I think she always has had a fear of abandonment. I may be projecting -- but we WERE her third family.

Colleen
 

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I frequently run mine off-leash, in areas that I deem safe.

However, we do a LOT of reinforcement of the recall, and I'm always alert for possible hazards so that I can call them back to me before it becomes an issue.
 

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Mine are allowed to run free every day :rolleyes:





Neither of the boys are hunters though when we had Precious she needed to be watched.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I envy you off-leashers. We live in the city, and having only a small yard, take advantage of the neighborhood fenced-in dog parks, and also hiking trails where we keep Jed on his leash. He's been known to bolt, and has no respect for cars. He's also fallen in one swimming pool, and one hot tub. Once I let him out of my sight he seems to get into trouble. I'd like him to be able to run through field, but he seems lean and happy. Maybe one day...




I do all the time, I use my Bleus for hunting. They are trained to come in to the horn[/b]
 

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You don't say how old your dog is, but you should get him off the lead, just to train him to come to call. Basset's were bred for hunting, it's in thier blood
if you have not heard a big hound giving voice to a track, it's the best music there is. There must be some where you can get to, to let him run. Start slow and controlled, then give him more free run.
 

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Mine never run off-leash. One has a recall that's never failed--the other looks as if she needs to check her appointment book to see what else is on her schedule before she comes when I call her. I just don't trust them off leash, even in big open space areas--even the one with the great recall--I fear what she'd do if something either spooked her or fascinated her. I do let both of them run on long lines alot, tho (40 ft).
 

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Mine are off the leash in my front yard, my parent's front yard, and my in-laws front yard. They pretty much know their boundaries there's only been 1 time (the first time they were off the leash at my in-laws) that Gibbs took off on me after a squirrell. He was pretty new to us at the time, but he's learned. My parents also have a field behind their house that they've gone off leash in. My dad gets so nervous though and it makes it not enjoyable.

~Heather
 

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Cor, i want to find some groups here like the dog parks i have read about in the states. I want to let Basil play with the other dogs and hounds whilst geting good exercse and off lease training.

I have recently taken hil over to our nearby tennis courts which are fenced in and let him off in there when they are empty. There is only one hole in a gate so i keep my eye on there and we run around around. He seems to remain near me although will get distracted if someone walks past the outside. i shall keep doing this as ultimately i would love to let him off lease like other people have their dogs. When we were running some nights ago i accidentally let go of the lead and he seemed not to notice as he kept in the same direction but gawd, was i panicing and near dead when i caught up with him! For such lil legs they can still sure move!!

Nat
 

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We are fortunate where we live because we have plenty of fields, and I have a couple of walks I know where the gaps in fencing are, where gates a likley to be left open etc. Also I wait till I am past the last house on my route generally before I let them off the lead. Once off they have a good sniff, and enjoy the moment.

As for road walking that is different, if the nose takes over which is usually the case they would be into the road irrespective of traffic, got to keep them on the lead for that.

IMHO Bassets are different to many other breeds. they don't do fetch and generally don't play with toys, they are a nose on legs. We have had our Bassets just for a short while compared to many other posters. If you put yourself in the dogs paws, its natural instinct is to hunt by scenting to flush out. So even if you are not necessarily looking to hunt or chase rabbits, I think we owe it to the dog to find somewhere where you can take it for a good sniff where it is not being dragged around a walk. This stimulates it mentally and gives it an outlet for its natural tendencies.

Just trying to empathise with the dog and how I would feel if I could not run free occassionally
 

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Also if you are taking your hounds I find having a bum bag with plenty of sausage and chicken treats etc. helps enormously with recall. Especially once they get to associate that when they come back to you they get a tasty morsel
 

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When our basset was young, we never trusted her off leash and only allowed her to run free in large fenced in areas but as she got older and slower, we could let her off leash when we were trail walking. At first we only did it when my husband was along b/c she didn't listen to me but eventually I was able to trail walk with her off leash too. It's one gift I found with an aging basset. With the next one, I will use the meat treats tip for recall training!

For hunting field trials I plan to get one of those GPS collars!
 
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