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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When do you let your puppy off the lead for the first time? Bailey is twleve weeks old and very good at recall in the garden or around the home, but in a field would he just keep running????

How did you all go 'off lead'' for the first time?
 

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I would really recommend you use a long line - 10 metres is ideal. The dog training lines are best but you can use a washing line temporarily. You can just hold the end and let it drag on the ground. Bailey can run around as if he is not leashed at all and you can call him back when he gets maybe 10 or 20 feet away from you to test his recall. That way you can see if he comes back reliably. Most puppies are so bonded that they will not stray far and will come back readily if you have been training recall. Once you can see that he seems ok, you can let go of the end and let the line drag entirely. That makes it easy to catch him if he does get naughty - you only have to get within 30 feet of him and grab the line!
I was able to let Dylan completely off lead within a week using this method.
 

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I did nt use any thing, like Helen says they want to be with you . Being with you is reassuring. At our puppy classes they said the sooner the better... go for it x
 

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We're quite lucky as we have long walks from our door, not near any roads. Our vet recommended not using a lead at all to get Noodle used to walking near us as they'll be nervous to begin with and it then trains them to be wary of where you are. The first few times out she was terrified and literally ran around our ankles, tripping us up and stuck to us like glue. She's now getting a bit more confident, but will still only go a couple of metres away from us and is always watching to see where we were. As she gets to know the routes and gets more confident I'm sure she'll venture further.

The line sounds like a very good option though and I think I'll invest in one of those for when she gets a but more confident...
 

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Our puppy training class said the same as Wilfiboy's post. The trainer said that whilst they are young we are their whole world so to let them off the lead in a safe place and they will follow! My daughter and I were very apprehensive but when we did Beau just followed us or would run ahead a bit and then wait for us. Good luck :)
 

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Rosie is 5 months and still hates to be out of my sight. I guess the problem is that if you let them off and they see a squirrel or a bird or something, the clinginess might evaporate immediately!

I took Rosie off up a country lane the first time and let her off when we were far enough aweay from the main road to feel comfortable. Then I called her back a few times when I didn't really need to and gave her ltos of treats and fuss, just to remind her that if I called her, she would get treats. I always drop down onto one knee when I call her and her natural curiosity and constant desire to lick my face is usually enough to get her running back!
 

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Same as already posted but I also whistle trained Flo (with a 210 spaniel whistle) so I knew I could get her to come back to a whistle without shouting at the top of my voice if she did go out of sight.
 

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I too am aprehensive about letting Lolly off the lead for the first time but have been given a few tips.

Start on lead and have some favourite treats to do some clicker training so puppy knows you have these favourite treats and will want to come back for them.

Keep putting the lead on and then taking it off so that the puppy doesn't associate being called back to owner with lead on and hometime (which they might decide they'd rather not come back to you and end a fun time out)

We've been working on recall in the garden too but am still nervous about that first time!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What worries me is that on the lead Bailey will always try and run to greet anyone we walk past (on either side of the road). He absolutely loves people and getting a fuss made. However, if he sees someone on the other side of the park, I'm pretty sure he'd run for them. This would be a nightmare for me and if they do not like dogs, could be an even bigger problem. I think I will have to keep him on a long rope at first to see if he reacts how I think he will.
 

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Id just do loads of work with a really powerful treat/reward ..with recall. Again though if you go for it while they are younger then they wont be confident enough to go off, so practise while they are little. You'll be surprised ... if you're not going then he probably wont and if you're in a safe environment i.e not near a road then if he goes running to a person, then you know to up your practise or change your reward. He wont totally run away and Im sure most folk are fine with being greeted by a beautiful pup... no where near me are you I'll come for a walk x
 

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Puppy trainer also suggested having a small squeaky toy with you as most puppies have these at home but when he/she does come back because of the squeaking don't give them the toy or you will have lost both puppy and toy ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Id just do loads of work with a really powerful treat/reward ..with recall. Again though if you go for it while they are younger then they wont be confident enough to go off, so practise while they are little. You'll be surprised ... if you're not going then he probably wont and if you're in a safe environment i.e not near a road then if he goes running to a person, then you know to up your practise or change your reward. He wont totally run away and Im sure most folk are fine with being greeted by a beautiful pup... no where near me are you I'll come for a walk x

No, we're in Kent I'm afraid. Thanks for the offer though !!
 

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Everybody has given such good advice, and it does take a lot of nerve to let your dog of the lead for the first time even worse if its your first dog.

Poppy is the first dog that I didn't really teach the recall.
As we are lucky up here have some loverly beach's, between her jabs we took her for a bit of fresh air to a beach that you have to make the effort to get to so though it would be safe to let her have a wander. Found that she thought it was great fun to run to and fro between us, so we just moved further apart and when she came to us gave loads of praise and treats, then just built on that.
 
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