At what age did he/she become reliable off leash? - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
View Poll Results: At what age did you have decent off leash manners?
6-12 months 16 30.77%
12-18 months 6 11.54%
18-24 months 5 9.62%
over 24 months 4 7.69%
not yet, but hoping every day.... 21 40.38%
Voters: 52. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-12-2015, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
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At what age did he/she become reliable off leash?

Wondering at what age you had successful off leash experiences with your pup.

Clarifying: A solid recall, good behavior around other people and other dogs, and leaving things on command (including wildlife)

Last edited by retrieverbear; 06-12-2015 at 11:26 PM.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-12-2015, 10:36 PM
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Well... it depends on what you call "successful".

Most puppies are quite reliable when young - they don't want to venture away (pre-programmed to stay near adults to decrease chances of getting eaten by wild animals). As they get a bit older, they start going a little further away to explore the world.

I learned this the hard way - so for my last 2 (and many, many more puppies who stay with me for training), we do as much off leash in safe areas as possible. Recalling off of wildlife from day 1, coming back to me for treats and play and permission to go back to playing. I've still been nervous enough that instructors have had to pry the leash out of my hands and/or unclip my dog because I was too nervous. Things have gone quite well in the woods. Off leash at a dog show environment? I find that much harder than wildlife/woods/fields!
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-12-2015, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
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Good point, should have clarified that a bit more.
Since no dog is 100% all of the time, I'm considering most of the time successful.
A solid recall, good behavior around other people and other dogs, and leaving things on command (including wildlife) is what I would consider successful off leash behavior.
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-13-2015, 01:19 AM
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Uh oh I voted before I read the "wildlife" part.
A duck that takes off or a bunny that hops off and says chase me is just simply too irresistible.

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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-16-2015, 07:01 AM
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The wildlife got me. I recently discovered on a walk to the river that Max can't resist bunnies.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-16-2015, 08:32 AM
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At 9 months Buddy has an OKish recall I can get him to come back to me and leave most things on command including wildlife.. but the thing that trips us up everytime is when he comes across other poop!!!!!! I have to go up to him and physically drag him away and even then we get into a "who is stronger than who" contest. If I don't drag him off far enough as soon as I let go he runs back. It is so disgusting.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-17-2015, 03:04 PM
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Reeva's recall has been very good right from a pup - except when there is a muddy puddle/water around, Quinn's recall is good but he does sometimes try and push his luck by occasionally turning slightly deaf, but he knows that when I shout the words "Get Here Now" that he had better return quickly. Wildlife I'm not 100% sure about because the bunnies and squirrels disappear very quickly



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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-17-2015, 07:03 PM
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Thor has been ok in the woods since about 8 months, but better after 1 year.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-29-2015, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SwimDog View Post
Most puppies are quite reliable when young - they don't want to venture away (pre-programmed to stay near adults to decrease chances of getting eaten by wild animals). As they get a bit older, they start going a little further away to explore the world.
I'm still in the blissful "cautious to venture too far" phase, and if it lasts forever I sure won't mind

My 11 week old pup (so far) has fantastic recall off leash. Time will tell whether it stays this good, but for now we're taking some active steps to keep it solid. We regularly practice recall and praise through the roof when he comes to us. We train recall treat-free (purely praise-based) so I don't have to have a "high-value" treat handy for him to respond. In my experience, emergency situations where recall is paramount tend to come on the days you left your treats at home. I've seen dogs whose treat reliance hinders obedience when the treats aren't present and I do not want that. We also play lots of hide and seek, which he loves, and lots of chase outside. If he heads somewhere we don't want him to, we often start running the other way and making a spectacle of ourselves. He tries to catch us and ta-dah, pup is right where we wanted him without even realizing it. He just doesn't wanna miss the party!

I know as time goes on he will face more temptations that challenge his recall, but so far we are blessed to have an incredibly people-oriented dog. He has very little interest in other dogs, wildlife, etc. I still worry when he's off-lead, but we're trying to do what we can to capitalize on his current success with recall to the point that he doesn't even consider disobedience as an option.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-29-2015, 06:34 PM
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This is my second comment on this thread. My earlier one said the at 8/9 months Buddy had a pretty good recall in most situations. He is now nearly 1 year and over the past 2 weeks his recall seems to have vanished! I am tearing my hair out and we are now going straight back to basics. He has just gotten so sure of himself, he just does what HE wants and comes back to me only if he thinks I have a morsel of steak for him!!!!! . So annoying!!
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