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This is sort of a weird question, and I hope it makes sense on paper....I was wondering if each "sucessful" off leash experience (ie - dog does not succumb to distractions, has reliable recall, proper off leash manner), builds a increased likelihood that he will also succeed in future off leash moments.

With this in mind, when Chloe ignores the cat crossing the road right in front of her and recalls from chasing other dogs, I do give proper praise and reward.

I guess my fear is that I'm being lulled into a false sense of security. I enjoy giving her more and more freedom as she matures(she just turned one), but I guess I'm also a bit nervous, and I want to protect her from harm.

Hope this made sense.
any thoughts appreciated.

L.
 

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I've told my stories of Rusty before. We could play for hours, off leash, in an open field and then out of no where he would turn, look at me and say "Buh-by sucker!"

I've not trusted any dog off-leash since unless in the fenced back yard.

When I went to get Milo, he was off-leash with his previous owner in the front yard, and never left the front yard or his sight once.

I haven't tried it, nor will I. Maybe I'm a worry-wart.
 

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I've told my stories of Rusty before. We could play for hours, off leash, in an open field and then out of no where he would turn, look at me and say "Buh-by sucker!"

I've not trusted any dog off-leash since unless in the fenced back yard.

When I went to get Milo, he was off-leash with his previous owner in the front yard, and never left the front yard or his sight once.

I haven't tried it, nor will I. Maybe I'm a worry-wart.

I'm a worry wart too. Not that it matters... it's virtually impossible to find anywhere that will allow dogs off leash here. Either way, my dogs are never off leash unless they are in a fenced yard or dog park area.

My dog I had growing up was always off leash. We'd walk him down to this park a block away from the house, he'd carry his floppy frisbee the whole way, stop at corners to wait before crossing the street, play fetch at the park (unfenced) forever, then we'd go home. But there were those times.. maybe 1 in every 30 or so walks, that he'd do this weird stare at me, and take off. We'd invariably chase him around the neighborhood and have to give up after a while, and then some nice neighbor would bring him home. (they ALL knew Josh by name in my neighborhood lol.. people would say "hi Josh!" when we walked by, and we had no idea who they were!)
 

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It depends on the dog. I have honestly had dogs that most certainly became reliable off leash, and others who just had a strong streak of the wild within.

Keep building on the positive experiences and you may just be able to trust Chloe :) But be prepared to call her back and keep alert to possible distractions.
 

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The good whole off leash experience can't easily make other off leash experiences likely to be successful. But any behavior you reinforce (...and use your strongest reinforcers!) is more likely to occur again. The more repetitions, the better. Because she recalled off of THIS cat doesn't mean she will from a different cat or a squirrel or a deer. And if she -does- even get one chance to chase anything...she is much more likely to chase it again (....chasing animals ranks higher than sausage any day for my dogs!).

Unless you're in a well contained area, definitely keep her on a longline or leash. She's still not yet an adult and still could benefit from thousands of repetitions on recalls and response to name, etc. All it takes is one mistake for a dog to get lost or hurt.
 

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I love my 50 foot long line because I don't trust that she won't find something much more intriguing than my rewards! How do fetch and cheese stack up against chasing a groundhog????? Groundhog wins every time, if I'd let her. I don't think she's missing out on anything - she gets true off-leash time at the dog park - and I don't have my heart in my throat when we're outside playing.
 

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IMO, it depends on the level of the distraction and how rewarding you CONSISTENTLY make coming back to you.
 
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