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Since it is getting darker sooner here, I find that the times that I walk Chloe are getting crowded. EVERYONE seems to be out walking their dogs. I used to be able to give her at least 1/2 her walk off leash (60-90 minute walk), but now I find that there are times when there is too much dog traffic and I can't let her off at all. My concern is for other less-friendly dogs who are on leash that she would run up to and want to play, or just jump all over other owners....these are behaviors we are working to eliminate but 'rome wasn't built in a day'!

I'm not sure if I'm transferring my own guilt at not being able to let her off, but she seems sad when we get home and she hasn't had a chance to really run around in the park.

Last night I brought her retractable leash and used that for a few minutes, but she didn't really take advantage of it and just walked at my side as if she had her usual leash on.

So how important is off-leash time every day?

thanks
L.
 

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I guess if you can't expect your dog to remain by you when she sees another dog or person, then you probably shouldn't have her off leash. It's not fair to expect leashed dogs to be kind to an unleashed dog who may run up to them and try to play. IMO that's not considered "polite" in dog language, and the leashed dog may try to correct your dog.

I think offleash time is really important. Can you find an abandoned field or something, or take your dog to the park on off hours when you know no one will be there? I find cold, rainy days are the best days to go, since no one ever goes but me. :p:
 

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yes I agree with the "manner" issue, and I would hate for something to happen to Chloe because of it. My husband just keeps telling me to relax and let her play, but I'm sorry...I don't want her to learn to be a menace.

We do have an abandoned farm field near us, but there was a cougar (the cat kind ;)) sighting there..so I'm a little nervous about taking her out there especially at dusk.

I guess I"m going to have to figure something out for her sake...she loves to be off leash so much

L.



I guess if you can't expect your dog to remain by you when she sees another dog or person, then you probably shouldn't have her off leash. It's not fair to expect leashed dogs to be kind to an unleashed dog who may run up to them and try to play. IMO that's not considered "polite" in dog language, and the leashed dog may try to correct your dog.

I think offleash time is really important. Can you find an abandoned field or something, or take your dog to the park on off hours when you know no one will be there? I find cold, rainy days are the best days to go, since no one ever goes but me. :p:
 

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Honestly, she can adjust to less offleash time for the fall and winter. Just pick it back up in the spring.

I do believe that offleash time is extremely important. I leash walk my dogs 4-5 days a week, but I also try to give them some offleash time at least once a week, or if we are lucky and up at the lake, the entire time we are up there.
 

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yes I agree with the "manner" issue, and I would hate for something to happen to Chloe because of it. My husband just keeps telling me to relax and let her play, but I'm sorry...I don't want her to learn to be a menace.

We do have an abandoned farm field near us, but there was a cougar (the cat kind ;)) sighting there..so I'm a little nervous about taking her out there especially at dusk.

I guess I"m going to have to figure something out for her sake...she loves to be off leash so much

L.
Ooh, that would be creepy, seeing a cougar. Try checking out your county's forest service website and see if they list all the preserves in your area. I have found some fabulous places to walk with Flora through my county's FP website.
 

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This thread brought another question to my mind. How do you keep your dog exercised during the winter? I live in South Dakota and when it gets cold and snowy it will be very hard to take Layla on walks. Suggestions?
 

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This thread brought another question to my mind. How do you keep your dog exercised during the winter? I live in South Dakota and when it gets cold and snowy it will be very hard to take Layla on walks. Suggestions?
I don't know how cold it gets where you are, but my dogs have never had a day in their lives when we didn't take them out (x twice). In the winter, I just wrap up warm, put on my extra waterproof jacket, waterproof trousers and good wellies (boots) and head off out with them. They have thick coats and don't seem to feel the cold/wet.

Last year we had some good snow & the dogs thought it was Christmas!! lol!!!

I feel it's so important to let our dogs run off leash if possible. Especially with puppies, it's a good time to teach recall with all the distractions around them. I agree it's not good for them to run up to leashed dogs, but if you take some really nice treats in your pocket, practice recall periodically, giving treats, and then try to spot the other people before your pup does:).
 

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This thread brought another question to my mind. How do you keep your dog exercised during the winter? I live in South Dakota and when it gets cold and snowy it will be very hard to take Layla on walks. Suggestions?
take up skijoring! Your dog will love to go no matter what the weather; all you need is some warm clothes and off ya go :)
 

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I think free running time is very important, esp. for a high energy dog like Pud.

However, she's a reactive, excitable soul who will run after large charismatic wildlife (moose, muskoxen, reindeer), so I won't let her off leash all the times or just anywhere. However, I invented the 100-foot running and frisbee-playing leash, and it allows her at least 90% of the freedom as if she were off-leash. When running on such a long leash, I recommend clipping it into a shoulder harness rather than a collar and maybe even inserting a stretch of bungee - that way, should the leash snag, there'll be no yank on her neck.

We go hiking for hours like this, and the Pud runs, plays, digs, fetches frisbee and chases squirrels. Only thing she can't do is run off after a moose.

Also, we mountainbike-jor (whoohee; lately with 2 dogs, Pud and Smoke: hang on to yer hair net!!) and skijor all winter.
 

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I do think free running is important, but obviously her safety is more important.
If she can run freely 3-4 times a week that is ideal.
Do some scouting around your neighborhood. Within 15 minutes driving time I know of about 8 different 5+ acre fields around my house. In less than half an hour I can drive there, throw the ball/bumper for 15 minutes, and drive back. If your dog is an avid retriever you can get a lot of exercise in those 15 minutes of free time.
Best of luck!
 

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My 30 foot lead gives Joy the freedom of being off-leash, but I know I can jump on the end of that line any time she's headed for trouble! She doesn't even seem to notice it. In fact, she loves to see me get the "big leash" out because she knows it's fetchin' time! I love to watch her do enormous zoomies around me! The local dog park is populated with a lot of unfriendly dogs - i've even wondered if people go there just to show off their "manly man" dogs. Yuck. Therefore, we only go there when it's empty. A few weeks ago my best friend met a lady with a boxer who had 22 stitches - courtesy of a run-in with a bull terrier at the dog park. Don't get me wrong - I KNOW it's the owner, not the breed. I just don't want to take chances. Too many bad occurrences there. So, we go to a regular open field with the long lead, and off she runs!
 
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