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When did or where do you trust your golden off leash? If you ever did. Jarvis is 3 years old (with the energy of a puppy) and goes hiking and to parks a lot. I have let him off leash at off leash beaches when we went with dog friends. He is always friendly and the two times he got away from us hiking it was chasing squirrels he came back right after the chase. He has never had a problem with other dogs trying to bite him since neutered but likes to sniff other dogs faces (which some don't like) he backs off if he gets a growl. He has a good recall but still gets excited when he sees a dog. Not sure if he would stay by our side if another more interesting thing walked by. I have seen other off leash dogs avoid temptation on hikes but not sure if Jarvis would. Not a huge fan of dog parks (He has enough off leash time with friends in our own backyard) more thinking on hiking and walks.
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Puddles
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I do all my training off leash but as far as being out and about never trust these situations until I am 100% positive about the recall. This means the dog never leaves my side without knowing he will come back no matter where we are.
My older girl had tunnel vision when it came to critters... squirrels or cats. I never did trust this one off leash. But I have seen so many fatal accidents that could have been prevented, I always use caution. You have no control of what MIGHT happen with other dogs, undertow in the surf or cars but you do have control of what you do with YOUR dog.
 

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Toby is 3 months.old and only.doing off leash walks when theres no others dogs. He.leaves the birds alone but do go to great any person he sees. Training is starting in a months time and off leash walking will be a focus point. So nice to walk that way!
 

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Outside of a training situation and location, when he reliably sat to the whistle in all situations, about 3 months old as I recall.
Obedience training is very important, if for nothing other than the safety of your dog. Sitting on command, despite distractions, is the foundation for most obedience training.
 

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Kate
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I get my dogs used to being off leash - right from the start while they still have that instinctive desire to stay close. By the time they are 8-12 months old with their world opening up, they have been on ten million hikes off leash with their pack and have learned from the older dogs to come back to my side if they they see any people or dogs.

They also are trained to keep track of me and keep coming back to check on me if they've gone too far ahead and can't see me.

In addition to that, I'm also working with my dogs and training them to ignore other dogs + we do not do any visits or play stuff with random dogs while working or going out for a walk.

With younger dogs (younger than 3), they may still have some excitement over seeing other dogs and wanting to go visit - but this is where obedience training comes in + me being aware of what's around us and ahead.

The dogs will alert me if there's something out in the fields or woods with us (it's their heads going up and tails flagging) - and when I see that, I call them back to my side and put the leashes on. <= this trains the behavior you want vs your dog running off on you.

There have been enough dogs getting loose and going stray in parks - primarily because the dogs go running off through terrain that the owners cannot get through themselves. That's a bigger danger than meeting dogs and people and something to avoid by conditioning and training dogs to stay close.
 

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Luke could be off leash at our neighborhood pond, at the beach, and even in our front yard when we played fetch. That was once he was an adult -- about three years old -- the beach earlier because he stayed by my side at the beach walking or waded into the water unless I told him he could play. He loved playing with other dogs at the beach. Abby, my Cavalier King Charles, is four and stays on leash unless we are in the fenced back yard. If she sees something, she will chase it.









 

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It fascinates me that dogs are able to recognize other dogs - even though they might be a totally different breed, size, color, etc. They seem to distinguish them as different from any other animal.
 
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