Big-dog-little-handler: Off the lead with his friends.

Saturday we had a lovely walk, on the lead, with two other dogs and their owners. Duke loved it. We had a great time. He was really good on the lead he managed to stay calm (most of the time). It was nice to see him being so good. But our ultimate goal is to have him off the lead.

Duke just loves to be off the lead, running at full speed, chasing his ball and being a generally crazy dog.

But getting him off the lead has been a long process; sometimes he does well and sometimes he miss-behaves. He is off the lead for a short time then on again. He has chased cyclists, not listened to us and gotten a little over excited. His recall and emergency stop are perfect in training class but unpredictable when out and about. He’s much better when there are fewer distractions and no Bikes. Bikes are bad.

We have been practicing as much as we can taking him to secluded places and fenced off areas. Yesterday we let duke off the lead on the beach, with a few dogs from our dog training group. I was pretty nervous; in fact I didn’t realy want to let him off as when we let him off with the same group in December he had been a bit of a pest and a bit of a nightmare.

Karl ran back to the car and got duke’s ball in hope it would keep his attention. And we let him off!

Every time Duke got a bit excited we called him back; we need to clear up his recall attempt. We tend to use too many different commands rather than just “Come”. So we need to clean that up a little so that he understands what is expected of him. Other than that Duke was fab! We had runners, other dog walkers and yet no bad behaviour!

He enjoyed running around with his friends, chasing his ball and running into he sea. I just loved watching him enjoying himself. I’m so proud. We had no mishaps even when another strange dog decided to jump all over us and all over Duke to try and get his ball. He stayed really calm and just wanted to play with his ball.

I call this a successful attempt and we will be doing it again for sure and practicing that recall!

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