Post # 1
Fiance and I adopted a 3 month old female lab puppy a month ago (currently 4 months and not spayed yet). We would really love to be able to have her run around in the front yard unleashed, and we were able to do this until about a week ago.
She absolutely LOVES people and other animals. When she sees either, she immediately runs to them and she won’t listen. Most people don’t care and actually praise her when she gets to them because she’s really cute (but that doesn’t help me train her not to run to random people…argh!), but other dogs might not be so welcoming. We also live next to a very busy street, and we just can’t take the chance that she will get hit by a car because she’s not listening.
She is normally very willing to please, but when she gets excited, she can’t focus or listen. Any tips on getting her to pay attention to us? How did you train your dog to be off leash? Help!
Post # 3
In general, you need to train her. it fosters discipline and trust in you, and if you take her to a professional she will get lots of practice staying calm around other people and animals. Plus once she can “heel” you won’t have a problem!
until she has formal training, this should get you started:
Post # 4
Could you install an invisible fence, do those work with labs? Do you have a backyard with a fence?
Personally I would be extremely upset if I was walking past a neighbor’s yard and their dog ran over to greet me. She may be cute now, but one say will be a huge, muscular, scary dog and absolutely should not be allowed to run around without a leash or some kind of fence.
My parents had a lab which eventually ran away and was killed by a vehicle. Very sad. While he was there, people would not get out of their cars (including Fedex) if they saw him, as he was a big, scary dog. So things like mail and packages just got thrown into the grass.
Post # 5
I, too, would recommend invisible fence, or if you have trees, you could do aerial line, that’s what we use for my dog.
Post # 6
Im sorry but that is super dangerous. Even the most trained dog can get distracted and fail to listen and get hurt. Believe me, I have experienced it first hand. Luckily here it is illegal. As great as it is to have the agility to just let them run, there are far safer pkaces to let them do it. A backyard or, like we had to do in our apartments, a dog park. I know some people will disagree and thats fine. I just hate seeing dogs run around like that since my best friend lost his K9 dog to what the dog felt was a threat off duty in their front yard… and that is a HIGHLY trained dog.
Post # 7
@CountryRose: Thanks for the link!
Post # 8
@kerensa: We are just renting rooms, so an invisible fence isn’t an option here. Hopefully we’ll have our own place soon though. The front yard is where she has to go to the bathroom. She is never out there unattended, and we have been leashing her since she isn’t staying on the grass like she did before.
Post # 9
This is what we used for our dog that we adopted from a shelter who was not the best listener. What we did was keep him on a leash at first so he knew what it meant if he was beeped/shocked with the collar. Obviously the beep is just a warning and if that doesn’t work that’s what the shock is for. It might sound mean but it’s the same principle as the invisible fence, and you can use it for other training too. Jumping on people is a good one too. My parents got one after they saw it worked for us for their lab pup.
Post # 10
We have a german shephard. She’s the most trained dog I know! Darling Husband and I worked very hard training her from 3 months+ to sit, lay down, stay, stop, come here, go to your kennel, go to your bed, shake, high five. We did this through LOTS of treats and punishment as well (spray water bottle). While she can be off leash, we still leash her when we go out. She’s still under 2 years and so excitable. And she hates cats, specifically our neighbor’s cat. So even though she is VERY well trained, it would just take a moment for her to dart off and we don’t want to take that chance.
Post # 11
I would certainly not jump right away to shock collars or anything like that. Dogs are like children in that they need 100% clarity on what the rules are and 100% consistency in enforcing the rules.
It is a lot of work to train a puppy. if you call the dog and it does not come, then you have to get up, so over, getit, and bring it to where you told it to come to. if you tell it to sit and stay, and it gets up go over to it, and push it’s bum down and make it resume the position. you have to do this every single time. if you let it slide, the dog quicly realizes that you really in control, and starts to misbehave.
All that being said, remember that you are required by law to be 100% in control of your animal at all times, and failure to do so could result in the animal being destroyed, should anything go wrong.
Post # 12
We’re working to get our 5YO lab/pit mix to be able to be off leash. For the most part, she is able to be while we are outside. We didn’t start out leaving her off leash, though. Even now, we’ll have her off leash while Darling Husband is outside working, but if she wanders off, she goes on her rope or back inside. She will definitely need to be trained before you try having her off leash. You can ease up as you get more comfortable with each other and skills.
Post # 13
I would seriously think about letting a dog, especially one that will be fairly large off leash anywhere without a fence or where other people who may not like the dog will be walking. It is just asking for someone to get hurt, the dog, a person or another dog. I have a little dog who is always on his leash if we aren’t in a fenced yard. If someone else’s huge lab came running up off leash you can bet I would have words with the owner because it doesn’t take much for a usually lovely dog to get scared and lash out. And what happens when just being a happy puppy your dog knocks down someone’s child because it out weighs them? You can totally train dogs to be off leash but I would be extremely cautious about it. Also check out local laws. Around here dogs not inside your fenced yard have to be on a leash and technically if it is longer than 6′ you can get in trouble.
Also I wouldn’t want to risk a dog that is somewhat distracted off leash near any traffic. But that is just me. You could get a long leash so our puppy can run in the yard but still be confined to a certain radius so as not to be able to get to the sidewalk with other people or out in the road. If you cant put up a fence could you put up a temporary dog run with a couple of t posts and a wire between them. That way the dog could still have some freedom but not have the safety risks of being totally free.
Post # 14
I would reconsider having your dog off leash anywhere near traffic. Even once she is trained and you trust her to listen to you, it only takes a second for something horrible to happen.
While you are living where you are, you can have her on a long leash to work on training, so she learns to respond to your voice commands but cannot get onto the road or run up to passers by. Once she is grown and fully trained I would only let her off leash in a fenced in yard.
Post # 15
When my fiancé and I got our German Shephard she was about 3 months as well. She is now 2-1/2 years old and stays in her yard and doesn’t go past the sidewalk. What we did was as soon as we got her, we would put her on a leash and walk her around our property every day. It didn’t take long for her to learn. And we don’t even need an electric fence! Also the best way to train is with positive reinforcement like treats or toys. Our Shephard is very well behaved and will sit, stay, lay down etc with either voice or hand gestures. It takes a lot of work and consistency. Also I got some tips from Animal Planet’s Victoria Stilwell. Hope that helps 🙂
Post # 16
For your liability and her safety it’s best to keep her on a leash. JMO