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My Off Leash Greyhound


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I just wanted to show my boy Hester's off leash behaviour. After he has had his run at the beach he will not leave my side. Start, stop, left, right, he will stay in lock step never more than about 12 inches off my left hip. Absolutely no training involved, this is just the way he is. My guess is that he is simply terrified of being left alone so he moves with the "pack". His behaviour is much the same in other situations such as trails, parks,etc. but he will stop to sniff and mark occasionally.

 

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Frankly, I would say you have simply not yet found a situation where Hester's desire to chase exceeds his desire to stay where he is. If he is new in your home - and by new, I'm meaning less than 6-8 months - he is still settling in and learning the ropes of being a pet. Many new greyhounds, even up to a year in a home, are clingy and never leave their owner's side. It's where they feel comfortable and secure. As he settles in, he will undoubtedly become more adventuresome. Please don't become a listing in the amber alert thread because you think your greyhound is special.

 

If you want to continue in this vein, begin basic obedience and especially recall training now. There are some other GTers who routinely have their greyhounds off-leash. Most will tell you it's an extremely risky proposition.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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It's a lovely picture. As my son would say, "Wow, looks like a regular dog." Sometimes I wish Greyhounds, my Annie Bella in particular, were regular good ole' gals and guys who just jumped in the truck, ran through the woods or on the beach free, and could be let out the back door into a non-fenced yard. But then they wouldn't be Greyhounds, IMO. I know some pups are as yours is: seemingly trustworthy and so relaxed that nothing will grab their interest. I'm sitting here shaking my head, though, and hoping that your Hester always is as close and relaxed as he is now and never takes off. How long has he been in your family?

Edited by Feisty49
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Absolutely no training involved, this is just the way he is. My guess is that he is simply terrified of being left alone so he moves with the "pack".

What a wonderful pic. It is quite likely you've surmised it correctly & he wants to be close to a family member. But that's all the more reason to work on training a very solid recall. At some point something is going to change his priorities in a nanosecond & you could loose him. I don't mean that he would be running away from you but that he would run toward something else & could end up injured or accidentally lost.

 

If you are not already, please do a lot of recall training. You've got a head start with his natural behavior. Now work hard on solidifying things with a trained behavior to use when he finally decides to cut the (work) apron strings. Until you have a solid recall I would be exceedingly cautious about where you allow him off leash.

 

I'm very jealous, btw. It's much too hot here & I want to step into that picture!!

 

ETA: You comment on "no training involved" is what makes me think you haven't done recall training. Sorry if I've misinterpretted. But still go work on recalls even if you've already done it. :lol

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Guest Cris_M

Beautiful photo.

 

I'm hoping your Hester is like my Duncan was.

 

Duncan loved to stay by my side, but he also knew what I meant by "away". That meant he could go off and run. He always kept an eye on me. I guess he was afraid I would be the one to go "away". He'd even stop in the middle of chasing a squirrel to come back if I called him. He "ran the track" in big ovals around me.

 

Duncan's behavior was NOT normal -- not for any dog and certainly not for a greyhound. It was incredibly endearing and created a special bond. (I've had a special bond with each of my greys so being able to run free isn't a requirement for an amazing relationship.)

 

One thing that was important (to me) was to never get too comfortable with Duncan's behavior. We had a safe 12 acre place for him to run. It was safe, but without excellent recall, I could have been out there for hours waiting for him to come back to me. He was allowed loose on some trails that I knew well. We vacationed at a beach that was very sparsely populated -- maybe 12 houses far, far down a curvy, narrow road. We didn't put a leash on him when he was there.

 

However, he was on a leash in our neighborhood, at community events, wherever there was any chance of him getting into traffic, etc, etc.

 

I rejoiced in Duncan's ability to have some freedom, but I didn't take it for granted. Everytime we were out, we practiced recall. I'd call him to me and send him "away" again. Not that he always went away. Often, he would walk touching my thigh the whole time.

 

I hope you have many years of the same type of relationship you have now with Hester. But, please, never take it for granted, always be aware of his safety, and train, train, train.

 

Again, it is a beautiful photo. I know Hester is loved and that he is happy.

 

Cris and Mack, who is wonderful......on a leash

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I can't find a link to this article, so I figured I'd just post it here. This thread wil get locked because there is much debate on here about whether or not greys should be let off leash. I just hope a few more folks would take this heart.

Trust: A Deadly Disease.

 

by Sharon Mathers

There is a deadly disease stalking your dog. A hideous, stealthy thing just waiting its chance to steal your beloved friend. It is not a new disease, or one for which there inoculations. The disease is called trust.

You knew before you ever took your Greyhound home that it could not be trusted. The people who provided you with this precious animal warned you, drummed it into your head. A newly rescued racer may steal off counters, destroy something expensive, chase cats, and must never be allowed off his lead!

When the big day finally arrived, heeding the sage advice, you escorted your dog to his new home, properly collared and tagged, the lead held tightly in your hand. At home the house was "doggie proofed." Everything of value was stored in the spare bedroom, garbage stowed on top of the refrigerator, cats separated, and a gate placed across the door to the living room. All windows and doors had been properly secured and signs placed in strategic points reminding all to "CLOSE THE DOOR".

Soon it becomes second nature to make sure the door closes a second after it was opened and that it really latched. "DON'T LET THE DOG OUT" is your second most verbalized expression. (The first is NO!) You worry and fuss constantly, terrified that your darling will get out and a disaster will surely follow. Your friends comment about who you love most, your family or the dog. You know that to relax your vigil for a moment might lose him to you forever.

And so the weeks and months pass, with your Greyhound becoming more civilized every day, and the seeds of trust are planted. It seems that each new day brings less mischief, less breakage. Almost before you know it your racer has turned into an elegant, dignified friend.

Now that he is a more reliable, sedate companion, you take him more places. No longer does he chew the steering wheel when left in the car. And darned if that cake wasn't still on the counter this morning. And, oh yes, wasn't that the cat he was sleeping with so cozily on your pillow last night? At this point you are beginning to become infected, the disease is spreading

its roots deep into your mind.

And then one of your friends suggests obedience. You shake your head and remind her that your dog might run away if allowed off the lead, but you are reassured when she promises the events are held in a fenced area. And, wonder of wonders, he did not run away, but came every time you called him!

All winter long you go to weekly obedience classes. After a time you even let him run loose from the car to the house when you get home. Why not, he always runs straight to the door, dancing a frenzy of joy and waits to be let in. Remember, he comes every time he is called. You know he is the exception that proves the rule. (And sometimes, late at night, you even let him slip out the front door to go potty and then right back in.) At this point the disease has taken hold, waiting only for the right time and place to rear its ugly head.

Years pass-it is hard to remember why you ever worried so much when he was new. He would never think of running out the door left open while you bring in the packages from the car. It would be beneath his dignity to jump out the window of the car while you run into the convenience store. And when you take him for those wonderful long walks at dawn, it only takes one whistle to send him racing back to you in a burst of speed when the walk comes too close to the highway. (He still gets into the garbage, but nobody is perfect.)

This is the time the disease has waited for so patiently. Sometimes it only has to wait a year or two, but often it takes much longer.

He spies the neighbor dog across the street, and suddenly forgets everything he ever knew about not slipping outdoors, jumping out windows, or coming when called due to traffic. Perhaps it was only a paper fluttering in the breeze, or even just the sheer joy of running-

Stopped in an instant. Stilled forever-your heart is broken at the sight of his still beautiful body. The disease is trust. The final outcome, hit by a car.

Every morning my dog Shah bounced around off his lead exploring. Every morning for seven years he came back when he was called. He was perfectly obedient, perfectly trustworthy. He died fourteen hours after being hit by a car. Please do not risk your friend and your heart. Save the trust for things that do not matter.

I would like to offer two additional accounts about the dangers of an unfenced area.

This first account is really a basic tragic accident, due to an improperly fitting collar. The owners actually had the dog on a lead, but unfortunately were using only a flat buckle collar on the dog. The dog became frightened at something, and just backed out of her collar. She took off away from them at top speed. Before they could manage to even get close to catching up to her, she had run out onto a road, and was instantly killed by a car. This is one of the reasons we advise using a halter while walking your Greyhound in an unfenced area.

The second account involves too much trust and a lack of common sense. The owners lived somewhat out in the country. Their home was surrounded by woods and they were well off any major roadway. They had their new Greyhound about three weeks, when I got the phone call that I hate the most, "Our Greyhound is lost!" I knew these owners did not have a fenced yard, but they had sworn they would keep the dog on a lead when taken outdoors. Upon further questioning, I discovered that they quit using the lead after about the first week. The weather had gotten cold, and so early in the mornings they would simply turn her out the back door, wait for her to "do her business," then call her back in. "she ALWAYS came when she was called," the woman lamented to me. They felt it was safe enough to allow her off the lead for just short bits of time, as they didn't live near a high traffic road, and she had never ventured into the woods before. Unfortunately, the little Greyhound DID bound off into the woods this particular morning. Perhaps she heard a squirrel rustling in some nearby leaves, or smelled a rabbit, but whatever the reason, she had taken off into the woods, and they could not find her. Our hopes of finding her safe and sound faded a little more with each passing day, and no sign of the pretty little female Greyhound.

After several weeks, our worst fears were confirmed. We got a call from a very nice man, who had been walking through the woods with his son when they discovered the still, cold body of a small, dead Greyhound. He got our number off her collar ID tag. She was found many, many miles from her home.

Why did she run off this time when she had been so reliable before? Why didn't she come racing back as she always had when her family called for her? Who knows? What we do know is that ultimately dogs will be dogs. No matter how much or how long you train and teach your dog, there may come a point where their instincts will win over learned behavior. Please don't be fooled into a false sense of security with your Greyhound. Take the time, make that little extra effort, to ensure your Greyhound will be safe. Remember, they are depending on you.

Courtesy of Canine Concepts and Community Animal Control magazine.

Compliments of: New Hampshire Doberman Rescue League, Inc.

April 1987 New England Obedience News

Jen 
Forever in my heart: my girl Raspberry & my boys Quiet Man, Murphy, Ducky & Wylie
www.greyhoundadventures.org & www.greyhoundamberalert.org & www.duckypaws.com

 

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Are you in the UK (the spelling is my first clue)? I'm not 100% sure but I suspect the majority on GT will not let their greys off leash. However, it "appears" that greys are off leash more in the UK or other parts of Europe.

 

The point I'm trying to make is that this can be a contentious topic here on GT and I just wanted to give you some warning. On the other hand, it's good to read the posts, experiences and the amber alert section.Some of the stories can be heartbreaking.

 

Recall training is always a good idea.

Jan with precious pups Emmy (Stormin J Flag) and Simon (Nitro Si). Missing my angels: Bailey Buffetbobleclair 11/11/98-17/12/09; Ben Task Rapid Wave 5/5/02-2/11/15; Brooke Glo's Destroyer 7/09/06-21/06/16 and Katie Crazykatiebug 12/11/06 -21/08/21. My blog about grief The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not get over the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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Many people here in Canada let their greyhounds off leash, after training recall...they just don't post about it and don't want to get slamed cause in the US it's a big no no, to let your dog off leash. Some dogs are great for being off leash, looks like you have one of them. Just make sure to obey the laws about off leash in your area.

Greyhound Collars : www.collartown.ca

 

Maggie (the human servant), with Miss Bella, racing name "A Star Blackieto"

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I just wanted to show my boy Hester's off leash behaviour. After he has had his run at the beach he will not leave my side. Start, stop, left, right, he will stay in lock step never more than about 12 inches off my left hip. Absolutely no training involved, this is just the way he is. My guess is that he is simply terrified of being left alone so he moves with the "pack". His behaviour is much the same in other situations such as trails, parks,etc. but he will stop to sniff and mark occasionally.

 

008copyl.jpg

 

that is a great photo! My Bootsy is the same way. He would rather die than be away from us longer than necessary. Even in the backyard, he is glued to us. My Argos was more of a freedom lover and runner, but he ran for fun, not to chase, and he checked in with me frequently.

 

All dogs are different, even greyhounds. Glad you found one that works with your lifestyle. He's gorgeous by the way.

 

I will add that recall training never hurts, even if you think you don't need it. You never know when you will. :)

Edited by BootsyCollins
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Christie and Bootsy (Turt McGurt and Gil too)
Loving and missing Argos & Likky, forever and ever.
~Old age means realizing you will never own all the dogs you wanted to. ~

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I have friends who let their hounds off leash but they recall trained them and they do beautifully. I would never suggest to a new greyhound owner to let their hound off leash though. Heck, some of mine I wouldn't trust off leash for a second and they've been with me for years.

Judy, mom to Darth Vader, Bandita, And Angel

Forever in our hearts, DeeYoGee, Dani, Emmy, Andy, Heart, Saint, Valentino, Arrow, Gee, Bebe, Jilly Bean, Bullitt, Pistol, Junior, Sammie, Joey, Gizmo, Do Bee

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Thanks everyone for the tips and warnings but do not fear, Hester has never failed in his recall, and I never use his name unless I want him to come to me. What has not been trained is heel. It is just what he prefers. I am aware of the risks and know the article the Disease of Trust off by heart. A lot of the security comes from the safety of the areas. He is never off leash if there is any chance of encounters with cars. I am not naive, if he saw a rabbit I assume he would chase.

 

I see the real risk as a physical injury resulting from a chase into some nasty bushes, etc. I guess the only real question is whether he should be protected from this risk at the expense of a richer life experience. In my situation this is the real debate and I welcome your input. (Although it has not escaped me that there seem to be plenty of injuries occuring in peoples own yards.)

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I guess the only real question is whether he should be protected from this risk at the expense of a richer life experience. In my situation this is the real debate and I welcome your input. (Although it has not escaped me that there seem to be plenty of injuries occuring in peoples own yards.)

 

I hear you on that. I ride sportbikes, going up to 200km/h into a corner while leaned right over...I take calculated risks. Same as with the way I raise my dog. When a Gt'er on here lost her greyhound puppy, I knew from that moment that life was too short to be tied to a leash 24/7. We had already been recall training in fenced areas, but have really stepped it up before letting her off leash at a dog trail up north. Fyi, Bella once stepped a few feet into the forest and got pricked by a branch, she hasn't go in since :)

 

Disclaimer for others: This is my dog, my choice.

Greyhound Collars : www.collartown.ca

 

Maggie (the human servant), with Miss Bella, racing name "A Star Blackieto"

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My first girl was fine offleash unless she saw something and took off. She then became hearing impaired. You need to be very, very careful where you go offleash. Good luck.

Mary in Houston

Everyone has a photographic memory, but not everyone has film.

LAND OF THE FREE BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE

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Hester is handsome!

 

The only time Eli has been "off leash" was when I was clipping his toenails and accidentally dropped the leash when I stood up. He didn't realize and kept staring at me for a treat. I can't let him off otherwise - nor would I want to - because our area is teeming with squirrels, bunnies, and kitties - he'd be gone in a heartbeat.

Mom of bridge babies Regis and Dusty.

Wrote a book about shelter dogs!

I sell things on Etsy!

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Many people here in Canada let their greyhounds off leash, after training recall...they just don't post about it and don't want to get slamed cause in the US it's a big no no, to let your dog off leash. Some dogs are great for being off leash, looks like you have one of them. Just make sure to obey the laws about off leash in your area.

 

You're going to get in trouble with your adoption group :P

 

eta: I forgot to mention that I love the photo you and Hester.

Edited by greytpups

Jan with precious pups Emmy (Stormin J Flag) and Simon (Nitro Si). Missing my angels: Bailey Buffetbobleclair 11/11/98-17/12/09; Ben Task Rapid Wave 5/5/02-2/11/15; Brooke Glo's Destroyer 7/09/06-21/06/16 and Katie Crazykatiebug 12/11/06 -21/08/21. My blog about grief The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not get over the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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Guest maidmarcia

Many people here in Canada let their greyhounds off leash, after training recall...they just don't post about it and don't want to get slamed cause in the US it's a big no no, to let your dog off leash. Some dogs are great for being off leash, looks like you have one of them. Just make sure to obey the laws about off leash in your area.

 

Yeah, I let my grey go off leash when we're hiking on trails. Remote and far away from cars, there's no real danger posed to him that couldn't occur at the dog park or in a fenced in back yard. In fact, the way he zooms around my parents backyard scares me more than his behaviour on the hiking trail.

 

I feel that people shouldn't be going around telling other owners what to do or not do based solely on experiences they have had. Not every dog is the same. Yes, recall training is important, but not just to greyhounds. My grey is more trustworthy off leash than my husky EVER was in the 10 years I had her.

 

That being said, I would never walk my grey off leash in the city. That would be sheer stupidity.

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I guess the only real question is whether he should be protected from this risk at the expense of a richer life experience.

 

My thoughts exactly. :)

 

 

I knew from that moment that life was too short to be tied to a leash 24/7.

 

This, too!

 

It took Dazzle several years of training to be trusted off-leash, but now we've been able to do a lot more fun things and make sure he spends his senior years enjoying life rather than being a glorified couch ornament.

 

ETA: I thoroughly check out the places I let my dogs off-leash beforehand, and never, ever in a place near traffic. Off-leash adventures are hugely rewarding, but you have to be smart about it.

Edited by Brindles

| Rachel | Dewty, Trigger, and Charlotte | Missing Dazzle, Echo, and Julio |

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Learn what your greyhound's life was like before becoming part of yours!
"The only thing better than the cutest kitty in the world is any dog." -Daniel Tosh

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Great picture, and you seem like a very nice and rational human being!

 

I was a little confused by your comment that you never use the dog's name unless you're calling him--the recall command can be anything you want it to be--and preceeded by the dog's name--but there's no reason not to use the dog's name for other things.

 

My Greyhound is certainly not a dog I'd ever let off leash (George has an attitude!), but my prior dog was a mix, and he was off leash often. He first learned the voice command, then I taught him a hand (arm, really!) signal, and then a specific whistle blast.

 

Please would say constantly, "Oh, you're so LUCKY he comes!" Uhm, no, I spent a heck of a lot of time training him!

 

Enjoy your boy!


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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I see the real risk as a physical injury resulting from a chase into some nasty bushes, etc. I guess the only real question is whether he should be protected from this risk at the expense of a richer life experience. In my situation this is the real debate and I welcome your input. (Although it has not escaped me that there seem to be plenty of injuries occuring in peoples own yards.)

 

I completely agree about quality of life over a carefully assessed risk of injury. And you are so right about injuries happening in people's own yards. We cannot bubblewrap our dogs. I met one a couple of years ago who had lost her front leg because she broke it so badly running into a tree in her own garden!

 

My first greyhound was like Hester. He was very fearful of being lost so would normally walk right by our side. We walked him in many, many places off lead. We did do recall training, and we did it on the basis that we like to allow our dogs to be dogs as far as is practicable. Sure, he would chase rabbits across the fields, but he always knew where we were, and he always came back to the exact same spot he left us. If I wanted him close, he'd stay close. He was a great dog and I really miss him.

 

You asked for input: Jim got a few minor scrapes and bruises while off lead, and once he was kicked by a bullock because he got too close, but it didn't injure him. The worst injury he got was at home, slipping on our kitchen floor! He lived to a good age, and died in his own bed at thirteen and a half.

 

We've had two more off-lead greyhounds since then, and we'd walk them together off lead and they were fine. Jack would chase rabbits and then want to play with them (didn't harm a single one) and Renie couldn't be bothered to chase. I don't recall either of them injuring themselves off lead, but Renie got cut feet from glass walking around the village ON lead, twice.

 

Susan was a killer. She went off-lead twice, muzzled and in an enclosed area, and still my heart was in my mouth because she took off like a bullet and didn't stop ... and she had no recall (we only had her five months).

 

Sid would be fine off-lead if it weren't for his being a tripod. After letting him off in the snow one day and seeing him slide ten feet screaming all the way because he found he had no brakes when it came to stopping, I have only let him run at the gallop at a local kennel, or on a 'green road' where I knew the surface was good.

 

Jeffie is still a puzzle when it comes to his relationship with other dogs, and he's the most accident prone dog I've had, so I don't risk it, and like Sid he has his gallop at the kennel or in our garden.

 

Bottom line - you have to make a judgement about your own dog. I'd strongly recommend good solid recall training for those situations when you need Hester to come back quickly, and practice it regularly. After that, I have to say I envy you that beach walk. Enjoy!

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The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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Guest MyCody

One of my favorite memories that I keep in my heart is of Cody, our 13 year old gentle giant walking across the front of our yard the day we had made the decision that we needed to let him be free from pain and discomfort. He would walk ever so slowly next to my husband and I can still see that. He had not been able to sleep or breathe comfortably all night so I sat on his bed with him, fed him a bowl of vanilla ice cream and Charlie took him outside a little later and they did their special thing.

 

Ther is something special about that but I would never do it with the five other greys we've had.

 

Your boy is very handsome and that is a lovely picture.

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I think it depends on the dog and the surroundings. The only one of mine I've ever let off leash was Harley. When I worked at the small town Country Club he loved to chase golf balls down the fairways and bring them back and we'd go out to a friend of mine's ranch (there WERE fences somewhere several acres away) and he'd have a blast. Same with you and your guy at the beach. Totally different than off leash in a city.

 

Buddy's been here 6 months and he has great recall - I think he'd be fine offleash in certain situations. I just don't have any place here where the directions say "turn off the paved road" and I'd be comfortable letting him off leash.

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Thanks everyone for the tips and warnings but do not fear, Hester has never failed in his recall, and I never use his name unless I want him to come to me. What has not been trained is heel. It is just what he prefers. I am aware of the risks and know the article the Disease of Trust off by heart. A lot of the security comes from the safety of the areas. He is never off leash if there is any chance of encounters with cars. I am not naive, if he saw a rabbit I assume he would chase.

 

I see the real risk as a physical injury resulting from a chase into some nasty bushes, etc. I guess the only real question is whether he should be protected from this risk at the expense of a richer life experience. In my situation this is the real debate and I welcome your input. (Although it has not escaped me that there seem to be plenty of injuries occuring in peoples own yards.)

 

I don't think you need any input from people here who don't know you and don't know your dog. Seems to me from reading your posts and looking at your lovely photo you are more than capable of deciding for yourself whether or not your dog can be safely off leash. Fear not that won't stop people here from preaching and scolding even though they know nothing about you or your situation. Please do be careful of "karma" though. It may very well come out of the bushes and trip you on a deserted beach. :rolleyes:

 

Enjoy your lovely hound and please post more photos of him.

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