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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know there is a thread going at the moment about off lead training, but i didnt want to barge in there...

im a bit stuck with my hound Ben at the moment, i would really like him to be able to go off lead, but im wondering if that is at all possible, with a dog that reacts to even the smallest movement...
he goes crazy if he sees squirrels in the park, but on the other hand, he likes other dogs, and i get the impression, he would love to play with them off lead.

i got in contact with my local dog training club, but the response was not very encouraging really. they said they are finishing for xmas now, and that sometimes members dont come back after the holidays, so there might be a space for him???

i have had a look on u-tube, and saw you can get re-call training leads?

i cant really think of a quiet enough place round here to use one of them though, or an enclosed area, he cant get out of to start training him myself, rather than waiting for a maybe placement in dog training.

i have owned huskys in the past, 3 of them...first one, and then a half brother and sister pair. and it was only the female out the pair, that was a joy off the lead, nearly from the get go, the others mellowed in older age. but not to be 100% trusted.

i guess what im asking is, is it possible, and how would you recommend to start. Ben knows basic commands, and he sits before crossing the road.
but walking him at night, he wants to chase cats, and in the park anything that moves really, well animal wise. he seems ok with humans. thank you so much in advance. :thumbsup:
 

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The main concern with sighthounds is first if they will dart away, and the second is how fast they are.

They have a tendacy for darting after things they see and they get tunnel vision and are selectively hard of hearing. They don't always notice things that they are not honed in on, which is dangerous if they don't see a car coming.

The next part is that sighthounds are very very fast. If they bolt they will get very far in a short amount of time. It's very easy to lose them if you can't follow them, and they might be too far to even hear your call while they are still running.

It is possible, but it depends on the dog. I would be very cautious about training off lead recall. Especially because he seems prone to darting after things.
I would reccomend starting in large fenced areas (if he already has good house and yard recall). That way you have a safety net. Another alternative until you can find one would be to use a long line (like the long 10ft training leads) I would also work on his reactivity with cats and other things. You need to know that he can ignore those things for it to be safe for him to be off lead safely.

What kind of sighthound do you have?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thank you both. when we adopted him at 11 month old, we was told he is a beagle cross hound.
im in the uk, so im guessing some kind of English hunting hound. (there is a thread on his possible origins in the breeds forum. ) ;)
here are some pictures of him, and my oldie King. :) he is getting allot better with my 4 cats, but its took 3 month so far, but he wants to go after strange cats.
i will look that dvd up, thank you Snackrat. :)
 

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This thread resonates with me sooooooo much! My dog isn't a purebred - I don't even know what she is - but I can't even take her off leash to dog parks anymore because she will jump the fence and go for squirrels I hadn't even noticed (and I've become pretty good at spotting squirrels). Just the other day, she jumped a 6' fence..yes, 6' and got into someone's backyard going after a squirrel. The man was completely confused about how she got in his yard! Funny..but also not funny at all. I worry about her safety a lot but she also desperately needs off leash time to get all of this energy out.

Problem is, she is EXTREMELY prey motivated and no amount of recall training seems to be able to overcome her instincts. She's fantastic until there's prey around. The other problem is, she's fast, VERY fast...as in, has caught multiple squirrels fast and she can jump into trees. :S

Unless someone with a similar dog can tell me otherwise, I'm not convinced her instincts can be tamed!
 

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I think ALMOST any dog can be trained to be off leash. However, I think sometimes that's only possible if you've trained it from a very young puppy in some dogs. Once some dogs have learned they can take off, there's simply no amount of training that can fix it.

I have a beagle mix that is incredibly nose driven and has a very very strong prey drive, but she can safely be let off leash. It's just taken time and patience.
 

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Yeah, part of the challenge is that we got her when she was 7 months old and by then she already had 2 owners & spent a month in the shelter. She had lots of bad habits but the prey drive is one we haven't been able to crack.
 

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Hmmm I really don't have much experience training recall but I have heard of people using things like a flirt pole to reward the dog for coming back, so you are using chasing something as a reward :)
Hopefully someone with more experience will chime in. Did you check out the recall sticky I linked to newdoggirl? :)
 

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Hi,

First I have to say that the dog in the picture is not a sight hound. It is a scent hound.

I have four sight hounds right now (two borzoi, an afghan hound, and an Italian greyhound) and we are getting a third Borzoi this coming weekend!

I would not trust them off lead. They all have very good recall skills in fenced in areas however when that urge to chase something happens they don't stop to think about it. They just react! they also don't look where they are going and pay no attention to things like busy roads with cars or what direction they are running.

Sadly there are many tales of sight hounds getting hit by cars they never saw or just getting lost! once they start running they can be miles away from home in a matter of minutes with no idea how they got there or how to get back.

Scent hounds may be different - I know people who hunt off lead with scent hounds but I'm not an expert on them!

I just don't think it is worth letting your dog off lead if there is a risk of them not coming back when called. Too many dangers!
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
This thread resonates with me sooooooo much! My dog isn't a purebred - I don't even know what she is - but I can't even take her off leash to dog parks anymore because she will jump the fence and go for squirrels I hadn't even noticed (and I've become pretty good at spotting squirrels). Just the other day, she jumped a 6' fence..yes, 6' and got into someone's backyard going after a squirrel. The man was completely confused about how she got in his yard! Funny..but also not funny at all. I worry about her safety a lot but she also desperately needs off leash time to get all of this energy out.

Problem is, she is EXTREMELY prey motivated and no amount of recall training seems to be able to overcome her instincts. She's fantastic until there's prey around. The other problem is, she's fast, VERY fast...as in, has caught multiple squirrels fast and she can jump into trees. :S

Unless someone with a similar dog can tell me otherwise, I'm not convinced her instincts can be tamed!
wow! o.0, and i thought Ben was bad. is that the doggy we a talking about in your Avatar? post us a pic, so we can see this crazy superdog! lol...awww, it is not funny really, and yeah im not convinced i can ever fully trust Ben.
we need someone who knows whats what with these dogs, on you tube they just have clips that show how to train a hound for hunting...what if you dont want to hunt with him...makes me feel like i have the wrong dog :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I think ALMOST any dog can be trained to be off leash. However, I think sometimes that's only possible if you've trained it from a very young puppy in some dogs. Once some dogs have learned they can take off, there's simply no amount of training that can fix it.

I have a beagle mix that is incredibly nose driven and has a very very strong prey drive, but she can safely be let off leash. It's just taken time and patience.
how old is your dog? we got Ben when he was 11 month, his previous owner said he is good off the lead.... :/ i need to find some sort of enclosure, where he can be off safely. i did contact the local dog training club, but it is not certain if he will have a space after xmas. maybe its worth looking what else is out there even if i have to travel a bit further. :ponder:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yeah, part of the challenge is that we got her when she was 7 months old and by then she already had 2 owners & spent a month in the shelter. She had lots of bad habits but the prey drive is one we haven't been able to crack.
aww, poor baby :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi,

First I have to say that the dog in the picture is not a sight hound. It is a scent hound.

I have four sight hounds right now (two borzoi, an afghan hound, and an Italian greyhound) and we are getting a third Borzoi this coming weekend!

I would not trust them off lead. They all have very good recall skills in fenced in areas however when that urge to chase something happens they don't stop to think about it. They just react! they also don't look where they are going and pay no attention to things like busy roads with cars or what direction they are running.

Sadly there are many tales of sight hounds getting hit by cars they never saw or just getting lost! once they start running they can be miles away from home in a matter of minutes with no idea how they got there or how to get back.

Scent hounds may be different - I know people who hunt off lead with scent hounds but I'm not an expert on them!

I just don't think it is worth letting your dog off lead if there is a risk of them not coming back when called. Too many dangers!
thank you for that. i wasnt sure if he is classed as a sight-hound. i fully agree, its better safe than sorry. its nice to walk your dog on a lead too, he has a flexi lead, but sometimes i think it is also nice for them to just run and join in with other dogs playing.
where i walk Ben, we see allot of cockers and springers, and they are off lead. they are gun dogs? im wondering if that is a totally different kind of dog, meaning easier to train. the cocker i had was brilliant off lead.
 

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wow! o.0, and i thought Ben was bad. is that the doggy we a talking about in your Avatar? post us a pic, so we can see this crazy superdog! lol...awww, it is not funny really, and yeah im not convinced i can ever fully trust Ben.
we need someone who knows whats what with these dogs, on you tube they just have clips that show how to train a hound for hunting...what if you dont want to hunt with him...makes me feel like i have the wrong dog :(
Yes, she's in my avatar. :) Just yesterday I took her out and she jumped another 6' fence going after a squirrel! She's such an athlete!

I agree about finding someone that really understands my dog. I get a lot of advice from people that seem to have no understanding of the intensity of her prey drive. My girl would be a great flushing dog but I'm not a hunter either. For now, she'll have to settle for chasing squirrels!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
and you say you have no idea what breed your dog is? do you think she has hound in her? she looks like she could have, but its hard to tell from that pic. :)
 

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and you say you have no idea what breed your dog is? do you think she has hound in her? she looks like she could have, but its hard to tell from that pic. :)
I really don't know. A vet once suggested she look like a Dane mix. We were told by the shelter that she's a lab X cane corso (mastiff) mix. It's really hard to say.

We had a DNA test done and they said she was 50% Golden Retriever, 25% Airdale Terrier and 25% English Setter but they're all long haired dogs so I really don't see how she could be a mix of those breeds. Who knows!
 
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