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I'm curious, why are some dogs really good at staying by their owners even when off leash (no commands or anything) and some dogs not? Does it come with age or what?

My dog, a beagle/collie mix loves to run off when off leash by accident or not and I'm trying to figure out how to keep her just nearby chewing on a bone or just smelling the grass but staying near me (i.e. my other friends' dogs do that, like a lab, a few lap dogs, bull dog, and even some border collie mix etc.) Obviously there comes training, but I asked some of them and they said their dogs naturally stayed near them.

So, I guess, first is if I let my dog run wile for like a half hour in an open (no fenced area) but huge field, would she eventually tire to the point of coming back while I just sit back on a bench and watch? I mean, for example, if she is 'running off' but sees me running the opposite direction, she'll run full speed at me, but when I try to 'catch her' she just runs off. I mean obviously, to her it's a game and I generally just time a good time to get the leash back to then bring her back in.

However, besides using a flexileash or a fenced in backyard, is there any other way to train her to stay near you, or she'll always naturally on instinct run away and play 'chase' with you or something? What's the best method? I mean, you can teach her 'come' but how about a 'heel' leashless?
 

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Reminds me of a beginners obedience class where the owners call their dogs from across the room for the first time (no one had ever done a formal recall before). Some dogs returned to their owners like bullets shot our of a gun, some had no idea what to do and others go to their handlers almost on their bellies/fearful.

So why did some of the dogs race to their handlers?....IMO, the relationship....which has little to do with the mechanics of obedience training. It can be a 'breed thing' but, the relationship is very powerful. I've seen just as many Siberians hurl into their owners as run right past them.
 

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I had the same question at my first beginner obedience class. Mind you, Misty's getting much better with consistent practice--she now will always come if she's within 30 feet, but nothing further. But it was very confusing for me, because I'd always see people out with their dogs who I KNOW have done NO formal training and their dogs would stick right by them.. Never wander at all.

Well, having trained Misty from the moment I got her, I couldn't understand why she wouldn't stick by me. My trainer explained it as being because she was so confident. She would always watch me out of her peripherial vision or look back occassionally.. The trainer said I had raised a very confident dog.. Which is true. She's almost NEVER scared of anything.. And when she is, she just needs a "calming" cue from me to accept it. Thus, she doesn't exactly -need- to be beside me all the time.

I'm not saying it's your situation.. That's just what I was told about my dog. :)
 

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I'm sure you already know that about 70% of it is training, training, training... so I'm not going to harp on that. There are ways to teach your dog to recall from a distance, and there are ways to teach your dog to stay near you while off a leash. Heck, there are ways to teach your dog to stay precisely by your left ankle, looking up at your face, without a leash, so just staying within a 10 metre radius is by no means impossible.

Training aside, though... yes, to some extent it is a breed thing. There are breeds who should NEVER be let off-leash in an unfenced area. Beagles are one of them; pretty much any scenthound or sighthound, Siberian Huskies... I'm not sure about other Northern breeds. They're hardwired to run, or to explore. That's their BIGGEST motivation. It's genetic. When a dog stays by you, it's because being near you is more rewarding than running off somewhere... with scenthounds, for example, it's very difficult to be more rewarding than the great outdoors. It's the way they're programmed and this is why I would NEVER recommend a Beagle for someone who was looking for a dog to romp around off-leash with. My Beagles come when called but I would just never risk it. Instinct kicks in at any time and I'm dead.

Then there's just a personality thing. Spunky and Honey are both Beagles. Off-leash in a large (but fenced) area, Spunky will stay near me, but Honey will go sniffing elsewhere. When I call, they will come, but Spunky kind of hangs around nearby for the most part even without a cue.

I'm tempted to say that relationship plays a part, but I don't know. Obviously a dog with a bad relationship with its owner isn't likely to stay near... but my relationship with my dogs is more than fine, and I wouldn't trust them one bit to stay at my heels when off-leash. And I don't want you to go feeling lousy about your bond with your dog because she won't stay close.
 

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Some dogs will stay close, mine likes to explore but she always makes sure she can see me, if she can't then she comes to find me. You can train it, of course. Something I want to work on with mine. A long line comes in handy for that. It's not high on my list however. She always comes when called, so I don't worry much. Some dogs just naturally seem to be 'velcro dogs'
 

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I always ask people this question to because I would love to be able to take my dogs to a field and play fetch and not have to worry about them running away! Many of my friends dogs are able to be off leash and never have to worry about a thing and when I ask them how they trained their dogs to stay with them they tell me they "never leash them" and "they just naturally stay close"...

I found a dog this week and she seemed like one of those dogs who just naturally sticks with you...SHE was following me around with no leash! I cant get my dogs I have had for years to do that and this dog I just found was following me around (before I could get a leash for safety reasons)!

At least I know Im not the only one who questions this lol!

Here is my question though...we dont have a fenced yard and every now and then one of our dogs gets out of the house and ignores our recalls. They do their business, run in our backyard and sometimes to our front yard and then come back...they will go about 50-200 feet away (depending on the dog) but will stay on our yard. Does this mean they know the boundaries of the yard and I dont have to be as fearful about them running away?
And my boyfriends friend who lives on a farm suggested he bring his dogs out to his house and let them off leash in one of their fields to play...I didnt like the sounds of it but it might be a good training tool if he used a long rope/leash and work to being off leash?

Not trying to hijack the thread by the way!!

Thanks
Jenna
 
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