Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

high energy dog, but nowhere to run off leash...

2355 Views 14 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Quinsation
Hello, so I've been looking for a dog for several months now. As some backstory--I've had an australian shepherd/border collie (not sure which but she was DEFINITELY one of those) and an alaskan malamute. So I have some experience with high energy dogs. They definitely had off switches and they could be lazy, but with the aussie/border especially they still had energy to burn and a lot of troublemaking smarts.

Fast forward to today, I'm looking to get either a border collie or belgian sheepdog (groenendael). The latter is my dream dog, so I'm leaning toward them. I'm typically an energetic person, I've been known to walk and bike for miles on end, and I LOVE being outdoors. My only issue is... I live in a slightly urban area (I use the term loosely because there are so many parks and trails and outdoor stuff around, and it's a small town) with strict leash laws and I do not drive, so there is really no place for the dog to run off leash in my town. There is a dog park, but I'm not a fan of them, especially with a herding breed that could be reactive, and ESPECIALLY with a puppy that isn't fully vaccinated. When they're older I could see possibly using a dog park when no one is around, but it's not ideal.

I have plenty of activities planned, both mental and physical. I want to do frisbee, obviously obedience training, scent work, hiking, and a plethora of other activities. However I'm worried the off-leash thing is a dealbreaker with any breeds I'm interested in. Is it impossible to have a high energy breed with nowhere to run off leash daily?

I'm thinking maybe there are some places I could take advantage of that I haven't thought of yet. I've also thought if I get a 30-50ft leash that would satisfy their need to run. I also obviously plan to go out of town now and again to more wide open spaces.

But I guess what I'm looking for is advice and tips. I don't get anything helpful when I try to research on google--heck, I just get a bunch of ads for long leads. So help is appreciated!
See less See more
1 - 1 of 15 Posts
I used to live in town with an Australian Shepherd/Collie mix who was fairly high energy. He can and would run until he collapsed if there was something fun to do. He's "middle aged" now so has a bit more sense than that at this point, haha. I almost exclusively walked him on a 100 ft long line and harness I purchased from Amazon for his exercise. We had a medium sized yard that wasn't at all large enough for him to reach full speed, and I don't think he ever reached full speed on the long line, either, but it did allow him more freedom and more exercise that he needed.

I should also disclose we did agility once a week, which helped to keep his brain and exercise needs satisfied.

We now live on a 22 acre piece of property and the only time I put him on a leash is when we have to go to leave the property, and I will say it is much easier to keep him exercised when he has the freedom to run because I have to put much less thought and time into it than I did before. He's also gained muscle and it's far easier to keep him at a healthy weight than it was when leashed walks, even long line walks, were our only option. My dog is a neutered male, so in the winter especially when it was too cold for extended outside excursions I felt like I was struggling to keep him at a healthy weight.

So, from someone who has experience on both sides of the coin, I will say that your high energy dog can get enough stimulation on leashed walks if you get creative with long lines and/or puzzle games, but it is so much easier when your dog can get some off-leash exercise in!
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 2
1 - 1 of 15 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.