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

2358 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!
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Oh yes of course, I would never do rigorous exercise with a puppy. I guess I was just speaking generally for my new dog, throughout their lifetime while I live here. Things will be much lower key at first, but after the first year is my biggest concern.

I think the dog park would definitely be empty early in the morning. It's not especially busy any other time either, but it's not something I'd like to frequent every day if I can help it, which is why I'm seeing if anyone has advice for alternatives.

There's definitely so much now that you can use to keep a puppy busy, it's really nice. Good luck on your future pup!
I probably didn't make it clear, but I'm definitely not taking an unvaccinated puppy to any doggy areas. :p I also do have access to agility equipment. The dog would be well exercised in body and mind, so really the only thing I'm looking for advice-wise is if it's advised to have a high energy dog if they can't run off leash daily, and any tips for that. Also if long leads (30-50ft) are a good alternative.
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Thank you guys for the advice! I'm relieved to hear I'm not the only one in an area with some restrictive leash laws. The long leads really feel like the best option so far, and although I'm wary of retractable leads I will probably look into them as well just to explore all of my options.

I was so worried honestly that this would be a big hindrance, and seeing as I want a high energy breed it was a big concern of mine. I've even done some research on land around me outside of the town limits where I could run my dog off leash. I'm wondering what kind of places are good to take advantage of besides normal parks and dog parks?

@Tater33 I'm glad you got some useful info from my thread as well. =P I also hadn't heard of long leads until I looked into getting a Groenendael.

and @DaySleepers thank you for the long thought out post! I'm going to be keeping your advice in mind. I have little experience with long leads so thanks bigtime for the heads up.
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