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 My husky off leash.

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Rundown
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Location : Québec, Canada

PostSubject: My husky off leash.   Sun Jun 23, 2013 9:15 pm

I know some of you will think I'm an irresponsible owner. But I worked very hard with him day after day, little by little. Each day he gained a bit of my trust.

I also wanted to show people that it can be done with the right huskies. Mine is calmer than most but every bit as smart. Like I said, it was a long journey to be able to get to this point. I now have 100% trust in him. Barking dogs, cats and squirrels aren't a problem. I will have him on leash if there is a lot of traffic but fortunately I live in a very quiet town so most of the time he's free.

Here's a few clips of him running free in at the park with his best friend Octane. She's a GSD mixed with a bernese mountain dog. Enjoy the videos.




Husky off leash. Dog on the other side of the street OMG!!!!! (Right?) Watch this

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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: My husky off leash.   Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:41 pm

It's not irresponsible to succeed in difficult, unlikely training. Good job. Saying "look my Husky is off leash yours should be too!" would be irresponsible Wink
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: My husky off leash.   Sun Jun 23, 2013 11:19 pm

How old is your dog? Care to share your training protocol??
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AngelCocoaPup
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PostSubject: Re: My husky off leash.   Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:03 am

A tip of my hat to you, sir, for accomplishing a nigh-impossible task.  That said, this is what came into my head: Very Happy

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Rundown
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PostSubject: Re: My husky off leash.   Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:11 am

I can't tell you an exact age. When my brother found him a year and a half ago and the vet said he was no older than 1.

So I just say he's 2 and a half.

As for training protocol. It would be very hard to put into words. It's mostly like any other dog. But it takes time and dedication.

I'm no Professional but the main problems I see with husky owners is this:

Their dog is excited at level 10. Most owners can't or are not willing to go up to 11 to get their attention (yes you have to break their party sometimes). Or other owners go to 32 and scare/hurt their husky. Usually making them agressive.

Aside from that. He never gained anything from me or my family by being excited. He learned fast that as soon as he settled down he'd get that treat. As soon as he'd settle down the door would open for the walk. As soon as he settled down I'd go through the door. Never letting him win. This takes time and patience. Which i believe is another hard part to get right in today's world.

In other words. You must me an absolute Alpha to your dog. He can't think he is smarter or stronger or faster than you because he WILL take advantage of it. And that is the bane of almost all owners because they really are smart. They will scheme to get what they want. And most of them KNOW they are faster than their owner. You can't let them know. I used to outrun my dog on a bike on a daily basis. And I managed (luckily) to grab him in full run ,when on foot, 2 or 3 when training in a closed area. That suprises them!

The last part is fulfilling his working dog side. Huskies need to work and run so you must let them do it everyday. They need to be huskies (in a controled way). But this point is well understood by most owners.

Look at me going on and on.... Like I said it's hard to put into words and English is not my first language. It's hard to put french thoughts in English words lol!

I will post a video with a full walk so you can see the corrections I give and how I do it. Maybe it can help some people.
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: My husky off leash.   Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:01 am

You Sir have expressed yourself quite well and I am in full support of your ideas and protocol.  

I too don't agree with, for example, the common perception of "stubborn" or "independent" or "strong willed."  I find too many people perceive these qualities as a firm "I can't ________," almost in a very defeatist manner and in a sense allow their dogs to control them.  This is certainly not only with Huskies nor is it necessarily about people on this forum, but the general sense around Huskies unfortunately takes the turn of "Huskies can't ____________".

I am much more of the persuasion that it should be more along the lines of "Huskies need __________ in order for me to be able to do _____________", as you have put yourself very well in your description of your training protocol.

At this point we have had great success with our Husky off leash, with a few notable caveats: outdoors or in rural areas, he is still young, and there was a clear sense of headquarters with other people, dogs, toys, and food.

I don't know if I can consider him a candidate for off-leash yet because we need to test him more as he grows older and in other safe environments and wait to see how strong his prey drive will be as it develops more and more. Puppies by nature stick around more but I am very pleased with the foundation we've laid for him thus far. Time will tell. I wouldn't want him off leash anyway in the city or near busy urban areas, it'd be more for swimming, being outdoors, and camping.

He did "escape" twice in the city, as in I lost a handle on his leash, but he never bolted either time and I easily got a hold of him. But I didn't scream, I didn't freak out, I didn't chase him, and I stayed calm and remained relatively unimpressed with his freedom. One time I got him back by just calling him and the other by tossing a treat on the ground beside me.

Cheers.
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TwisterII
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PostSubject: Re: My husky off leash.   Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:36 am

What I would give to be able to trust Kenzi off leash. She escapes the backyard from time to time and makes a huge lap around the neighborhood at a full run then comes back when I open the door to the house so she can fly inside. She's not great at verbal commands but visual she's good. Great work. Your accomplishment inspires me.

_________________
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: My husky off leash.   Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:47 am

This is interesting to me too. I've never had Dizzy off leash, aside from a couple oops moments. It's too dangerous in the city, and there isn't an area we go regularly enough outside the city that I know is relatively safe to try it. It's very cool that you can do that and have worked so hard to achieve it. I went to Central Park this weekend and had him on a 50' line but he just stayed in range with me and roved around, I would say his range was about 20'. Even when he saw another dog, he didn't bolt. But, we have a LOT of work to do, and a lot of trust to build before I will try it, plus it was hot (80) so he was mellow. Smile
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Rundown
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PostSubject: Re: My husky off leash.   Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:54 pm

I can't imagine the begining of the training if I had been in the city. I love my little town because there are at least 6 fully fenced parks of varying sizes. And at anytime at least of of them is empty. After teaching him to walk properly on leash, this gave me the opportunity to just take it off and see what happens.

Once it's off, you get to be able to start the training. Because let's face it. To correct a behavior, it needs to happen or else how can your dog understand? You will have your dog bolt on you. He will see that cat on the other side of the fence. But that's the best opportunity for you to do something about it.

If you never even let him the opportunity, how can you know he will even try to bolt? How can you make a dog understand that if I take the leash off  he needs to stay close, if you never actually take it off?

My point is find yourself a safe place away from distraction and create an opportunity for your dog to learn. He needs to make every error in the book to be able to know about them.

Correcting those errors can be hard and a Professional can probably help you in the begining. But everyone can pick the skills to do it. Hell, if you can learn to live with a husky, you can do anything. Smile
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StMavrides
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PostSubject: Re: My husky off leash.   Tue Jun 25, 2013 4:36 am

Not that it was an easy task, but Ulva, Sci-Li and I have successfully managed walking off-leash, together. Most importantly, before even attempting off-leash in a possible-to-escape area was the strong and absolute training of the command "let it". First letting go of treats, then staying away from other animals, especially those that incite prey drive and bitches in heat (for the males). In a controlled environment (dog park, field) first and then in the neighborhood late at night, when the traffic is low to non-existent. Making sure the dogs are tired enough, helps a lot.
 Of course there were times both my dogs "slipped" away, sometimes in a dangerous way and I feel really lucky that no accidents happened. So if anyone wants to try off-leash, please make sure there are no threats for your little f(r)iends, before attempting training them.
 Distractions and especially other animals take the difficulty to a whole new level, so make sure your dogs are always listening to your commands and have 100% recall chance, when other dogs are around. Never scold after uttering the "come" or "heel" commands - in case the dog won't execute, give a warning command, first. Scolding must follow if the warning has no effect. Here is the tricky part. As Carl "Rundown" has already written, the dog must think that you can reach and punish them no matter where they head to or how fast - they must think you are faster and stronger than they are. It sure requires athleticism, but no mortal human being can outrun an adult and healthy husky (using their feet alone, at least), so they must be tricked into believing so... What worked for me in the, thankfully few cases I had to do a long range punishment was throwing at them an item they were afraid of, along with a punishment command (I use "What have you done?!"). It doesn't matter if it hurts them, reaching them is enough. As for the dreaded item, before each off-leash training session, I used a leather leash as a whip, targeting the... floor. Yes, that's it. The cracking sound it makes is enough to instill the required fear of the item. Thus, for several months I used to take one leash with me for both dogs to use as a deterrent. No item is needed anymore. All that in a city environment, with stray cats, roads, cars and all.
 Again, before anyone follows my or Rundown's advice, please be patient -avoid dangers and train under as many circumstances possible; while excited, with prey animals, dogs of the opposite sex, hostile dogs, attractive smells, friendly persons, friendly dogs, friendly running persons or dogs. Only when verbally controlling the dog to keep close to you, under any circumstances, can an off-leash husky be considered safe.
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Lynn.Karpati
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PostSubject: Re: My husky off leash.   Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:09 pm

Props to you for the training! I also think that certain huskies have the ability to do this. Mine is a very laid-back dog as well. In fact one time his lead in the back actually rusted through and broke. He continued to walk around in our backyard with about 2 feet of his lead dragging around and didn't go anywhere lol! Although mine would probably stay in the yard if it was just us outside, it would be a different story when the neighbors let their dogs out as he can't help himself with dogs. He just wants to play so bad! We are considering an invisible fence because he is so laid-back and a big baby that I don't think he would run through it.
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SiberianAnubis
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PostSubject: Re: My husky off leash.   Sun Jul 21, 2013 6:19 am

Good job that once again proves that Huskies are capable of way more than the common stories about the race tell. But off leash definately does not work with every Husky. If the prey dirve is too strong you can train all you want you will never be able to trust your dog 100% and then off leash won´t be fun.

As you said it takes alot of time and dedication and I think that is the main problem, because most dog owners ar enot willed to invest alot of time and work in training their dog, no matter what race.
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Super Nova
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PostSubject: Re: My husky off leash.   Sun Jul 21, 2013 12:00 pm

Irresponsible, is the last term that would ever come to mind on your training. What you are doing is great! And yes I agree with you, you have to establish that YOU are ALPHA at all times; with Food, walking, playing, sleeping, everything.
Depending on your husky's personally will determine the amount of training you have to do. If you have a husky that feels like he/she is alpha it will take more time because you, as the owner(s) have to change their 'pack' status.

Its great that you can trust your dog and vice verse that nothing will happen. I do feel like it does help that he is out of that puppy phase.

I have to ask: Is he still intact?
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techigirl78
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PostSubject: Re: My husky off leash.   Sun Jul 21, 2013 8:07 pm

Wow your dog is beautiful and the training is even more impressive. I do not know if my little guy will ever be off leash, but I would be interested to see your video walking the dog. I am working with my puppy now on walking.
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massak
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PostSubject: Re: My husky off leash.   Sat Jul 27, 2013 1:58 pm

I have had a crazy husky for a year and a half now and I let him off lead all the time, but depending on the environment and situation. I am also fortunate for living in a rural area.
Out for a hike in the woods after work or on weekends he gets to run around for sure, yet before work when I take him out around the neighborhood, he is on leash for sure because he is all too curious about all the smells and other signs of human life! Out in the woods he is gonna hang with the pack unless there is a critter to chase for a brief spell, but he returns to the pack. Getting him to come when he is not on to a critter is easy. Getting him to come on command when he is onto a critter is the hard part I haven't mastered yet.

he usually comes on command of my whistle:



off leash chasin skiers down the hill:

http://vimeo.com/63109866



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ondineofthedeep
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PostSubject: Re: My husky off leash.   Sat Jul 27, 2013 2:41 pm

My Saskia is a little odd in keeping with the breed characteristic of escaping--she won't even try! I was freaking out a few months ago because she got off leash when we were at the park. I turned around and walked a few steps and she was right at my heel, thinking I was going to leave her there or something!

haha I guess she is very attached, because she is incredibly obedient outdoors on & off leash. She makes the cutest little face up at me too, as if she's saying "Am I doing good mom?"

I think some of them are definitely more trainable than others in this area, but I still keep her strictly on-leash as a general rule just for her safety (and my peace of mind).

I think huskies know where their pack is and aren't going to stray too far from it Smile
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KatoSeal
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PostSubject: Re: My husky off leash.   Thu Aug 01, 2013 6:19 pm

Hi Carl!

Wondering if we would be able to have a conversation about this. We have a 12 week old is very compliant and very smart! I believe it can be done! I have grown up with dogs who have never had to be on leashes so I may have more patience to work with it! Not sure how to use this messaging system but wondering if you could give me some tips on what you practiced every day? Curious if they are similar to what i have been doing Smile
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Rundown
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PostSubject: Re: My husky off leash.   Thu Dec 05, 2013 5:22 pm

Hi guys, sorry I haven't been on this forum in a while. It was crazy at work and didn't have much time to myself.

For the people wanting tips. I will work on that video. I tried a few times but he doesn't do many errors now so it's going to be harder to do a good video with tips.

Something to keep in mind is that training for the walk starts in the house. If you can't have 100% control in the house, you'll never get in on the Streets with all the distractions.

And my most useful tip is wait until he calms down. Like I said before my dog never got a treat or anything when he was in an excited state of mind. It sometimes took 30 minutes before I walked out the door for a walk!

Grab the leash and sit down until the dog is calm. If weather permits next step is to open the door and again wait until he calms down. If you give treats, wait until he is calm to give it. Do this with everything. An excited husky should never get what he wants IMO.

In the long run keeping the dog calm at all times will help more than anything. He will see you grab the leash and go lay down in front of the door. He will see you get a treat and he will sit down and wait patiently for it. You will see this in everything he does if you do it properly. Mine still goes husky crazy but he knows when he can do it and when he can't. Be constant in this and it will do wonders.

Edit: To the person who asked, no he is not intact. When i found him he was already castrated. He was poorly bred so I would not have him mate even if he could. He still went full on with his beest friend though. That was an awkward moment lol. My Buddy was mad until i told him he fired blanks. Now they go at it nearly everytime she is in heat. Seems to calm her down and remove the frustration of not being able to mate.


Last edited by Rundown on Thu Dec 05, 2013 6:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Kellyb
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PostSubject: Re: My husky off leash.   Thu Dec 05, 2013 6:07 pm

Eh! Un autre Quebecois!

Bienvenue de Montreal!! Presque personne sur le forum de la belle province, mait c'est fun a voir!

We're down in Vaudreuil, we have 2 sibes. One we have trained excessively and alwasy reinforce to allow some times off leash, the other will never be allowed.

^^
pardonne les fautes grammaticaux, billingue par naissance, plutot angolophone, alors j'ai de la misere avec les accents! hihi
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Rundown
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PostSubject: Re: My husky off leash.   Thu Dec 05, 2013 6:20 pm

Hey salut!

Heureux de voir un autre Québécois!
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Playing with the Big Dogs
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PostSubject: Re: My husky off leash.   Sat Dec 14, 2013 12:28 am

This is fantastic! I don't know if I would ever be that brave I have sometimes been able to let my dog off leash when I am hiking and she is good in that situation. But I am to worried about cars to let her off leash any where close to town.

How do you ever not worry?

When I was a kid I lost a dog to being hit by a car right in front of my house while she was running back.

I find it hard to get over being that scared. I don't know if I cold get over that and trust a dog off leash.
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Rundown
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PostSubject: Re: My husky off leash.   Sun Dec 15, 2013 10:37 pm

Like I said the trust built over a long period of time. At least a year.

After a lot of practice, a lot of praises and a lot more discipline, he managed to gain my full trust. If you worry about him you don't trust him yet. It takes a lot of work and baby steps to guide the dog into understanding off leash walks and rules. Dedication and time is what you need to make it happen.

Also teaching the dog to be calm 100% of the time is a must. It used to take me over 30 minutes to have him calm enough to even start the walk. This is also a good tip for owners. If I have worry or fear in my recall it won't work. If I'm calm and firm it works 100% of the time.

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barbianj
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PostSubject: Re: My husky off leash.   Sun Dec 15, 2013 10:59 pm

@massak wrote:


http://vimeo.com/63109866




Awesome video!!!  Cool 
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