Can't take off leash

Training and behavior topics, guidelines, and tips for Chow Chows.

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Onoku
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Can't take off leash

Postby Onoku » Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:15 am

So, our border collie, if we take her off of her leash, she is more than happy to stay in the immediate area with us.. she doesn't run off.

however, the moment we take our chow chow off leash, he bolts for it. We keep trying every once and a while, and every times it ends with me having to chase him down. any advice??

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Re: Can't take off leash

Postby lola chow » Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:49 am

i think you will find most chows do that :roll: we cant let lola off the leash shes nearly one she would be off to :shock:
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Re: Can't take off leash

Postby oliver_kiss » Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:21 am

Ya, same thing for my Chow, Naya.
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Re: Can't take off leash

Postby Mia » Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:51 am

Ha, ha, off leash...? Ha, ha, a chow....? Never happen, LOL!

Actually, I shouldn't say that, I have a friend that has a chow/keeshond mix named Sam who can be off leash. The Keeshond part comes back. Luckily it's stronger than the chow part of him.
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Re: Can't take off leash

Postby TJordan » Wed Jul 29, 2009 12:23 pm

Butters can't be off leash. He is rotten and runs for the hills. I suppose it can be done but with a ton and ton and ton of training. Butters instincts override his commands.
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Re: Can't take off leash

Postby Loha'sDad » Wed Jul 29, 2009 2:01 pm

I regularly let Loha off leash during our walks and he never bolts. I attribute this to the fact that I take him on so many walks that his curiosity about his environment has already been satisfied.

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Re: Can't take off leash

Postby chowpups » Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:00 pm

Yeah, Nikki has had tons of training but something happens to her(selective) hearing when a rabbit or squirrel or dog or bird or even the wind goes past.. I don't trust losing her to the woods or a car.. I know some people on here have no problem but I just don't want to take that chance ..
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Re: Can't take off leash

Postby Coco Chow » Thu Jul 30, 2009 1:23 am

Before you take your chow off leash outside, you need to teach him to come back when you call him inside. Once it's done, you do that outside in a small area, than if you have succes, you take him off leash in a large area, than a busy one (never busy with cars of course). That's how I've done it. It is a real work to do with your chow. You cannot expect him to just do it anywhere when he has never been taught to comme back IMO. Try first at home with treats. Good luck!

PS: Coco has a very good recall anywhere (unless she's pooping behind bushes). After 2 weeks in a summer house where she had a garden for herself and I didn't ask much, I took her this morning to the park (in the woods), she was far away from me, I said "Coco!" lifting my hand straight up in the air and she came straight back running to me. You could do it too 8) .
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Re: Can't take off leash

Postby leisa75 » Thu Jul 30, 2009 5:01 am

I have trained all my chows to be off leash, i have a fenced in yard but allow them out in the front yard. When there puppies i do perimeter walks everyday ! Now Titan my smooth is another story...you let him off leash and he bolts.........may take awhile for him ! LOL
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Re: Can't take off leash

Postby Sirchow » Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:42 am

Before Bramble had to be home for three months resting she had total recal because I didn't know at that point that chows had problems and taught her the way Coco chow says but now she is not quite so reliable as there is a field of sheep and lambs beside our daily walk. However when I take her to the beach or park she is still pretty reliable because there are no sheep. I just cant take the chance that the farmer wouldn't shoot her if she went among the sheep.
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Re: Can't take off leash

Postby Coco Chow » Thu Jul 30, 2009 2:38 pm

Sirchow wrote:I just cant take the chance that the farmer wouldn't shoot her if she went among the sheep.

Why would they do that?? I mean, you cannot mistaken Bramble for a wolf? Are they allowed to shoot?
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Re: Can't take off leash

Postby Sirchow » Fri Jul 31, 2009 4:18 am

Farmers allowed to shoot a dog that is worrying their sheep. I would have to prove she was not doing that if the farmer waited for me to do so. Unlikely, as the sheep and lamb are his livelyhood. So Brams stays on the lead. :( My Dad is a farmer and I totally understand as he has had dogs worrying his sheep and had lambs aborted through it and horrific scenes of carnage. Once a dog starts biting the sheep's throats they will do it to every sheep in sight. A fact of life because dogs are hunters and sheep run round in circles getting their hunting instincts going. Sorry to be too graffic for some. :shock:
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Re: Can't take off leash

Postby Layla » Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:25 pm

I've always been lucky with teaching recall, but it is very dependant on the dog. I'd start with a long line in the park & do the same as Coco says. You may never be able to let your chow off... that's why there are very very long flexi leads :roll: :lol:
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Re: Can't take off leash

Postby Lisa_D » Tue Aug 18, 2009 2:05 am

Bear does really well off lead in familiar areas. I would not chance it in an unfamiliar area though. I only had one incident of him running off and that was my fault. Thank goodness he came back when I called because we have mountain land all around us! :shock:
If he wakes me up in the middle of the night to go out, I will hook him up on a long run instead of standing out there with him as he smells everything in sight at 3 in the morning. :roll:
I went out to check on him and here I had hooked him to a lead that wasn't attached to the run because I was half asleep when I let him out. After my initial panic attack, I called for him and here he comes bouncing out of the woods. The poor boy probably thought he was on a really long lead and looked at me like I was nuts because I was calling him like a crazy woman at 3 in the morning! LOL
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Re: Can't take off leash

Postby Tsunami22 » Mon Aug 24, 2009 1:28 am

In my experience so far I completely agree with Coco!

What's important is baby steps. Try it without any distractions or distance, when that's solid you up the ante and make it a little harder, perhaps across the room. Next step, across the house. Then across the yard. A lot of treats and a lot of patience is key. Maybe with some breeds you don't have to TEACH staying near or coming when called, but you do with most chows. If you're persistant with rewards you're bound to sway your dog. But it's not as effective if you just suddenly take him to this really great, really new, really exciting place, and expect him to stay. Baby steps.

good luck!:)
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Re: Can't take off leash

Postby chowpups » Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:35 am

Nikki's going back to training Iam afraid.. she's not doing very good on recall outside the fence.. Shes great inside a controlled area, the house or fenced in back yard. but given the chance to escape and shes out of here. Which she did twice last week while I was on vacation.. So shes in the dog house and getting retrained.. and me too..
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Re: Can't take off leash

Postby willfrommaine » Wed Sep 09, 2009 12:57 pm

I have been working with my 6 month old chow for a few days with behaving off leash. So far she will follow closely if we are on a trail and within sight otherwise. I have trained her to come back if she strays too far when I blow a whistle. It took all of three repetitions for her to get it, I found pepperoni properly motivates her! I still don't trust her around the roads though. She was generally pretty good on a leash before, I would not have dared if she was always pulling and trying to sniff everything.
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Re: Can't take off leash

Postby rougedriner » Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:21 am

I do sometimes take Bear out without her leash, but before we go out the door I tell her what i want her to do. I will tell her, do not chase the cats and get in the truck and that's what she will do. Same thing when we get home, don`t chase the cats were going in the house, she never fail she minds every time. If I walk them out front I put them on a leash simply because I don`t want them to accidentally run into the street. My little Bo stays under my feet when I walk him.

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Re: Can't take off leash

Postby Merlin » Wed Dec 16, 2009 12:09 pm

Onoku wrote:So, our border collie, if we take her off of her leash, she is more than happy to stay in the immediate area with us.. she doesn't run off.

however, the moment we take our chow chow off leash, he bolts for it. We keep trying every once and a while, and every times it ends with me having to chase him down. any advice??



A chow is not a border collie and doesn't have the same breeding. Some breeds, like Collies, were bred to work off leash at great distances. Chows were not. Chows are not good off leash candidates at all, very poor as a matter of fact. Chows usually possess too strong a prey drive, and since they are independant in nature - they don't always respond to recalls, especially if more than 5 feet away from you, and are not necessarily bred to work with man, say, like a border collie would be. Border collies are highly domesticated dogs used for a specific job. Chows were never bred in that direction. Originally they were used for guarding, food and fur, so they didn't need refinement in that regards, and as far as I know, even after almost 3000 years, not much has changed in so far as what they are being bred for. It's better to accept the nature of the breed sometimes rather than trying to change it.

It's really important that people read up on the breed so that they understand all the possible nuances of any breed.
Chows are always best kept on leashes or at least in contained areas, especially if they do clearly demonstrate the high prey drive.

Last year we took in 3 chows who "didn't listen" and got out and killed either another dog, or cat or harmed livestock. In all cases all 3 were put on death row.
I don't think you want to have run in's with the law. It's not worth it.
Last edited by Merlin on Wed Dec 16, 2009 12:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Can't take off leash

Postby Merlin » Wed Dec 16, 2009 12:22 pm

Before you take your chow off leash outside, you need to teach him to come back when you call him inside


I have to tell I don't quite understand or agree with your rationale. If you want a dog to come to you outside, then you have to train it.... outside....
I realize that training a dog inside is a pre-empt to training, but training a dog inside is not necessarily going to help you outside. Often that's why many dogs who attend these group obedience classes in church basements graduate, go home only to find out that their dog doesn't listen to them.. but the dog sure does listen to them in the church basement. Using a long line outside is wonderful though and most helpful.
I think the important thing for people to understand is that most chows are not good offleash candidates, and you cannot compare a 6 month old to an adult who is now grown and confident and ready to go run off on hunting/discovery sprees. A puppy won't be inclined to do that , so yes.. sure.. it follows the owner around, but that can quickly change as the dog matures.

Before you all go letting your chows off leash speak to rescues or to shelters.
Too many are there because they are brought in as strays... because they run away.

- and, there are lots of dogs who get shot. You don't read about it in papers, you don't hear about it in the news. Plenty of chows get shot for raiding farmer's properties, they get hit by cars, or harmed in some other unforseen way. Loose, they disturb wildlife unnecessarily or inadvently get YOU in trouble with the law.


Best of luck
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Re: Can't take off leash

Postby Coco Chow » Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:54 pm

training a dog inside is not necessarily going to help you outside.

It will teach the chow to come to you when you call him, which is a good start to teach him to do that outside.

My chow has no border collie in her but she's often off leash and this method has taught her an excellent recall.
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Re: Can't take off leash

Postby Merlin » Thu Dec 17, 2009 1:27 am

which is a good start to teach him to do that outside.

Like I said, plenty of basement school dogs come home from class and all the lessons they learned indoors have little or no impact outdoors.

My chow has no border collie in her but she's often off leash and this method has taught her an excellent recall.

There are some chows who are good offleash, but that is the exception not the rule, and sounds like you are lucky enough to have an exception. I think it's important that people always research the origins and character nuances of any breed, then they are in for much less surprises.

Cheers!
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Re: Can't take off leash

Postby Coco Chow » Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:37 am

Merlin, do you think chows shouldn't be taught recall because of their non-natural hability to come when called?

And if you think they could be taught, I'd be curious to know how you proceed...
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Re: Can't take off leash

Postby Merlin » Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:52 am

Hi Coco

Are you kidding? :) Yes! - of course people should teach their chows to recall. The more education a chow has , the better and more well rounded the chow.
What I'm trying to explain is for people not to rely on it though, especially in a critical setting. Chows in particular suffer from a syndrome called, "selective hearing", and I think we all know about that one. Most chows I've worked with, ( and I've worked with a great many), will choose chasing a squirrel or rabbit any day over coming back to me for a cookie, and that's what I'm trying to ask "O" to understand. She even says herself that her techniques are not working with her chow, and it comes to me as no surprise. The only time I've seen chows utterly responsive is when they are kept on the brink of starvation and will do anything for a snip of food. I disagree with this type of training because people don't always have food on them when they need to reward their dogs, and the dog due to constantly being hungry is always on edge, and as far as I'm concerned develops an even more keen prey drive even towards smaller dogs.


I have an advantage in that when I start to train any dog that gets here, they have to work around many other dogs.
Most people only have one chow, or two, so people have to go out of their way to find stimulating environments loaded with distractions.

Generally I work outside, in traffic, at a dog park, if the dog is coming along nicely... then IN the dog park, around farm animals, in the woods, usually always on a long line and they all respond very, very well, yet, I won't rely on it. When I walk them in the woods, they are never free, even my own that I've had since puppyhood and who recall extremely well. I don't reward with food.

Most chows that I know DO and will take off if something of interest hits their eye, although like anything else, there are always some who break all the rules. It's very possible yours doesn't have a strong prey drive and that's why you can capture his attention so well. Chows are not pack dogs. They are singular in nature so the entire pack theory has to be modified when dealing with them.


But yes, train them, train them, train them and then some!

:)
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Re: Can't take off leash

Postby chowpups » Thu Dec 17, 2009 5:06 pm

Merlin'
Nikki is your typical Chow like you describe. She was a good little chowling as a pup (following around).. And still is good.. don't get me wrong. She developed prey intinct around 2 yrs maybe alittle sooner. I can stand with a pound of roast beef and she won't give me the time of day if a squirrel or rabbit is anywhere near. (and they are) Other than trying to bolt when the door opens shes the best behaved chow..but we will be very careful and know that this is her thing and we have to be very watchful. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.
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