Does Anyone Let Their Chow Walk Without a Leash?

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murpleberry
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Does Anyone Let Their Chow Walk Without a Leash?

Postby murpleberry » Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:08 am

Hi gang!

Does anyone let their chow walk without a leash outside? My dream is to have a dog one day that can walk side by side with me. Though it does seem like a far way to go, but I hope it happens. Has anyone let their chow off leash yet? How do you know they wont run off or even go crazy? Chows are given the reputation of being aggressive, but my pup been socialized or in the process. He has never bit anyone, unless it inside and he gets super rowdy and playful to that point where he gets you.

My worry is my chow, if I ever decide to let it off the leash. I feel as though he would run away or not listen. Maybe it something I just worry about because this has yet to happen, nor do I know the outcome.
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Re: Does Anyone Let Their Chow Walk Without a Leash?

Postby Juniper » Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:43 am

Well, there goes Sheena with her "catch me if you can" chowatude! :shock: While I'm in a panic :shock: Tried that and will never do that again! No matter how much Sheena is trained! Now that she is older I could catch her but she has a mind of her own! I've noticed in the dog park she walks beside me but then suddenly she veers off into her own world and could care less about me.

When she was younger she would sneak right past me at the doorway and run down the block and cross the street w/o even looking. That's when I trained her on leash to "wait" at the curb every time we crossed the street. I would practice with cars coming from the distance and taught her "let's go-hurry" and let's go-slow as well. When she snuck past me after that I noticed when she went down the street Sheena stopped at the curb and looked before beginning to cross and another time she changed direction from east-west and went north-south when she saw a car coming north-south. So I feel a teensy bit more confident but at all costs I only allow her off leash when there is a fence around her!

It's important check how your chow develops...highly attentive and obedient immediately or a wanderer and decides to obey when it wants to obey.
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Re: Does Anyone Let Their Chow Walk Without a Leash?

Postby Boogie and Linda » Mon Oct 14, 2013 3:30 pm

I have seen it be done but I really wouldn't recommend it. Chows are a headstrong breed. They are not as eager to please as other dogs and might decide to run off after something. They also love to turn catching them into a game. If you teach your chow how to walk well on a leash, there should never be a reason to not use it in my opinion. Better safe than sorry.

When I was a newbie dog and chow owner (my first dog was a chow puppy) I took him to the off leash unfenced dog park that everyone else took their dogs to thinking everyone else is doing it and he knows his name and will come for treats if nothing else. I unhooked the leash and that darn chow ran full speed into the parking lot heading for the road with me screaming in terror running behind him. After that, never again.

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Re: Does Anyone Let Their Chow Walk Without a Leash?

Postby natalies » Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:37 pm

At the moment I let Paddington off leash because he's still a puppy and likes to zoom everywhere, so much faster that I can run. I'm not afraid he'll attack because he's been socialised well (I'd like to think anyways), and normally it's actually the other way round. I have to keep an eye out for him to make sure other dogs don't attack him. He's like the kid nobody wants to play with, and when he sees a group of dogs playing he runs to join in; only to be left standing there, completely ignored...

As for running off, he's only a puppy but in two months will turn 1, I think he still needs us. I've heard after they reach adulthood they can't be left off, but at the moment his recall is solid. He doesn't walk next to me, as he's galloping from tree to tree, dog to dog and people to people. His prey drive is not strong as I've discouraged chasing small fluffy things like my house bunnies. But he'll occasionally chase the odd bird for 10 metres before realising he's too slow(and look! another tree!) and gives up. :lol:

What I did when I first let him off leash was go to a very busy dog park (my local one, before I moved, was full of friendly dogs and owners), because Paddington loves all dogs and won't leave them alone. I was scared at first but all the other owners encouraged me and so I did. Turned out it was fine, he would follow the other dogs around and if I wanted him back I could just walk up to him and clip him up. I guess this would only work for you if your chow was a obsessed with other dogs as mine is though.


We now go to a reserve located within a residential zone, so the roads and car parks surrounding this reserve aren't busy. However, he does sometimes go on the road and I have been able to call him back immediately. I will probably come back here in a few months saying the complete opposite, but I hope not. :(

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Re: Does Anyone Let Their Chow Walk Without a Leash?

Postby Rory's Dad » Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:28 pm

If by off leash, you mean without an enclosed environment, NO. It is rare (although can be done) that a chow exhibits decent recall skills. It's just too risky.

I would allow, for example, at an enclosed dog park or similar. I do trust my dogs to behave properly with both other dogs and people, its just the come back when i ask aspect that is worrisome.

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Re: Does Anyone Let Their Chow Walk Without a Leash?

Postby chunkymonkeys » Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:51 pm

Rory's Dad, remember a few months ago you told us about the YouTube video of your friend and her Chow Howdi? That shows perfectly what
a Chow off a leash does... :D

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Re: Does Anyone Let Their Chow Walk Without a Leash?

Postby wokman » Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:56 pm

No, if my Chows get loose I have a panic attack, since they head for the nearest road. Chows must have some kind of attraction to asphalt. My one Chow Kamie would come back if I called her, once she returned after chasing a Deere, as if she thought she could ever catch it. Maybe Kamie was a Mix after all. Chows act as if they wear blinders and follow scent or visually sited targets with little regard for what is around them; very focused.

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Re: Does Anyone Let Their Chow Walk Without a Leash?

Postby Rory's Dad » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:07 pm

You are right Chunkymonkeys, i forgot about that event. The owner of that Chow is still neurotic about taking her dogs into public because of that escape. And listening to the folks that run it, they claim it is the only dog to have completely ignored the bait and run off. Many years ago i heard tales of greyhounds that were ruined from racing if they caught the phony rabbit. They just wouldn't chase it anymore because they knew it was nothing. Chows are similar to that, and recall will only work if they are completely convinced that whatever you are calling them for is better than what they might find by wandering off on their own.

In the case of that video, my friend Kim's dog was completely convinced that the opportunity to catch 5 men on bikes was way better than any liver bait she could offer. I think dog's will chase cars for the same reason...catching a ride to Petsmart is way better than returning to their owner for a chunk of cookie treat.

We run our dogs on an outside lead. Naturally, those things wear down in time and eventually fail. The only way to catch Rory, our male, is when he stops to mark a bush, tree, hydrant or whatever. Our female, Amber, doesnt have that same urge, so it's 'hope you see her in time'. She won't dart off or try to evade us, but just sets a course. Rory is great, he will wait for the collar 'click' before heading outside, so its only those equipment failures we have to worry about. Amber is ready to go as soon as a door is opened. She has nosed her way through a gated screen door and will only wait if its an exchange between her and Rory. We actually had an escape episode last week when an in-law left and didnt tell anyone she was leaving, thus the door wasn't double bolted. No idea where she was headed as she is really dependent on her people, but she was going.

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Re: Does Anyone Let Their Chow Walk Without a Leash?

Postby chunkymonkeys » Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:43 pm

No disrespect for Rory's Dad's friend, but pleeeaaassseee watch Hungry Howdi on YouTube! I just watched it again, and laughed so hard because
it shows perfectly a Chow's personality. Plus I can't tell you how many times I've chased my Chows down the street, giving my neighbors a good laugh! :lol:

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Re: Does Anyone Let Their Chow Walk Without a Leash?

Postby chowpups » Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:08 am

THis was something we never really accomplished. She was fine in a controlled class or in the backyard (fenced in). But once outside the yard it was game on .. The grass was greener anywhere else but home.. I know you aren't suppose to chase a dog when they run away ,but when they are running to the next developement and still running away and you know they don't even look back at you, best to start chasing them down.. I've had 3 chows and none of them had great recall. Sorry but Iam with the majority of folks that tried but said a leash is just fine...
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Re: Does Anyone Let Their Chow Walk Without a Leash?

Postby Doppler » Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:39 pm

At this time and behavoir, Doppler wouldn't walk without leash unless he's in our yard or at our neighbor's larger fenced yard where he and their JRT & dachshund can play and run together.
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Re: Does Anyone Let Their Chow Walk Without a Leash?

Postby christina chow mum » Thu Oct 17, 2013 6:53 am

Yes, I have on several occasions, basically because he pulls so hard on the leash and makes so many sudden jerky spurts here and there on his lead that I ended up in a lot of pain. Unfortunately though, it was not a good idea as, living in a country like Greece where most people shriek in horror at the sight of a "wild lion" escaped from the zoo, strolling freely in front of them, I had to give up the idea just to prevent the police arresting us! Strange but true.... Another problem I faced when leaving him off the leash was that, by nature, chows are not only "kings of Guards or Guards of Kings" they are also exceptional ground hunters with the result that during our "free and happy" walks he would suddenly dive into people's front gardens, garages, shops, cafes, under parked cars, go over railway bridges all by himself, in a perpetual hunt for cats, kittens, mice, rats. He has never done this with birds, pigeons, etc. Those are ignored. On several occasions he has dragged me over and under parked cars, through bushes and fences to get to his "prey", resulting in 2 mangled and killed cats, 1 kitten and a rat, all dead Not nice and dreadful to hear the pitiful squeals...."Mea culpa". Not to mention the swearing and threats I get from people trying to protect their houses/properties/plants from a roaming lion....... Ergo, just for a quiet life, for the last 9 months I have kept him on his lead during walks having taken a couple of aspirin in advance. Like it or not. Bottom line is the only way Ming is walking off his lead is half way up a mountain or in the middle of Siberia! And that's a fact!
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Re: Does Anyone Let Their Chow Walk Without a Leash?

Postby christina chow mum » Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:05 am

P.S. Sorry folks, I forgot. Any vet will tell you that Chows have no peripheral [left, right, behind] vision. They can only see straight ahead. This is why when they are free off the lead, they will pelt away in one direction without turning left or right until you eventually catch up with it if and when it stops! It is as though on those occasions that its owner simply does not exist!! I reiterate.....NO WAY!!
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Re: Does Anyone Let Their Chow Walk Without a Leash?

Postby Me & Tess » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:05 am

When we moved up to our land, Tess was never on leash. We took walks on our dirt road which turns eventually to a National Forest trail. I never had any problems with Tess running off up here, however when we lived in the city, Tess took off once & that became the Sushi/Roger incident. Lilly gets to walk without leash all the time. She loves home and doesn't like cars or roads. Just yesterday I got her to willingly take a walk up our road. She loves to smell the smells and will stay at a single place sniffing for stories & then catches up with me. We love the winter and hike all over our 20 acres. Usually I follow Lilly, but all I have to say is "going home" and she turns towards home. She like Tess now understands "going walking," "where do you want to go" and other "walking" phrases. Lilly watches me, if she can't see me she starts for home. Once were down at the end of our driveway, I was doing some weed pulling and lost sight of Lilly. I started calling her and got worried, clouds were moving in and I could see that we were in for a storm. I can't whistle, so I started back to the cabin to get Mike's military whistle. Guess who I saw on our porch? Lilly!

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Re: Does Anyone Let Their Chow Walk Without a Leash?

Postby Oscar's mum » Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:54 pm

This is something that I am working on with my trainer.....i was confident that (one day) Oscar could be let off the lead in parks/near the lakes / beaches etc but my trainer informed me last week that she would not risk it with him. He is not food motivated when out, does not concentrate on me whatsoever, especially when there are other dogs are around. I've bought a rabbit fur ball to 'get him excited' when out but he is not that bothered with that either. One day I hope his recall will improve but for now, Oscar is staying on the lead.
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Re: Does Anyone Let Their Chow Walk Without a Leash?

Postby kitten1426 » Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:37 am

Yep we can with Both our chows...we can be in the front of the house and they stay right with us...walk down the street they are right by our side...At dogs park when called they come right to us...we were on them at a very young age...Actually our Collie and Airedale also can be off lead...we just worked hard on them to teach them to be with us...and have good recall...
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Re: Does Anyone Let Their Chow Walk Without a Leash?

Postby Oscar's mum » Fri Nov 08, 2013 3:53 pm

kitten1246; do u think they are so good because they are around other dogs that are so well behaved? I only ask because Oscar would always follow Max (my yorkie) when i called them back.......now he is older he doesnt copy max as much and is more interested in seeing other dogs when he is out. Of course it could be that you just instilled the lovely behavior at a young age so well. (-:
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Re: Does Anyone Let Their Chow Walk Without a Leash?

Postby kitten1426 » Sun Nov 10, 2013 5:04 pm

I think having multiple dogs help but we can walk one or two at a time they just listen..i think its because we had them so young and maybe they think were there Mommy and Daddy..we did train them with treats in the front of the house when young we would play go to Mommy go to Daddy game when they came to us they would get a treat..to this day if I say go to mommy they go look for her VS go to Daddy they go look for me...or maybe we just got lucky...LOL....
Our dogs...Kodi Male chow..[Mia Female Chow RB :( :( ]...Bear Male Airedale...Shelby Male Collie...And Moose airedale.
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Re: Does Anyone Let Their Chow Walk Without a Leash?

Postby DrewBear » Sun Nov 10, 2013 11:28 pm

Well, I feel a bit better now that I know I wasn't the only one. I do remember trying so hard with many of the methods suggested, but I could never walk Bear off-leash. He was good enough to walk loose-leash, but he certainly knew when the leash was off...and if he saw something that really interested him, he was gone. I did walk him off-leash in the final 2 years when his hearing & vision were failing and arthritis had really slowed him down. Ah, well.
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Re: Does Anyone Let Their Chow Walk Without a Leash?

Postby Oscar's mum » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:24 pm

I think its a combination of lots of different factors as to whether they are good off the leash....their personality is a massive factor. Oscars personality is very loving and caring and attentive but only when we are in the house.....as soon as he is out, he couldn't care less if i was there or not. Completely different to all other dogs I have had....they have always watched me and followed my lead. Oscar is hard work but I wouldn't change him for the world. Its just sad not to be able to let him run free.......watch this space....one day he will do it. (-: xx
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Re: Does Anyone Let Their Chow Walk Without a Leash?

Postby DrewBear » Wed Nov 27, 2013 10:02 pm

kitten1426 wrote:..we did train them with treats in the front of the house when young we would play go to Mommy go to Daddy game when they came to us they would get a treat..

I didn't really fully understand this when I read it a few weeks ago. But I've been watching dog training videos on Youtube recently (something not available 17 years ago) and there are some new (at least to me) methods. I've a feeling Chows are harder to train; I don't see them featured in any of the training videos. :lol:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjd99MlmqqI&feature=share&list=PLF26FD559887E7EA4&index=2
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Re: Does Anyone Let Their Chow Walk Without a Leash?

Postby kitten1426 » Fri Nov 29, 2013 7:19 am

I will make a quick video to show you what we did and to show you how well they can be off leash...and behave....
Our dogs...Kodi Male chow..[Mia Female Chow RB :( :( ]...Bear Male Airedale...Shelby Male Collie...And Moose airedale.
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Re: Does Anyone Let Their Chow Walk Without a Leash?

Postby Judy Fox » Wed Jan 01, 2014 4:31 am

In a word - NO! \:D/ :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Does Anyone Let Their Chow Walk Without a Leash?

Postby Pinoy51 » Tue Jan 07, 2014 2:12 am

I admire everyone who can tell their Chows have a solid recall.
I thought at least within the perimeter of the house and with treats I can accomplish that.
That was until Nala discovered that watching the neighbors cat is more fun then getting a treat.
Now I have to convince first Simba that it is time to go to the sleeping place and then I have to go and get Nala.
There is no way, that this guys would always come back to me if left off-leash in an open area.
Interesting Simba likes to chase butterflies :D . I hope i get a video once showing the big guy trying to jump in the rythm a butterfly goes up and down. Makes me laugh just writing about it :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Does Anyone Let Their Chow Walk Without a Leash?

Postby DrewBear » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:09 am

kitten1426 wrote:I will make a quick video to show you what we did and to show you how well they can be off leash...and behave....
Did you ever get a chance to make this video? If not, could you describe what you did? My pup is now 13 weeks old and we're working hard on regular check-in (look at me) and "come here". He's pretty reliable in our own backyard, but becomes gradually more unaware of me as distractions increase. In a room full of other puppies and people, he doesn't even check-in until he gets tired or thirsty. That's to be expected and we'll be working to add distractions in the training process. Any suggestions?
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