Monday, December 10, 2012

Seppel is not an off-leash dog.

Before I got Seppel I really wanted an Ibizan Hound and a German Shepherd and a Doberman. BUT I really wanted an Ibizan Hound and a friend happens to show and breed them and was going to be having a litter in early 2012. The thing is, my friend's 'founding bitch' if you will, is absolutely amazing! She does obedience with this dog which is almost unheard of.

Well, Sepp came along.

It's funny because my main reservation of having a sighthound is that the dog could never be an off leash dog.

Driving home from training today I asked my friend with Ibizans if she ever thought she could even trust Ki [her amazing obedience hound!] off leash. She told me no.

Thinking about it, for Sepp to get to trial he will have to be reliable off leash, however performing in a trial and show atmosphere is different than running around in an open space. I hope when we make it to trial Sepp will be very obedient and well behaved but I know I will never fully trust him off leash.

Don't get me wrong, I have taken all three of my dogs to a giant 100 acre field and let them run around. There was nowhere for them to go, no people to distract them. We didn't stay out there for super long, the dogs had a good run and that was that. I just don't see a point that I will ever be able to trust him to not bolt off after something. I've had him over a year now and he has come so far from the super impulsive dog who didn't know I was attached to his leash. More often than not he will think before acting, but he is still super impulsive. He has a decent prey drive that I will never underestimate, especially after the encounter with my horse!

I've spoken about it in earlier posts. When Sepp and I go out - we represent the breed. I feel like I would be doing a disservice to my dog, and to everyone else's dogs by letting him off leash somewhere - running the risk of a negative dog encounter or a negative human encounter. Even if your dog is well behaved off-leash, you should really consider where you are at and if it's worth the risk. I rarely have my dogs off-leash in public, if we go to a big empty field, or go to a friend's place with property - I will let them run free. The instances my dogs aren't on a leash are usually transferring to and from the car, walking into work, or leaving work if everything is closed up. Even though my dogs are reliable off leash, I see no reason to test it all the time.

It was kind of cool to find the mutual realization between my friend and I that it simply was not worth the risk. Sepp doesn't have to be an off leash dog. We do fine with him being on leash and he's adequately exercised in other ways in his life. It isn't important for Seppel to be reliable off leash.

So in a way, I got my hound that can't be off leash. It just happens to be in a wiggly pit body.


  1. Just happened to me tonight. Bindi went after deer I didn't see. It was dark, rainy, I'm not feeling well - I scanned around to do the all-clear, didn't see anything, then ambled out to tie them up. I was being lax and was counting on Bindi not to do anything. Well, deer ran out of nowhere and she ran after them straight towards a hugely busy highway. I had no idea she could move like that after her last surgery since it's been gimpy, but she managed AND *almost* got a deer. I was so scared and horrified, thank goodness she came back to me after she was done her merry chase, don't know if she did or didn't get onto the busy road as I couldn't see anything (why are street lights so woefully inadequate these days it seems?) but it was enough for me to soberly remind myself that I must not let myself get lazy. This is a good reminder too, thank you.

    And I wanted an off-leash dog. Some guy told me he promised he could do it if I paid him $800, he would have her trained 100% reliable off leash in any situation. But he doesn't work with pit bulls, mostly Shepherds and Rotties. So I don't know...

    Anyway, there's nothing snapping a dog out of prey drive like that I don't think. I have read in several different books that in that state of mind, they are actually physically unable to even hear you.

  2. OK, I have no idea why I typed highway, it wasn't quite THAT It's a busy road though. :P

    1. LOL - it added it to the awesomeness of your story!!!!!

      I agree with you, I don't think it's really possible to stop them. I do think some dogs might be responsive to a shock collar - but if I have to zap my dog to keep them honest... I just don't see a point. Plus with a Pit Bull there's always a chance they will run through the zap.

      You have to admit, if she caught the deer that would have been pretty cool!