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.