This weekend, we went to visit my parents, who live in a somewhat rural area. This morning we went across the street into a rather woodsy park, and I decided to try my luck at letting them off-leash. I've actually let Loki off-leash before. I wouldn't ever trust him in an area near streets or if there were other dogs or people around. He doesn't reliably respond to the "come" command, but he does stay somewhat close by. I had never tried letting Jujube off-leash, and I was curious to see how she would do.

First things first:

Here you can see Loki in the foreground and Jujube is way in the background. Can you spot her?
Two curly tails:

I didn't feed them any breakfast and had both of their breakfasts in my pocket. I would periodically kneel down and give a passing dog some kibble. Loki was pretty good at this. He knew that every time he checked in with me, he'd get a small bite to eat. Jujube was terrible. She only got kibble maybe two times. The rest of the time she completely ignored me! She also seemed to wander a lot farther than Loki did. It's so funny, because in our home and even in the dog park, she always hangs around us and stays close. I guess there are way too many fun things to explore in the meadow and woods.

One happy Loki:

One happy Jujube. Her face is all wet from running through the dewy meadows.

In the end, I was only able to get Jujube back on leash by sheer luck. She just so happened to squat near me to pee. And so I extended a huge handful of kibble, and then I leashed her up.

Leashing Loki was not as difficult, but we were aided by a jogger. Yep, we actually encountered one jogger. I was hoping not to encounter anyone, since these two are so unreliable off-leash. Luckily, she wasn't afraid of dogs and didn't mind Loki following her, which he did like she was his new owner. So much for dog loyalty! Since he wouldn't stop following her, she was nice enough to jog back to us (with him following her at her heels) so that we could leash him up.

No, I don't recommend letting shibas off-leash. But every once in awhile, I do as long as I can find a rural enough of a place. They enjoy it so much! I just love seeing their happy, smiling faces when they are free to run through nature.


Anonymous said...

Happy walks Loki and Jujubi. It's so nice to see your dogs happy, isn't it?

- California shiba

Mongoose said...

I totally recommend letting shibas off leash. I walk mine off leash every morning and evening, and in the afternoon on days I'm not working as well. We've been walking off leash daily for the last two years and it has improved her recall and her behaviour at home considerably.

Wilson said...

Holding my breath as I was reading your post. I am glad to hear you are successful, but I just want to say I am not going to try without some kind of insurance...

This looks overkill, but there aren't too many choices:

I guess every dog is different, but I have heard too many horror stories - the second they thought it's completely in control, that's when it happens.

TK said...

Every time my Shiba has ripped her leash out of someone's hand and disappeared, we have found her later standing by the front door waiting for us. Nonetheless, I still don't think I will trust her off-leash on purpose until she's old and frail and I can run faster than her.

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