Off-leash by the water

We treated the dogs to a fun-filled, off-leash romp by the water today. We took them to the woods behind our townhouse community. We went off the main path towards the water, where we weren't likely to encounter other people or pets. Whenever we let Loki and Jujube off-leash, we always try to find a secluded area, because like most shibas, they do not have a reliable recall. More specifically, they like to explore and wander, but they don't actually want to leave their pack. So they run around, but always stay somewhat close. Well, "somewhat close" is rather subjective. I'd say the most they'd wander away would be maybe a third of a mile, not too bad for our comfort level. We love seeing the happy smiling faces of our off-leash dogs in nature, so we try to give them these opportunities every once in awhile.

Anyways, today, Loki got himself stuck on the other side of the riverbank. Stupid dog! He jumped into a deep pool of water, hopped out onto the other side, and then couldn't get back to us. Well, he could if he would just jump back into the deep pool, but he refused to jump back into it.

Here he is crossing to the other side.

 Here he is enjoying the other side of the river.

Then, he attempted once to jump back to our side of the river, but failed.

After that one attempt, he wouldn't try again, as much as he wanted to get back to us. He barked and whined when we called the dogs back and only Jujube got treats. Then we leashed up Jujube and pretended like we were all leaving without him, hoping that would provide enough motivation for him to return. He desperately whined and barked in protest. But he still refused to cross back to us.

So finally, with his leash and some treats in hand, I walked all the way across the bridge and through the thick foliage to rescue him. There was absolutely no foot path. I fought through a tremendous amount of thick vegetation to get to Loki. I leashed him up, and carefully navigated him out. That was most definitely not fun. Stupid dog! Grumble, grumble....getting himself stuck on the other side of the river.

Here's a video clip of today, including Loki's travels to the other side of the riverbank.


Bonnie said...

I love seeing Shibas running loose in an area like that, and they love it too! Sushi doesn't quite "get it" about being in the water. He gets really over stimulated and runs around like a maniac.

Wilson said...

Having an heart attack just from watching this video, I will never have to courage to do that.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see Loki and Jujube doing so well!

Vi said...

@ Wilson -- Dogs don't actually want to run away from their pack. They just want to explore and have fun. If you give them sufficient time to do their own thing (like an hour), they are more than happy to return to you when it's time to go home. Our dogs have never resisted being leashed up again when it's time to go home, and our dogs have terrible recall.

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