Shibas Off-leash

Today Winnie's blog has a nice post about shibas being off-leash. Winnie has been so well trained that she is reliable off-leash, despite being a shiba. Still, Winnie's owner won't let her off-leash on city streets in fear of her getting hit by a car.

Our personal experience with our shibas off-leash have been pretty good. They've been off-leash by accident and didn't go anywhere. But we've also had a scary experience with Juju bolting. (Her tendency to do this has dramatically decreased in the past year.) We only  let them off-leash when we are far away from traffic. They are not the type of dogs to stay at our heels. They stay close, but not that close.

Most sites about shibas will tell you that they are NOT reliable off-leash.

Some people never let their shibas off-leash, except in an enclosed area. Personally, I think that's a little sad. It's so nice to see them run free.

What do you think about off-leash?


Bibby said...

One of mine is safe off leash ( Bear) and has good recall, however my female Lily just runs - she gets a glaze in her eyes and I can only describe it as the something that defines her as Lily to us is switched off until the leash is back on.

Anonymous said...

Tod is reliable off-leash, usually because he knows if he doesn't stray he won't get his syrup on pancakes or bacons for breakfast; but I am always afraid he might figure out that he can get by fine on garbage and birds.

"Brainwashed" is a good way to put it.

jen said...

well... i think 7 out of 10 shibas in shelters today are there because they are strays. Got away from their families. Obviously, not great off leash.

So there is definitely caution to be had.

And I can train a dog to be respectful of space off leash - my beagle mix can be off leash when we go hiking. Still, I do not trust the shibas. I think my male shiba would be OK maybe unless something spooked him. My female? I'd never EVER see her again. And she has her CGC!

So for dogs - I do see the merit of off leash time. For my shibas, its not worth the risk.

Mongoose said...

I run mine off-leash as much as I can. Not only it burns more energy but it does wonder for her attitude. Both her recall and dog aggression problems have been vastly improved since I started doing that. She doesn't recall 100%, but as long as she doesn't get distracted and lose sight of me, she'll stay somewhere around me. I would never keep a dog that I can't let off the leash; it's too sad a life.

Anonymous said...

Suki is a city Shiba, so unless we're at a dog park (there are tons of great ones here in SF), she's on leash all the way. At some of the really huge parks we go to far from any city traffic, she tends to stay within our vicinity and follow my lead, but her natural instinct is to be the group "scout" and scope the area when off leash, not stick by my side.

So, she'll tend to stay within eye shot of me, but that's by no means good enough in an urban environment, which is why, for Suki's sake, we spend a LOT of time at dog parks =)

PupChow said...

Mac is unreliable off-leash and I won't be trying that again. I can call all I want, but if he sees something more interesting he'd just wander off.

Interesting thing is my friend just came back from Europe and said he saw quite a few off-leash Shibas there - apparently not many people keep their dog on leash over there. I suspect it has something to do with starting early and the fact that a lot of people commute by walking so they have a lot of practices.

Rowan Manahan said...

Hi Vi,

Izzy is a crazed lunatic off-leash and all we ever see is a little white tufty tail heading toward the horizon.

Fortunately, my mother has a wild, enclosed garden with deep grass and all kinds of exciting things to explore. Just before Christmas, Izzy had her first encounter with snow in that garden - I thought you might enjoy.

Love your blog.



flachbau said...

It's all about the time you put in to training the dog to be off leash.

Ngo Anh said...
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