Walking in the woods with our dogs is one of our favourite activities. It provides physical exercise and a huge stimulation from different kinds of smells to your dog. It also provides one of the best bonding quality time with your dog.
During these walks, the ideal would be that your dog could be free in the woods. However, this is not always possible, due to restrictions in different nature parks and other people disturbancy, or because some dogs have a huge drive to follow scents and disappear out of site. Loosing your dog is one of the biggest hazards ever!
One of our major concerns is to have a constant Recall training in place. Now that we have a second dog, Jonas, recall in the woods is the next step after recall indoors and in the neighbourhood.
We have been training recall with our first dog, Lukas, constantly. You can see our previous training in these two blog posts – How to train your dog to “recall” using Victoria Stilwell approach? and Outdoors recall training. Now with a second dog, recall needs to be again established and for the first dog it is another opportunity to consolidate over and over the recall.
Nowadays, Lukas can be free in the woods, while having his leash on. Also, our interpretation so far of Lukas’s drive is that he does not have a strong drive to run away from us, and most of the time he returns to us immediately while recalled. Nevertheless, we are aware that if a hare, rabbit or squirrel appears at sight, Lukas will try to follow it. This is why we have also trained Lukas while on leash to wait, while seeing a hare and then we go together to run after the hare or squirrel. This type of training takes immense time and patience, and it will not make your dog’s hunting prey instinct go completely away – something we also do not wish to abolish.
We have been using a 10 meters leash to train outdoors recall, after walking on a shorter leash on heel and recall. We are now taking our second dog, Jonas, for the first time on the 10 meters leash into the woods. The idea is to have Jonas on this leash and train the recall in every opportunity. This training does not ends in a single event, it is a continuous training in the whole life and in the companionship of your dog. What you less wish is that your dog one day runs away and disappears out of sight.
I hope you enjoy the pictures. We walked 8km in 4h30 in one of the beautiful Nature parks in Finland, called Nuuksio – Luukkaa.