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T Ice Posted - 10/17/2011 : 5:35:46 PM
Does anyone have advice they would like to share on loose dropping.
Suggestions, Comments, Concerns/Issues, Training methods, etc.

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lxwillison Posted - 10/26/2011 : 12:22:28 PM
I agree with all the above and I add that I have pockets full of hot dogs that I let them smell before I turn them loose. They get one when ever they check in. I practice many times in an area where there are no cars until I have confidence in them and they know the drill.
northenough Posted - 10/19/2011 : 7:13:55 PM
Our dogs have loose droppings sometimes. It can be caused by an intestinal bug or by the food.
macthady Posted - 10/18/2011 : 10:59:49 PM
I loose-drop my dogs, but have only been doing so for about 1.5 years, so admittedly I don't have tons and tons of experience with it.

With that said, we truck to pretty much every training run we the dogs get tons of "practice" being loose, since I pretty much have them loose every at every training run.

I do find it easier now to "integrate" one or two new dogs into the loose-drop "routine", given that I have a pack of dogs that are all tuned-in now, and know the routine. I suppose the challenge is probably getting to that point. To be honest, I'm not even sure exactly how I got there. I do remember starting by having all the dogs out on drop chains, and letting them loose one or two at a time, and working-up from there. When I get a new dog, I let all the veterans loose, and have the new dog on a 30 foot leash, so that they kind of feel like they're loose, but really aren't. My next step after that is to let them loose, but with a drop-chain attached to their collar...which really just slows them down a bit. So far I've found this to work well. Letting them loose right before you feed, and making sure the dogs know that's what comes next, can help keep them around at first too.

Honestly I kind of doubt any of this translates to better race performance....I've been beat handily by people that don't loose-drop, but I feel it's easier for me, and that me and my dogs, as a collective unit, are happier for it in the long-run...especially given that we travel for every run, and fairly long distances for races.

RSmith Posted - 10/18/2011 : 07:36:16 AM
Gotta start them when they are little guys. Always drop with dogs that have already learned the ropes and never (ok rarely) take off.
With new dogs, it can be done on an individual basis with long leash/rope at first with one loose dog that never takes off. This is how I start mine anyway. Well, WAY before that it starts with gettig the dog to listen to you at home loose someplace. You will get to learn which dogs can be a pain and simply leave them tied off until all others are tied back or whatever. There is usually a couple in the bunch.
Don't start with big numbers, start small with 1 or 2 loose dogs.
Works best with litters. In other words the entire litter will learn as young pups what to expect and not to,etc. Ive been loose dropping for over 15 yrs. The one thing I normally won't do is loose drop close to highways or major roads, secondary roads yeah but fast roads I just won't do it. Sure, dogs most of the time wont take off, but there is that ONE time something could go wrong.
If you don't have any dogs you feel comfortable with loose dropping then do ONE at a time on a leash for starters, also get the dogs used to coming when called loose in a pen first helps.
The only time I've used treats is when I am in a hurray and I need to drop entire truck quick (even with 'so-so' dogs). Some kibble usually keeps their attention on you and the truck. The only 'negative reinforcement' I may use is IF they venture too far from the truck I yell at them and tie them back off for a few minutes. They usually learn it is not ok to go too far from the truck. UNLESS I am walking and call them for a walk. They learn the difference.
I don't know, maybe Streepers can enlighten us more here sometime? lol

I remember one time in Quebec, there must have been 50 or 60 loose dogs (including my 24) and it was amazing the dogs really didn't venture off much past their own trucks.

It saves me tons of time and I can see lameness one wouldn't ordinarily see on a tether and most dogs will crap fairly quickly when loose and not necessarily on tether for even 30 minutes.
Good luck.

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