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For the first time in Sam’s life he got to be off leash besides his own back yard, with his two best friends, a Polish Lowland Sheepdog and Sam’s love of his life, 120 pound  Kuvasz girl. Three acres of safe fencing, full of trees, and hills. I have never seen Sam so happy..I swear he was smiling the whole time. I of course was a nervous Nelly but the place we took them is also a boarding kennel out in the country and you can pay a small amount of $$ and have the whole 3 acres for the time your dogs are running around. What was very obvious is that recall was non existent, as he was happily careening through the trees, up and down the hills. At the end of our time I managed to get him back by showing him a squeaky ball. Also it was interesting to note he was perfectly happy to take off by himself...for ever the independent Cairn! However when the Kuvasz starting barking Sam and the Polish Sheepdog came running...always ready to Work as a pack.

I am going to purchase a gps collar ...can anyone recommend a good one? I know when I go skiing kids have to wear them in case they get lost on the hill.

Edited by Sam I Am
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Until one has loved an animal, a part of  one's soul remains unawakened.  - Anatole France

Adventures with Sam &Rosie

 

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Hillscreek

So great Sam got to run free.

Hunters round here use trackers quite a bit for their pointers. Might be a bit hard to find a small light weight one that would reliably stay attached to a cairn's collar. Popular one is this https://www.amazon.com/stores/Tracki/page/D51F75BA-667B-4B4D-85E8-281CF2DDE435?ref_=ast_bln

Cannot say how well it works as Angus always free in our wild area. Trained recall from small puppy.

One has to remember that knowing where they are doesn't always mean catching them! Also be sure it works where you live. Often a monthly fee is required.

Hope Sam can have many free plays in the future!

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Thanks for the info.  Will look it up. Yes I plan  to return to this place to play with his friends....he does also have a large back yard, goes for up to a 2 mile walk everyday regardless of our Alberta weather🐾🐾. It was also a good test to see how recall works off leash for most Cairns which given most  posts and information is non existent especially when a given a chance for an adventure or chasing something furry, a warning I encourage most Cairn owners to pay attention to. 

Edited by Sam I Am
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Until one has loved an animal, a part of  one's soul remains unawakened.  - Anatole France

Adventures with Sam &Rosie

 

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Hillscreek

Something else I thought of to mention. The hunters using trackers use them primarily so they can more easily follow the dogs chasing a scent in deep grass or bushy areas. The dogs have been trained on recall separately to whistle or name.

I agree that for most cairn owners their dogs should be on a leash. If in a open unfenced are it could be a long leash -30,40,50ft

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gus is 12 now, and has been hiking off leash since he was a puppy. Always on trails far from any cars. He started with an older dog who kept him in line. He did take off chasing ?? furry things, and used to wear a bell so I could hear him when I couldn’t see him. He always returned within a few minutes (sometimes a stressful few minutes for me). I had more problems getting hold of him when he would be investigating a ?? rodent burrow? in a clump of bushes. Sometimes we both circled the same bush for ages, with him darting off whenever I got close. Even now he will occasionally head into some prickly bushes, where I can see him but not reach him, and he gets that “what’s in it for me?” look on his furry little face, and doesn’t come until he is good and ready. We have had so many adventures over the past years - just last weekend went hiking in a wilderness park, scrambling up and down rocks and crossing creeks on logs - we don’t do so much of that now that we are both seniors, but it’s been a big part of our bond. I know it depends on the dog, and maybe his prey drive is “medium”, but I cherish our off leash walks. Going out this morning to a local park.

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I worry that some Cairn owners hear  a few of these off leash successes and decide that they will try it with their Cairn. Given most cases, most Cairns will not listen to recall, especially when their blood is up after sighting something that gives cause for a chase, resulting in harm or worse. Coyotes can pick off a Cairn in minutes, cars and all the other forms of dangers that can harm these beloved dogs are a real issue. For most I highly recommend to keep your Cairns on a leash when not in an enclosed safe area. 

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Until one has loved an animal, a part of  one's soul remains unawakened.  - Anatole France

Adventures with Sam &Rosie

 

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Honestly, there are times when I cannot even catch Oban or Angus in our small fenced back yard -- and they only get to go out there during the winter, because it is my garden and I don't want them trampling through it otherwise. Usually the "T" word works (Shriek "TREAT!"), but not always.  Depends on what might be more interesting... a little bil jac or all those rabbit and squirrel scents...If I head into the house, however, they eventually come to the door because they want to know what could possibly be more interesting than what is in the yard.

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I know it is an iffy proposition. So much depends on the environment as well as the individual dog. There are some places I would never venture without a long line, especially tide pools and any water containing bugs or fish - my boy is even more of a fisher than a ratter. We don’t have coyotes on the island but I keep him leashed in cougar or wolf country.  Just don’t think there are absolutes.

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Hillscreek

It's true Angus has always run free for the nine years of his life to date when out hiking and walking BUT we live in an area where yards are mostly fence free including ours. Coyotes and red tailed hawks are the biggest threat to an unwatched confined cairn or any other small dog in our area. Angus always on a leash or long line when out to do "business" or anything else in our yard.

Agree it very much depends on individual circumstances as to whether to leash or not. 

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Many years ago I worked in a veterinary clinic and saw the horrifying results of what a car, another dog, a wild animal can do to a dog...especially a terrier type of breed who never backs down from a fight. 

I totally respect the opinions of individual owners that feel fine on letting their Cairns run free, it’s just not something I would ever feel comfortable doing given the many predators that can take down a small Cairn ..It can all be over in a minute. 

And this did happen sadly in our neighbourhood off leash park three weeks ago. A small dog was killed instantly by a large dog.  

Until one has loved an animal, a part of  one's soul remains unawakened.  - Anatole France

Adventures with Sam &Rosie

 

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I agree, Lynn. I too have witnessed -- and experienced -- problems caused by dogs off-leash.  Once neighbors were walking their little dog and their two young boys around the block when another neighbor's St. Bernard -- a rescue animal, and off-leash -- ran down her driveway, grabbed the little dog, and shook and killed it in front of the little boys.  She had to put the St. Bernard down -- no satisfactory ending to this story was possible.

And years ago, I used to take my cairn girl Allie to the off-leash dog park with her best buddy, a border collie.  We walked to the far end of the park and played fetch, which both dogs were absolutely crazy about. However on one occasion, a vizla kept bothering Allie, trying to take her toy away and growling at her.  Allie was behaving, but I picked her up and asked the owner to control his dog.  Instead, the dog jumped up to try to reach Allie in my arms and BIT me on the thigh, breaking the skin right through my jeans. I had a huge bruise for weeks. The owner leashed his dog and hightailed it out of there without a word -- no apology, no concern over my injury... that was the last time I ever went to an off-leash park. 

Generally never in favor of dogs off-leash in public places.

Edited by Kathryn
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  • 5 weeks later...
CloverDragons

You had me convinced at coyotes. 

We have a real coyote problem on our farm.  Thing is, hunters come onto our property without permission (GRRRR), and last winter we found -- over the course of months -- FIVE DEER BODIES with the heads removed for trophies.  I have no problem with hunting /killing for food, but that's sinful. 

The coyotes, hearing about the massive free buffet being served up at our place, run on over with all their kin.  We have the fattest coyotes in the county.  My brother goes about with a pistol -- even when mowing -- and shoots them any time he gets a chance. 

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