“NEVER LET YOUR SHIBA OFF LEASH” they say. That is, unless your shiba is uncharacteristically obedient and actually listens to you. Loki isn’t quite there yet, but hes definitely getting better.
It wasn’t always this way. 6 months ago that we were still using 50ft leads on hikes to train his off-leash recall. On several occasions, we were both chasing him down because he was so distracted with the environment. Now that Loki is a bit over a year old, he is still independent but has learned not to stray too far way from us. So what did we do?
1. 50ft leashes to start. We went on many hiking trips using this leash, and he gradually learned that running far away = nono.
2. Dog beach. I was terrified the first time I let Loki completely off at the beach since dragging a leash around sand isn’t fun. But the thing is, there just aren’t many places they can run off to. We also brought beef jerky, the only treat that he goes crazy over. Works every time 🙂 If worse comes to worse, bring a friend to help shorten the catching game.
3. Doggy backpack – It does a great job at slowing him on hikes. He gets more exercise, carries his own treats and water, and its harder for him to bolt at small animals. Just make sure to get it fitted in store before you purchase online, its a bit tricky!
Nowadays, Loki has graduated to a much shorter 5-6ft thin leash. We bought ours at target for under $5, the extra thin kind meant for tiny dogs. It is much lighter for him to drag around, but it still serves its purpose when we need to catch him.
Side-by-side comparison with our flexi leash. I guess it doesn’t look too different, but it is much lighter than your regular 6-ft, 3/4″ leash for shiba-sized dogs.
Do you trust your shiba completely off leash yet? How old is your dog?