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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's been a long time but IIRC my girl was quite settled down by maybe the age of five. At around that age we had moved to a rural area. When I let her out she would come back and sit by the door. I still live in the same area but there are more houses now. I didn't try that earlier as I lived in a heavily populated area so I am unsure when she settled down. I spent a week on Grand Bahama Island (work related) and the motel had a red elderly Dobie that just strolled around the premises napping by the pool or in the shade. It impressed me very much. I don't plan to let a dog run loose but it would be nice not to have to chase one down if it were off leash. I have five wooded acres (a slight ravine on each side of the yard) so a dog would have to travel a bit to crap on a neighbor's lawn.
 

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It's been a long time but IIRC my girl was quite settled down by maybe the age of five. At around that age we had moved to a rural area. When I let her out she would come back and sit by the door. I still live in the same area but there are more houses now. I didn't try that earlier as I lived in a heavily populated area so I am unsure when she settled down. I spent a week on Grand Bahama Island (work related) and the motel had a red elderly Dobie that just strolled around the premises napping by the pool or in the shade. It impressed me very much. I don't plan to let a dog run loose but it would be nice not to have to chase one down if it were off leash. I have five wooded acres (a slight ravine on each side of the yard) so a dog would have to travel a bit to crap on a neighbor's lawn.
I live in a rural area too, and I think it's all about training. I'd take my dogs hiking daily and they would be off leash and would never get very far. Start working on this in the house, then move it outside on a long line (25' or so, attached to a harness, not a collar). Call the dog to you, when he comes, give him a treat and big praise! Make it so the dog wants to stay w/ you. Then outside, same thing--call the dog to you (on the line), and when he comes, treat and praise. Do it frequently, at least once a minute at first, then let him back out to sniff. When he comes right away every time, then you can try off leash, better to do it in an enclosed area at first if you can, and you really should have a fenced yard anyway. Do the same thing, call him to you (always in a happy voice), treat and praise. If you have any concerns, using an electronic collar is a good way to go. My last girl would get so focused on running, sniffing or digging that sometimes she simply wouldn't hear me calling her. So I used the tone button on the e-collar (just makes a beep) and she would come running back right away.

And I NEVER let the dogs run loose unless I was outside actively watching them and having them check in regularly.
 

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This involves a LOT of foundational training. A LOT. Recall training is an absolute must.
I agree with the training. My dobie is fourteen months old and doesn’t roam. She knows her boundaries. That just doesn’t happen. Since I am retired I spend many hours a day with her and she just learns. To me the bottom line is you spend the time the training is a piece of cake.
 

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I agree with the above ideas for training a good recall. But I think a lot of the success depends on the dog, too. My current boy wouldn't leave if I paid him, my last boy didn't seem to realize there was no fence of security around the whole world. When there was no stimulation around, he was very reliable. Throw a squirrel into the mix and he couldn't hear a word I had to say.
I don't do off-leash even though we live on acreage, as I am more worried about a deer or coyote encounter.
 

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I live in a rural area too, and I think it's all about training. I'd take my dogs hiking daily and they would be off leash and would never get very far. Start working on this in the house, then move it outside on a long line (25' or so, attached to a harness, not a collar). Call the dog to you, when he comes, give him a treat and big praise! Make it so the dog wants to stay w/ you. Then outside, same thing--call the dog to you (on the line), and when he comes, treat and praise. Do it frequently, at least once a minute at first, then let him back out to sniff. When he comes right away every time, then you can try off leash, better to do it in an enclosed area at first if you can, and you really should have a fenced yard anyway. Do the same thing, call him to you (always in a happy voice), treat and praise. If you have any concerns, using an electronic collar is a good way to go. My last girl would get so focused on running, sniffing or digging that sometimes she simply wouldn't hear me calling her. So I used the tone button on the e-collar (just makes a beep) and she would come running back right away.

And I NEVER let the dogs run loose unless I was outside actively watching them and having them check in regularly.
You said…..My last girl would get so focused on running, sniffing or digging that sometimes she didn’t hear me

I disagree, I think she heard you just fine. She had a higher priority than you.

The e collar is magic. All of a sudden you had a higher notch on the ladder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I had forgotten that I trained her to heel while using a 15' longe. I used the Disney training method of having the longe coiled in hand while on a short leash. When I would unclip the leash she would bolt and I would run in the opposite direction until it brought her down. After just a few flips if she heard the click of the snap she would look up at me to see what was going on. After she was trained I would occasionally just click the snap of the leash to ensure that she remembered. I used the longe with my wolf-dog as well. He never did a perfect heel but didn't strain at the leash.

All that being said dogs do reach a age point where they prefer to be with their master or on premises (even untrained dogs). That's the age I am looking for realizing that it'snot the only factor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That method is VERY RISKY on a breed prone to cervical instability. I would not encourage you to continue that method. Research Wobbler's to get a better idea of what you'd risk with that sort of training.
I'm not training anymore and am hoping to find a calmer adult dog. That's the reason for the age question which no-one has addressed yet. For small dogs he used monofilament fishing line. Fishing line could work in a yard for smaller dogs for recall (without the flip) as they wouldn't realize you still had control until they felt a more gentle tug.
 

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I'll just refer you to the last sentence of the original post which you may have missed. Also no-one has addressed the question I asked w/regard to age.
You teach them their boundaries mine know where they are allowed to go alone and where I have to be with them

Kai picked up his boundary quick but his recall is very good his hold is even better 5 months I think he was maddie boxer American bulldog was from 12 weeks her recall is 100% instant

But I have a lot of property
 

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There isn't a specific age where a dog is 100% reliable, that is why there is no answer to your question. Depends on the dog and a lot of variables.
 

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The e collar is magic. All of a sudden you had a higher notch on the ladder.
Just remember that dogs can and do blow through that correction, too. Nothing is 100%.
 

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One of our Dobers almost made it to 15 , and about 12 hours till she passed , If I was walking her in our field behind the house ( 150 acres in it ) if she jumped a rabbit , it was all over with , she had strong training , but like I said if Bugs hopped up she forgot her name and training .

So to answer your question , to me is no answer
 

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Sort of like my neighbors and the invisible fence :)
Yes, exactly like that. Invisible fences drive me cuckoo. The dog can blow through it and then not want to take the shock to come back home. It also doesn't prevent other animals from coming in a causing trouble.
 

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I think as a breed Dobermans are far easier to get to a somewhat reliable level, given training, vs hounds or herding dogs. My female dobie was ~95% reliable at 2 years. She would not stray from the yard and when walking in the woods off leash would stick to within 15-20 yards of me. Like others noted, Dobermans do have a strong prey drive which can take over. That last 5% of Ava's time is spent chasing squirrels, or even deer. She will never be 100% until old age or disability forces her to be, just like the old red female you mention in your OP.
 

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I'll just refer you to the last sentence of the original post which you may have missed. Also no-one has addressed the question I asked w/regard to age.
I'm not sure I can answer that, as my last girl was still tearing around at age 9. If I'd left her outside to do her thing in an unfenced area, she would have taken off. And if she hadn't gotten lost or taken out by an animal or car, she would have come back. My male (also running around still at age 11), would have stayed right near the house. So I don't think it's an age thing--I think it depends on the individual dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Of course it depends on the dog and its prior training but I have to set a limit before driving to meet a dog. Otherwise I'll waste my (and the other party's) time. My gut feel is nothing below three years unless the dog has been trained.

With respect to background checks I don't think I want unvetted volunteers gathering info on me to place in a file accessible by other unvetted volunteers. They may mistrust me but not to the degree that I mistrust them. There's already too much stuff out there on all of us. Even this forum says don't post personal info.
 
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