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Jack Russell Terrier Loves Freedom But Worry About Him Escaping

by Pierre
(Luxembourg)

This is Pierre. I'm a bit far from you - in Luxembourg actually. But I recetly discovered your pages here and bought an e-book from you too. I have a situatioun with my Jack Russell (actually it's a Parson Russell) you probably have heard about many times: But basically: She is now 5 years old. And I can't let her run free outside in the forest or anywhere that is not enclosed, as she would 100% run away, and I am worried cos this can be very dangerous for her. She does NOT really listen to her name, and I never managed to train an efficient recall for her. Being a beginner when I got her, I didn't train her properly, so it's not the dog's "fault", but mine. But I really love her to bits. So, for example, to still give her that "forest experience" as much as possible, I got a very long, thin but very sturdy leash (25 metres) years ago, and I take that to go with her to the forest for long walks (2hrs plus) to do my best to provide her with what she needs. I've taken this as far as to even leave the path often, and trek through the middle of the forest, which is quite hard for me as the leash gets entangeled often, but I do it... and I can see my dog really enjoys it. But she has an absolutely incredible hunting instinct - which is normal for this breed, I know, but that's clearly what she enjoys most. She'll hunt for anything that moves, as is constatntly looking out in the forest for anything she could go after. She also digs a lot and would catch lots of mice if I let her. When we see a deer or other animal, she goes crazy. But of course, since I have her on that long leash, she can't run away, which she very clearly would without the leash. I never let this happen as I really worry that she would either get to a road and get run over by a car (there is never a road far away here in Luxembourg), or that she would otherwise hurt herself. I care for her so much, and I don't want to take that risk, and I would die of worry if she wouldn't return etc... I really envy people who have dogs that can run freely. But I have almost given up hope that I could ever do this. However, your book has give me new motivation to try to at least improve the situatioun. At least to try to teach her some things, like come, or sit, and possibly trying something like agility with her. I could write so much more (and this is already very long), but i really LOVE that dog and wondered if you had any thoughts. Can she still be taught? What would be your gut reaction as to what I should do first? I know, there never is an easy solution, but maybe you have some idea about what should be my priority here? Many many thanks if you ever find the time to reply. Best wishes Pierre

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Feb 12, 2021
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by: julie

Hi Pierre,
Sounds like you have a great bond with your dog and really want to give her a high quality of life. I would work on building her basic commands first and seeing how that goes before tackling more challenging ones. Yes, she could be taught to go off leash and abide by your commands but it will take a lot of work. A separate thought I had was to take her to some dog parks so she could have the freedom of being off leash in a safe enclosed area. I don't know if you have those were you live? If you don't have dog parks, a large fenced area where a dog can roam around off leash can bring a lot of joy!

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