Hi all... I wanted to know when was the first time you let your corgi free, off the leash? I want to take him places like the beach and play ball at the park without fear of him running away. We are also looking to go to the lake this summer and I want to give him more freedom to run and swim ect...
When you let a dog off leash, unless in a fenced area, you always take a chance. How much of a chance? No one can answer this question, so you are left on your own to assess your dog and the situation - still the unforeseen can happen. I am not willing to take on any of the risks associated with a loose dog, so mine are on leash when off our fenced property. You have to find your own comfort level....as Beth says "No dog's recall is 100%" dependable.
Sidney was five years old before I finally let him off leash, and it was just that one time. We were at a farm with plenty of land. And as it turned out he stayed pretty close to me the whole time. I live in Southern California where, unless it's a fenced dog park, it's just not a good idea to let your dog off leash. It's just too busy and too much traffic. It's just not worth the risk. We have practiced recall and he's very good, but if a cat or a bunny caught his eye, he'd be off in a flash no matter what I said.
One time we went camping. This was pre-Sidney, but we took our two mixed breeds, Chester (lab/dane) and Bruce (corgi/elkhound). We thought we had them securely tethered and went to sleep. In the wee hours of the morning, Bruce is scratching at the tent. He had figured out how to get out of this halter! Judging by his breathing, he'd been having a grand old time exploring. He was about 12 at the time. This is "SoCal" camping; our campsite had the double whammy of having a fairly busy road a few hundred yards away and yet still having coyotes and mountain lions in the area. And my senior rescue dog was gallavanting around on his own in the middle of the night! And yet he found us - but I was terrified at the thoughts of what could have happened. And Chester? Chester is dumb as a rock and could not find his way out of a paper bag ,so he was just standing around wondering where home was. Anyway, this rambling story is just to say I am really careful about letting Sidney go off leash because I know him and I'd be devastated if something happened to him. Chester "the rock", on the other hand, we can let walk off leash because he wouldn't go anywhere. Know your dog, know your situation and decide from there, but I think for now he's still too young. Good luck!
I have a 20 foot leash that I tie around my waist and attach to Basil's collar. Gives him room to roam, but I don't worry about losing him.
I only let Charlie run free in our yard (unfenced) and on walks late at night when there is hardly anyone around. Use times like that to train your corgi. In training classes, we learned "wait" (which is to pause in place) and "ok" (to release). So Charlie does this very well now and we continue to train him in it on our walks. "Wait" when we are preparing to cross the sidewalk, so mommy and daddy can make sure there are no cars coming, then "ok" when it's ok to go and cross.
Lot's of praise when he does both correctly.
As for large crowded areas, I would never let Charlie free. He's wayyyyyy too social; on walks during the day he wants to say hi to every person and every dog, so I know he would go crazy.
Just use your judgement and know your dog.
My Ella is a year and a half old now and I just let her off her leash the other day for about 5 minutes. She stayed around but I wondered if she even realized she was free! She has a little rubber ring that I take outside and play with her with so I got that out right away and played with her. It was so neat to see her be able to run full-speed after a toy but I was too nervous about leaving her off leash for long. I guess I let too many "what ifs" come into my head. I am going to try to find somewhere that is fenced in and let her run free and maybe work with training a bit before I feel comfortable letting her off leash for any amount of time. I would just feel awful if she ran off. I couldn't bare to lose my sweet baby!
I'm also working on this with Indy. Right now, we have been going to a large dog park where I let him free and I am calling him back. I wanted to train him in an area where he is able to be distracted so that I know he will listen in an unfamiliar area. He has been doing pretty well if I call him excitedly, but he doesn't seem to care if I command him. He always comes for my husband when he commands, so I am thinking I just may not be the pack leader even thoughI sound like I mean business. Best of luck!
You can let him off the leash in appropriate places as soon as don't have the fear that he won't return to you on comand and will follow all good behavior cues. Look in to a Canine good citizenship class if you don't feel you can trian on your own. Corgis love to run free so it is very important you know he will obay you.