Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Skylar's, the rescue Doberman's, first off leash Run

A little while ago we decided that it was time for our beloved rescue Doberman Skylar to have his first off leash run. He has been running free in fenced in dog parks, but never in an open space area. We have Skylar a year this month and we hoped we can trust him by now to stay around and not take off once his leash is unhocked. Skylar is still easily distracted and very flighty in case something scares him and he is not good on recall, so my husband and I were a little concerned about the whole thing. Admittedly especially I was very nervous, but on the other hand we didn't want to deny him to run free any longer.

To ease the situation we called on our trusted dog trainer, Alexandra Gant, and scheduled a session with her to help us at least do the right things from our side and decrease our nervousness just by her calm presence. We decided to go to Fiesta Island here in San Diego, which is a huge recreational area right by a bay at the sea. There is also a big dog park on the island, which is kind of semi fenced in. The dog park is so vast that the dog can get completely out of sight and if it absolutely wants to can go around the fences. So the dog will have the feeling it is truly free, but there is at least some protection given.

Alexandra brought her own rescue dog with her, Arya, her Coydog as she calls her. Arya is a mix between a Coyote and a Husky. Skylar and Arya know each other and get along well and we believed that they will give each other some confidence and hang out with each other and hopefully us, too, and not take off alone or with another dog. So the plan was made and off we went.

If you are holding your breath by now, I can already tell you that things went well. Yes, the dogs went out of sight one or two times but they came back. Altogether Skylar stayed much closer to us than we expected and didn't take advantage of the situation that he could take off.

When we reached the sea level something amazing happened: Our water shy dog went into the water the very first time! It was so lovely to observe these two dogs enjoying their freedom to run and play in the water.

Skylar: "What, are you really going in there?"

Arya: "Yes, not a big deal, it is actually fun!"

Skylar: "Alright, you lead, I will follow."

Arya: "Let's catch the waves!" Skylar: "I do what you do!"

Skylar: "This stuff smells wired".

Skylar: "But all in all the water is not too bad."

Skylar: "Catch me if you can!"

Skylar: "If you don't chase me...

...I will chase you!"

Skylar: "Playing in the water is fun indeed!"

Arya: "I am done with this!"

Skylar: "What, are you tired already?"

Skylar: "Mom, Dad, she doesn't want to play with my anymore. Do you want to play?"

Skylar: "If I really try hard,...

...maybe I get to chase her one more time."

Skylar: "Nope she won't play anymore...

...OK then I play catching the waves by myself."

Two tired happy dogs ready to be leashed up, again.

Two happy dog owners and one of them in addition to being happy also very relieved, that's obviously being me, ready to go home. Phew, for the first time the off leash run went rather great! We will certainly do it again and this time alone.

A big thank you to Alexandra for helping us one more time to make the next step forward in our journey with Skylar and to support him to be a happy, confident and well-behaved dog.

Wishing everyone lovely, calm last days of in the old year!


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  1. Dear Christina, loverly header! You must have had a wonderful day at the beach. I wish you the best for 2016. Groetjes,

    1. Hetty, thanks for noticing and liking my new header! It was really time to change the old one. Unfortunately the way the lay out of my blog is it is a little complicated and time consuming to do that. If only there was more time in life...
      And yes, altogether we had a good time at the beach, but I will also frankly admit there were moments where I was quite tense, when I was worried that Skylar would take off.

  2. Liebe Christina,
    ein cooler Post :-)
    Ich wünsche dir einen guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr :-)
    Ganz liebe Grüße von der Urte

  3. What a great post! I could feel the joy and freedom the two dogs enjoyed and your joy and relief as well, that all went well with this new adventure.

    Love your header post! Have a wonderful 2016 ~ FlowerLady

    1. Lorraine, I think that dogs really do have a sense of freedom and love to run free and get a lot of joy out of it.
      I am happy that you like my new header!

  4. I really enjoyed the photos of these two frank and free dogs, they had a great time on the beach. Now Skylar knows water is fun, he certainly will push you to go again.
    Glad Skylar can go off leash more now, he will always keep an eye on you and does not run away I think. In our neighbourhood I see often Huskies but always on leash, they are more troublesome and real runaways.
    Wish you all the best for the coming year with lots of rose and dog fun!

  5. Se ve muy feliz. Les deseo un año nuevo feliz.

  6. When I first came to your blog, I got a bit taken back as I've never seen dog photos/stories here :-). Lovely story. We have two rescued dogs and we once let them off-leash in a beach. They ran to play with other dogs and we got so scared that ran after them. Though nothing happened but ever since them, we don't let them go off leash. I'm just too scared though my partner wants them off leash, but I do not allow. May be next time, I will let Matt - the shepherd -- go.

  7. I'd have been nervous too, Christina. I'm very glad it worked out and that you all had a wonderful time! That bodes well for the new year.

  8. Good news with Skylar! Both dogs are beautiful, and I'm so glad it worked out well for you. Happy New Year!

  9. Great photos Christina, glad you have a successful day, a huge tick on the long list of things to learn – for both dog and owner :-)
    Happy New Year!

    1. Thanks, Helene! There is indeed a lot to learn for our dog, but especially for my husband and I, since we are first time dog owners and therefore are quite inexperienced. But the process is so much fun, even though it has its ups and downs like everything in life, I guess.

  10. Awesome action shots! The dogs are adorable. ^.^

  11. Happy New Year! I see big smiles all around after a fun day. Your great photos made me smile, too. Skylar certainly has come far. Do you think he will soon be splashing in your pool at home?

  12. Les photos de ton chien sont d'une grande beauté, elles nous permettent bien de voir l beauté de l'animal fougueux et ces gambades dans l'eau sont un plaisir à voir. Je suis heureuse de lire que cette sortie s'est bien déroulée pour le chien et ses maîtres.
    Belle journée, caresses au toutou...jocelyne

    1. Jocelyne, thanks for your nice comment! My husband and I also really enjoyed seeing Skylar running free and full speed just for the fun of it. And yes, I also think Skylar is a beautiful dog, but, of course, I am biased because I am the parent ;-).

  13. Dear Christina:
    Love those wonderful happy dogs that fill our moments with so much joy!!! So Glad you shared!

    1. Bernideen, couldn't agree more! Skylar has brought so much joy into our life, it is really unbelievable. I am so happy that we adopted him!

  14. What beautiful, happy dogs! And happy dog owners/friends too! Have a great 2016 Christina!

  15. Darn, took for ever to find and load this post again. Anyway I had FUN !!!! Oh,tell Skylar "don't play with dead stuff" He'll get sick.

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