He’s with me

As you might have noticed, I use a leash as little as possible when I’m walking Greger. He doesn’t mind the leash, but I know he loves to have the freedom to run around by himself.

But this no-leash policy of mine has raised some concern from several readers. I’ve gotten a few questions about how come Greger doesn’t run away and escape from me when he gets the chance. At first I thought the question was a joke. To me, the answer is “why would he?”.
Greger understands perfectly well that he and I are a team. He runs around freely, yes, but he always stays in sight and within earshot. He immediately comes to me if I ask him to, ready to put on the leash if there are a lot of people around or if we’re going to pass a street for instance. He’s not allowed to do that on his own, and he knows it. He never runs into the street. Of course I would have no chance of catching him if he decided to run away from me, but he wants to stay with me.

I know that far from all dogs come when you call on them. But still I don’t like it when people don’t let their dogs be outside without a leash. For me, that’s just plain animal cruelty since dogs are supposed to run a lot to stay healthy and happy. I know people say that they can’t because they live in the city etc., but when you get a dog you sign up for a lot of responsibility, and it is the duty of a dog owner to find a way so the dog can run around freely outdoors for a good amount of time at least once a day.

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21 Responses to He’s with me

  1. Susie says:

    Great point, Antonia! I never let Bogart off the leash in crowded areas, but I always take him to parks and let him frolic. He’s a bit like Greger, I think and never strays far from me when off the leash–he has no desire to run away. This exercise time is super important to him and me–it keeps us both happy (as he is less rambunctious while properly exercised!)

    • Antonia says:

      To be honest, I’ve had dogs before and I’ve never seen one that wants to escape and run “for its freedom”. I don’t think that’s in their nature. Dogs are very human like that.

      Greger has heard so many good things about Bogart, that he’s dying to meet him!:)

  2. lisa says:

    I don’t have a dog, so I’ve never given this too much thought, but what you say sounds very sensible! Even people need more exercise than they get from just walking around, and dogs must need like ten times more exercise than people!
    Greger looks so cute without a leash, he looks more like some forest animal than a dog :)

    • Antonia says:

      Exactly, Lisa! They need so much more exercise too, but that’s only one part of it.

      I know, sometimes people can’t believe he’s a dog:)

  3. jill says:

    I love Greger! I’m glad he’s got such a smart owner as you :)

  4. fendi says:

    nice blog :) )

  5. Erin says:

    When I looked quickly at the first photo, I thought Greger was a kangaroo! Haha

  6. Nina says:

    I completely agree with you. Over the weekend, my fiancé and I saw two dogs with their owners during our afternoon walk and they were leash free but they never got far from their owners. In fact, one of them wanted to be a friend with the other so badly, he almost chased him all the time! But the other one was so shy he kept avoiding and hiding behind his owners legs. And when it was time to go, a little whistling sound was all they need to return. So I think it’s in their nature too. Hmm, this post reminded me Hachiko.

  7. Vivian says:

    if i allowed my dog to run free, she’d find a squirrel and run away lol!

  8. Laura says:

    I think you really understand your doggie’s personality and that’s what helps you two have so much trust. All breeds (and all dogs) are different so I always think its important to know your dog and give them the right amount of space if you expect them to work with you.
    Greger is such an adorable dog! :-) My boyfriend wants a greyhound when we get a house but I want a little welsh corgi.
    There’s this show on AnimalPlanet called Cats101 and Dogs101 and Im amazed about the little personality differences between breeds. Really good to know!

  9. Taylor says:

    Hi Antonia – May I ask how you trained Greger to come when called? I adopted a 4-year-old lab and although he is excellently behaved indoors and does well on a leash, he essentially ignores me whenever I let him off-leash (at a park or on the beach). He never strays too far, but he will not come when called. I assume he was just never taught outdoor obedience with his last family? Anyway, this is something I will have to train him to do now, and I was wondering if you recommended a certain method?
    Thanks!

  10. Amy says:

    A word of caution- my dogs have been attacked three times by dogs that have been off leash when we’ve been walking them. One dog nearly killed our dog- luckily his owner was able to pull him off. Our dog was unable to walk for 3 days, and she’s now terrified of most dogs. There are leash laws in many areas in the states. I always have a prick of fear now every time an unleashed dog approaches our dogs.

    • Antonia says:

      That’s terrible!
      Of course, you have to be a responsible owner and know your dog. I can’t understand people that do things like what you’ve just described! If I knew I had a murderer dog, I’d never let it approach anyone.

      • Amy says:

        Antonia- It was terrible. Our children were there for the worst one. You actually posted a picture of my dogs earlier this spring- Henry the lab puppy and Lucy our fluffy white dog that looks like Gregor’s friend- the black one you recently posted pics of at the beach. I really don’t think any of the dog owners knew their dogs would be aggressive towards other dogs until it happened…

  11. Rucha says:

    Hi Antonia! You are right about the fact that dogs are a huge responsibility….you need to spend time with them, feed them, pay for their doctor visits, find them a place to stay if you are going somewhere…and the only way a dog would like to run away is if you are not treating them well and do not let them out of the leash at all. Then they will run when they get the chance…but if you allow them to have their freedom then they will learn to trust you and see that they have a good home with you.

  12. Pingback: How Greger knows what to do | Swedish love affair

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