Thursday, January 13, 2011

Run Zuko! Run!

Over the past few months, we have gotten braver with letting Zuko off leash. Originally we only let him off leash in enclosed dog parks and Ft. Funston beach. Ft. Funston may as well be enclosed, the cliffs and the water effectively block two escape routes.

Then we tried the northern area of Ocean Beach, not far from the Cliff House. The waterline is fairly far from the seawall and parking lot, so it seemed safe enough. And it has been, other than that one incident with the birds.**

Usually we only let Zuko off leash when both of us are there. The logic behind this is between the two of us, we should be able to corner and / or catch him eventually. Then one day hubby was sick and I took Zuko to the beach and let him off leash ... and he was so boring it wasn't even funny. I had cheese and he practically stuck to me like a burr. Now hubby has started to let him off leash also when they go to the beach without me. 

Overall, Zuko continues to be good. On a recent trip, hubby said Zuko got a bit amped up because there were so many dogs around and would come back to him for a cheese treat but dodge away from him quickly. Finally, he waited for Zuko to stop and sniff another dog and snagged him. :-)

I'm proud of my little Shibasquatch!

** The bird incident: I thought it would be fun to let Zuko chase birds without having to full-stop at the end of a leash. So we let him off leash near a flock of seagulls on Ocean Beach. The problem is this: birds fly. Away. Next thing I knew Zuko was zooming off into the distance and I was realizing my brilliant idea was not very well thought-out.  However, when hubby called him back, little dude made a u-turn and came running back. Color me impressed by Zuko's recall and the power of my husband's voice to carry long distances!

-- Posted by Zuko's mom 


  1. this kind of evidence is hard to argue with. i believe in shibasquatch!

  2. @Taro: Yeah! Yeah! Shibasquatch is real and I'm living proof! No way I could have jumped all that sea foam with a leash on me. Woof!

  3. Hi! I'm Suki's mom (Jonathan's wife). We need to meet up! I am still scared to have Suki off leash at the beach. We've done it once before at Fort Funston, and she basically ran up the hill from the beach back to the main trail. The only way I was able to catch her was because she stopped to meet another dog! She needs to take pointers from Zuko!

  4. @Bridget: Yes, let's meet up soon. Email me at demondogsports at gmail dot com or find Zuko on Twitter @demondogsports and let's find a time!

  5. Super-bolting-run-away-catch-me-if-you-can Suki could learn a thing or two from her half brother =P

  6. @Jonathan: The trick is to let them off leash then YOU run away, ;-)