This might shock the Farm Family, knowing as they do the Pup's love of going off exploring whenever she gets half a chance, and her addiction to "catch me catch me" when she does get away on her own, but Noel is learning to heel off leash.
It's never been an issue before, we had a big yard, which both doors opened onto, and she could go out whenever she felt like it. She would occasionally get out of the yard, and when she did, it took twenty minutes to catch her, even for me. Longer, for anyone else, on a typical day.
The new place doesn't have a big yard though. The sliding glass door opens on the yard but the front (back? we face on the alley, but its the only outside access to our part of the duplex without going over the fence...) door just goes straight out to the alley.
So, we've been working on "Stay in the house." As opposed to "stay" which is plant your puppy butt until I tell you otherwise, "stay in the house" means just that. I don't care where she goes as long as its not out the door.
We've also been working on "stay close." Roommate has a twenty foot rope lead that Noel can drag around and I can step on if need be, but I haven't had to. We've graduated to going out the door off the leash entirely already, although I ask her to stay closer when I don't have a leash to step on.
The reason I titled this post the way I did, is because a few minutes ago, we were outside (I was smoking, the dogs were sniffing and eating grass) and the German Shepherds across the alley started barking. Roommate's dog Happy, who has been trained off leash since he was a pup, hopped up and started running, and I had to holler. Noel, who started off leash training two weeks ago, perked her ears and then looked at me. I told her to stay, and she sat down and waited for Happy to come back.
When I told her good girl, she stood up and went to Happy, grabbed his collar, and drug him over to me, then sat again.
I about wet myself laughing. Good dog.