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To me, the benefits of off-leash walks in this area are worth the risks - but I also work hard to make sure my dogs have razor-sharp recalls, that they respond to "OFF!" by halting or turning away from whatever has piqued their interest, and that they will sit down immediately on cue and stay put until I release them with another cue. We practice each of these behaviors every single time we walk out there, and I bring high-value treats (and Woody's favorite squeak ball) to reward them richly for their cooperation.
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