EP 12: Learning the Free Range Dog Process in Flagstaff, Arizona

Drake, Scout and Rafe enjoying sofa time

What you’ll learn in this episode:

  • Essential elements of learning how to walk with  your dog off-leash
  • Things to anticipate and prepare for before walking your dog off-leash
  • Benefits of using an e-collar to communicate with and locate your dog
  • Making accommodations for each dog based on personality and physical characteristics
  • Importance of establishing deep and abiding connections with your dogs and sharing daily life with them

Welcome to another episode of Free Range Dogs Podcast

In this episode, Web has a conversation with his wife, Nicole, about their life with dogs. They currently live with 3 dogs: Rafe, a Clumber spaniel; Scout, a German wirehaired pointer; and Drake, a yellow lab. 

Each dog has its own unique personality and contributes to a lifestyle that is very much centered around dogs. Their dogs live in the house, are allowed on the furniture, and come and go as they please through doggie doors leading to a safely fenced outdoor area.  As Web is an avid bird hunter, they have had hunting dogs throughout their life together. However, with Rafe, who was originally slated to live with Nicole’s mother but ended up with Nicole and Web, Nicole finally got her own dog.

After leading a very busy life with full-time work as a school counselor and caregiving, everything suddenly got much quieter when the pandemic hit.  Nicole was suddenly able to go for walks in the afternoon, and she brought Rafe along. It was a learning process for both of them, but following Web’s advice as a long-time dog trainer, she gained confidence and was able to let him off-leash when walking off the roads. They discuss challenges that have come up on their walks and how to address them.

Nicole reflects on how a person can go from struggling with walking a dog on a leash to feeling comfortable and confident letting their dog off-leash on a hike. It’s a process that takes some time to develop and that benefits from the anticipation of possible issues. 

Web discusses the benefits of using an e-collar primarily to communicate with your dog using a tone. Additionally, he talks about utilizing a GPS collar to keep track of your dog and to locate him should any issues arise.


Web Parton and his wife, Nicole