What an upgrade over the 20' leash! Marge was bewildered and wouldn't wander too far away at first. Once she realized the larger radius that she had to run and play, she had a blast. Happily, though, she stayed very focused on us, careful to not let us get too far away from her. She has become so accustomed to walking 20' away on the other long leash that she can sometimes get a little distracted. Because this distance was so much greater - two and a half times more - she made sure she knew where we were. So, I intend to keep the fifty footer more of a novel item, one that I won't use too much so as to not let her get so comfortable on it that she begins to ignore us.
I don't actually think Marge would run away if given the opportunity, but I also don't think she is a great candidate for a lot of offleash work. Sure, I've dropped the leash while walking on the deserted beach, and she is reliable enough to run agility outdoors. But, because of her fear issues, her sporadic reactivity, and my relative inexperience as a dog owner (she's my first dog, if you didn't already know), I've decided that she's better off being clipped to a long line for everyone's safety.
It makes me super envious of the amazing walks and gorgeous hikes that some other bloggers take offleash, but the environment in which we live (a busy place) and Marge's quirks don't make for a great combination. I long so greatly to find a huge fenced in area for her to run that isn't a dog park. None exist, at least none that I know of.
Here, we set her up for a more formal recall, with Jessica in the middle, so that Marge could run up to me from a full one hundred feet. It probably turned out to be more like 75 feet because of the wind, but still, it is a great distance for her. I cut it off too soon, but I like watching her sprint up to me (and the treats awaiting her) with such enthusiasm.