Meet the Dynamic Duo - Custard and Frou Frou (AKA Souxie).
Until recently, almost all of their walks were done on extending leads.
Custard has very severe hip dyslasia, and we were told early on to keep his walks leisurely, with limited running and rough and tumble. Doing this would greatly reduce the need for hip replacements. The operations would be very expensive, and given Custard's nature we did not see him doing well with them. He rolls over if he gets a grass seed between his toes, if he had new hips we felt he would never walk again.
But he has now reached an age (8) where running and rough and tumble are very low on his agenda - a casual plod and he is happy. So we are letting him off the lead.
Frou Frou is another story. She has never really shown any signs of actually doing what she is told - any sign of obedience can often be seen as "She was going to do that anyway!" Letting her off the lead has been more or less unthinkable, until recently, when Mrs RC said that she has been wondering how she would get on.
So the other morning, while alone with the dogs, I gave it a go. And you know what? She behaved wonderfully!
All of the walks since then have been like the one above.
And it seems to have changed the way she behaves too, barking at other dogs much less and being more loving at home too.