I took Ripley out this evening for a little bit of exercise and training, and I dropped his leash unintentionally. He took off after some birds on the grass, and before I knew what I was doing I called him. I kicked myself for that because it's pointless to give Ripley a command like that in an environment with distractions . . . But, he CAME! He turned right around and trotted back. I didn't pick up the leash for the rest of the evening - we played a game of fetch and continued to work on his recall, and he came every single time he was called. I still didn't dare to take his leash off, but the fact that he was not sprinting away from me is sooo gratifying! I now have a little more confidence that I can start training him to run around with his leash dragging. Hopefully the dragging leash may eventually be eliminated. Just had to share. Every little step is a huge deal with my little monster.