Of course, being a functioning city park, the illusion of derelict urban stuff really only holds up for so long. That, and we discovered that the cracked and overgrown "road" leads to the high school. There was a little wooden bridge over the adjacent creek, not sure yet where that goes.
And we practiced recalls, of course, which were unfortunately less solid than they were in the other park. However, this park (or rather, this part of it) was a very new experience, so I kept my expectations low and the rewards high (treats this morning were cut-up string cheese interspersed with cut-up, microwaved hot dog), and if Elka played deaf, I reeled her in. Well, not exactly; she was paying attention enough that once I started shortening up the leash, she would come galloping in.
I also had some fun experimenting with whistling in different ways. A short, low whistle was "leave it", a higher, behind-the-teeth one was the recall. We also did a little bit of Stand and Stay, because it's hard to get good candid photos of a roaming, inquisitive Doberman.
And we of course also investigated various metal things that were interspersed with the wilderness.
The interesting time about spending long-leash time with Elka in the "wilderness" is that she behaves differently than on a shorter leash on the sidewalk. It's more leisurely, I guess, since sidewalks are less for wandering and more to get from Point A to Point B. There are fewer destination expectations if you're walking in a park, even if it is on a path or road. There are fewer people around, and no cars, so both of us are I think more relaxed, and better able to read one another. Sometimes Elka will run back to me just for the sake of it, and I send her out again just as readily. Sometimes I call her back to me for the sake of it, and the way she runs at me is with the same joy. I've seen videos of people who trained their dogs to leap into their arms on the recall; that could either be fun, or dangerous, with the DoberMissile, I'm not sure. She'll run to my arms when I'm in a crouch, anyway; it could be a first step to shaping the behavior.
Another nature walk bonus is the birds. There are lots of squirrels too, of course, but Elka looks at them, and does not chase. She loves watching birds, though. The first time we were outside on a leash, when she was itty-bitty, Elka watched a bird hop across the lawn and then fly away. She whipped her head around to look at me, as if to say "did you just see that?!)
Just an idea of what our path looked like, no need to play "Find the Doberman"...she's offscreen, stage right. When we got back to the playground part of the park, a class of kindergarteners were there on all of the equipment, a kid was shooting baskets at the basketball court, and a group on an outing had just pulled up in a van. Civilization, just steps away.