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Thread: border collie issues

  1. #1

    Default help and advice needed

    Hi. i have a 9mth old border collie who is becoming a bit difficult. I have a fairly large back yard which he shares with our other dog. When we first got him from a pound as a puppy we walked him every day, took him to puppy training and introduced him with as many people and surroundings as possible.

    After about 2mths of this he was still not used to cars and would go crazy when they would drive by. At the start he was ok to walk, not exatally used to cars or some noises, but now he is virtually impossible to walk as he pulls extremely hard to get ahead of me or whoever is walking him and only has his back legs on the ground.

    He goes crazy barking at any other dog that walks past and is uneasy when people walk past and sometimes barks at them. He jumps and spins around when cars go by as well, and when we try to stop him sometimes he gets a bit vicious.

    Lately he has been starting to try and bite us. I have read that lack of exercise can make dogs get aggressive like this, and due to the fact we cannot walk him like this he isn't getting as much exercise as i would like him too.

    We have spoken to a couple of farms that have said they would love to have him so as much as i hate to say it, if these behaviors aren't stopped or reduced he will have to be re-homed to one of them.

    any help on how to deal with these behaviors or if any one has any experience with this and has any methods that worked for them it would be greatly appreciated if you could help. Thanks
    Last edited by bordercollie11; 08-03-2015 at 03:25 PM.

  2. #2
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    That is always going to be a high maintenence breed mix, both breeds are highly intelligent, need plenty of training and depending on their parentage can be reactive and they can also distracted by moving objects or people and can have a need to control from their herding ancestory. So he needs training and he needs to understand boundaries. Is there a dog club nearby that offers obedience classes for the general public? you need to find one that has reward based training if possible.

    You will also need to work on his anxieties which will often start to escalate at that age. Left unattended these will only get worse with age.

    He would also benefit from crate training and he definitely needs some good leash training.

    You may also benfit from a couple of session from a good dog trainer who understands how to help you deal with his issues. Which state do you live in? we might be able to point you in the direction of a good dog club or trainer.

    Rehoming to a farm is not neccessarily where he will be happy. I am a sheep farmer and those types of dog are usually unwelcome. We select good working dogs from lines that have been bred to work calmly around livestock and train them as puppies. Last thing you need is a dog with issues, they usually get shot.

  3. #3
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    You need to find a trainer to explain to you how to get rid of the most obnoxious behaviours. Or do a lot of of research and reading, a trainer will be much quicker.
    The pup is coming into teenage years and it is very important someone puts time into training. A bright dog will chew and bark if it is bored and antsy because of high energy.
    The dog should not be jumping up on anyone, ever.
    Get a harness before you go out again, I use a front one, that is it connects with the lead under her chin on the chest.
    He is a badly behaved young one and he will only know what you teach him. It will take time, both breeds have strong drives to get going and DO something!
    I went spare when mine was that age, this forum was my life line as I learnt to manage a smart dog. it is hard work, no question, but rewarding.
    At 3 years Maggie has stopped spooking at cars bicycles and runners, took time. Border Collies have a reputation of spooking and running, lots get run over that way if they are not on leash.

  4. #4
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    I echo, that town folks, need to stop daydreaming that there are farms who want their badly behaved dogs lol We dont. We shoot them.

    so now its your responsibility.
    From this position of wisdom: acknowledge you have a teenager on your hands. They get uppity, and if you dont have control of your dog (and you demo you do not), then training in isolation of tuition clearly has not worked, so no more doing what does not work, you need to change.
    Train at a club, or with your own trainer. They will be able to tell you in 30 mins, what you are doing wrong.

    The chasing of moving objects. That prey drive, naturally occurring in your mixed breed from both genetic lines. So always going to be more than the average dog! lol

    Seriously, training is the secret with these dogs. Only go get some learning to train you first, then how to train your dog. A good club or trainer can oblige easily.
    Jobs to do is what a herder needs. Or, he'll become self employed, as your dog is now. Making up his own job description as he goes.

    Crate Training: great for any dog. Probably a must in your situation of working dog, unemployed.

    The crate becomes the "off switch". Do a google on crate training. feed meals in their, bones in there, snoozes after nice long walk in there. In same room as owner comfy in there. etc etc

  5. #5
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    Forget about the farm and find a good dog trainer instead The backyards in our neighbourhood is full with Kelpies, BC's, Heelers, etc... who weren't suitable for work and would have been shot by their farmers if they hadn't been rescued.

  6. #6
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    About ADC | Agility Dog Club of NSW

    Hi BC11

    In my totally biased opinion, you have one of the best kinds of dogs ever. Super smart. Easy to train.

    All you need to do is learn how to train him.

    Bear in mind if you don't, he will be training you. As the others have said, he is just hitting the dog equivalent of the teenage years where they push all your buttons and test your patience. And they are also completely trainable.

    As long as you train when the distractions are not overwhelming him. Ie you start your training in your back yard where he can pay attention to you...

    If he's crazy excited or scared or aggressie - he can't learn anything and you need to be further away from the thing that is so exicting for him. You know you're the right distance when he can pay attention to you again.

    Any behaviour you let him do now - he thinks is ok to do, and if it's fun for him, he will do more of it.

    So when you have guests over, put him on lead and prevent him from jumping up. Praise and pat him only when he has all four feet on the ground. Only let him approach the guest while he can be calm and pay attention to you, eg work up gradually.

    While he's on lead - let him approach but call him back, do lots very slowly getting a bit closer. Ask him to sit next to the guest. If he can sit next to the guest calmly great. If not he gets to be further away.

    As for him having a go at other dogs - this is very difficult to deal with if you can't get far enough away from the other dog.

    You do want to practice something called the collar grab game - youtube has demos of this - you say his name, grab his collar, count to 3 and give him a treat. Do this in a low distraction environment so he learns the game, and gradually build up the distractions. Start on lead so you have some control.

    You know you're getting it right if when you reach your hand out, he puts his neck into your hand. You're getting it wrong if he takes the treat and nicks off before you can grab him (ie the grab comes well before the treat appears).

    So you need to get some help with how to train him.

    I suggest the agility dog club of NSW. If they can't help, they will be able to recommend someone who will be willing to help. They meet on thursday nights at Castle Hill show grounds.
    About ADC | Agility Dog Club of NSW

    I'd suggest leaving your dog in the car the first time you go (and phone them up first to find out if they cancel in bad weather), and talking to them. Mention he gos crazy when he sees other dogs and you need basic help in all aspects of training him to be polite and listen to you. Get them to show you some Foundation games with their dogs...

    Also agility - they use flat collars - no choke collars so make sure you have a flat collar. And lots of treats and maybe a tug toy or ball in a sock if he likes those better than treats.

    Hopefully they can get you started on the basics, maybe loan you some dvds eg Greg Derrett and Susan Garrett's dvds... if you decide to join.

    If you get going on the basic foundation training - the agility people may be able to recommend someone who trains herding - which for my dog involved some very shaggy sheep and head butting a pole a lot. Some cattle dogs do bite sheep a bit too much to be suitable for that tho but a herding instructor should be able to tell if he would be suitable.

    Another sport he'd be bound to love is tracking - and the agility club should be able to tell you how to find out about that too.

    Bottom line - you need to learn how to train him, and train him lots of new tricks to wear his brain out and keep him calm in his world.

    Also have a look at kikopup channel on youtube for lots of trick training ideas.

    Start with collar grab, and use that to interrupt any behaviours you don't want him doing like harassing your other dog. Give him other jobs to do.

  7. #7
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    Keep in mind if you don't, he will be training you.

    Totally says it in a nutshell
    Last edited by farrview; 08-05-2015 at 02:07 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bordercollie11 View Post

    We have spoken to a couple of farms that have said they would love to have him so as much as i hate to say it, if these behaviors aren't stopped or reduced he will have to be re-homed to one of them.
    Your post has changed a little, is he a Border collie or a mix? If the farmers want him is it because they see working potential? And think he is worth the effort to train as a sheep dog? What will they do with him if he turns out to be no good on livestock? Or are they hobby farmers who think a BC might be a good thing. I have seen a few of those quickly get rid of those type of dogs when they realise that they have taken on something they cant deal with. I rescued one from a hobby farmer, but I recognised he was from good working lines and was a good dog. He is a good sheepdog now.

    If they are genuine,
    and see potential as a working dog then that might be a good option unless you are prepared to put in a lot of time and energy in sorting this dog before he becomes a real problem.
    Last edited by Kalacreek; 08-04-2015 at 11:20 PM.

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