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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
 
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Anyone have a border collie? Need training help

We have a border collie/pointer X named Callie and we're having some issues training her simple commands such as 'stay' or lay down'.. don't even get me started on how she behaves on a leash or how "well" she listens when called if she is let off the leash LOL. She's about 2 years old and is a rescue (the woman who had her before us was abusive towards her and Callie ran away and ended up at Animal Control - it took her awhile to trust my mom and I but she is still weary of other women) She is doing ok with the 'sit' part but sometimes needs encouraging because of her poor attention span that comes along with the breed... there always seems to be more interesting things going on that she has to check out of course! We've consulted with a professional trainer but it didn't help. As a side note she loves to try and herd everything/everyone - to the phone when it rings, to the door and she even tries it with the cats in the house but that never goes well When things aren't going the way she wants or if we're not walking in the direction she wants to she will try to herd us the way she wants to go. She is very stubborn. Has anyone ever managed to train a collie? Did you find it difficult? We're having a heck of a time and I would love some advice if possible. Thanks!!

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 02:12 PM
 
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She is beautiful!

What trainging methods have you tried so far? Where do you usually try to do "lessons" at?

Basically, whenever my dogs want something, to go outside or whatever, I have them do a command first. They always have to sit before going outside. Usually when I goto put on a leash, which means "walk", they have to lay down. When we are just "training" I take them to a quiet spot, no windows or distractions and we work for 15 minutes and then go play. I use positive reinforcement. So rewards are usually treats or toys.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks We've tried pretty much everything you've listed in your post minus the part with the room with no windows.. unfortunatly there is no place with enough room that has no windows and no noise that we have access to. I make her sit before leashing, before treats, before letting her off the leash for a run and again when I put her back on. We've tried treats which somewhat works but she gets so darn distracted by EVERYTHING it's hard to keep her attention. Trying toys had never worked for her.. she gets a crazy look in her eyes as soon as she sees one She always wants to be off doing something else when training even if it's sniffing at a corner in the wall which I've read is quite common with the breed. We've tried little training sessions before runs, during runs and after runs, they all end up the same with her trotting off to do whatever she wants.

I think the biggest problem we are having is getting her to come when called whether she is off leash or even just in the back yard. We've tried rewarding with treats when called but it's like she forgets it as soon as it happens. When we try to get her to lay down she cowers - I think that's when she used to get hit in her old home We've tried using different terms for lay down but it always results in the same thing.

Strangly enough the only time I've noticed that she's on her best behavior is when we are in the middle of nowhere in the mountains hiking - she usually comes when called and she will trail RIGHT behind me on my heels with no leash on without me having to say anything - it's like she's herding my boyfriend and I. I guess she's happiest and most responsive when she's 'working'. Right now because of my health problems and the winter season coming on it's impossible for us to get onto a trail with no people around to use as a starting point and she starts behaving badly again if we don't go hiking for a few weeks.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
 
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More Callie pics...

Hiking girl! At a corner and waiting for us to catch up


In the back yard with Carl the lobster



Top of the mountain taking a break
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 03:48 PM
 
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Man, sounds ruff. Hopefully someone with border collie experience will come along and give better suggestions.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
 
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Your suggestions were really good, I'm gonna start looking for a space with no windows and no distractions for her.. if I can find one maybe that will help.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 04:34 PM
 
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i have a border collie/lab mix who we have had for about 7mo. so i am still learning. he was a rescue from a puppy mill and just turned a year old in sept. i'm not sure if what i have to offer will help cause she was abused and reggie was not(not to that extreme anyway) i would say that you have to get that herding thing under control. reggie herded my kids when we first got him and we would tackle him to the ground and pin him until he submitted to us. then we would have the kids one at a time hold him down too. it was all under the advice from the rescue and it worked really well. but i don't know if it is a good idea for a dog who was abused. i think if she is herding you though she thinks she's the boss and you have to establish you are her pack leader. our beagle was abused and has always been kind of nippy so we had a hard time training him. we praise and praise and praise reggie some more when he does a good job and in training sessions he gets a treat every time he does a command the first time. it usually only takes a few times and he has it. i did a google search on border collies and then on labs to find ways specific to those breeds to help train too. you may want to research the pointer part of it too. sorry so long i hope i gave you some ideas. just stick with it and try to stay patient she will get it.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the advice! Callie is a VERY nippy girl.. we are trying to break her from it but it's hard. We've tried to hold her down to establish dominence like you've done but she seems to think it's playtime when we do that.. I'll try doing it again and being more assertive with her to see if that helps I'll do some google searches as well for breed specific training!
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 09:26 PM
 
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when you hold her down don't lt her back up until she totally submits--head on the floor,not kicking,etc the searches sould help you turn stuff up too. for nipping they told us to hold his muzzle shut look him straight in the eye and firmly say no.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sara8
when you hold her down don't lt her back up until she totally submits--head on the floor,not kicking,etc the searches sould help you turn stuff up too. for nipping they told us to hold his muzzle shut look him straight in the eye and firmly say no.

I'll give those a try, thanks!!
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animal control, border collie, lab mix, puppy mill


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