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d112358's Achievements


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  1. Pulling on leash can result in some unintentionally aggressive body language from dogs. If you look at a polite off-leash greeting, dogs approach each other in a wiggly or circular path - coming straight on is a charge. Stiff tail wagging and nervous play can be signs of a dog that's highly stressed - look for loose eyes, ears, and body posture to distinguish lower-arousal situations where you can let him greet. I like to practice U-turns with my leash-reactive dog rather than picking him up. It seems to give him a chance to focus on something else.
  2. Have you read the Mary Ellen Barry article on 2x2s? http://www.kineticdog.com/Files/2%20x%202%20PDF.pdf I found this pretty easy to progress through.
  3. I get the feeling that your criteria may be too high with the fast-paced game if you're resetting multiple times without rewarding. You could also try making the game involve a sit/stay component, with the time he waits to be released directly proportional to how fast he sat.
  4. Their use of averages (adding all the trials and dividing by the #) may not be entirely appropriate if the distribution of times isn't symmetric, unless you selectively throw out outliers. I would use the median or a fixed percentile instead.
  5. We do a foundation agility exercise of 'fast downs', where you have a toy out, are playing with it and getting the dog hyped up. You cue a down, then selectively reinforce with short play (tug is perfect for this game) if it's in the top 30-50% of speed for the behavior. If it's slow, you just say 'too slow', release and start again immediately. It's kind of like GentleLake's suggestion, but it keeps the game fast-paced (which is important when you want a fast behavior). The top 30-50% of reps is a rolling target; he should start getting faster and you can increase your criteria, but you still want to reward fairly often so he doesn't disengage.
  6. For every low drive or over-the-top border collie I see in agility classes, there are at least 5 that are easy to train and two of those are naturals. This is a better ratio than I see in almost any other breed of dog I work with - with the possible exception of miniature poodles, but my sample size is a lot smaller and miniature poodles aren't built for the fastest course times.
  7. If you're not willing to make breed generalizations, what's the point of breeds except for looks? The border collie breed was developed to work stock. Beagles were developed to scent track game. JRTs were developed to kill vermin. The complexity of stockwork and the need to work at a distance semi-independently but in concert with a person predisposes border collies as a breed to be more biddable and focused than a lot of other breeds. Once you have a specific dog in hand you should be working with that dog. However, breed informs where I start and what jump size in difficulty I think is appropriate until I get more specific information.
  8. I think a lot of people are framing 'easy' as compared to other breeds, and I've got to say that I agree with them on that point. Even the hardcore resource guarders and socialization basket-case border collies I've worked with have been more tractable than other breeds with similar issues (usually terriers).
  9. Sekah's Canadian, so the jargon's spread across the continent.
  10. This is similar to an exercise I do to start jumpwork with my dogs, but I keep my focal point firmly on the landing side and prioritize getting a treat out before the head-check to keep the dog's focus forward.
  11. Front-clip harness? Should just redirect him back to you if properly fitted.
  12. If you think about his ideal take-off point (1x bar height away for collection or 3x for extension) and know his stride length you can pace it off more consistently, although scoping exercises with different leadouts are always useful.
  13. The 'not letting dogs play together too much' technique might be a mistaken generalization from preventing littermate syndrome, where you do run the risk of the dogs not bonding well to people. Since the adult dogs in the household are already people-focused, they won't foster the same sort of codependency that you can see in littermates. It's not a bad idea to do some separation training every day while the pup is young, but it doesn't need to be near-total.
  14. In addition to the '3 obstacles then run out and party' approach, do more fun runs that allow toys and/or treats in the ring. UKI allows you to run NFC at normal competitions and use non-audible toys (no food), so if your dog is motivated by a ball or tug, this is a great choice to work through competition stress. Your wife should also check to see if she has any 'tells' that make it clear to the dog that there's not going to be reinforcement. I know at least one dog whose approach to agility depends entirely on if he sees his owner wearing a bait bag. I also know for myself that I don't run the same in class as I do in the ring; I end up providing a lot more frenetic energy that makes my crazy dog just a hair crazier.
  15. If he's not terribly noise-sensitive and he is treat motivated, I would get a clicker. Start with a few sessions charging it so he know that hearing a click means he'll get a treat, then play with free-shaping or capturing behaviors with no cues, only naming the behavior once he's offering it reliably. Free-shaping is clicking/treating for small steps towards a behavior, gradually building it up to the finished behavior. Capturing is waiting for the dog to do something he would do naturally, then clicking for it - 'sit' and 'down' are pretty reliable to capture. Both of these techniques are pretty hands-off, which can be less overwhelming for a shy dog than all the body pressure you give when you're trying to lure or (more so) if you're using compulsion-based methods. However you train, keep in mind that right now 'sit' means 'something scary's going to happen, run away'. I would teach the behavior completely on hand signals before you name it, then do a cue transfer to a neutral word (you may be able to transfer it back to 'sit' again eventually, but I would get it on verbal named something else first).
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