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Des
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Hello everyone,

I am a new owner of a rescued BC from a local Humane society. My BC, Duffy, is an eleven month old male that was neutered by the Humane society. I have had him about one month now and have started to work with him a little regarding obedience training and some general commands. He is very responsive in some areas and very stubborn in others. I believe he has a little baggage from his previous family/owner's habits. I have two other dogs, both older dogs, an Irish Setter and Cocker Spaniel both 12 yr old and female. Duffy is playful as you would expect with a puppy.

 

One of the areas I am most concerned is when I did my obedience training with my Irish Setter, it consisted of a choke collar and 6ft leather leash and first training the dog to walk on the leash. The walk command was first to teach the dog to pay attention to the lead handler. Then the other commands were introduced: Heel, Sit, Down, Come, Stay, and All Done. One thing I did with the Irish Setter was liberally use the choke collar for correction. Duffy seems to shut down with that type of correction becoming withdraw and jumpy, almost afraid of me. I do not want to create an obstacle to his training any suggestions.

 

Thanks,

Des

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Hi, Des, and welcome to you and Duffy. He looks very sweet!

 

I am no expert, but I am certain a number of board members will reply to your post and explain to you why using a choking collar on a Border Collie is not a good idea

.

Meanwhile, you can run a search for choke collar on this forum and read some of the older threads on this theme. (one example: http://www.bordercollie.org/cgi-bin/ultima...t=010418#000003 )

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Hi, Des, and welcome! Duffy is VERY handsome.

 

As you know, border collies are intelligent, sensitive dogs. To start with, look over the selection of training books at Dogwise.com. You'll see right away that successful training methods have changed quite a bit from the old one-size-fits-all, choke-chain approach of the past.

 

The BC Boards are a great resource. Many folks here will be able to provide help and more information. I'm more of a stockdog person that an obedience trainer, but I can say that the border collie is the most trainable dog on earth, and with a little time and effort you and Duffy will accomplish a lot.

 

(Check out Kat's list of tricks: http://www.bordercollie.org/cgi-bin/ultima...t=012719#000004

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Hey Des, welcome - and well done to you for such a thoughtful approach to Duffy's training.

 

People on the boards will have different opinions about training for pet dogs, but my personal take is that there are now much better ways to train than the old "jerk and praise". As you've noticed, Border Collies are often rather sensitive dogs, and can shut down - which is such a shame given how eager they are to learn.

 

Personally, I only train my two on flat collars. I use a positive approach which is based on "reward the behavior you want (- whether you asked for it or not, in the first instance -) and ignore the behavior you don't want". Of course, there are times when you may need to use a verbal marker - like "Uh, uh" to tell the dog he's wrong - then set up so he can do what you want.

 

This could get long, so if you don't mind, I'll PM you with some suggestions.

 

 

I use food as the primary reward, but attention and/or a game of tug or ball can be good too. The advantage of food is that you can work quickly and continue to work.

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There are plenty of positive training articles out there,in the long term it is a better way to go.I'd rather have a dog work for me because he enjoys it than because he's too scared.If your dog is shutting down,almost guaranteed that he's overwhelmed and scared.

Some dogs can take the old style of training but handler sensitive dogs and dogs that may have fear issues can't take it.

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hi des,

 

i worked obedience with my two borders collies and used a pronged choke collar with both. having said that there are many many bc's who are too sensitive for them and shut down. my two were very tough and could take any loud noise etc. saying that, my first one , sophie, was a 6 month stray who had obviously been beaten when i found her. i spent months and months just loving her and getting her to trust people and getting her not to run wild. i did not start using the choke on her till she was about 2years old.if he is too sensitive for that, you can start off obedience with a clicker and treats, i've started my 11week old with that. i do believe in treat/reward but i also don't want to be a treat machine for my dogs!it's possible to get respect with love and treats and firmness. gie him a bit of time to get adjusted to you and for him to feel confident with you! good luck!

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This breed is VERY sensitive to physical corrections and that is why it is never a good idea to use physical force of any kind with this breed(let alone any breed).

 

It can and probably will ruin the dog.

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Welcome, Des. I too have a rescue pup, and we have been doing positive training with him, as he is pretty soft (sensitive). Since Duffy has shown that the choke collar is not a great way for him, I would stop it's use right away. Your timing has to be spot on with collar pops , or you will do more harm than good, especially with a sensitive dog. Hoku responds to a verbal correction (eecccck, or grrrr), he listens and is willing to go on. I think you get further with positive methods, verbal corrections when needed. Set your pup up to succeed, and reward him for it. They are so smart, they get it quickly.

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Congrats on getting Duffy! He looks like a really cool dog. Like you I rescued mine about a month ago.

 

I don't really like the choke collars. Everyone tries to get me to use them but I haven't really liked them. I use "positive training" with mine and it works great. He's really catching on. When I got first got him he didn't know how to play or anything. Now he's playing like every BC should! :rolleyes: Just keep working with him and he'll be great. Good luck.

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