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Lisa Smith

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Found this site this morning...and had a question.

First...an intro...I'm Lisa Smith...I live in NH on a 60 acre farm. We have a few sheep/goats a llama and a couple of horses. I've owned a Border Collie as a teenager...which I hate to admit was more than a couple of years ago :rolleyes: My last dog was a Aust. Cattle dog who we had for a little over 11 years.

I just bought a BC puppy from a lady in SD and had her shipped to NH.

"Deuce" is 4months old and I've had her for almost 3 weeks. She is very timid in new situations...so I was trying to socialize her as much as possible. I also signed her up for an obedience class, which starts next weekend. However I read on a local breeder/trainers site that you shouldn't do obedience with BCs because "It tends to diminish its natural instincts." Is this true?

I also have been having a hard time with her coming when I call...I praise her and give treats when she does but most of the time she'll just look and then go about what she was doing. It's so frustrating. I've never had a dog that wouldn't come when called! Help!

Thanks for your help!

Deuceavatar.jpg

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Lisa,

Welcome to the boards!

A good looking pup,I love the ticking.

Love the name also.

You said you have only had her with you for 3 weeks,maybe she just hasn't quite settled into her new surroundings yet.

I'll let those alot more knowledgeable chime in as far as obedience goes but personally I don't see how anyone can have a "good" dog without good obedience.

Just out of curiosity how did you locate the breeder you bought her from?

Did you have Deuce air or ground shipped to you?

Sounds like you have an ideal home for a BC.

More pictures please :rolleyes:

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She just might not be all that interested in treats yet. Dublin couldn't care less about food until he was 5-6 months old. Even now he isn't super food motivated. Find what motivates your pup and use that. At her age it might simply be you. Call her name in a happy, high tone and start to run away from her - that is usually enough to get a pup to run toward you. If she is shy, make yourself as non-intimidating as possible - turn sideways (never face her full on when you call), crouch down, move away, etc. All of these moves reduce the "pressure" on the pup and make you seem less threatening/more fun.

 

As for training ruining their instincts - I don't think they mean general ob. All dogs need to learn that. They might have been referring to people who "over-train" for lack of a better term - ones that don't want their dog to think on their own and end up with a dog they have direct 100% of the time when herding. Teaching general manners does not fall into this category.

 

Welcome to the Boards!

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Congratulations on your new pup. I'm a veterna BC owner new to "puppydom' and I'm a few weeks ahead of you.

 

Here's what I've learned first hand.

 

She will go through phases of 'obeying' and 'not obeying', for the next say 12 months or so I'm told. You will experience this as extreme brattyness and feel like sueing her for whiplash.

 

She needs to really know her name and associate it with HAPPY!! In our class we practice the name game, call her name and when she responds we go over the top with "Yay!!! and doing a happy dance. I've started to use this strategy with my husband and it works!!! Ask your trainer about 'catapult recall' exercise.

 

Meg is motivated by stinky food, toys, the cat and weird noises....everything but my humble old self unless I reinforce my "Come" with a bark. When she can't see me and is far away...on the other side of the house say, I whistle and bark and clap my hands...(while standing on one foot bent over). I have admitted this to caution you.

 

Apart from controlled name game, catapult exercises etc. practice come on leash, letting her out in small increments. Say come when she's starting toward you. You have to help her succeed. I made the enormous mistake of giving Miss Meg way too much freedom off leash tooooo sooon. Now at the grand old age of nearly five months she waits to see what kinds of contortions I will get myself into before she happly obeys.

 

Good luck and please stay with us and keep us posted.

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Originally posted by IronHorse:

Lisa,

Welcome to the boards!

A good looking pup,I love the ticking.

Love the name also.

You said you have only had her with you for 3 weeks,maybe she just hasn't quite settled into her new surroundings yet.

I'll let those alot more knowledgeable chime in as far as obedience goes but personally I don't see how anyone can have a "good" dog without good obedience.

Just out of curiosity how did you locate the breeder you bought her from?

Did you have Deuce air or ground shipped to you?

Sounds like you have an ideal home for a BC.

More pictures please :rolleyes:

I found the breeder (Tracy Miller of Billabong Border Collies) online and she shipped her by air..it was still a long and I'm sure stressfull trip for a puppy but I'm glad she's here.

Deuce is not really timid of me...she wants to play and is food motivated most of the time except when she's outdoors and loose. When I have her on the leash she does better but I still have to give a little tug to get her going.

Deuce.jpg

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Lisa, I have an 18 mo old BC boy, that we brought home at 7 wks old. I started training with him at 8 wks. (basic to now advanced obedience). I did the training myself (I am a pet trainer), and we can all here, soooo picture a BC with no obedience training at all. It is important to start asap. A group class is perfect, you will learn basic obedience as well as socializing your pup to people and other dogs. Her age right now is CRITICAL, to socializing with good and positive experiences. If you have a good trainer, she/he should be able to help you learn various ways of training for recall. Not all dogs respond to the same method, so you may need to try different training methods, before the right one clicks. Don't get disappointed, it will happen! But please do go through obedience training now.

There is a period of time, usually starting at about 6-7 mos. of age when your dog goes through the terrible 2's (like kids) or maybe you prefer the "teenage", stage. Either way, just put on your biggest smile, happy voice, and lots and lots of patience... because it will get better.

This stage is why you need early obedience training. She will seem like she forgot everything you worked with and you both learned in class, but..do it now for sure.

I start training clients pups usually at about 10 wks old.

Most important of anything... enjoy your little girl and have fun!!

Always train on leash (for now),start w/ a 6' leash move up to loooong leash 50' or more, and really short sessions 3-5 minutes at home with play breaks in between training. A couple minutes of training a couple minutes of play, repeat maybe 2-3 times. Do this 2 or 3 times a day (or more), depending on your pups attention span.

Never, never.. use her name to reprimand or call her for anything SHE dosen't like, ie: nail clipping, to scold, bath or whatever SHE decides she dosen't like. Just go and get her for those occassions. ALWAYS.. use her name for happy, good things.. like play, treats, bye bye etc. this is the cardinal rule for teaching your dog a solid recall.

You will do fine... and everyone here on these boards are always willing to help out!

WELCOME!!! What a beautiful girl!!!!!

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Welcome!

Love the pup - very cute ticking!

 

Miztiki posted something in the FAQ section about training recalls: Here

 

With my pup I started training the basics (sit, stay, come, leash walking, ect.) the first day I got her home (at 9 weeks). Once she was older ('bout 5 months) I started some harder obedience stuff - competition obedience stuff. The key was, small amounts of training and lots of praise so they don't get tired of it. At 1 year old Dazzle is a VERY high drive, herding-loving Border Collie, as long as I take things slowly in terms of Obedience training. As far as learning the basics - no problem with drive as long as you keep it FUN FUN FUN!!!! :rolleyes:

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However I read on a local breeder/trainers site that you shouldn't do obedience with BCs because "It tends to diminish its natural instincts." Is this true?
I couldn't even come close to having the knowlege to answer this question, but it definitely made me smile.

 

I tried for a very long time to work against Speedy's natural instincts in training! In fact, there have been training challenges that I've faced where I've seriously wondered if I would have to really try to squelch his natural drive and vivacity in order to get him to accomplish a particular training goal. My decision every time was to let up on the training and not push him into being a perfect obedience dog.

 

That said, I don't see how training the basic stuff (sit, down, stay, walk with me) would diminish natural instincts. If anything, I would think it would help them because any "brain exercise" seems to do my dog a lot of good on a mental level!

 

But like I said, I claim no expertise on the subject!

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Training basic manners is not a problem. Doing the kind of "look at me always" training needed for competitive obedience could be counterproductive to stock work. You want the dog to retain the ability to think for itself and to work out problems on its own. You don't want the dog to be so focused on you that it ignores livestock.

 

Personally I just teach basic manners and then let the pup be a pup.

 

J.

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The first week I brought River home at age 8wks she followed me everywhere. Then she figured out she didn't HAVE to.

 

It took until River was about 5 months old before I could let her reliably off leash on my 5 acres. Prior to that she thought it was really fun to NOT come inside and go wherever she wanted.

 

So we made inside fun by using treats and luring her in on leash. Also NOT not coming in was never an option while on leash.

 

She took 8 wks of puppy obedience class which she started at 10wks old. She was very me focused in class and treat motivated (good because I'll be doing agility with her).

 

While she kinda doesn't really COME when called (I need to practice more) she does 'Let's Go' where I go because I always said it when she was on leash. Also when I get to the back door she now gets 'Inside' when asked. It takes some time, and age.

 

I recommend keeping her onleash until she will go with you where ever you go. This way she never has the opportunity to disobey - and get away with it :rolleyes:

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A border collie must be obedient to work stock with you. Formal obedience, attention( always staring at you in heel position), I think is not really helpful and somewhat harmful for stock work. You want the dog to look at the stock, not you! :rolleyes:

That said, and yes I will catch it for bringing it up, but I wouldn't select a dog over the internet like that without personal references from other people who got dogs from the same breeder. Also this breeder registers AKC along with ABCA, which is a red flag for many of us on this board.

But, the big BUT, you have your pup! Enjoy her,

and have FUN!

Caroline

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Welcomej! your dog is adorable, and you found a great place to find out about working dogs. I have two BCs, and other canine critters. Welcome again glad you found us.

Andrea D.

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I should add (just for clarification) that in Comp. obedience, you must give the dog a command (usually "heel" or "watch") for them to always look at you (when you are done, you release them)- if you don't give that command they just go on being dogs. Daz is training for that but she doesn't watch me while playing with other dogs or anything like that unless I tell her to.

 

Just like when you train "sit" it doesn't mean that the dog must remain in a sit position for the rest of its days without ever moving, you release them at some point - training sit doesn't make the dog always sit in front of stock and not do anything else.

 

So if/when Dazzy tries stock she will not be watching me - she will watch whatever she wants to (in other words - the SHEEP!!! :rolleyes: ). Just trying to say that training your dog to watch you is just like any other basic command - it has an off switch. As all the comp. obedience dogs that also do herding demonstrate.

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Wow Kat - Glad you got your dog to look at something else!

 

I made the HUGE mistake of training Marzipan past the general obedience stuff and into the more formal stuff. (We don't have sheep in Hawaii that we can work our dogs on so that is not an issue.) However, it's very obvious that Marzipan is NOT a formal obedience dog and never will be. She's much more of an agility dog or tracking dog but her training in formal attention and obedience has been a problem for us. She is a velcro dog (stuck to me) and is always watching me for commands. This is due to the obedience work 100%. It's taken us about a year to get her to be more comfortable working away from me, looking ahead and NOT flipping around in front of me for a reward.

 

Of course this probably would be solved 100% if she was on sheep. But alas, we are not. So if you are looking for a working dog, I don't think basic obedience will hurt you. But if you take it farther you MIGHT have some issues come up.

 

More importantly - socialize the pup any way that you can!

 

Denise

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Oh - good point.

Dazzle is a big Agility dog with great distance so that might have helped her know that she doesn't always have to be in heel position.....

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Dear Kat's Dogs,

I respectfully disagree with you about formal obedience interfering with stock work. I think it really depends on the dog. I have a dog that watches me carefully and wasn't even trained to do that. Just really bonded and trained lots of different things together in his first 2-3 years. When I took him to sheep, he watched me too much. He was looking for approval, it took a long time to get out of that habit. I also think it depends on the dogs level of interest in the sheep.

I think if you go to some trials and watch open dogs run, you won't meet many that also do competition obedience. Does that mean it isn't possible? No. Just that people working dogs at that level of training for stock work, often have little interest in competitive obedience.

Caroline

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