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I'm having fun getting to know Jedi but am discovering some potential problems with his unique way of problem-solving.

 

It took me a couple of weeks to house break him. The usual way of catch him doing it ...take him out immediately...and the crate worked except for this one tiny quirk. He began to pee a little trickle by the back door and then sit there and wait for me to take him out. He started using it as a way to let me know when he wanted to go out. He didn't necessarily have to go..he just wanted to go out :D When I finally figured this out I cleaned up and then did not let him out. So that stopped.

 

When playing tug of war with me he one day he discovered that he could get it away from me quicker if he tried to grab it from the end closest to my hand. Well since I stop play the second I feel teeth, our games have been ending pretty quickly.

He resigned himself to play my way.

 

I've taught him to sit, down, stay (only with eye contact so far), shake, and I'm halfway there with come. I've had a recent set back with sit. He's started to come by me and sniff me and if I don't have a treat he won't sit :D

 

I love him to death but his intelligence does not neccesarily make him easier to train. I think people have a misconception about this. He makes ME think :rolleyes:

 

I'd appreciate any feedback on this.

 

One thing I'm excited about. In Patricia McConnell's book The Other End of the Leash she describes a way for teaching your dog enough. Back them away from you with your body...say enough...then sit back down and don't give them eye contact. It worked!

 

Georgia

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Welcome to the world of Border Collies! Yes, they are the most intelligent breed of dog, and thus can be challenging. And yes, they can be brats at times. Teaching them to do things that are not natural for a dog (back up, right turn, left turn, in, out, over) is difficult but possible, that is true; one learns this very quickly in agility training. But they also have their own way of figuring out how they can outsmart their masters; there are times when I swear that I can hear Annie laughing at me. You are following the right course by correctly re-training when a lapse or an unacceptable behavior occurs; but if you believe that there will come a day when your dog will no longer try to outsmart you, you have a long wait ahead of you.

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As far as the not sitting if you don't have a treat, I have a few suggestions for you . . .

 

First, make sure that once he learns a behavior you are not treating every time. He will be more eager to comply if he is kept wondering whether he will get something and what it will be. I believe this is called a "variable schedule of reinforcement" or something like that. Just finished reading Karen Pryor's "Don't Shoot the Dog" which has more info on this.

 

Second, if he thinks the treats will always come from your hand, or pocket, or somewhere on you, go back to the beginning teaching sit and make the treats come from different places, e.g., put them on a table nearby. If the treats dont always come from your body he will not be able to anticipate when he will get a treat and when he wont.

 

Third, teach him to sit at a distance. Make sure he understands that sit means "sit wherever you are", not "come to me and then sit." For example, if he is three feet away from you and you say "sit" if he comes to you and then sits, he doesn't get a treat even if you have one. You will have to practice this with treats and first, but after it is mastered it should correct the problem of him coming up and sniffing you first. Of course, the problem may still occur if you ask for a sit up close. A combination of these three ideas will probably work best.

 

They are a challenge aren't they! Sounds like you are doing everything exactly right, though. Am I correct that Jedi is still a puppy? All that intelligence will pay off eventually, once he grows up a bit.

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As far as the not sitting if you don't have a treat, I have a few suggestions for you . . .

 

First, make sure that once he learns a behavior you are not treating every time. He will be more eager to comply if he is kept wondering whether he will get something and what it will be. I believe this is called a "variable schedule of reinforcement" or something like that. Just finished reading Karen Pryor's "Don't Shoot the Dog" which has more info on this.

 

Second, if he thinks the treats will always come from your hand, or pocket, or somewhere on you, go back to the beginning teaching sit and make the treats come from different places, e.g., put them on a table nearby. If the treats dont always come from your body he will not be able to anticipate when he will get a treat and when he wont.

 

Third, teach him to sit at a distance. Make sure he understands that sit means "sit wherever you are", not "come to me and then sit." For example, if he is three feet away from you and you say "sit" if he comes to you and then sits, he doesn't get a treat even if you have one. You will have to practice this with treats and first, but after it is mastered it should correct the problem of him coming up and sniffing you first. Of course, the problem may still occur if you ask for a sit up close. A combination of these three ideas will probably work best.

 

They are a challenge aren't they! Sounds like you are doing everything exactly right, though. Am I correct that Jedi is still a puppy? All that intelligence will pay off eventually, once he grows up a bit.

 

What Im learning in a class right now is to hold one treat in your right hand, one in your left, one in your back pocket, and one up on a shelf or counter top. Hold both fists out, and have the dog sit. Then click and treat, and show him the empty hand. Do another trick, feed from the other hand. Now he knows you have two empty hands. Do another trick, then when he does it, click and pull the treat out from your back pocket. And finally do this with the last one on the counter. Do this often, and you may get decent results. This is being taught to us, we take Storm to Superdogs Central.

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LOL. Poke did the if I dribble a bit they will take me out routine... um NO! Nice try. Grabbing the rope by your hand is just plain logical, lol both of mine did that as well. And the sitting.... how old is jedi again? Methinks you may have the beggining of teenagedom. It goes from "I love to please" to "why should I?" fairly fast. Keep up what you are doing and you will be fine! The beauty of the dog is that amazing ability to communicate ideas and commands and they understand exactly what you want. The catch/ best part is developing your own language for dog and person.

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LOL. Poke did the if I dribble a bit they will take me out routine... um NO! Nice try. Grabbing the rope by your hand is just plain logical, lol both of mine did that as well. And the sitting.... how old is jedi again? Methinks you may have the beggining of teenagedom. It goes from "I love to please" to "why should I?" fairly fast. Keep up what you are doing and you will be fine! The beauty of the dog is that amazing ability to communicate ideas and commands and they understand exactly what you want. The catch/ best part is developing your own language for dog and person.

 

 

Jedi is almost 8 mo. now. I believe that is the beginning of adolescence! It's nice to have the opportunity to run some of these things by people. Sometimes I'll share things with others that don't have dogs and their eyes will slowly start to glaze over.. :rolleyes:

 

G

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G - Your post and the replies just make me smile. You sound like a terrific trainer and an eager learner!

 

Do you realize just how many people would not have a clue about what their dog was doing and he would be running the household his way by now?

 

A biddable dog is eager to learn and please. An intelligent dog is smart. Most people don't have a clue that there is a difference. The smarter the dog, the easier it is for it to learn both good and bad behaviors. Dogs are always learning but we aren't always realizing what we are teaching them.

 

You've been given excellent advice, and I am sure you and Jedi will continue to progress.

 

Best wishes!

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Georgia, your post brings back fun memories for me!

 

Back when Speedy was about 10 months old - and I was brand new to Border Collies - I had him in an Advanced Basic Obedience class. We were working on sit-stays and down-stays where the handler walked about 5 feet away from the dog, waited for a certain amount of time, and returned.

 

At that time, Speedy's ears weren't quite standing up all the way - one was almost up, but the other still flopped over about halfway.

 

We had been working on these stays at home and I was all excited to "show off" how well he could do!

 

I put him in his sit, turned, walked the distance, turned and faced him. After a few seconds, both of his ears stood straight up and he got this intent expression on his face - and he sunk into a down.

 

I retried and he did the exact same thing.

 

The instructor advised me to keep working on the sit stay at home and go on to the down stay.

 

Now, you would expect that he would have nailed that - right? HA!

 

I put him in his down-stay and walked out the distance, and turned to face him. After a few seconds, up went the ears, and he moved into a beautiful sit!

 

I couldn't help it - I laughed out loud. Like you, I had never seen the likes of the way this dog's brain worked. He knew exactly what he was doing and I couldn't help but love his mischievous spirit!! After much training, and at the age of six, he is much more predictable, but I sure miss the rascal he used to be!

 

For the sit, you might want to try the exercise I described in this post:

 

http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/index.php?showtopic=17957

 

I think it would work very well for getting Jedi off needing you to have a treat in your hand to sit. If you don't use a clicker, you could use a marker word like "yes" to indicate that the behavior is correct and the reward is coming.

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