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Keira is so serious when I train her.

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This is a follow-up thread from this thread.


She's now 6 months old and very easy to train. I clickertrain both of my dogs. Zimba gets so excited when I'm training him. He wags his tail and thinks everything is so fun! He's a fast learner too. Keira does not wag her tail at all. She's very concentrated and takes everything so serious. She sometimes learns faster than Zimba. She's very quiet and I can tell she's thinking hard! So I'm just wondering if she's behaving this way because of her genes. Her parents are both working dogs on a farm. When I let them run off-leash she is always herding Zimba.


When a BC herds sheep or does other work, do they ever wag their tail and get excited/happy?

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A well-bred Border Collie is serious about work - a dog that works stock does not have its tail in the air (in fact, that is considered quite a flaw as it is usually an indication of either not being serious about the work or about losing confidence and being about to dive into the flock's flight zone or otherwise "misbehave" or work badly).


When my dogs are playing, tails are up and "frivolous" - the moment it becomes work (or something that they are concentrating on, stock, someone about to throw a ball, etc.) the tails go down. There are some things that you might consider work for the dog that the dog considers fun and playful, and then you likely will see the tail in the air and/or wagging - but not when the dog is seriously thinking.


What you are seeing is quite normal.

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Keira does have her tail in the air when we are playing. But when I am training her, the tail goes down and she's very concentrated. Looks like I had nothing to worry about at all! I've never had a dog behave like that so it was confusing. :rolleyes:

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My dog tends to get stressed out during training, so tail being down for him tells me that I need to take a step back--my goal for him is tail-up and wagging, then I know he's in his best frame of mind for learning.


However, I had a deaf foster who was a very happy, silly, active girl most of the time, but when she was learning something new she was so calm and serious, just like you describe, with her tail down. For her, she wasn't stressed. She just really loved learning new things and was concentrating so hard to figure out what I wanted from her. She learned a lot faster than my dog too. It was really fun to watch.

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