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Camera Shy Truck Herder

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Hello everyone! I recently rescued my second BC after my first one recently passed due to prostate cancer. His name is Rusty and we think hes about 1 1/2 yrs old. I rescued him from an Aussie Rescue organization in MD after being found in KY somewhere. I'm dealing with some minor issues which I hope to gain some insight on. I aplogize in advanced for the long post.


First, I'm not sure if he is herding trucks/cars or attacking them. Certain types of vehicles, specifically diesel trucks or certain head lights he goes after. He first does the "eye", then the typical crouch and eventually when the vehicle passes he goes bananas. Reluctantly I started using a pinch collar and its really work great for him. One time I slowly approached a truck running idle just to see what he would do to it. I was hoping he would finally realize its not alive and he can't do anything to it. He ended up biting the tires very hard and then was nearly impossible to refocus, even with the pinch collar. Should I avoid approaching vehicles like this and is it even possible to fully correct this type of behavior. I've read several other posts and many have made improvements, but it really worries me. He also has an obsession with squirrels and cats, which I don't mind because I dont care for either. My last BC had only 2 concerns and they were his blue ball and frisbee. I recently took him off leash to see how he would do and he did extremely well listening to my commands and stopping on a dime when I said heel, returning to my side. I've only had him for 2 weeks and I'd like to be able to take him off leash more often, but the truck herding has me worried.


Second, Rusty hates his picture being taken. He actually hates anything being pointed at him. At first we thought it was the camera, but even if I put my hands in a camera holding positiong and point them at him he bolts and becomes very very scared. Any ideas? I've been bringing the camera with me on walks and he still trys to hide.


Finally, I'm an avid biker and was considering purchasing a walky dog system for my bike so that Rusty can run next to me. I hate running so the bike is easier. Has anyone attempted to use this with a BC and/or should I avoid devices like this. Right now we do not have a backyard and I am taking him on 4 to 5 walks per day. A typical walk is at least 1hr to 2hrs, but I can just see it in his eyes that he wants to run!


Thanks in advance for any suggestions. I look forward to being an active member of this board and learning as much as I can.

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First. Train him to do something "else" besides chase when he's stimulated by the truck. Do this by getting just TO the point where he's starting to notice what stimulates him, then ask him to do something that won't let him go bonkers (like lying down). Give him lots of gentle (nut not exciting) encouragement as long as he's calm. DO NOT MAKE HIM do what you ask. If he can't do it, you are too close. Back up.


Gradually get closer and closer. If he "fails" to obey, back up do several more repetitions at a previous, successful distance.


This will take a long time. We're talking days and even weeks or months. Be patient. Missing out on his daily walks/runs for a while will not kill him. Chasing a truck at the wrong time WILL.


Second. Border Collies get strange notions. Don't worry too much about the camera. Don't make a fuss if you accidentally "expose" him to the camera. Don't try to "make" him like it, or sneak in pictures. don't go out of your way to protect him from it. He'll figure out it won't kill him eventually.


Third, I wouldn't mess with the biking until your relationship is well established. Doing the truck desensitizing will help. You need him thinking about you more than passing traffic. If you feel he's bored, work on trick training, obedience, etc - or take a sport training class together.


Good luck!

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You can definitely work on stopping your dog from trying to chase trucks. Rebecca gives some very good pointers. This is a common enough concern that if you do a search on these boards about chasing or "herding" cars and trucks, I bet you will find a whole lot of threads that will have good information. While you are training for this, do everything you can not to let Rusty practice the behavior.


As far as the camera, I'm a big fan of clicker training for this kind of issue. But since he is so worried, I'd start with click/treat (or saying a word/treat) with the camera on the other side of the room. As he becomes comfortable, move closer and closer to the camera while clicking/treating. Eventually, he should be comfortable with the camera being pointed at him and making its own clicks. I love taking photos of my dogs so I'd hate to have one that was scared of a camera. My parents had a rescue dog like that years ago. I didn't know about clicker training then, but did have a telephoto lens on my camera so I got some nice shots of him looking only mildly suspicious as opposed to looking incredibly pathetic and mistreated when forced to pose. All my dogs will pose on their own for the camera, gathering around me when they see it in my hands. The Sheltie is the funniest. Sometimes, I won't be paying her any attention, having no plan to take her photo and I'll find her arranging herself into a ladylike sit right in front of me, clearly ready for her close-up. I always take a shot or two of her so she doesn't feel neglected. :rolleyes:


Good luck and thanks for adopting your new pal. Stay patient and go slowly with him. The rewards outweigh the time and effort we put into training.

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Thanks!! Those tips are already working great! I've been taking his frisbee on walks and whenever he locks on to the little yellow school bus that passes by I quickly get his attention with the firsbee and have him sit down. He is still interested in the bus, but his intensity has dropped and he isn't attempting to go after it. He cant decide between the frisbee and the bus. I have also been able to take some pictures lately, but only outside and with plenty of rewards. I have another issue which I had to deal with this morning, but will post a new topic because its unrelated to the trucks or camera. Thanks again.

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