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I noticed in BCS's thread that Sam was "working" Mel and a couple of folks have said not to let this happen. Could folks elaborate?

 

Bea loves to do this with Colt her big brother. She doesn't do it with any other playmates. I let her til she was almost 4 mos. old. I thought she was playing. And yes, damn cute, lots of crouching, slinky cat like stalking, etc. It quickly became annoying as she will sometimes bark and growl and she was jacking the ball or frisbee. I put her on a long line and got a wait on her and I also use chill and here, but I am constantly having to manage this whenever we play ball or frisbee as this is the only time she does this behavior. She listens remarkably well, but will start up again if I take my focus off her for too long.

 

I'd like to know why folks say it is detrimental to later stock-work and if folks have suggestions for stopping it completely.

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Since I have no knowledge of working stock with my dogs, I can only repeat what I said in the previous thread. Actually, I can add that the behaviorist we took Shonie to, (Trish King at Marin Humane Society) said that it is really, really, really annoying to the dog being worked, especially if it's all one way.

 

We stopped exercising the two girls at the same time, except for leashed walks. No more playing ball with Sam while Shonie was stalking her.

 

Ruth

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Mick has no interest in working other dogs...he only believes in working sheep. Beag (now with the ex) had an extreme interest in working other dogs. Mick just ignored it, but it did cause problems with other dogs on occasion.

 

I suggest discouraging it as much as possible, but I honestly do not know the best way to go about it.

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Since I have no knowledge of working stock with my dogs, I can only repeat what I said in the previous thread. Actually, I can add that the behaviorist we took Shonie to, (Trish King at Marin Humane Society) said that it is really, really, really annoying to the dog being worked, especially if it's all one way.

 

We stopped exercising the two girls at the same time, except for leashed walks. No more playing ball with Sam while Shonie was stalking her.

 

Ruth

 

Actually teaching Bea to wait while I throw the ball or frisbee for Colt and then one for her took care of this really well. Perhaps that is the best I can expect of her. I am off to read the thread Jack and Co. linked to.

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http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/index.php?showtopic=27719 Lots of great suggestions...Sue's are really helpful. I also posted another older thread link within the other thread.

 

 

Thx, yes I have read both of those threads and contributed to the first one. I put working in quotes as I know she is not really working.

 

I suppose I am doing the right thing as it is. I think though that Sue makes a good point in not letting the behavior happen at all. Getting her before she starts up instead of correcting or redirecting her all the time.

 

I'd still like to know how and why this is detrimental to stock-work.

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I'd still like to know how and why this is detrimental to stock-work.

 

As I said in the other thread, it's detrimental to stockwork because the dog is "working" (other dogs) without a partner (you) and without any rules. Often, when dogs who have been allowed to harass other dogs this way are introduced to stock, they're not too keen on the idea of having to follow rules in order to be able to continue working. They often sulk and back off when they are corrected, as they find the other, obsessive kind of "work," where they are free to do as they please, is lots easier and self-rewarding. I've seen a few pups ruined this way, and it's just a shame.

 

ETA: I have a working stockdog who works other dogs, but the difference is that he didn't do this kind of harassment to other dogs before he learned to do real work. We believe he does it now at least in part due to the brain damage he sustained after being kicked in the head.

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As I said in the other thread, it's detrimental to stockwork because the dog is "working" (other dogs) without a partner (you) and without any rules. Often, when dogs who have been allowed to harass other dogs this way are introduced to stock, they're not too keen on the idea of having to follow rules in order to be able to continue working. They often sulk and back off when they are corrected, as they find the other, obsessive kind of "work," where they are free to do as they please, is lots easier and self-rewarding. I've seen a few pups ruined this way, and it's just a shame.

 

ETA: I have a working stockdog who works other dogs, but the difference is that he didn't do this kind of harassment to other dogs before he learned to do real work. We believe he does it now at least in part due to the brain damage he sustained after being kicked in the head.

 

Another problem is that the "worked" animal does not respond like stock. Just like working stock through a fence, the dog does the appropriate behavior to "control" the "stock" and gets an atypical or no response because the animal is not stock (or not aware of him because of the fence). These responses set abnormal patterns that are detrimental to real stock work - turning tail (flipping away from the stock on the flanks), lunging out of the stalk to chase, staring unproductively, are some common examples.

 

The dog also learns to ignore flight zones (because non-stock animals are not going to exhibit them in this regard) in conjunction with "herding" behaviors.

 

Some dogs are more persistent with this than others, and believe me...you want to stop it as early, and as quickly, as possible. Not just for the above, but because it teaches ignoring you (as Laura pointed out) and they can get seriously hurt (by dogs that object as well as from running into things during it)

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Another problem is that the "worked" animal does not respond like stock. Just like working stock through a fence, the dog does the appropriate behavior to "control" the "stock" and gets an atypical or no response because the animal is not stock (or not aware of him because of the fence). These responses set abnormal patterns that are detrimental to real stock work - turning tail (flipping away from the stock on the flanks), lunging out of the stalk to chase, staring unproductively, are some common examples.

 

The dog also learns to ignore flight zones (because non-stock animals are not going to exhibit them in this regard) in conjunction with "herding" behaviors.

 

Some dogs are more persistent with this than others, and believe me...you want to stop it as early, and as quickly, as possible. Not just for the above, but because it teaches ignoring you (as Laura pointed out) and they can get seriously hurt (by dogs that object as well as from running into things during it)

 

What Laurae and you say makes a lot of sense.

 

Now can I play devil's advocate for a moment and say that you are both mistaken because there is no "herding" behavior going on. The dog is not "working" the other dog as has been said on this board so many times. This is just two dogs at play. One in a very annoying manner, but play none the less. So yes, I need to put a stop to the harassing even though the older dog is not but...well you see what I am getting at.

 

I admit though what each of you say seems to be perfectly logical if this is only play then how can that transfer?

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Games of prey drive do carry over to work of prey - though only in the negative fashion.

 

Saying that reminds me of something else about this issue that I wasn't able to put to words before. These "games of prey" also blur the line between play and work. I have noticed that dogs who are set in the games are difficult to get into a proper work mindset. They are in a mindset of self-service...which I believe comes back to one of the other points.

 

So yes, while I agree that the dog is not "herding" the other dog in terms of it being a productive, livestock moving behavior that can be labeled as such; the dog *is* using his inate prey drive here and that sets behavior patterns that will interfere with his use as a productive herding dog.

 

For pet dogs the lack of owner attentiveness and the potential for injury is the greatest concern. I would think that it would also interfere with sports, but I have no experience with dogs who do this in that area. My dogs that do Agility have never shown any interest in stalking other dogs. I can tell you from the dogs I work that try this - it *is* a problem.

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What Laurae and you say makes a lot of sense.

 

Now can I play devil's advocate for a moment and say that you are both mistaken because there is no "herding" behavior going on. The dog is not "working" the other dog as has been said on this board so many times. This is just two dogs at play. One in a very annoying manner, but play none the less. So yes, I need to put a stop to the harassing even though the older dog is not but...well you see what I am getting at.

 

I admit though what each of you say seems to be perfectly logical if this is only play then how can that transfer?

 

If she is going by prey drive instinct, it will create habits that will transfer to other areas. And there is a difference in attitude that you'll notice, too. Playing is lighthearted, if they start to become serious, fixated or controlling it can lead to issues .

 

Kenzi does the crouch, hide and pounce with other dogs when playing. Some of the behavior look a little like herding behaviors, but her attitude is all lighthearted and fun - she's not trying to control, she's just playing. If she had a more serious or fixated attitude about it, I wouldn't let her do it.

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Happy does this, I use it to my advantage lol, when I am at work, when I let the dogs out they will often run down the hallway the wrong way, and I play a game of round up trying to get everyone outside..when Happy is along she stands at the kennels and as I open each gate, she herds them straight out the door into the yard, its great lol. I also use this to get nervous dogs in..the feild in an acre so if the dog doesnt wanna come, good luck! Happy goes out and correls them for me. I do NOT allow her to herd other dogs just willy nilly however, if she does it without my guidence or is just making a pain of herself then I correct her. I have never had this effect actual stockwork... Happy didnt see stock till she was 5 years old, and she was great. took control and still followed every command without missing a beat her first time out.

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I will add that I had to get a dog stitched up when I first started with Border Collies. She was an older rescue that came with the stalking behavior. She'd also add a little nip sometimes. Well she nipped Pach so hard (he might of ran into her to add to the pressure) she ripped a huge gash on his lower belly. No she wasn't attacking him but none the less he had to get stitches for the wound.

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If she is going by prey drive instinct, it will create habits that will transfer to other areas. And there is a difference in attitude that you'll notice, too. Playing is lighthearted, if they start to become serious, fixated or controlling it can lead to issues .

 

Kenzi does the crouch, hide and pounce with other dogs when playing. Some of the behavior look a little like herding behaviors, but her attitude is all lighthearted and fun - she's not trying to control, she's just playing. If she had a more serious or fixated attitude about it, I wouldn't let her do it.

 

 

I know what you mean by the energy changing. That is exactly what happens to Bea when the ball, stick or frisbee comes out and Colt goes into hyper focus mode. That is when Bea goes into this controlling behavior. If the ball comes out without Colt around, Bea remains playful even if another dog tries to chase her. She doesn't have the same hyper drive for the ball, etc that Colt does. She chases it and brings it back but there is not obsessive feel to it. She has it for Colt. It seems to happen when Colt goes into his intensely focussed place.

 

Hmm...this actually happens at the front door as well, when Colt gets all intense when someone knocks and unfortunately she gets way more intense then he does. She is a much more assertive dog. If he isn't in the house she will bark and then quiet when I ask.

 

I think I have some work to do. Bea is actually the easier dog as she takes corrections quickly and listens to me even when she is in high gear. Colt when excited finds it hard to listen to me. Bea is a very secure individual. She can be revving at 60 miles an hour one moment and idling the next. Colt is more like the accelerator is being pushed while the clutch is still engaged. Not good!!

 

I think I have to go back and do more impulse control work with Colt under distraction. Calming exercises which I was doing before Bea came along. Colt was doing so well that I had let that go as I worked more with the youngster.

 

Any suggestions from anyone about any of this would be appreciated.

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