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Border mix training question


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Hi! Mickey is 8 months old now, and I got him neutered last week. I've been obedience training him, and he is doing well so far. He is half husky, half border collie, and I hadn't planned to train him to work with my goats, because I don't really need to do anything with them except move them between two pastures, and that's easy enough by myself. However, I have been nervous that the husky half would take over if he got loose someday, and he might hurt them, so I was thinking about doing some training with him to be gentle with the goats. Today I brought him over to the goat pasture, and they came running up to the fence to see me. He crouched down with his hips up, as I have seen borders do, but I thought it also might be a stance for attack if the husky is coming through. His personality seems to be mostly border, from all I have read about the two breeds. But would it be safe to try a little training with him? I want to be able to trust him on my place. What do you think?

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If you just want to trust him and don't need/want to use him, you might find it easier for all concerned if you just teach him that the goats are to be left alone, period. If you dabble in training him, no matter whether he's PB or mixed, you will have then given him the message that it's *okay* to work the goats. Then you have to worry about whether he will ever try to work the goats on his own, which of course is the prelude to what you fear, that his prey drive will kick in and he'll hurt/kill one of them.

 

If you do decided you want to train him to work the goats, then you will need to be sure that he doesn't get any opportunities to work them on his own, because that's the most likely time for trouble to start. (This goes for PB border collies too, so it's not a husky-mix-specific thing.)

 

J.

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Hi, Julie. Thanks for your ideas--I appreciate it. I think I'll try just teaching him to leave them alone. It sounds like the best idea in this case.

 

:rolleyes:

 

--Suzanne

 

If you just want to trust him and don't need/want to use him, you might find it easier for all concerned if you just teach him that the goats are to be left alone, period. If you dabble in training him, no matter whether he's PB or mixed, you will have then given him the message that it's *okay* to work the goats. Then you have to worry about whether he will ever try to work the goats on his own, which of course is the prelude to what you fear, that his prey drive will kick in and he'll hurt/kill one of them.

 

If you do decided you want to train him to work the goats, then you will need to be sure that he doesn't get any opportunities to work them on his own, because that's the most likely time for trouble to start. (This goes for PB border collies too, so it's not a husky-mix-specific thing.)

 

J.

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Unless you can get your dog to a professional stockdog trainer, I strongly advise you letting him do ANYthing with livestock. Without the correct teaching or supervision, the line between "herding" and "chasing" can be easily crossed, and you can end up with injured animals. Even if he never bites one of the goats, he could run one into a fence or post and do some serious damage.

 

So, I'd advise you just teach him to leave the goats alone. Even a purebred BC, if not properly trained, can get into dangerous behaviors.

 

Sorry if I'm coming on a bit strong! :rolleyes: But I've seen the damage that can be done when the innocently unknowing let their dog "just have fun" without proper schooling. I think you'll be much happier just encouraging peace and "leave it alone," if you've no plans to go in for formal training.

 

Good luck and have fun!

Cheers ~

 

Gloria

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Hi, and thank you for the reply! I now don't plan to do any stock training with him except for "leave it alone." He's really interested in the goats, so I may have some trouble with that, but we keep him in the house or on a leash all the time except for a rare stay in the backyard, which has a 6-foot fence. But he doesn't like being alone, so I only put him there once in a great while without me.

 

Nevertheless, I think it will be a good idea for me to teach him 'leave it,": even if it takes quite a while for him to learn.

 

--Suzanne :rolleyes::D

 

Unless you can get your dog to a professional stockdog trainer, I strongly advise you letting him do ANYthing with livestock. Without the correct teaching or supervision, the line between "herding" and "chasing" can be easily crossed, and you can end up with injured animals. Even if he never bites one of the goats, he could run one into a fence or post and do some serious damage.

 

So, I'd advise you just teach him to leave the goats alone. Even a purebred BC, if not properly trained, can get into dangerous behaviors.

 

Sorry if I'm coming on a bit strong! :D But I've seen the damage that can be done when the innocently unknowing let their dog "just have fun" without proper schooling. I think you'll be much happier just encouraging peace and "leave it alone," if you've no plans to go in for formal training.

 

Good luck and have fun!

Cheers ~

 

Gloria

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