Jump to content
BC Boards

how do I get my dog to come to me?

jill & ron

Recommended Posts

OK, so I took advice from previous posts. Chloe, 6 mos, is now always in the house or tied on a 20 ft. line. She is sometimes tied near the heifer pen during chore time, but we never take her near the cows. Time is in short supply around here right now, however, we try to play, on leash, each day, and I get in obedience time whenever I can, which is not as often as it should be. Two BIG problems: incessant barking, and not coming to any of us when called. She has escaped the leash three times in the last 2 days. Today she lunged hard enough to break the leather collar. On the first escape, I was working in the yard, she would come just close enough, and then dash away before I could grab her, or even touch her. I figured I would let her run for a while, she stayed close, and after a bit came close enought to be petted and then CAUGHT! The escape this am, she did the same thing, coming close before racing away. Her mistake, going into the corncrib, where Ron went on one side, I on the other, and she was trapped. The third escape, which broke her collar, left her running around during chores. She stayed quiet for much of the time, but soon started the barking and wanting to nip at heels and chase, paying no attention to me at all. By now my fuse was starting to get pretty short. When the kids came home, they chased until she got tired,(she was too smart to go into the corncrib again) and then pounced. Since we no longer have a collar, she must spend the day locked in the lvstk trailer tomorrow. I have friends who let their BCs run loose all day but are contained at night. The dogs always come when called. Chloe always came when she was younger, but suddenly decided it was not the cool thing to do anymore. I am doing my best to be patient and react quietly, without yelling, but I am near my wits end. HELP!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds like you have a typical 6 month old border collie puppy- congratulations!...and my sympathy :rolleyes: At this tender age, she is:


a)old enough to start acting like a doggy teenager (question authority!,) and

b)getting bored (hence the nipping and barking.)


You have to find a way to let your dog know that coming to you is the absolute best thing she could ever want to do. Find out what motivates her (be it food or a toy) and always have it close at hand. Call her name, and as soon as you have her attention tell her what a GREAT dog she is and give her the reward.


Alternately, she should not be made to be afraid to come to you. No matter how NUTS she drives you with the chasing routine you cannot show her you are upset with her. If she runs in one direction, instead of chasing her try running in the opposite direction while calling her name. Odds are she will want to follow you once you start to run, and once she catches up to you make a BIG deal about what a good dog she is. The kids have to learn not to chase as well- now it's a game to keep away from the humans. And if you are the slightest bit angry when you do eventually pin her, she is going to equate coming to you with punishment.


A little game you could try to help with this is to have someone restrain her while you stand a short distance away with whatever drives her wild. Call her name, jump up and down, act like a raving fool, wave the ball/tug/food so she sees it, and when she is going totally squirrely with wanting to get to you have the other person let her go. When she gets to you, praise the heck out of her.


For the lunging issue I'd be tempted to try a slip lead or martingale style collar that will tighten as she lunges. Cutting off an unsuspecting dog's air supply usually (usually!) is unpleasant enough that she may think twice the next time. Just don't leave it on when you're not around to supervise (just in case she gets it caught in something.) Alternatively you could put a harness on her (something she is not going to be able to either squirm out of or choke herself with.)


Lastly, IMO 20 feet of running space is not enough for a border collie puppy. If your yard allows for it, I'd go down to the hardware store and pick up 30-40 feet of rope/chain/etc so you can let her run a little more properly during playtime while still being safely tied to something.


Ok, I'm done! Hopefully you might actually get something useful out of my ever-so-humble rambling.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bill Boatman has a great collar that tightens when used to tie out (but not enough to seriously choke), but will loosen when caught on something, a real concern if using a choke chain or a martingale as a regular collar. It's called the safety collar and it's only $3.85.


Ann went through the not-coming stage. I never had a dog that bribery (as in the above method) wouldn't work on! You can enforce it with a long line but at some point you'll have to take off the line and then you're at square one again. Steve told me to call her ONCE, then go get her, bring her back to where I called her, make a fuss over her when I got there, then release and repeat.


I admit that the first few times I cheated and used the long line to help me catch her. It's too dangerous where I live to let her go running all over the road. But it only took a few times and now she comes back just fine.


The problem with trying to bribe her to you is that eventually you will be trying to call her back while she's being offered the ultimate distration - the stock! She's really got to learn to come when YOU say so, not because she feels like it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just a quick comment on the collar thing.

Leather collars are prone to break. They dont last as long as you would think. Dogs get dirty, they go swimming and pretty soon the leather dry-rots. One day I found my dog at the neighbors house pinning their poor cat up a tree.

No collar. Went back to the tie-down and there were her tags still hooked. Still no collar.

It was one of those round leather collars, the loop had ripped right out of the collar. Id say she had worn it for about 6mos.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...