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My BC Ignores Me!


Pixie

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Hi

I just wondered if somebody could give me some advice regarding my BC girl, Rose. She is 6 months old and haslearnt the basics sit, stand, down, stay, wait (for food, going through doors etc). However, getting her to heel on the lead or even to walk at a resonable speed when at obedience class or at home isn't possible and taking her on walks is a nightmare. I have tried the Halti, and that wasn't successful. She is now on a harness which is better than the collar and I don't have to worry about her larynx!! When I say she ignores me, I mean when I try to get her attention to look up at me and watch me, as I see other dogs doing with their owners, Rose just completely ignores me and looks the other way. It doesn't matter how I use my voice or if I hold a titbit in my hand (she usually tries to snatch the titbit). I have tried using her favourite toy to get her attention and that only results in her jumping up to get it and gets her excited. When training with her, she will sit, stand, stay etc, but she puts on a "hang dog look", she looks at me, then looks away, and then looks at me out of the corner of her eye. Is it normal and due to her young age, or is she just a dog that is not very attentive. Or is it me, am I doing it wrong. She is very nosey little girl, hence her nickname "Nosey Rosie". On two occasions, it has only been my quick action that has saved her from walking straight in to a lamp-post whilst on her walk. She is always looking elsewhere. Also, it is like taking a bloodhound on a walk, she always has her nose on the ground, regardless of how many times I ask her to "leave it". She doesn't seem to want to please, as I keep reading in the books. Any suggestions?

PS Actually she sounds a whole lot like my kids!!

 

Carole

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So's she distractable, sniffing on walks, excited by toys, and hasn't learned to walk on a leash yet w/o pulling?? Sounds like a normal dog to me! I'd keep up with the obedience classes and ask your instructor to show you what you need to be doing...after all that's what you're paying for.

 

How's your play interaction? Will she play with you....does she find you fun?

 

-laura

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You mentioned obedience class.

What does your teacher recommend you do?

 

Anyone mentioning a pinch collar?

They are milder than choke collars but need to be used after they have been adjusted properly and you taught to keep the leash loose.

They are called power steering for a reason.

 

At this point, I would ask your teacher about it and give it a try.

 

Keep training without distractions if you can, not when you are so close to something she wants so bad you lose her attention right away.

 

Ask for only a few steps heeling at first, not too far so she has room to start pulling again.

 

Any clicker or attention classes where you take her?

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Thanks for replying.

 

A few weeks ago, the trainer used Rose to show the class how to get their dogs to walk to heel. She held a titbit close to Rose's nose and, you know what I am going to say, Rose walked close to her hand, without any snapping for the sausage. She did it perfectly. Whether it was because it was somebody who she thinks is more fun I don't know.

I do play a lot with Rose, catch, fetch, hide and seek, football (she's great in goals!) and she really seems to enjoy herself.

I tried the pinch collar quite a long time ago, when I first started to take Rose to the obd classes, and when out walking. She ended up losing all the fur on the right side of her neck through continually pulling, so I discarded that collar.

Do you think it is because I seem to be the one in the household who has to chastise her when she is naughty. The one who has to put in her eye drops, do the body checks etc. My husband doesn't do a lot of "that" sort of stuff. She just doesn't look up at me as though to say "ok, mum, what's next". She always looks pretty miserable when training. Only seems to get interested if there is a ball involved. I have just finished "Understanding Border Collies" by Barbara Sykes who says not to use toys much when training dogs and also not to use titbits as they should be doing it to please their owner. Somebody had better let Rose in on that one!

ps I have put her toys away so that she can get involved with playing with me more.

Thanks again for any advice

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Mine did that when she was younger too. Is she hungry prior to the training session? I make sure we train her right before dinner time. When I tell her to watch me, I give her the treat I am giving to let her know. Then I either put that in my mouth (if it's sausage/cheese) or hold it right in front of my face (if its bil jack or other really yummy treat).

 

Also, lately I am getting a lot more of her attention since I started controling her toys. I don't know if you pick up the toys after play. I used to leave balls and tug toys in the play area all the time. Now I put the ball (which she is obsessed with) in my pocket (pick up everything else) and let her know it's there. I am the one with treat and fun. She needs to pay attention to me. Before I pull it out, I make her do things for me.

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Hi Pixie,

 

When you take her for a walk, when she pulls does she still get where she wants to go ?

 

If my pup (5 months 37lbs) pulls I walk backwards until he comes to my side and the leash is slack. This takes oodles of patience to begin with, walks take forever! But well worth it, he knows now slack lead and we move forward..tight lead and we are not going anywhere. Even dogs who are obedienced trained and do perfect heel work often think rules go out the window on a nice ramble. General walks are not the same enviroment as a controlled class situation and different rules apply. It would'nt be fair IMO to make a dog walk to heel constantly..but at the same time I dont wish to be dragged around like a puppet :rolleyes:

 

As for her attention, are you at home with her all day ? If you are constantly at her beck and call, ie she decides when to interact with you and play..she may not respect you or grow the desire to please you.

 

I'd suggest at least an hr away from you, in a crate and quiet place before you begin to train and play with her. Always stop play and training before she has had enough, leave her wanting more and you may find her interest in you rises. Save some toys just for training, ie she never gets to run off with them and play strictly on her own with the special toy (the one she loves more than chicken), she needs to see you as the provider and ruler of all good things.

 

When you train her, when she gets something right go crazy with praise, sound excited, tell her she is SO CLEVER, SO SMART be fun and giddy if you can..I have had friends who had rescue collies who were incredibly flat and disinterested, who would respond brilliantly to praise from me, because I get so excited and bouncy..they seem to switch on to excitement more than anything..luckily for me I can turn that on easily for dogs, because i truly am thrilled and do get excited by them getting it right

 

 

Main thing is with a BC who isnt born to please ( I have met a few) establish who the boss is early on, without aggression and make training fun. "Yippeeeeeeeee" when they get it right can work wonders.

 

Good luck.

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Hi

Rose hasn't had her toys or been playing fetch for nearly two weeks, as she has just been spayed and I didn't want her damaging herself. Funnily enough I started carrying her favourite ball around (bell inside) in my pocket and she can sometimes hear it tinkling so she comes around me a bit quicker than usual hoping to be able to play.

We were asked by the trainer at classes not to feed our dogs before class so that there are no "accidents".

I haven't tried the treat in mouth trick though. I might have a go at that. I have noticed this last week that she is starting to ignore me occasionally when being asked to sit. She will respond during a training session but at other times can turn a deaf'n. Mind you I never let her get away with it.

Thanks

Carole

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Hi River

I posted a reply to other posters and have just read yours.

No I am not with Rose all day, as I work full time but she is at home with my adult son who takes her out for walks and plays games with her. After her midday meal he puts her in her crate in a quiet room and she usually has a couple of hours sleep (and he has a much needed rest). I also put her in her crate in the evening if she won't settle down properly and becomes to demanding. I put a nice bone or chewy in with her and so she doesn't see it as a punishment.

I do let Rose know that I am really pleased when she gets things right, but I will take your advice and start to really get excited (either Rose will become more enthusiastic or my husband will have me seen to).

I will also put her in her crate for an hour or so before training and see if this makes me more interesting!! (Surely I will be if I am waiting for her with a sausage in my mouth). It's a good job I am talking to BC owners. Other people would think I was crackers!!

Tonight Rose was really behaving badly when I walked her back down the garden to the house. She started biting on her lead and tugging very hard backwards, whilst growling (not in an aggressive manner). I shouted at her to behave, so she stopped and started to play with her football. I left her on the patio and went inside. A few minutes later my husband let her in. She shot passed him and through two rooms looking for me. On finding me, she lunged at me, and started kissing and fussing me as though to say, are we friends! I was so surprised by this.

Thanks for the help.

Carole

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Hi River

Me again, I forgot to tell you, I do stop and walk backwards if Rose pulls me. I read it on this board a couple of weeks ago (it might have been one of your posts). As you say, the walk takes forever, but who cares. Like you, I don't expect her to walk to heel, but to walk in front if she likes, but without pulling. She is mostly fine with traffic, just the odd engine she doesn't like the sound of. I get her to sit when a car is approaching when we are walking where there is no pavement.

Thanks

Carole

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Tonight Rose was really behaving badly when I walked her back down the garden to the house. She started biting on her lead and tugging very hard backwards, whilst growling (not in an aggressive manner). I shouted at her to behave, so she stopped and started to play with her football.

 

Sounds like she wants to play! I don't see it as misbehaving at all. She was trying to play/interact with you and you dismissed her and yelled at her. Well geez, I might not want to play with you either after that. :rolleyes: Sure, she may not have chosen a toy you thought appropriate. What I would've suggested is telling her to drop it (or teaching her this command if she doesn't know it), then asking for some simple obedience, then after she complied, get an appropriate toy and PLAY tug with her. That nonsense about not using toys to train pet dogs is hogwash. There's no quicker way to get most pet BC's to pay attention to you than to produce a ball or toy, so use that to your advantage and make her play time about interacting with you through use of a toy.

 

-laura

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I'm just echoing what I read about the praising. When Piper was a puppy, oh wait she may still act like one at times-she's only two...When she was younger and I'd be training her to do something whether it was to go the bathroom on cue or heel, whatever, I would REALLY praise her, and raise the pitch of my voice and just sound really excited...I would joke around praising her like she WAS the one that invented milkbones.

 

Also, about the walking on a leash thing, Piper sucks as a leash dog, which is my own doing. I've tried doing the stopping and turning around thing while walking so she'd learn not to pull but I'd lose patience before she'd get it and then was never consistent. So totally my fault and plus she is rarely on a leash either so...oh well. She does however, heel when walked on a leash with my husband (another topic there :rolleyes: )

 

Also had to laugh when you wrote:

On two occasions, it has only been my quick action that has saved her from walking straight in to a lamp-post whilst on her walk.
Piper when a puppy would be busy running full speed ahead but looking at me and run smack into trees. She eventually got her wheels and now amazes me at how she can move.

 

Also, we were asked once in our obedience class to take a time-out during a heeling, stop and stay activity because Devil Dog/Piper was getting all the other dogs to misbehave too, and just was not listening to me at all. It was really ironic because we had all just graduated from the Puppy class where Piper was the star to being asked to take a time out.

 

Oh one more thing, sorry, going on and on, procrastinating on work things. We use her toys as rewards as well as little treats. She gets to play with her tennis ball as a reward in SAR drills as well as the ball and/or frisbee when doing tricks with her in the house. So I say, whatever works with your Rosie is fine, whether it is toys/treats, mixture of both or whatever you find the most helpful.

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You may want to take the time to read several of these articles, about the middle, on Loose Leash Walking.

Some of it may work for you:

 

http://www.clickersolutions.com/articles/index.htm#behaviors

 

A good start is to stand and wait for the dog to look at you while she is pulling and then let's go!.

Do it even if it takes you only ten feet forward the first day and in a few days your dog will be getting to the end of the leash and looking back at you before pulling, if you are consistent thru the learning phase and never walk if the leash is very tight.

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Your puppy sounds so much like my Cody. At six months he would ignore me completely. Even if I turned his head toward me he would roll his eyes away to stay focused on what interested him. Obedience class was not a good experience. He knew the commands but would not pay attention or listen worth a darn. With treats he would turn his head a bit to follow the treat but his eyes were always focused on the other dogs. Some times playing with the other puppies before hand helped. Also not feeding him ALL day made him more interested. We are repeating basic obedience now and he is a year. His attention is much better but not what it should be. I think for him maturing had a lot to do with it. We also practiced a lot on "watch me" at home before repeating obedience class. He still needs to be pretty hungry. We've had a few new dogs visit the class for "observing" I guess. He immediately knows who is new and is totally focused on them for the first half.

 

As for pulling on the lead, he did that too. I was so frustrated with walking him. I tried the halti and he would just lower his center of gravity and pull. I tried the pinch collar and that was effective. I used it only a few times then went back to the halti. I learned too that I was not correcting well on the halti.

 

As for walking backwards or off the normal track so that he would have to keep up with me and pay attentinon...that didn't work too well. We never made it any where. I'd start to walk and he'd pull...I'd walk backwards and he would return...I'd take one step forward and he'd pull immediately. The little devil knew when I would move forward and where we were headed. Ha.

 

Time and continued practice are making it better. Like I said we are on the halti again and it is working better. I think maturity was a huge deal. Also working at home and slowly building up on distractions as was recommended by several here.

 

Any way...sorry its so long but I can truly understand your frustration. Keep practicing!

 

Jill

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Thank you all so much for taking the time to post advice. It is midnight now and I have just been reading the latest posts and I feel so much better. It is really like being part of a support group. I have read so much on the internet and now in books regarding BC's and some of it makes you a bit scared. Especially when it says, "your dog should not be allowed to do .............. or the result will be the end of the world as we know it!! and you think, hell I have let Rose do that!! For example she has recently started to stand in the middle of the lounge, crouched low on her front legs with her bum and tail up in the air and started to bark whilst jumping forward slightly, with her eyes looking rather wild. What's all this about? Is she wanting to just play or what!! Is she getting bolshi. After reading the post that said Rose probably wanted to play when I was coming back to the house, I thought about it and yes, in retrospect, maybe that was exactly what she wanted to do, but her approach was not exactly acceptable. Is this behaviour the same. I suppose really, it is all a learning curve. Rose and I learning to read each others body language and behaviour. It is just that I get scared that I might not be doing the right thing at times, which in turn will result in a problem dog. I just don't know what I would do, because I love her to bits (even though I don't seem to have a life of my own any more!) Before I came to bed, I just had to go to her crate and open the door and have a little hug and a chat with her before coming upstairs to bed. I knelt down on the floor to open the door and in the semi-darkness she quietly came out and sat in a begging position with her legs on my shoulders and her head pushed right into my neck. I told her I was sorry for being cross and do you know, she gave me lots of kisses and I think she forgave me. Tomorrow I will try much harder!!

Thanks for being there for me and Rose folks.

Must get to bed now. Hubby and I are making an outside run for Rose tomorrow, so that she can safely enjoy the outdoors now that Spring is around the corner.

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Hi again

 

You said: For example she has recently started to stand in the middle of the lounge, crouched low on her front legs with her bum and tail up in the air and started to bark whilst jumping forward slightly, with her eyes looking rather wild. What's all this about? Is she wanting to just play or what!!

 

Sounds like a typical excited play bow to me, full of puppy exuberance:D She sounds like a happy dog! I certainly didnt invent walking backwards although my neighbours may think I did :rolleyes:

 

You have a lovely attitude and the sense of humor required for a BC, I am sure you and Rosie will be inseperable soon.

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I have the same problem with misty, but she is not a puppy, I started working on heel when she was a little puppy, tried many differnt methods, she does perfect in the house, or at the training hall, but the second she is outside forget it. there is no way to get her attention she will run ahead and pull and yank I can stop and start and swtch directions all I wants but she still pulls my arms off. she couldent care less about and choke or pinch collar, she can work off any haltie etc.. drives me insane, now she just goes for runs. hop her in the van take her to the park, scrap the ;eash and walks, my arms go out to easy lol

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Hey Carole

 

Sounds like you have a pretty typical little bitch puppy there. My experience is they do like things on their own terms. So you just have to keep working on maintaining your position as the respected leader and giver of all good things. But you can respond to her play invitations ? which is what the bow etc. was about. A little game of tug (as long as you get the toy in the end) or retrieve or whatever would be good then. (My little girl ? 2 next week - will do it to my boy ? often in the evening, when what he really wants to do is sleep!)

 

I second the advice about doing crazy things when you?re happy with your dog. Don?t worry what other people think ? if they don?t go over the top with their dogs, that?s their loss. Also when you are heeling, throw in some funny moves and play ?gotcha? with her if she?s not looking. Small circles are fun too.

 

You made me laugh with the lead chewing/growly thing ? also play. My little girl saves it for the obedience ring now ? how embarrassing is that! That little happy growl is a sign of high excitement ? my girl will often do it when she?s about to do a flyball run, and with her dumbbell.

 

If Rose is good at using her nose, it would be great to start doing some tracking/nose work with her ? starting small ? so that she has permission at that time to use the nose, and can then be told to ?leave it? at other times.

 

And above all ? don?t panic ? sounds like you are doing your homework, and it is unlikely that you?re going to have her turn into a problem dog. Don?t forget that at 6 months, she?s still a baby in many ways. Get ready for the next few months when she may start thinking about challenging the rules ? just stay consistent and fun, and hang in there and wait for maturity to kick in. I?m starting to see it in Kirra, but I also see the ?what?s in it for me? attitude still ? but hey, she is a bitch after all.

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Try, not walking backwards but standing still until the dog will look at you and then praise and go on.

After a few tries the dog will be looking at you before the leash tightens.

 

Has worked with several border collies where that was a problem, if you are very, very consistent for a few days, as a new rule for walks.

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River

 

He sure looks like a wild-eyed boy!! Yes, you caught the look wonderfully. How old is he in this picture. He only looks small. Rose did that "bow and barking" behaviour again today, but this time I said, ok what would you like to play. Also when on our morning walk, we started the "stopping" routine and I have to say by the end of the walk she was improving. So watch this space! I have today been reading The Dog Whisperer (needless to say the ironing is still sitting in the laundry!!)and it was one of the author's preferred methods as well. Hubby is still in the garage (9pm) making two gates. The fencing went up today and tomorrow he is making Rose a kennel and a sandpit, so by Monday she will have a nice new garden area which is a good size. Chris will put her in there if he has to go out without her and she won't need to be in the crate inside. She can now stay outside to enjoy the fresh air. I feel so much better today. Much more confident, thanks to your support.

 

Thanks again.

Carole

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River-I love it! Yep, that is the same look Piper gets, we call it "devil dog" but I've heard others call it the maddies. :rolleyes:

 

Also, Pixie, like what others have said, the "bum" in the air and the bark is what Piper does to me when she wants me to play with her. A lot of times it is at night when we're just hanging out and she is board, so sometimes I'm not really in the mood and will tell her to "chill-out" which she knows, other times we play. She'll do that outside too. That move is one of the many things I love about BC's.

 

Have fun with her and laugh with her too. Piper brings me daily enjoyment.

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Hi Pixie,

 

That picture was taken yesterday he is 5 months and quite big really (37lbs). A load of toys arrived from an ebay auction and he was just overjoyed. (Great way to buy toys, as he rips them up in no time at all..see the picture thread, I got all those toys for $24!)

 

Glad to know, you are feeling more confident!Have you tried any clicker training with Rosie ?

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Zip is five months old today and doesn't tear toys, at least not yet.

She chooses one toy herself at Pets Mart when we go there.

She is particular on what she wants, is interesed in some but when the right one comes along, she really jumps for joy at it and carries it all the way to the counter, easy to do since she has been small enough to ride in the cart until this last time.

The toy chosen this last time was one of those softer bigger balls with uneven surfaces and a squeaker.

It has been a winner for all, soft for her to grab and for anything it hits. :rolleyes:

 

She is good about walking on leash except when another dog or person are in sight, then she whines and carries on trying to get to them. Riding in the cart helped.

We are working on that "going goofy" about people now, but as far as problems, it is not as bad as being scared.

A happy medium would be nice. :D

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Hi River

 

I was surprised to hear your puppy is 37lbs as he looks dinkier than Rose. She is only 29lbs but is long legged and long necked. Actually, a bit like a miniature giraffe with laaarge prick ears!! I think she is 20" at the shoulder. She just looks more gangly than your puppy. We went out again today and she was much improved on the leash. Mind you I am walking her up and down the pavement in our road. She starts to pull a bit when she sees the nice grassy areas, so I keep her off them for a while then give her permission to have a sniff of the perfumery when I decide. (Getting the hang now of, I'm in charge!!)I will leave it quite a while before she is tested on the promenade! But it is an improvement. No improvement however in the jumping up department. She has now started to settle down after someone has come in, then goes up and suddenly jumps up at them when they are sitting in the chair, knocking them backwards. Good job we are friendless and the only people who call at the house are my kids!! I read today that another trick is, when they have jumped up, hold their paws a little longer than they want you to before letting them down and this might make them less inclined to jump up again. The author hasn't seen Rose walk around the kitchen on her back legs, whilst leaning her front paws on anything available. She looks like a human. Of course, she does this when she thinks I'm not looking!

 

I have started to introduce the clicker tonight by clicking and giving her treats, so that she knows what it's all about. Mind you I have to admit when I went out today with her, I took the clicker and some treats but, honestly I had to give up. I just didn't have enough hands to handle the blasted lead, the clicker and the bag of treats. I was getting in a right state. I bet I gave a few of the neighbours a laugh anyway. I know Rosie was quite bemused with it all, and learned a few curse words to boot. I just don't seem to be able to co-ordinate it all. In the book I am reading at the moment, it says when the dog gets use to the clicker you can start using the target stick as this is very effective. Anybody had any success with that?

 

PS I have asked my son to take a few snaps of Rose and put them on the site so that you can see the ears!!!

Thanks

 

Carole

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