Jump to content
BC Boards
Sign in to follow this  
BanditandDaisy'sMom

Could my BCs be "Stupid"?

Recommended Posts

Hi am new to this board and I have two 9 month old BCs. They are very lovable and are quite normal, Exceptfor several things. They chew up our sprinkler system, they bite at the water and when it goes off they dig and chew at the sprinklers we have spent lots of money on trying to fix it but everytime we fix it they continue to tear it up. :D Another problem I have is that they seem reluntant to train as in obedience, we have tried training them at home but that wasn't working to well we took them to a four week obedience class and they placed last and second to last!!!!! :confused: Ha Ha!! No I really need help. :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also I got border collies so that I could have a fun dog to play with and one that would easily train. I really would like to do agility with them. But I do not understand why they are like this.

 

 

P.S. I am a first time Border Collie owner.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Sara

 

Wow, you have certainly taken on a challenge with 2 Border Collies as your first time with the breed. A few suggestions:

? read as much as you can about training ? preferably using positive reinforcement;

- maybe consider using a clicker, if you haven?t already done so ? I find it makes me much more accurate in marking correct behavior;

- and make sure you spend a lot of time with each dog one on one, maybe even walking them separately.

 

Border Collies are very trainable, and very quick to learn ? but of course the problem is, what they teach themselves is not always what you want. Two same age pups may see themselves as a pack, and may not be clear that you are actually the pack leader ? in other words, they don?t need you as much. So you have to make sure they need you ? maybe using a NILIF (Nothing in Life is Free) approach at least at first.

 

Try to set aside a bit of time each day for training each dog separately. Be clear what you want to achieve in the training session, but don?t set your goals so high you can?t achieve them.

 

When you say ?reluctant to train? what do you mean exactly? Training needs to be fun and upbeat ? if it is, these dogs usually lap it up.

 

As far as the sprinkler system goes, many Border Collies (like other dogs) just love to play with water, so the short term solution IMO might have to be not to leave them unsupervised where they can get into trouble. I would set up a safe enclosure for them to be in when you can?t supervise them in the yard ? and maybe when you?re in the yard but busy, use an ?umbilical cord? ? long light line tied round your waist, so that you?re aware of what they?re doing, and can nip trouble in the bud.

 

Sorry ? this is getting a bit long ? but please keep asking questions.

 

Here?s a good starting point for looking for training tips on the Net

http://www.geocities.com/black_dog_farm/BCLinks.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Barb Thank You So much!!!

When I say Reluntant to Train I mean that they love to listen and try to understand but they seem to not understand what I am Trying to teach them. Maybe in the obedience class I took the method just wasn't fun, It consisted with alot of "boring" activities and I could tell they needed something fun. I will continue to rread like you said. Do you know of any really great and fun training books that my BCs might enjoy? All I really want is for them to be happy and have fun.

 

Thanks Again

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally posted by Tassie:

Hi Sara

 

Wow, you have certainly taken on a challenge with 2 Border Collies as your first time with the breed.

Yea I know it's kinda a long story, I fell in love with one my brother fell in love with another. But they are both doing fine and my family is taking the challenge quite well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sara,

I had to turn my in-ground sprinnklers off because my dogs were doing the same thing. They like to attack the hose to. Since it's more of a toy for them, it was only fair to remove the temptation. Their prey drive would just override their desire to obey if I wasn't watching them. I agree it would be nice for them to be in the house when the sprinklers come on. BTW, attacking the sprinklers is quite normal (much to your dismay). :rolleyes:

 

Since BC's are smart and they do learn faster than many breeds, the class you took them to might have been to slow for them. Also, you said it perfectly when you typed, "they seem to not understand what I am trying to teach them" Since it is our responsibility to make our training 100% clear, it isn't the dogs fault if they didn't learn what you "wanted" them to learn. It's our fault for not being clear in what we are teaching. Don't worry, it happens to all of us. Smart dogs can learn bad things just as fast as they can learn good things. It is up to us to teach them the right things early on.

 

I suggest you take them to agility class now. The clases use positive methods to train so it's fun for the dogs. Make sure you go to a person that competes in agility, if they compete at a high level them all the better. Most of those people have lots of experience with BC's and typical BC behavior.

 

You have taken on quite a bit by having two 9 month old BC's. I am guessing they are littermates? In that case, they may not have bonded well to you because they've been together since conception. Try to give them both separate time with you. It will help them bong separately to you instead of just to one another.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sara, you?re probably right about the type of class you took. If your pups like to listen, then you?re on a winner. Do look seriously at the clicker training sites ? you?ll get some good tips. And remember ?baby steps? ? even though your two aren?t really babies any more. Build up gradually, one piece at a time.

 

A really good book to read ? not just on training ? is Jean Donaldson?s The Culture Clash . Patricia McConnell?s The Other End of the Leash will also give you some insights into relationships with dogs. Other people will probably be able to suggest some good US training books.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally posted by HKM's Mom:

Sara,

I had to turn my in-ground sprinnklers off because my dogs were doing the same thing.

I think that that is a wonderful idea but my mom spent quite a bit of money on them and I don't she will takie them out but it's worth asking her. Thank's for your opinon I'm glad that you think I should take them to obedience classes now. I would like to and I think it would be a great experience for me and my dogs.

Thanks Again

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sara,I didn't realize it wasn't your home and that there were more people in the house than just you.

 

I didn't remove my sprinklers, I just turned off the timer so they sprinklers wouldn't go off when the dogs were outside.

If they are in the ground, you can put wire guards over the sprinkler heads to protect them. Biggest thing is that the dogs have learned they are a source of enjoyment.

 

Will your parents let you sign up for an agility class? I think you'd have more fun there than in another basic obedience class. Classes aren't as structured, you'll learn about using a clicker, and your dog will learn the basics of a SOLID recall which is always important. Once you know the clicker and it's method, your ability to teach the dog is endless.

 

How old are you? I started with my first obedience dog when I was about ten. It was one of the best things my family let me do. Are your parents involved with the dogs as well?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I loved The Power of Positive Dog Training by Pat Miller. She has a whole program laid out in there where each new thing builds on something you have already taught, and my favorite part about that book is that she makes everything so EASY!! (: My dog learned things in a jiffy. Now Tess is the smartest dog in class. The other dogs are learning to sit & down. Tess already knows how to sit up, crawl, shake hands, high five, spin around, etc. in addition to the usual things.

 

If you want to join a mailing list about clicker training, Clicker Solutions (there's a web site, too, http://www.clickersolutions.com, the list is at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ClickerSolutions/ ) is fun and everyone there is really helpful and friendly, and I think several people there have Border Collies so they know all about the crazy things they do. (:

 

Do your dogs know how to fetch yet? With Tess, when she gets into something out in the yard (usually trying to chase the neighbor's horse), I shout and get her attention and then throw her ball. We have a game of fetch and in the end, she is exhausted and now when she thinks about chasing the horse, she turns around and runs right to me, waiting for me to throw the ball. I've associated, in her mind, that thinking about chasing the horse means the ball game is going to start, I guess. Just an idea. (: Something more fun than sprinklers might be hard to find, though!

 

Allie & Tess, a 10 month old BC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank You all for posting I'm really enjoying reading what you have to say. I'm 12 Years old, and my mom said that she would like to find an agility class nearby. Thanks for all the great websites and book names I have poured all over the internet and found great sites that I have read inside out I have found that all I need to do is continue to read and search for information.

 

Thanks Again and keep posting!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been reading on the internet about clicker Training. I read that you click when the dog is doing something that you like, my question is how do they know what this thing is if you click for so many other things? Would it be easier to say like "Good Sit" if that be the case?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sara~

 

You have to "load" the clicker first. This means that you teach the dog that a click is a reward. You do this by clicking the clicker and immediately giving a treat. Do that repeatedly. The dogs will begin to associate the clicking with getting a treat (reward).

 

Also, if the dog knows any commands at all (sit, down, etc) give the command and when they do it, immediately click and give a treat. After the association is there, gradually fade out the treats (continue to click, but don't give a treat every time).

 

~Betsy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, Sara,

 

Thanks for taking the time to learn about your dogs - I'm sure all of us here appreciate that!

 

Anyway, about the clicker - what you want to do is pick one particular behavior. Maybe start w/an easy one, like sit. Take Bandit or Daisy, (one at a time to start with) into your room or the back yard, with your clicker and some treats. Tiny treats, you'll be using a lot of them. The first thing is to 'charge'or 'load' the clicker, just like Betsy said to. Do this also with one dog at a time.

 

OK, you've got the clicker loaded, you're out in the yard or your room w/just one dog, and you wait. Sooner or later, the dog is gonna sit, you're watching like a hawk, as soon as that puppy butt hits the ground, you click and treat. Wait/watch some more, puppy butt hits the ground again, clik/treat again. You might aim for 5 or 6 sits the first couple times out. Then play with or pet the dog. Put 1st dog up and repeat with 2nd dog. Do this 2-4 times a day for maybe 3 or 4 days. You can add the cue word 'Sit' when the dog is starting to sit and watching you at the same time.

 

OK, here's the theory behind all this. The click signals to the dog, I'm getting a goodie every time I sit. Clicking is easier for me because I can click faster than I can say good dog. Some people think that the click works better because it's such a unique sound, there's not another sound like it, so the dog (especially our smart border collies!) learns very fast that a click means 'I did something Mom likes! I get that goodie!" It's a really efficient way of communication.

 

Eventually, probably in not too long, you'll be able to teach them all the cues they need to behave well, and some really cool tricks. If you can search the archives, there's a thread a few weeks back about the different tricks people have taught their bc's.

 

Good luck! Keep posting and let us know how you get on with your pups! As I said before, all of us on this board love to hear this kind of thing.

 

And, the great thing, the more time you spend training your dogs and working with them, the less time and energy they'll have to tear up the back yard!

 

Ruth n the Border Trio

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's really good that your are researching how to train your dogs. Border Collies are awesome dogs but they really need a "job" to do to stay out of trouble, and learning obedience, tricks and agility is a really good job.

 

Several others here have made some excellent suggestions for getting started on training so I won't repeat those.

 

A great book on clicker training and positive training is "Don't Shoot the Dog" by Karen Pryor. You should be able to buy a clicker for less than $2 at most any pet store.

 

You can use a "marker word" like "Good Dog!" instead of a clicker, but the clicker is really the fastest way to teach basic behaviors for things like obedience and agility.

 

When you use treats with a clicker to train, you'll need to use REALLY tiny treats. You don't have to use "dog" treats--they usually aren't small enough to use a LOT of them, which you'll want to do when you're training. Tiny cut-up cubes of cheese, hot dogs and chicken work really well, for example. "Tiny" means around 1/4 inch cubes. You can get at least 50 treats out of one hot dog. String cheese is a really handy kind of training treat because you can just tear off tiny little bits while you're training, and keep the cheese stick handy in your pocket in its wrapper.

 

You'll probably want to reduce the amount that you feed them of their regular dog food just a little so they don't get overweight.

 

You can also use their dog food for training treats (our dogs have to "work for their supper" by doing some training in exchange for bites of food), but you'll get the best results if you choose something that is highly valued by the dog.

 

Another good thing to do is just sit on the floor with the dog and hand feed it. You can give it a bite every time it looks at you, for example, which helps it learn to pay attention to your face. This also helps your dog understand that YOU are source of all good things!

 

Training will work fastest and best if it's really fun for you and your dog, the highlight of the day for both of you. Train for just short periods of time, maybe 5 to 10 minutes a couple times a day.

 

and about the sprinklers--could you ask your mom to set the sprinklers to go off in the middle of the night so the dogs aren't around to play and chew on them? (I'm assuming they are sleeping in the house with you....)

 

Good luck with your training! I look forward to hearing how it's going, so keep us posted.

 

Deanna in OR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure if this fits in exactly with this topic, but it got me to thinking.

 

Oreo learns things really fast and in some ways that makes things more difficult. A lot of times we just seem to expect him to know what it is we want him to do, without taking him through the necessary training steps.

 

Since he pays a LOT of attention to what WE DO, he tends to learn something the first time we ask for the behavior. Unfortunately, we aren't as clear in requesting the behavior as we need to be.

 

In other words, he pays more attention to what we're doing than we are and consequently it looks like he's not learning what we want.

 

Then when we try to correct what he is doing, he gets frustrated as if to say "look, that's NOT what you told me to do the FIRST time". Poor dog...good thing he's patient with us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think what Oreo's mom said about training Oreo is something to be aware of with at least some border collies.

 

We've been trianing Tenaya, our young BC, for several activities and sports, and she picks things up so quickly, it's easy to assume she knows it and not work so hard to get the new behavior really solid.

 

At the same time, I'm working with my Collie, Willow, 4 months yonger than Tenaya. Collies don't usually have the same focus and quickness as a border collie and can be distracted or bored more easily, so I have had to really work hard with her on learning all the new behaviors (we're training for Obedience, Rally and Agility).

 

But the result seems to be that Willow often does better than Tenaya. Our trainer has always kidded us about stealing Tenaya once we get her trained in Agility, but last night in Rally class, when Tenaya did the "stand" and "backup 3 steps" well, but Willow did them better--she said maybe she'd steal the Collie instead!

 

Anyway, the point of this all being, just because our beloved border collies are little canine geniuses and learn things really quickly, we still need to take the time to work with them to get it all into "muscle memory".

 

Deanna in OR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sara, I have little to add to the great advice you are being given here but would like to congratulate you on your interest and commitment to these dogs. I have an eleven year old daughter and a BC, Tia. Tia is my dog predominantly but is also quite close to my daughter. I noticed that Tia is sometimes quite disobedient with Jasmine (my daughter) and I started to look at the way Jas was interacting with Tia. The main problem was that Jas complicated everything, it was difficult for Tia to understand what was making Jas unhappy and what she was required to do. The commands were to fast and Jas had no concept of enforcing a command or stopping on a high note, she'd often simply walk off in frustration. Jas's rewarding was also too slow and inconsistent. The biggest thing for Jasmine was realising she had to do things the same way each time, no new rules! This helped immensely and Tia and Jas both have quite an understanding of each other now to build upon. Please let us know how you are going

Sally

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am brand new to this board, only just found it today.

I had a BC, he passed away 5 years ago.

I am a 4-H leader, have you thought of finding a 4-H dog club in your area to join?

Our's here in NJ is pretty active, you may be able to get more help through a club.

I had to laugh at the thought of your dogs biting the water, my Spirit did the same.

We have a shep mix right now, we got him after Spirit died. At that time I was pregnant with my 3rd child and needed a calmer dog. We have our couch potato here but I really do miss the BC's fun. Our dog is *stupid* next to the BC!!

Good luck, Tina

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hey Sara! sounds like you're doing good for your babies.. handling 2 BC's is not easy. also, I'm 15, so I understand all the problems with the rents. my parents can sometimes be reluctant about $150 training classes, which is the average price these days for good trainers, but once you talk to them about the importance of Obedience and activities in the wellbeing of your doggies, they'll probably give in. If your dogs are bored with your classes, you should ask the trainer about doing different exercises. Try buying a couple of good Obedience books (definately try one of the many books about Clicker Training), and work with your dogs atleast 15 minutes a day. Practice at home is even more important than class time. Agility class would probably be lots of fun for your dogs! Most classes with local Agility clubs don't cost too much. Also, if you have a Flyball club or team nearby, you should consider Flyball! go to flyball.org to locate a nearby team, and see if theyve got training classes. Good luck with everything ;3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HI SARA, THE FACT THAT YOU CARE ABOUT YOUR DOGS LEARNING, BEHAVING AND HAVING FUN IS THE FIRST STEP TO TRAINING.

YOU HAVE GOTTEN SOME VERY GOOD ADVICE.... HOWEVER AS AN OBEDIENCE TRAINER AND BC MOM... THE VERY BEST ADVICE SO FAR IS .... TRAIN THEM SEPERATELY. WHEN DOGS LIVE IN THE SAME PACK THEY WILL FEED OFF OF EACH OTHER. IF YOU TRAIN THEM TOGETHER, EVEN IN A CLASS WITH OTHER DOGS, THEY ARE WATCHING EACH OTHER AND SORTA SAYING... "HEY, DO YA REALLY WANT TO LEARN OR WOULD YOU RATHER PLAY??? HMMMMM.... LET'S PLAY AND NOT PAY ATTENTION!!"

ONLY TRAIN FOR 10-15 MIN. AT A TIME, 2-3 TIMES A DAY TO START... SEPERATELY, PREFERABLY OUT OF EACH OTHER'S SITE.

THIS IS NOT TO SAY THAT THEY WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO TRAIN TOGETHER, BUT FOR NOW YOU HAVE BABIES, AND BABIES WANT TO PLAY.

START BY TRAINING, "SETTLE". WHEN THE PUPS START "GETTING IT", AND YOU CAN GET THEM TO "WATCH YOU BY LOOKING DIRECTLY INTO YOUR EYES", THEN TRY A FEW MINUTES AT A TIME TOGETHER...(ONLY WHEN YOU CAN GET THEM TO "SETTLE, TOGETHER".) YOU CAN INCORPORATE ANY TRAINING INTO YOUR DAILY ROUTINE AND SETTLE IS A GOOD ONE TO START WITH. I USE POSITIVE FEEDBACK REWARD BASED TRAINING...IF YOUR DOGS ARE FOOD MOTIVATED, USE SOFT CHEWY TREATS BROKEN UP INTO PIECES NO BIGGER THAN A SUGAR CUBE (EVEN SMALLER IS BETTER, WE DON'T WANT OUR DOGS GETTING FAT!).

WHEN YOU ARE HOME WITH THEM, KEEP A COUPLE OF TREATS IN YOUR POCKET..EVEN IF YOU CATCH THEM DOING SOMETHING "GOOD", (WITHOUT BEING TOLD), PRAISE THEM GENTLY, NOT TOO EXCITED AND SLIP THEM A TREAT. TOO OFTEN WE SCOLD OUR DOGS FOR UNWANTED BEHAVIOR... I LIKE TO PRAISE QUIETLY AND REWARD THEM FOR WANTED BEHAVIOR AS WELL.

AS FAR AS THE CLICKER TRAINING... THIS IS REAL GOOD, BUT YOU NEED TO KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING BEFORE DOING THIS. IT WOULD BE BETTER TO TAKE A CLASS IF POSSIBLE, (MAYBE TAKE ONE DOG)AND TRAIN THE OTHER AT HOME. BUT IF YOU READ BOOK/S TAKE IT ONE STEP AT A TIME (AGAIN SEPERATE DOGS, DURING TRAINING). ONE LAST THING.... NEVER TRAIN IF YOU ARE FEELING CRANKY, HAD A ROUGH DAY, AND OR LOSE PATIENCE WITH YOUR DOG. IT IS BETTER TO NOT EVEN GET STARTED, OR STOP IF YOU BECOME FRUSTRATED THEN TO CONTINUE. A L W A Y S !!!! MAKE TRAININ FUN!!!!!

GOOD LUCK HAVE FUN... JOEANNE.. MIRRA, SITKA AND ALL THE OTHER CRITTERS !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hi everyone

i haven't been on the internet in a while due to my computer is crashed but I have been working alot with my dogs. they are doing great and i taught them how to settle down and be quite with just a certain look from my eyes. we are an active family and all of us ride dirt bikes and I have horses the neghbors always come over to our house to play and all of things just get bandit and daisy soooooooo excited they bark and jump and leap around making a big comotion alot of times i let them but when it get out of hand i tel them "Hush!" and they sit down and look at me afterwards we get to play ball or tug at the chew string. i'm so excited! everything is going great i have yet to try clicker training but really want to. thank again for all of your advice!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

sounds like your doing really well. lucky my bc is 1 yr old and we are doing well but trying to calm her when people come in the house, is proving difficult..she just gets sooo excited and then when she has calmed she wants to play with them tug or throw the toy..which is great but a couple of our relatives arnt too keen on dogs.. he he but she wont give in and just stare at them or lay her head on there lap..i have to giggle.. good luck with your training..good luck :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
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.

Guest
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.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...