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Yes, soon to have two under two...I'm not sure how to actively work on it if I was advised to make them eat separately. Should I be creeping them closer and closer and ensuring that they mind their own bowls? I'll take all the advice I can get!

 

PA = Potential Adopter! Sorry, I get into acronyms easily because we used the same at the shelter and I work in IT for a living. :P

You have a young child, no? "Avoiding the issue" could lead to some nasty consequences if you're not proactive about working with this now, before it's an ingrained behavior that could easily spill over to small people in the household.

 

Congrats on the rescue volunteerism. What's a PA?

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Clarification: Cal's aggression is no longer towards us (us being the humans), it's toward Panda both in "protecting" her own bowl and trying to steal Pan's bowl after she snarfs her own.

 

We worked endlessly on stopping the guarding towards us and have had 98% success. If she's really stressed out, she will still guard occasionally but she's easily broken out of her "trace" and the crazy eyes with a reminder that when she's nice, good things fall out of our hands and right into her bowl. A little morsel of something tasty is enough to remind her that we're buddies.

 

She also doesn't ever guard against our son. She's never growled at him, only at me when he's doing something to her that he shouldn't (rough hands or going for her food). She makes eye contact with me or my husband and lets us know that she's unhappy, it's so strange. It's like there's an immediate off switch to her attitude when it comes to that baby, he's her person...

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What I meant by not actively working on the issue was meant primarily towards people.

 

I'm not trying to be an alarmist here, but I can't count the number of times I've heard of a dog being turned into rescue (or tried to be; many rescues won't accept a dog with a bite history) or shelter (or worse!) because "S/he was always fine with the kids (other pet/other person/etc.) until one day it all went terribly wrong."

 

I hope things stay the same with your son, but sometimes kid loose their "puppy license" after they reach a certain age, just like puppies do.

 

I'd be hypervigilant with a dog who'd ever had a resource guarding past when around kids. And I'd keep proofing appropriate behavior with that dog (any dog really) for as long as it lived.

 

JMO of course.

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You don't need treats to train a Border collie and you don't need an e-collar. What you need is yourself. The bond you form by spending time with your dog, long, quiet walks, training time, hanging out time, will motivate her to watch you. to pay attention to you and to want to do what you ask. You can reward her after the session with a walk or a game of fetch. During the session telling her Good Dog will make her try ten times as hard to understand what it is you want and give it to you. Border collies learn many things in one or two tries. They are intuitive, brilliant and attentive and have the potential, if you are brave enough not to use stuff when you train, to be off leash dogs and to have excellent judgment.

 

Sit means sit except when it doesn't. As your dog matures and learns, help and guide her to make good decisions. You will be so glad you did.

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Whether a BC needs treats or not depends on the dog and what you are training. If the task is to learn accuracy in an activity that is pointless for a dog you may well feel you need them.

 

We have two, one that will learn most things without external rewards and one that needs them for more things.

 

I am always getting told off in agility training with the youngster for lack of what most people consider as a reward but no one can actually tell me how they would improve my dog's performance in many instances. I use toy rewards sparingly and again for accuracy.

 

Even with him though, food is useful for training competition heelwork.

 

I think the key is not to assume you need to use food rewards but if you think about it and come to the conclusion that you do with that dog then do so as little as you can get away with.

 

I'm very wary when someone tells me always or never because dogs differ so much, even BCs.

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Whether a BC needs treats or not depends on the dog and what you are training.

 

Agree very much! I train in agility and so I see a lot of BCs. Some need toys as their reward, some need play/being roughed up/excitement from the handler as reward, and some do indeed need treats. And for ALL of us, whether we need treats or toys for the excitement of running sequences, train using treats for contacts since it's a shaped behavior.

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Lily never needs a toy reward, but she certainly won't refuse it if I decide to use one for whatever reason. When first training a dog to do something my trainer says to reinforce in whatever way your dog finds most valuable (whether it's human reinforcement, environmental, treats, or toys), then usually encourages sporadic reinforcement after you know the dog has the behavior or skill down.

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Agree very much! I train in agility and so I see a lot of BCs. Some need toys as their reward, some need play/being roughed up/excitement from the handler as reward, and some do indeed need treats. And for ALL of us, whether we need treats or toys for the excitement of running sequences, train using treats for contacts since it's a shaped behavior.

I actually had to use a clicker and toy for contacts, because Lily has little to no interest in food where agility is involved.

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When first training a dog to do something my trainer says to reinforce in whatever way your dog finds most valuable (whether it's human reinforcement, environmental, treats, or toys), then... sporadic reinforcement after you know the dog has the behavior or skill down.

This is, IMO, the most sensible approach.

The only exception to the intermittent reward system that I have encountered is that what seems to work the best in Musical Freestyle to get a dog through a performance without expecting a reward until the end, is to reward heavily ahead of time. It is sort of counter-intuitive, because one would think that instead you'd want to fade the rewards out, but just the opposite seems to work better. Lots and lots of reward every time we work together leading up to a performance, and rewards just before going into the ring. The dog knows that really good things are coming as soon as the performance is over, and doesn't expect them during.

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