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Being Ignored, Demanding Play, and Corrections?

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Hello all,

I'm new to the forum. We have a 3 year old male LabradorX Border Collie named Rogue. He is about 50 punds and stands I am aware that different dogs need different training methods so I thought, since Rogue is incredibly Border Collie-like that finding out what tends to be successful for Collies may help.


For context we live in a house now with a decent yard but cannot fully fence it in yet. We have 6 foot T posts and coated metal deer fencing for a portion so he can go out and do his buisiness without a line. In case anyone is concerned we DO NOT leave him outside. He goes out for potty time or to play with us but comes right back inside. He has never been interested in staying outside if we aren't with him anyway. He will sit on the porch and wait by the door or stare us down through the window.


We have 3 cats in our house two of which were adults when we brought him in as a puppy. He has shown wanting to guard some very specific things and items such as our feeding cart. If he hears one of the two male cats messing with the feed bins he trots right over and just stands over them. No nipping or shoving he just... stares? He won't go near our female cat since she has strong "boundaries" whereas the boys are more affectionate and will rub on him from time to time. That being said he is respectful if the cats tell him to back off. We handle this by sending him to his bed and enforcing the stay though he is pretty good about holding his stay when its just us. And generally this is only a problem when one of us forgets to shut the lid on the bin and he hears the rustle of the feed bag.


He is obsessive of laser pointers and some interactive cat toys to the point of guarding them from other animals so we completely removed those from our rotation or play with the cats in a separate room. We haven't played with him in the house with a laser pointer since he was 6 months old but he still knows when we have it and will spend hours looking for the light.


Outside of those 2 things I would say he is a near perfect house dog. No indoor accidents in 2 years that weren't related to tummy issues or stress. And still that only boils down to 2 incidents total with I'd say no more than 15 in his lifetime(we got him at 8 weeks). He has his toys and he will tear them up but he won't touch furniture, pillows, blankets, towels, carpets, or walls. Nothing. He is better than our cats in that way by far since they are always trying to find food on the counters.

He asks to play but is polite and if you tell him no. He either settles down with an antler/synthetic chew, a toy, or lays down in his bed. He follows you around but is quiet and unless you are in tight quarters he stays out of your way.

He barks only when he hears something unusual outside. He recognizes the mail amd trash services and doesn't bark and he recognizes the sound of our friends' cars. Only unusual sounds and not just general traffic.

He sleeps the night through and he is safe to leave out and about while at work and over night. He sleeps on the bed with us but doesn't guard it or any of his beds from the cats and gets off easily when asked. He generally needs to be asked to get him to lay on the couch with us. So in general he is our perfect house dog.

Our main issues are as stated above, him ignoring us and questionable behavior around some dogs.

When I take him to the horse farm with me (30-40 acres set off the road) he has been getting more and more sluggish about responding to recall. Mostly this is my fault. I think the best way to describe how I trained him is "Passive". When we were in the car if he settled down and sat he got a treat. I didn't ask. When we went into the woods and he came back to me he got a treat and I rewarded verbally when he gave me his attention and treat if he came over on his own. At the time I thought that this would be better than nagging my dog constantly to stay close and to some extent it is.

As long as I am moving he stays close by but if I remain in one area for too long he starts to wander. I did teach him recall later on but short of yelling he won't come immediately. He takes his time sniffing whatever is so interesting then trots over to me like he is so smart. I can ask him once nicely and it may be 2 minutes later and THEN he comes. When he is on a scent in particular treats and toys just don't matter. He will finish his sniffing, flounce over, and expect that treat. I can call him off a running deer or bird but if there is a smell he is interested in he will not come with any sense of urgency.


Now the demanding play and overcorrecting behavior? We started taking him to the local dog park when he was about 12 weeks old. As Im sure everyone is aware that is not the best method of socialization but at the time I did not know. We had one heck of a roller coaster with the dog park and now I only schedule visits in individual pens with people and dogs we know or we frequent an unfenced off leash park where completely out of control dogs are less frequent and we greet other dogs on the leash then run around an unoccupied area. Especially with young males he has been excessive and even vocal about putting them on the ground. This developed in the last few months or so and I am really unsure how to handle it. I generally distract him with a toy and get him moving away from the dog he is intent on. If he still won't leave them alone aka chasing the toy and then going straight back to bother the dog then I remove him and generally take him for a walk instead(again we don't bother going to the park anymore). I can say for sure that this is a learned behavior since at about 6 months he was the young male being picked on at the bottom of the pile with owners ignoring or dismissing their dogs' behavior. He also is demanding play with some dogs. Things like lunging in, barking, then running or acting like he will mount to instigate chase. He also tries to instigate play with toys which can sometimes help the situation but some dogs do not like to share. He will pick up a toy and flop it around or shove it in a dogs face then try and run when they lunge for it.


All of this said the majority of dogs he is actually good with. In particular we have a friend with a 6 month old female who he has been playing with since she was about 10 weeks. She is on the timid side and is quick to run yelping but they play together beautifully. Rogue takes turns flopping on the ground in front of her and he has been getting better about respecting when she isn't interested. We have been avoiding playing with large groups and choosing our play partners carefully so as not to reward his bullying tactics.

If there is anything else we could try or change we are all ears. Thanks!

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