Duke: A Border Collie Mix

Discussion in 'Meet the Dogs' started by dukey_boy, Jan 31, 2015.

  1. dukey_boy Well-Known Member

    Here is my Dukey-Boy. He is almost two years old and he has been with me since the day he was born. His mom, a purebred BC named Riika, was my heart dog. Unfortunately, she died in a terrible accident at two years old when the pups were six weeks old. Ironically, the last trick I taught her was the one that killed her. The trick itself wasn't dangerous, but the circumstances she did it under certainly were.
    Anyway, same old story, she got out when in heat and got pregnant. I'm quite sure the sire was a pit bull/black lab but don't know for sure.
    Anyway, he is a very sweet, calm and sensitive boy. So sensitive even a stern look or harsh word will reduce him to a quivering pile of fur-even if it wasn't directed at him. I have moderate anger problems, and he helps me deal with them. I hate seeing him act like this so have been trying my hardest to overcome my issues and, am glad to say, have made quite a bit of progress. So in a sense he is my service dog.
    He is very smart but severely unmotivated. He is incredibly lazy. It is very surprising beings he is half border collie and his mom was the absolute opposite of him. It is very hard to train him anything. However, I have managed to train him quite a lot. Here is a list of his tricks.
    Sit Pretty
    Back up
    Turn around. (Hand signals for left and right)
    Bring it here. (Anything he can in anyway get to me except metal objects. He refuses to touch those.)
    Go around. (Things as small as a tree or as big as our hay barn and corral. Hand signals for directional.)
    Touch my hand.
    Play the piano
    Up (Patting or pointing to object)
    Jump (over my leg or other object or straight up in the air)
    Climb a ladder
    Back up a wall (In preparation for a hand stand)
    Shake my hand
    Other paw
    Give me individual paws as I point them out.
    Rear paw, front paw, or nose touches
    Open the door (Jump on to push open or stick paw or nose in crack and pry it open)
    Stand on hind legs
    Walk on hind legs
    Back up on hind legs
    Back through legs
    Sit before crossing road
    Stay on the right side of the yellow line when biking
    Get close (When a car is coming. Very little traffic on our rural roads makes biking off leash safe.)
    Open your mouth
    Put all feet on or in very small container, stool etc.
    Turn on or in very small container, stool etc.
    Ride a horse
    Hold object

    He knows a lot more but I wouldn't necessarily call them tricks so I won't list them here.
    running_dog likes this.

  2. running_dog Honored Member

    Welcome to DTA :)

    That's a great list of tricks especially when you have a low drive dog. What training methods do you usually use?

    It sounds like you and Duke are learning a lot from each other. My character has also changed for the better through a desire to make my dog feel secure and happy (he also gets upset even if anger is not directed at him). Dogs can be some of the best teachers and motivators, and some of the most forgiving creatures when we don't measure up to what we should be.
  3. dukey_boy Well-Known Member

    Thanks running dog.
    I'm not sure what you mean by training methods-I use luring, free shaping, targeting, and I also use commands he already knows. Like backing up and down stairs, I just position him next to the stairs and tell him back up. If those are training methods......
    running_dog likes this.
  4. kassidybc Experienced Member

    Welcome! I hope you enjoy it here! That's a very impressive list of tricks, and Dukey is very handsome!
  5. running_dog Honored Member

    That's pretty much what I was asking :)

    I'm curious though... how did you teach your dog to go around the barn?
  6. dukey_boy Well-Known Member

    It started out as having him untangle his cable from around his dog house. (Our dogs are tied up when not supervised as they roam and Dad doesn't allow animals in the house.) His mother before him quickly learned the same thing. I'm not really sure how we taught them-I suppose it was just telling them to do it and indicating what it was they were supposed to do as they tired different things until they got it right. And them, we moved to bigger things. Like, he is not allowed in the garden so when I was walking through it one time and planned on coming out on the other side, I told him "Go around" indicating with my arm what direction.
    At least one time it came in handy is when the goats got out. He doesn't know how to herd at all so I didn't even try that. Instead, when they began running around the outside of the pasture in circles when I began chasing them, I waited until they got in the alley between the barn and cow corral, stood at the entrance, and sent Duke around the pasture the opposite way. Once he got pretty close, I began walking after the goats again, and as they got to the end of the alley, Duke arrived and, startled, they turned and fled in my direction. It was wonderful! Oh how I hate it when the goats get out! They act like feral animals even though normally I can't keep them out of my hair!

    Another thing. On New year's eve, I broke my tailbone while ice skating. It was extremely painful to do anything but the animals still needed fed and taken care of. Duke was there to help me by picking things up from the ground, and carrying them because it was even worse to bend over. And when there was no way around it and I had to kneel down, I could tell him, "hold still" and use him for support so I wouldn't fall on my face. I was very, very glad that I had trained him all these things because, oh boy! was he a great help!
    running_dog likes this.
  7. running_dog Honored Member

    That makes sense. I just can't imagine my dog doing out of sight distance work on the scale of a barn! You've done a great job with Duke.

    You certainly put the trick to very good use that day.
    Was Duke very smug about it or did he not realise what he had done?

    Sounds like you need to start training the goats too :LOL:

    He sounds like an excellent assistance dog! If I tried to use my skinny dog for support he'd collapse and Gus my mum's dog would think it was funny to make me fall over... but sometimes when it is wet or icy and I am walking my friends labradors one of those dogs will let me hold onto her for balance/support and it really does help.

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