Its D Day....i Need Some Serious Help With My Collie...any Advice Welcome!

Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by PaulnBen, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. PaulnBen New Member

    Ok hello everybody,

    So I have a dog who you can see in the picture, his names Ben and I rescued him about 4 years ago. Ben is a great dog, a smart dog too I just dont know how to get it out of him, they call it dog training, its really human training isnt it?!. There are a few points I want to touch on and if anybody can see any patterns and possible answers to the points raised I will be so greatful for any feedback.

    Ben gets very excited when we go for a walk, he's a sniper always on the lookout for anything and pulls like a steam train. I have tried different leads, a halti being the most effective though he hates it and wriggles out at road crossings or open spaces. (problem one) how do I get him not to pull so hard? he doesnt seem to listen.

    2. When I let him off the lead he legs it. He goes wild chasing birds and runs circles round me like a wolf rounding up prey. He will come back generally but only when he is knackered, I darent take him for walks in woods etc, only open grassy areas because he doesnt come back.

    3. In the garden he is desperate to play and go outside but he immediatley grabs a stick or stone or anything and holds it in his mouth. He won't drop any toy even in the house, I have to catch him and pull it out his mouth usually. When were playing outside he just stares at me, an intense stare at me or another ball, but if I kick a ball he will chase it and leap on it but not bring it back and drop it. Its been like this forever!

    4. He is really uninterested in food or treats. Seems quite depressed too! How can I get him more balanced?

    Your probably thinking I am a horrible person who shouts like mad at him, I dont, I'll admit the problems have made having a good relationshiop with him hard but I really want to make the situation better, I am the 'master' afterall!, - or at least want to be! help help!!!!!!! it he just stupid or have I got to take a whole approach?!

    Attached Files:

    Jean likes this.

  2. Jean Cote Administrator

    Hello Paul! Welcome to the D.T.A!

    1) Have you tried going in the opposite direction that your dog pulls? I'd go in a field and as soon as your dog pulls on the leash you go the opposite direction. You kind of look weird doing it but the dog has to learn that pulling doesn't mean you get there faster.

    2) I think you need to work on name recall, there is a lesson on this in the Classroom, basically you really need to train your dog to come back to you when you want him to. If he doesn't come back, I'd personally get a cotton web long line that drags on the ground and I can step on to stop the dog, or give a little pull on it if he chooses to ignore me. But you'll probably have to fix #4 to start training name recall.

    3) We can certainly help you with training your dog to retrieve. But you'll have to fix #4 first.

    4) He doesn't like treats? That seems a little unusual. :) What does he eat? Maybe he's getting a little too much at dinner time and he doesn't care about treats because he's already full? Have you tried different recipes? I posted a Beef Heart recipe in the Recipe forum that all dogs go crazy for. I know it sounds kind of gross to be cooking a beef heart, but it's really cheap and easy to do.

    Those are just some of my suggestions. I'm sure other people will give you more insightful tips. :) I'm just a regular guy, some of the other people on here are more trained than I am. :) But don't be too hard on yourself, it's normal not knowing what to do, it's not like we're born with the knowledge of training dogs. :) Based on the picture, I think you got yourself a very nice dog! He seems very friendly and just full of energy, if you can harness that energy to do things that you both enjoy, you'll have an outstanding quality life together.
  3. srdogtrainer Experienced Member

    For leash walking it is usually best to start in a large open field. If you are walking down an obvious path then your dog will want to pull because he knows where you are going. If you change directions often that will help teach the dog to focus on you more. You could also use the toy as a reward to help keep your dog motivated to stay closer.

    To get your dog to bring a toy back try using two toys. Throw one and as soon as he gets show him that you have another one. Try squeeking the toy, waving it in the air, running in the opposite direction etc.
    Jean likes this.
  4. Jean Cote Administrator

    That's pretty cool way of teaching it! I bet if you have two people sitting at opposites end you could technically do that for a while. [IMG]
  5. sara Moderator

    If he's not treat motivated, use a toy. I use both a ball and treats with my boy, Oliver. My others aren't toy motivated so much. Keep toys away unless you want to play. Use play as reward, he sits, he get's to chase the toy, he comes, he gets the toy, etc. By keeping toys away unless you're playing with him will help keep his toy drive up, and you'll be able to use that for training.

    Train him with play, dont be serious about it, make it fun, a game he wants to play, that's motivating in and of itself.
    Jean likes this.
  6. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    If he isn't food motivated, that's okay! I have a dog who will only work for tennis balls. :) They are harder to work with, but you will learn a LOT as a trainer!
    Regardless, I did recently learn a trick--find a treat your dog will take--bits of rolled dog food worked for my tennis ball lover. You can also try bits of chicken, cheese, hot dogs, etc. He doesn't have to love it, just take it. If you can find a treat he will take, then do this:
    Give him a treat, two if he will take them, and immediately follow with toy. (Teaching him to retrieve instead of playing keep away will be helpful with this. :) ) Progress to him taking more and more treats before giving him the toy. He'll learn that food means THE TOY IS COMING! It will make him be more willing to work for food, and you can use the toy as the jackpot.

    As mentioned before, I use the method where you turn around if the dog gets the least bit ahead of you, and continue this until the dog is walking next to you. If this doesn't work for your dog(I find it works on 99% of dogs...Zeke, my tennis ball lover, is part of the 1%, lol), really the Halti or Gentle Leader is the best way to go. I like the GL better than the Halti because it has a little clip on the bottom under the chin that makes it much harder to get out of. You can make your dog love it by only going on walks with it on, or always playing with his favorite toy when the GL is on. He'll start to think, "YAY, I GET TO PLAY!!!!" everytime you put on the GL. This is what I did with Zekers, and he likes his GL but is now completely weaned off of it. I only use it once in a while to make ME feel better, lol, but he doesn't need it anymore.

    Hope this helps. :) Best of luck with beautiful Ben.
    Jean likes this.
  7. rouen Experienced Member

    Edited by Jean: Rouen, I had to edit your post to get the videos to work properly.
    new bear and Jean like this.
  8. fly30 Experienced Member

    Congratulations for rescuing Ben. Ben is a border collie so before anything else, he's a working dog, which makes him full of energy and very intelligent. Of course he needs running and long walks but on top of all, he needs working. As Jean said, you need to work on the educational basis before anything else which should be quick if you are regular.
    Of course, the best way to have a border collie use his energy and mental at its best is herding. I know some professionals do offer this possibilities. I go herding with an association in the south of France but I know this also exists in Canada. If you try this, you may not recognize your dog.
    In anycase, tricks have dogs use their mental and border collies are quite happy learners. If you do it daily, you will notice that it will become his favorite moment and help him to control his energy.
    Jean likes this.
  9. Jean Cote Administrator

    I don't know if he is a Border Collie, the fur looks very husky-ish and the ears very Collie-ish. I'm sure Paul can give us more info on this. :happy:
  10. fly30 Experienced Member

    Actually I thought Ben could be an Australian Shepperd, but Paul said "my collie" so I though he may have been an overweighted border collie.
  11. Jean Cote Administrator

    Maybe.. I'm biased owning a Husky and a Collie :bounce:
  12. PaulnBen New Member

    thank you everybody, I have been totally amazed at all of your responses to my post yesterday. Thank you for posting the videos too they were really helpful I just hope now I can do it. I am going to get ben begging for treats hopefully, I will be trying some of your ideas and will let you know how I get on. About Ben being a Collie, well truthfully I don't know if he is? I think fly30 might be on to something with the Australian Sheppard thing, he is really fluffy and not built like your typical collie either. Are Australian sheppards similar to train? they obviously look very similar?!
  13. PaulnBen New Member

    where can i post a guess the dog article?!! :)
  14. fly30 Experienced Member

    Aussies are in general (but this is not an absolute rule) more stuborn than border collies. However, they are very clever and once you catch their attention, they are good at what they're doing. When they play, they tend to push the others with their bottom or their chest, as the border collie tends to run around the others clapping their teeth. 3 of my friends have Aussies so I wouldn't say they are similar to border collies in their behaviour, though physically, they are much alike, the Aussie being bigger.
    No doubt you can train Ben, collie or not, he's certainly a smart dog and you will continue building a nice relationship with him.

    If you have other photos, maybe we could tell Aussie or Collie.
  15. Jean Cote Administrator

  16. srdogtrainer Experienced Member

    Does your dog like high value treats like meat? I noticed with Victor who used to be a very finicky eater that over time just teaching him tricks he became more and more food motivated! We had to start with meat he wouldn't accept anything else on a regular basis. Over time we were able to use other treats. One thing I did was put some kibble in the bag with the meat and use the kibble for regular reinforces and the meat like a jackpot. Once you start phasing out the treats you can surprise the dog with which treat is coming next. Currently Victor is working on handstand with the reward being his regular kibble!

    Also (it doesn't seem like the case for your dog but a good tip to note) dogs that are over weight tend to not be as food motivated until they are back to an appropriate weight.

    Another tip for the retrieve (if possible) practice in doors in a hallway or make your own pathway so that the only way to go is back towards you. If your dog does not want to bring it back and instead lies down with it then you can try either clapping your hands and running away or keeping your dog on leash so you can prevent him from lying down and start moving away the moment he grabs the toy and reeling him in.
    Jean likes this.
  17. Jean Cote Administrator

    I've also had great success with chicken and turkey sausages, they're very easy to cut in small pieces. Only inconvenience is that your hands get slimy from training, but it's OK. :)
    srdogtrainer likes this.
  18. srdogtrainer Experienced Member

    I love those videos that Rouen posted. Kiko Pup is a great resource for many training tips!
    For the tug/retrieve video: I have personally never had a dog bring the tug right back but I have not worked with too many high drive dogs. I do think this method would be helpful and if your dog is not one to bring it back you can play in a hall way, move away or run away from your dog to get him to bring in towards you, or keep your dog on a leash.
  19. srdogtrainer Experienced Member

    That is definitely true! I don't mind, I will get my hands a bit messy to benefit my dog's training. ...but it is not a great choice of treat when you have a dog with a people phobia and are trying to get them over it, LOL! I use hot dogs for that because they don't mke your hands quite so messy and people can easily recognize the treat!
  20. charmedwolf Moderator

    Looks like an Aussie/ Cattle dog to me but herding breeds were never my speciality.

    Also for a keep away tip. If you have a old tennis ball cut it alittle open. Take a thin rope and knot it. Push the knotted part of the rope in the cut of the tennis ball. Congrats, you now have a ball on a rope. Perfect for relying the ball in when the dog doesn't want to bring it back.

Share This Page

Real Time Analytics