Me, Jenny, Bella & Zara


Experienced Member
Hi all found this site googling tricks to try to train Bella as I have recently started to use a clicker in reference to training.

I have 3 border collies or rather 2 are mine and 1 is my mums. They are all female. 1 is 11years old and the other 2 are nearly 2.

Jenny is the oldest at 11. We have had her from a pup and she is great. She is obsessed with the ball and playing fetch ... and i mean obsessed. lol. She is a tri coloured border collie. She often forgets how old she is when she goes to the park running round like a 2 year old.
Now for the other two. They are as different from each other but in some regards the same in one problem. I'll get to that in a minute.
Bella is my other border collie she is 2 in february. I have had her from a pup and sadly as it was 11 years since the last puppy I had got the socialisation wrong and she had not been socialised enough when she was a pup and is now suffering from it. She is fearful of both dogs and people. She doesn't enjoy going out for walks as she infact hides if i get the lead out. I've seen trainers for her and they say to reward her with treats for positive reinforcement but Bella is usually a fussy eater in her best days lol so as soon as she steps outside the door nothing is entering her mouth. Now when we take her to the park i can atleast distract her as she is nearly as obsessed with fetch as Jenny is. She does however run towards and bark at other people in the park but does come back when called. Out of her fight and flight instinct she orefers to hide if anyone approaches her or even talks to her even running off into the woods where her head can be seen poking round a tree as she checks to see if the coast is clear. Bella when she is at home is very similar in temperament to Jenny my older dog. She can fall asleep in seconds, loves playing fetch and is responsive to training and trick training (just starting tricks really). She is a calm natured dog in the house away from what stresses her.

Now for my mums dog Zara, she is 2 on april. She is as opposite as you can get from the other two in looks and temperament. She is a tri-coloured short coated, prick eared border collies who i swear is like the energizer bunny. She is really hyper 99% of the time. She is also nervous out of the house but she seems to cope better than zara although she has her problems. She is a very demanding dog who i swear is part cat as she uses her paws alot. If she isnt happy she barks, digs the floor, charges towards you (mainly me she hates it when i move) she doesnt like us or the other 2 dogs going up and down the stairs where she jumps up and barks at me and goes to bite the other dogs. She seems more aggressive especially if we get the leads out. She is also impossible to walk, we've tried haltis, harnesses, stoping n starting, turning back in a circle and such and nothing is working she is very stubborn and strong. she has a bulkier build that Bella. She is a lunger and barker when she sees other dogs or passes people when shes on the lead.

Any Suggestion on anything I could try to help with these problems would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.



Zara - oh did i forget to mention she had blue eyes too



Honored Member
Cute dogs! All 3 of them!

wow, a lot going on here.
I'm just a curious dog owner is all. So, Bella, *sounds like* she is a "shy" dog. There are levels of shyness. It's hard to know for sure, via email, but it sounds like Bella might be shy dog.

Does Bella try to avoid most unknown ppl? Does Bella usually allow unknown ppl to touch her? Or does Bella duck away or growl?
Does Bella get on well with most unknown dogs?

About Zara, we can all help you to learn to help Zara be cool while someone goes up/down the stairs. That is solvable. Her biting the other dogs is called "re-directed" aggression, maybe out of jsut habit of the stairs freaking her out and frustration/over excitement.
Promise, i really think, that one is solvable. Might take a lil while, but that one is solvable.

It is hard to say via email if Zara has any actual deep seated, aggression, or just pent up unspent energy + living beside Bella and lotsa bad habits. (some dogs can indeed imitate housemate dog's issues).

Does Zara get on well with most unknown dogs? Does Zara like most unknown ppl, or allow most unknown ppl to touch Zara?

So, let me get this straight, exactly what is it that Zara does, if you attempt to walk her?
She lunges towards other dogs? Is that the behavior that is keeping you from walking Zara?
Or Zara just pulls all the time or what exactly does Zara do? Be very specific.

Are you able to walk the other dogs okay?

Other than the stairs thing, do all 3 dogs get on okay together?

I'll wait til you write back, to get more info. Hang in there!


Honored Member
Also, how much exercise do these dogs get?

be super honest.

The hole digging is often a sign a dog is bored bored bored.


Experienced Member
Does Bella try to avoid most unknown ppl?
When we are on walks she hates when someone is walking behind her and pulls, shes got better at walking past them though although she is still nervous, she use to pull back on the leash rather than approach and that has gotten better. She does tend to speed up and pull when we approach a corner though so she can see whats round it.
Does Bella usually allow unknown ppl to touch her? Or does Bella duck away or growl?
If Bella is on the leash she tends to pull back and try to hide if someone directly approaches and talks to her or me. In the park she does tend to lunge at them and bark. Although in the park she responds when i call her back and try to distract her with a ball. I usually move away to a distnce where she doesnt bark and run towards them. She seems worse with Zara. I know that if we take them all for a walk together then if Zara starts barking then Bella does which she never does when she is on her own.
Does Bella get on well with most unknown dogs?
She is fearful of other dogs, she tends to run away from them in the park if they come towards her to play. She's always lived with the 2 other dogs but i think maybe Zaras attitude towards he doesnt help. She's very mouthy to her.

I'll get onto more about Zara later as I need to get ready for work wow just noticed the time lol lost track while typing about Bella.


Experienced Member
Does Zara get on well with most unknown dogs?
Not really but ever since a german shepherd chased her out the park which led to her getting clipped by 2 cars shes worse.
Does Zara like most unknown ppl, or allow most unknown ppl to touch Zara?
Not that often, I think because she eats anything she is more bribable of the two. And I do mean anything she sucks the leaves up at the park lol and she must have a mud puddle gos because she always finds one to roll in.

Exactly what is it that Zara does, if you attempt to walk her?
She lunges towards other dogs? Is that the behavior that is keeping you from walking Zara?
Or Zara just pulls all the time or what exactly does Zara do? Be very specific.

As soon as you step out the door she pulls alot all of the time, i can't walk her at all and even with a halti and a harness on my mums hands are purple by the end of a walk. When she sees people or dogs she lunges towards them and barks at them. Stopping and starting dont work as she never gives you any slack at all and as soon as you move she pulls almost lunges forward into the walk. sometimes she pulls so much she ends up on her hind legs. Also turning in a circle doesnt help as she ssems to think its part of the walk not trying to get her to heel.

Zara tends to do the digging thing alot in frustration especially when she doesn't get her way. She is very vocal and demonstrative too and uses her paws alot ie flipping the water and food bowls, tapping Jenny in the face with her paw. - speaking of which our older dog has warning growled and bit Zara several times telling her to keep out of her space (Zara tends to lean into her and be nose to nose aswell as tap her face and eyes with her paws) yet she doesn't seem to get the message. This happened to Bella once when she was young and she learnt to respect Jennys space and they are great friends now infact I'm often amused by the sight of Bella giving Jennys muzzle several licks.

I feel Bella is a shy dog I just am unsure what I need to do to help her get over her fears as I don't want to do the wrong thing which could make her worse or unknowingly reinforcing her fears. I think its just fear of the unknown but as I said I don't know anyone who has a dog that i could have a training session or trip to the park with.

Zara and Bella don't really get on. I think Zara thinks she rules the whole house including us! My mum doesn't agree but I think she sort of bullies Bella a bit They tend to fight (not real viscious at first but Zara has the possibility of being more viscious and nasty when she wants to be and has infact been to Bella and Jenny our older one.)She was a terrible nipper as a pup. Zara tends to go phsyco when the leads appear and infact goes for the other dogs if they have their lead on even if she has hers. If you try to take her lead off before the walk she tends to try to nip you. Bella is the opposite she tends to hide.

Exercisewise they tend to go to the park more as a group than go just for walks as with three dogs 2 of which are nervous and one of which is near unwalkable makes it hard as for example i dont want Bella to be nervous all the time and shes less nervous when shes at the park playing fetch and runnung round. I do try to walk them atleast 3 - 4 times a week though for only short 15-20 minute walks. When we take them to the park we are usually out for hours. Zara is deffinately more hyper/energetic than the other two and i feel needs more exercise. We think she is part Kelpie. Which shows in the fact the jump onto the back of the cattle/sheep and zara does that to Bella.

Jenny loves other dogs and shes walkable with a halti. I use a halti to walk Bella aswell which makes her manageable. She's definatelly way easier to walk than zara its just what to do to help with her fears.

Does this answer your questions?? I want to eventually take Bella agility, just for fun not to compete and i want her to be calm and confident enough to enjoy it.


Honored Member
Oh wow, Tif, you do have a lot going on here, with 2 dogs both having issues. I also wonder if the 2 dogs with issues might not be feeding each other's issues.
I think since there may even be a complex interaction of 2 dogs with issues impacting each other's progress, (dogs can and do imitate each other at times) you should DEFINITELY seek out a dog behaviorist.
Still, the more YOU understand about your dogs, and ways to help them become their best possible selves, the better off for the dogs.

I agree, it does sound like Bella is a "shy" dog. Many ppl also call these dogs "fearful" dogs. These dogs are born this way. Shyness is a recessive gene, the parents are usually 'normal' dogs.
Shyness shows up in the litter box. As soon as the shy puppy is able to duck away from human hands, he will. Some dogs are severely shy, some only mildly shy.

These dogs will be shy for life, on some level, but we can make them better
or worse
by how we manage them.
Shy dogs usually get on well with other dogs, usually, but when a shy dog grows up beside a dog-aggressive dog, or is poorly managed, the shy dog can also begin to target other dogs, as well. However, getting a shy dog to accept other dogs, is usually easier, than getting a shy dog to accept unknown humans.

IF IF IF Zara is dog-aggressive, (it's hard to know for sure via emails)
that is usually inborn, as well, and begins to show up at about 9 mos old. Most dog-aggressive dogs do accept humans, but, if poorly managed, or abused/neglected or has built up tensions for whatever reasons, the dog-aggressive dog can also develop spillover aggression towards humans.
However, getting a dog-aggresive dog (IF Zara is one) to accept humans, is usually easier, than getting a dog-aggressive dog to accept other dogs.

It's a bit complicated, but, there is hope. There is especially reason to hope for a reduced aggression towards dogs from Bella,
and hope for reduced aggression towards humans from Zara.
HOwever, i wonder if these two dogs living side by side might make your struggles all the more challenging.

I reeeeeeeally think you need to find a dog behaviorist, who has EXPERIENCE and SUCCESS with both shy dogs, and dog-aggressive dogs.
Do not be afraid to ask, and to move on if the behaviorist you are interviewing has little to no success in these areas. Many behaviorists do not have extensive hands-on experience with trying to rehab shy dogs
dog-aggresssive dogs. (IF in fact, your dogs are 1 shy dog, and 1 dog-aggressive dog, it's hard to know via emails, you need a professional evaluation)

Also, do not hesitate to ask if this trainer uses POSITIVE only methods, and will not use aversive, intimidating or punishing methods. Using fear or intimidation or yanking dogs around, scaring dogs,
can make dogs like yours even worse. Do go watch this trainer/behaviorists in action prior to allowing them near your dogs. If the trainer/behaviorists is yanking the dogs around, scolding the dogs, pushing the dogs to the floor to intimidate the dogs, or recommending shock collars, etc, ------------do not bring your dogs to this person.
Keep searching.

STILL I DO THINK YOU CAN HOPE TO FIND WAYS TO REDUCE THE AGGRESSION IN YOUR DOGS. It doesn't happen overnight, it will require some effort on your part. But, you can reduce the aggression in these dogs.

Getting dogs who have issues to live harmoniously with other dogs with issues, that they do not "like", in the same house, 24/7, can be a real challenge. YOu really need a pro to evaluate this situation with you.

but get an evaluation right away, by a pro in this specific area. Also, have vet rule out any illnesses, but usually such dogs are healthy, even though both shy dogs, and dog-aggressive dogs (IF your dogs are) have multiple neurobiological and neurochemical abnormalities, they are still found to be healthy. In the way a human who has autism, which is one of many human neurobiological disorders, can also be healthy.
But, is good idea to have vet rule out any illnesses.

Be aware, a trainer who is great at teaching agility, may be useless or even harmful if he has no experience in shy dogs or dog-aggressive dogs. this is a SPECIALTY area of dog management.

YOu need a specialist who has much experience in these specific areas.

caveat---------i have zero license or certificate, and you are, of course, FREE take anything i said with a grain of salt, or even with a whole bucket of salt!!! I do have many science links about the genetics of aggression in shy dogs, and in dog-aggressive dogs, but, most ppl find the research a bit hard to follow. But feel free to question or dismiss anything i say, of course. There are other members here on DTA who strongly disagree, that aggresssion or shyness is inborn, and feel instead, it is caused by abuse or neglect, etc. etc.
I disagree, and so do all veterinary research teams, all over the globe, for decades. These scientists feel these behaviors in dogs,
as well as other 'normal' behaviors in dogs like herding or retrieving,
are on the dog's DNA, or, "inherited".
I'm just trying to share what i've found out from studying the science of aggressive dogs.


Honored Member
you can begin to try reducing some of the many issues you face. Your dogs might be boiling over with unspent energy and the frustration that brings. You have taken home HIGH ENERGY breed dogs, which HAVE TO have something to do,
HAVE TO get tons of excercize, and the of excercize you are currently providing, is way way way too little. My border collie would also be nutz if that was all he got.

Can you at least do some fetch in the yard, til you locate safe, fenced in areas for them to run around in?

My dog IS dog-aggressive, and he LOVES empty, fenced in school yards, empty fenced in ancient cemetaries or parks, just loves it. I get him running about full speed, and wow, is HE such a good boy the rest of that day.

Worth a try. I think, you reeeeeeeeeally have to find ways to help your dogs safely blow off some energy and get tired as first step.


If i run my dog for 10 or 15 minutes,
and he then rests for a lil while-----------in no way can i mistakenly believe, "My dog only needs 10 minutes of excercise per day."
A dog catching their breath to resume playtime or running, in no way indicates that is the sum total of excercize that dog needs, see what i mean?

Re: the leash aggression.

Here is one simple, easy to follow video, on how to help desensitize Zara to the sight of her leash.
I'd put the other dogs out of the room to do this: Since your dog is SO against even the sight of a leash, you may wnat to add in tossing treats to Zara for even just looking at the leash, prior to shaking the leash around. Tif, you may have to proceed MUCH MORE SLOWLY than this video shows.
Maybe for 1st few lessons, just show the leash, and give Zara treats for calmly looking at it. Praise Zara for being calm.

USE tiny treats, to avoid a full or fat dog.



Honored Member
Here's more help, to go with video above, to help you get better idea of what is you are going for,
on how to help encourage calmness in a dog (but again, this might be treating a symptom, when in fact, your dogs are in dire need of excercise) There's many things going on with your dogs, but providing excercize might be one simple way to help get started in right direction.

Otherwise, all your valiant efforts to help your dogs, might fail, if these dogs remain chockful of unspent energy on top of all the other issues. Lol, trust me on that one, :ROFLMAO: i have a border collie too, and WOW, does he get nutty if he has more than one or mayyyyyyyybe two boring days in a row. This breed needs well as mental stimulation/stuff to do/a "job".



Honored Member
Also, have you and your mom begin to watch "It's Me or The Dog" with Victoria Stillwell,
this show is GREAT positive only way to begin to look at helping dogs become their best selves.

and put "dog whisperer" tv show on child lock/never watch dog whisperer.



Honored Member
Tif, also,
in your efforts to begin to help your dogs,
be sure you never "correct" a growl from any dog, ever.
do not scold, or yank on, or in anyway, try to tell dog growling is wrong.

YOu should always respect that growl, and listen to that growl, but never try to teach your dog that growling is bad. You want your dog to feel free to give a warning growl.

Teaching a dog to not growl, does not make the dog "nice". It only makes the dog "silent".
Ppl who have 'corrected/punished' dogs for growling, report things like, "You just never know when Fluffy is going to minute Fluffy is minute, BAM, she's bitten someone or bitten some dog!!!!."

Fluffy was taught not to give a warning growl. Dogs much prefer to give a warning growl over a bite, but, if they are taught to skip the warning, they will skip the warning.
Somewhere along the line, Fluffy was punished in some manner, every time she growled. Her inner attitude is just the same, but, Fluffy has learned to not growl out loud.

and once it's gone, it is often gone forever. These dogs are much harder to 'read', especially for strangers and passersby.

My dog still growls if he is getting worked up,
and i am so GLAD of it,
his growl helps alert me to the fact my dog is losing it, in case i was not paying att'n, well, i am NOW!! ha ha!!

bEST THING to do, if your dog growls, is calmly remove the dog who is growling away from whatever is freaking them out.
Try to avoid removing the person/dog/item that is being growled AT,
but instead, calmly, silently, remove the dog who is growling. No scolding is involved at all.

so there's that....we don't get a lot of chances to get the "don't correct growls" correctly, so i thought you would want to hear that right off the bat.


Honored Member
Here's some help for Bella, below,
another quickie easy video.

there's tons of other issues to work on, but this might be enough to at least get you inspired you can find ways to help your dogs become their best possible selves....You can help make this better, you can, Tif. Might stumble a bit here or there, might hit some confusions, but especially wiht a hired pro behaviorists beside you, you can make some progress! YOu can!!

YOu can help your dogs, i know you can help them become better, happier, and become less aggressive. It's not easy, but you can make some even small changes to help get going in right direction.
Like getting those dogs tired out. That alone, might be help turn it all down quite a bit. I'd bet a bag of dog food on that one.:ROFLMAO: DO look around for fenced in, lonely areas, especially free of other dogs or ppl, for now, that might get your dogs some great running time.



Honored Member
Actually, the above video on shyness, might be good for Zara, too, even though my guess is, Zara has learned her spillover-aggression towards ppl, and is not a truly 'shy' dog, the excercises in the vid above, might be good idea for Zara, too.


Experienced Member
Thanks for the videos I'll definately be trying to do the calming exercises and touch one with Bella as well as the leash one with Zara. I live in town so alot of the places i tend to know and take the dog have high traffic. What would you recoment with Bella in regard to the leash, she isnt aggressive shes just oh no heres that bright red leash again. Would I maybe try to get her to approach it and sniff it or something then click and treat until it doesn't bother her. I think if she gets that calming one that might be a great help when out. And also the bit where she mentioned if she sees a person but before she reacts give her a treat i might help.

So when they Bark at the park and approach i have to just call her back and distract her and don't scold or say no with the barking???

What kind of treat would you say is irresistable to a fussy dog????

I'll definately research another behaviorist as the last one wasn't really helpful at all. I'm thinking of taking Bella to a training class aswell.


Experienced Member
Just found some jerky broke that into bits and have been getting Bella to touch the lead with her nose then click and reward - she loves jerky at home. Hopefully if i continue this regular she will see the lead in a positive note. And then perhaps once she doesnt run at the sight of the leash can go to attaching her lead and rewarding. Let me tell you as soon as i brought out the jerky she was quick to interact with the leash. so fingers crossed that atleast her problem with the leash will be dealt with. Will try tomorrow with zara as its late now and time for bed. (I end up with Jenny and Bella either side of me sharing my pillows and about 2 inches of room lol).

I also get what you mean about temperaments being inbred Jenny was a nervous dog but over the years she has become great with other dogs and tolerent of people as long as they don't talk directly to her. Also from pups you could tell how different Zara and Bella were. Bella cuddled into my arms whereas Zara kept running all over the back seat.


Honored Member
Oh, Tif, this is wonderful, that you've already already made a step of progress in getting Bella to make a new POSITIVE association with the leash! YESssssss!

You could use that video above, for helping Bella and Zara both, with getting new ideas in their lil doggie minds about "Leash = treats! love! good stuff! Yay for leash!"
I missed the part about Bella also has grouchy reaction to seeing the leash, but, yeah, i'd use that approach in the video for both dogs, and based on what how severe Zara reacts to the sight of the leash, i'd go nice and slow with Zara, way slower than the video shows.

//"So when they Bark at the park and approach i have to just call her back and distract her and don't scold or say no with the barking???"//

Oh, my point was never ever correct a growl, not a bark.
Barking is different than growling.
Lolz, you can *try* to "correct" a bark, but it doesn't work, at all. Not much, anyway. 10 years from now, is real good chance, you'd still be scolding those barks. Someone here once said something, was so cute, about when WE yell when our dogs bark, the dog might think we agree with them, that we are 'barking' too!!:ROFLMAO: At any rate, it only gets you worked up, for nothing, yelling at barking dogs does not work, at all.

it's yelling at growling dogs, i am most sincerely hoping you never try, as that can extinguish the growl, and then yuo are left with a dog who goes straight for a bite.

Scolding barking dogs is neither helpful nor does it help dog learn what you DO want them to do. The distraction idea is far better than scolding.

Later on, we can talk about both preventing reactions, and desensitizing dogs to their "very scarey enemies". It's two different things, but, you'll need to know both. I worry i am overwhelming you with info too much too fast...
For now, just getting the hang of seeing how successful you CAN BE, in helping change a dog attitude, will be good first step!!!

for now, i'd just PREVENT the whole scene entirely, for now. I'd search out other places, where my dogs could run free, in a FENCED area, without the other "scarey" dogs or "scarey" ppl there.
for now.
For now, i would not take either dog to a park which contains other dogs or ppl, not just yet. I wouldn't, as every minute they spend re-establishing their habitual reactions to either other dogs, or ppl, is one more strengthening of their current attitude. I would not do this at this time.

Especially since it is unfenced (?) and your dog got hit by car by that park.(if i read your post correctly)

Obviously, they are your dogs, not mine, and you are absolutely free to decide the best thing for your own dogs, but i would not take these dogs to that park at this time in their rehab. Others may disagree, but me, i wouldn't do it yet, til you have gotten a lil more on top of managing them and preventing reactions. Which you will get there, you will.
Many ppl here don't use dog parks anyway, not everyone thinks of dog parks as great for dogs. There's no way to know what sort of dogs will be there, what kind of wrong messages a dog can get from unknown dogs in a dog park.

But, this is great news, Tif, great news, that you are already making some headway into helping your dogs get new and better reactions to the sight of a leash. We can also do the same thing to the dogs seeing someone go up/down stairs, although, that one might be a lil bit more effort, so keep practicing with the leash one for now. YOu are headed in right direction!


Honored Member
//"What kind of treat would you say is irresistable to a fussy dog????"//

Such a great question! I think it is helpful to swap up the treats you use. Use TINY TEENY WEENY SMALL ITTY BITTY treats, like the size of a raisen. Once your dog gets full, bam, you are outa luck then. If you dog is really good, does something absolutely fantastic, repeat the small treats, one after the other, for a "jackpot" reward, not whole handful at once, but instead, give small treat one after the other, while praising the dog.

Use real bits of meat of any type, or bits of cheese now and then, or even hotdogs cut up in small bits. Hotdog bits rolled in parmesan cheese, my dog thinks are delish.

Here's a great recipe that all dogs (so far, all dogs) go crazy for. It's economical, it's easy to make as a batch of cookies, and it is purely healthy. Many types of jerky have tons of salt in them, which is not good for dogs.

Try making a batch of these.:D You have to drain the 3 ingredients SUPER well after you cook them if you've boiled them,
like, shake the 3 ingredients in a colander for several minutes, get those 3 ingredients dry as you can. I haven't yet met or heard of a dog who doesn't like these::

^in above Liver cookie recipe, some members here, say it's even better with a dash of garlic added in.

. Anything peanut butter flavored is usually irrestible to dogs,
like this recipe: (actually, check out the recipe section of this website, there are several new peanut butter flavor recipes in there)

Tif, on days i give my dog many treats, i cut his dinner back a lil bit, so he won't get chubby. Chubby is bad for dogs, so don't be afraid to give them smaller dinners if they have had many many many treats in one day!:ROFLMAO:


Honored Member
//" Would I maybe try to get her to approach it and sniff it or something then click and treat until it doesn't bother her"//
Well, depending on the how severely the dog reacts to sight of the leash,
you could take leash out of drawer, and if dogs react, just wait it out. Act bored. Sit down.
sooner or later
the dogs will bore of screaming about the leash.

soon as the dogs settle down, click/treat. praise dogs, even if they are 10 feet away.

for first lesson, that's good. PUt leash away

Maybe next lesson, you will sit on floor with leash, once dogs settle down, click/treat, praise.
Put leash away. That's it.

Next lesson, maybe, if your dogs are beginning to be a bit less reactive aobut the leash, you may sit a bit closer, holding leash on floor, like in the video, click/treat once dogs settles down. By now, you may be beginning to observe HOW QUICKLY your dogs are noticing, "mom likes it when we are cool next to the leash, we get prizes"

Is best if dogs comes to you, to investigate the leash, than you approach dog with leash, for now. They will, give them a lil time to change their minds, they will. NO rush here. Better to take your time and let them all rewire their lil doggie minds about leashes are great.

YES, just like in video, yes, i'd click/treat any interest in the leash that is not negative. A sniff, PRIZES FOR YOU!
Sitting in same room with leash, PRIZES FOR YOU! (sometimes, we have to start with baby steps)

Sitting calmly next to leash, PRIZES FOR YOU.
Touching leash, PRIZES FOR YOU.
and so on.

over time, you may be able to get the dogs to accept treats which you have set upon the leash.
Or reward calm interest in the leash, by smearing dab of peanut butter on the leash.

Who knows, who knows, soon enough, you may have 3 lil tail waggers when they see that leash. "Oh goodie, the leash!! My favorite thing in the world!":ROFLMAO:
You might do best, to just work with one dog at a time.


Honored Member
RE: walking the dogs.
I myself, believe border colllies need to run, as much most dogs need to walk, but others may disagree. I'm so wishing that you can find some safe place, where your dogs can safely run free, and not yet deal with unknown dogs or unknown ppl, at this point.
Even fenced in school yards, after school is over. (of course, bring doggie pooh bags to leave areas as clean as you find them)
For real, i'm not kidding, border collies who get to RUN full speed on most days, are better behaved all around, imo.

and since you might be trying to rehab one dog who dislike humans, and a 2nd dog who dislikes dogs, maybe for now, is best, if you find peaceful place that won't scare your dogs for now.

Here's some ideas on helping the dogs not pull so much: this is not easy for many dogs. This is something that many many dogs find difficult to master. This takes some self control for the dog to do this. But, it can be done. It takes a lil while.

My dog was Pull-King, and i tried evvvvvvverything, and what finally helped my dog was, losing the extenda-leash,
and using ordinary 6 foot cloth leash,
everytime my dog pulled, i lured him to return to me. I asked my dog to CHOOSE returning to me, so Buddy himself participated in resetting his own lil doggie brain each time he returned to me.
like this:

this video, has some more info on trying to help dogs get the hang of loose leash walking:



Honored Member
//" Would I maybe try to get her to approach it and sniff it or something then click and treat until it doesn't bother her"//

BTW, to be clear, you ONLY click when you LIKE what the dog is doing at that moment. A click means "i LIKE that!" or "YESsssssss!" so obviously, you would NOT click a dog barking mad at his leash, cuz that is NOT what you want....

You don't click a dog who is upset/acting up/reacting, etc.
You click/treat whenever dog STOPS doing that, or doesnt' do it at all. We also click/treat for NO reactions, or calmness, or in this case, a dog showing curiosity or interest in his leash, but no fear or anger.
It won't happen all at once, you'll probably have to work on this, slowly, for a week or two, to extinguish their upsetness about seeing the leashes. You can work on it for a few minutes at a pop, SEVERAL times a day, but keep all lessons short.
like 5 minutes, 10 minutes is plenty long, maybe almost too long for your dogs, not sure.
NO scolding, just silently ignore wrong moves. Reward/click/treat any good moves. that's it!

KEEP IT REALLY SHORT, stopping before dog zones out. Set up dog for success, don't expect him to conquer this all in one lesson.

think of the click as a mechanical, consistent way to say "YES! THAT'S IT! *THAT'S* just what i wanted!" kinda thing.

Every click, gets a treat, no exceptions.

One click only,
when you can catch your dogs being cool, you click and treat that behavior.
As dog continues to be calm, you can click again for that, over and over, praising dog for being cool next to the leash. Praise dog, and end lesson, put the leash away.

what i meant was, you don't do "clickclickclick" for a treat, just one click. probably you already knew this.

If the dog messes up, and starts barking around, IGNORE him, sit calmly, and wait til he settles down, and reward him settling back down. KEEP ALL LESSONS SHORT at first.

The dogs are studying WHAT gets them prizes....they are paying close attention to learn WHY they are getting treats. They quickly grasp the idea you are trying to teach them, when you click/treat the behaviors you DO want.

Clicking really helps dogs "get it" faster, wayyyy faster.
This is also the method they use to train killer whales at Seaworld, too.:)