Rommel's First Training Videos


Experienced Member
For those who don't already know, Rommel is my new Bearded Collie puppy. I purchased him at eight weeks of age; he was the largest and most active of the litter.

He is now eleven weeks of age and his first three weeks of training have been solely based around the following:

If you know Bearded Collies, you will know that they are often referred to as 'bouncy beardies' because of their habit of bouncing! As I home-board many other dogs in my home professionally, I need to make sure that Rommel maintains calmness as much as possible, both for the visiting owners and their dogs.

I achieve this solely by clicking and rewarding any time he offers me a clam behaviour such as sitting or laying down. At no time do I ask for either of these behaviours - I just let him learn that they are the most rewarding positions.

When a puppy makes the decisions for himself, then he is more likely to repeat them.

Eye Contact:
As good as my Border Collie, Ellie, got, I never really trained her to offer me good eye contact. As she grew, I always regretted that. So with Rommel, I am making that a staple of our training regime. At eleven weeks, he can now consistently offer me ten seconds of rock-solid eye-contact.

Beardies take a LOT of coat maintenance and so it is vital that I teach him to be handled in order to make grooming him easier. It is also important that he doesn't try to chew the brushes (a typical puppy reaction) as they are used on him.

Toilet Training:
He has now learnt to go outside for 'piddles'. He doesn't always leave himself enough time to get to the door and for it to be opened, but he does always go to the door now. We are at the stage where, because he reliably piddles outside, I am now only rewarding if he begins to piddle within tend seconds of being let out. Nobody wants to be waiting outside for hours on end! :)

No Jumping Up / Mouthing:
The rules for this are simple: If he mouths, the attention stops immediately. No words, no 'ah ah' no nothing. It just stops. It is very rare now, at eleven weeks, that he mouths. He has learnt that it doesn't pay.

Similarly with jumping up. He can have all the attention in the world, but he must have all four paws on the ground to receive it. This is hard as my brain just wants to give in but I know that by being hard now, he will be able to have much more quality attention in the long term. I try to reward him when he is on the ground and before he even gets the chance to jump up.

For example, when I come down stairs in the morning, I throw food onto the floor as I know he will naturally want to jump up at me. He has learnt to just lay down on the floor when I come down and wait for his attention.

Vacuum Cleaner Proofing:
Collies being collies can have a tendency to chase the vacuum cleaner or feel they have to bolt from it the moment it powers up. Again, as Beardies have high-maintenance coats the hoover will be on a lot so it's important that Rommel gets used to it. We've worked very hard on this.

I've been lucky in that I've boarded a few different dogs in the past three weeks and so Rommel has had ready access to different dogs of different shapes and sizes. He's also been to is first puppy socialisation event two days ago as well as met many many different people.

I am trying to avoid tricks at this stage as I want to focus on basics that will set him up for life first. But, me being me, I couldn't resist fully and so have begun to train him to ring a bell when he wants to go outside. :)

That's about it for now! It's been a very busy there weeks!

Here are the videos from the past three weeks. Obviously, by the nature of what is being taught at this stage, they are not the most exciting videos in the world, but if they help someone with something, then that's good enough! :)



Honored Member
LOVE IT, LOVE IT, wow is that Rommel too cute!!

the vacuum one, reminded me of training my adult rescue dog to not fear the vaccuum, well, i did not do it as well as CollieMan is doing it,
and i made most hilarious mistake--------i accidentally taught my dog he should sit or lie down right by the vacuum whenever it was on:ROFLMAO: .

hilarious. Whenever i vacuumed, my dog came happily running over, and sat down right in front of my vacuum!!!!:ROFLMAO::rolleyes:O_o:ROFLMAO: You had to see it, there my dog was, sitting right smack dab in front of my vacuum, smiling up at me, so so proud of himself,
but making it hard to actually vacuum!!!:ROFLMAO::LOL:

it wasn't that hard to fix my mistake, but it sure did cause me to chuckle a few times, til i began throwing treats AWAY from the vacuum to correct my mistake!! it was too funny, but, at least, he did overcome his fear of the vacuum...


Experienced Member
I can see how that would happen. I imagined your carpet to have a perpetual dust patch in the shape of a dog laying down. :)

On a more serious note: I think vacuum cleaner training is another staple. My Border Collie (who now lives with my ex around the corner from me) is terrible for trying to nip the vacuum cleaner as it was being used. It made vacuuming a very difficult job to complete! :)

I was determined not to make the same mistake with Rommel! :)


Honored Member
Lol, about the dust shaped spot!! ha ha!!:ROFLMAO:

//"My Border Collie (who now lives with my ex around the corner from me) is terrible for trying to nip the vacuum cleaner as it was being used. It made vacuuming a very difficult job to complete!"//

i can imagine it would!! :ROFLMAO: to say nothing of the cost of replacing parts!! lol!

Still, i believe an adult dog CAN be desensitized, or taught, most anything at all, i really do. It's never ever too late to teach a dog stuff. Even elderly dogs can still learn new stuff and new behaviors and learn how to be calm around things that previously honked them off.

the one exception, *might* be easier done with a puppy, than an adult dog, (and i'm not 100% sure on this) is acclimating the puppy to cats, cows, bunnies, squirrels, pet hamsters, geese, etc, and other creatures seems to be accomplished MUCH more easily with puppies, than adult dogs.

but otherwise, an adult dog can indeed, learn to look at you, focus on you,learn to calmly tolerate having his nails clipped, or stop biting vacuums, etc etc. but the puppy might have an advantage about learning to be calm around other living creatures than an adult dog does........i hear there is some kind of "window" for acceptance in puppies, that is now closed in the adult dog, and makes teaching an adult dog more difficult to be calm around cats, etc.


Experienced Member
Well, this explains why Ellie's blog is never updated anymore. :( I hope you still get to see her even though she's not living with you anymore.

Your new puppy is adorable! He seems really smart and you're doing a great job with him. I really enjoy watching the videos. Does he have his own blog or will you just be updating here?


Active Member
What a lovely puppy! I wish I had known how to do some of these things. Chloe thinks grooming is play time, and hides from the vacuum. :-(