Typical Border Collie - But How Do I Train Her Out Of It?


Experienced Member
My lovely little Evie is obsessive compulsive over our rabbit and guinea pig. They live outside in their rabbit hutch (on the back lawn) and EVERY SINGLE TIME Evie goes out the back, she has to run straight over to see the rabbit and guinea pig before she can do anything else.

Yes i'm aware this is typical for a hearding breed, I just want to know what i can do to help it go away. I've tried sitting outside while she's there with the rabbit and guinea pig and rewarding her every time she looks AWAY from them or moves away from them, but the bottom line is, when she's focused on the rabbit and guinea pig she won't accept treats and isn't motivated by treats. She'll take the treat from you if it's right infront of her nose but she wont move an inch to get it.

If we have been out with Evie, the moment she gets home she's convinced she MUST check on the rabbit.. We can call her back if she's halfway over to them and 99% of the time she'll come, but then the moment you take your eyes off her she's back there stalking them again.

And no, she doesn't do this all day, 90% of the time she's inside with us, it's just as soon as the back door gets opened she's straight over there and gaining her attention once she's locked onto the rabbit is like mission impossible.

Hopefully that all made sense - it's actually not much of an issue but i'd like to get on top of it so that we can start working on ignoring larger moving animals such as my horses who are also fun to 'round up'.

Thanks :)

(I've had the rabbit on the lead and let Evie say hi before, she doesnt want to eat it, just round it up..)


Honored Member
I would get Evi on leash and start doing some eyecontact sessions. Try to find the distance from your rabbithutch, where she is willing to give you eyecontact and not focus on the rabbit. Highly reward with your supertreats or a game of tug.
Start with just asking for looking at your face, if neccessary luring her eyes to your eyes.
I always put the treat in front of my face and wait for eyecontact, then treat. Use of the clicker could be helpfull. When she is focussing on you, then start doing some basic obedience, like sit, down, stay or ask for some tricks.
When this goes well, you can start going a few steps closer to the hutch and start over.
Hope this helps.
My dog will run circles around my friends rabbithutch all day, if I let her;)


Experienced Member
Good idea :)

We've just been teaching 'focus' (eye contact) this week for dog school so I guess i'll start putting that to work.