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murray

Starting an older dog

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I have just got a border collie from a friend to keep him from being put to sleep. He has been through two shelters and I am the third owner. He is about 2-3 years old, but a wonderful dog. My 8 year old daughter wants to train him, and I am looking for some advice or help. We have had him about 2 months and we are working on sitting and down. He seems to be catching on. I have never owned a border collie, so I am kinda lost with training him. So any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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I'm not the Expert, but want to welcome you to the USBCC Border Collie Boards, an excellent source for information about Border Collies. Don't forget to read the "Read this first" section, to understand the philosophy of the boards.

 

Thank you so much for rescuing a dog and giving him a caring, forever home. And, yes, older dogs can learn and Border Collies, with their intelligence, are no exception.

 

However, this particular section (Ask an Expert) is devoted to the working stockdog. I am sure that Bob Stephens, our current resident expert, will be happy to give you excellent advice, but you may find more replies and information oriented towards the pet dog by posting over in the General or Obedience sections. One other suggestion might be to find a good family dog obedience class, especially one that you and your daughter can take together with your dog.

 

Again, welcome!

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Sue,

Thanks for the reply and welcome. I am not looking for obedience training. I am looking for training advice on livestock. My daughter wants to possible do some trials, if we can get her and our dog some training or figure out how to do the training ourselves.

 

Thanks

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Sue,

Thanks for the reply and welcome. I am not looking for obedience training. I am looking for training advice on livestock. My daughter wants to possible do some trials, if we can get her and our dog some training or figure out how to do the training ourselves.

 

Thanks

Whoops, sorry I misunderstood. You are in the right place then, and Bob is terrific. He will get to answering you but sometimes he's travelling for trials and it may take a day or few. Best wishes!

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I have just got a border collie from a friend to keep him from being put to sleep. He has been through two shelters and I am the third owner. He is about 2-3 years old, but a wonderful dog. My 8 year old daughter wants to train him, and I am looking for some advice or help. We have had him about 2 months and we are working on sitting and down. He seems to be catching on. I have never owned a border collie, so I am kinda lost with training him. So any advice would be greatly appreciated.

 

Ok, you have a large challenge ahead of you but it will be lots of fun and full of interesting things to do. First of all I need to ask a few questions before we get started. 1) Do you have livestock at home, sheep or cattle or goats etc.? 2) Do you have a backgrouind of working with any type of livestock? 3) Do you live on an acreage or farm or ranch or do you live in the city? 4) What is your background with dogs and how much experience do you have in any forum with dogs? 5)Is your goal to have a dog that will trial exclusively or do you plan on working the dog in real work daily? 6) What is the background of the dog and has he had any time on stock?

I need to ask these questions just to lay a base to establish where we will start with your dog. Get back to me with the answer to these questions and then we can get started on your daughter becoming the next Julie Hill, Simpson, whatever. Good luck.....Bob

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Here are my answers:

1) No

2) Very little

3) I have about 9 acres behind my house

4) I have always had dogs, but never a working dog

5) We just want to trial because we don't have any livestock

6) Not a 100% sure. I think he has always just been a pet. I know he has not had any stock time since I got him the first of August.

Thanks for replying Bob, and I hope this isn't going to be a train wreck.

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Here are my answers:

1) No

2) Very little

3) I have about 9 acres behind my house

4) I have always had dogs, but never a working dog

5) We just want to trial because we don't have any livestock

6) Not a 100% sure. I think he has always just been a pet. I know he has not had any stock time since I got him the first of August.

Thanks for replying Bob, and I hope this isn't going to be a train wreck.

 

 

Hi there. This is going to take some time and energy on your part and mine so here are some of my recommendations for the implentation of a program for your daughter. First of all, it would be nice if she could get to a few trials to begin with to see what is done with the dog and livestock and be sure that that is her interest. See if she enjoys watching and has the interest to put in some hard work learning what to do. I don't know what area you live in but if you could let me know I'm sure I could put you on to a good trainer in that location. Find out if there is a good stock dog association in your area and join. I am talking about "working stock or sheep dog associations", not CKC or AKC oriented clubs. I can give you a hand with this as soon as I know where you are. There is an exceptionally good book out there for beginners or anyone written by Vergil Holland called "Herding Dogs, Progressive Training" ISBN 0-87605-644-3. I believe he also has a follow up book out now too. You could look into that also. I would recommend you get that book as it has a very good troubleshooting section and explains things in detail throughout the book. Things that you can do with your dog right now are just basically teaching him manners and obedience that will get him started in bonding and listening to you or your daughter or both. Vergil's book will help with that but you can certainly teach him to "lie down", "here to me" (recall or come to you), "stay there", "that'll do", (stop working or doing what you're doing). If you keep your dog in the house, you can teach him most of these things while you interact with him in the house or while you are out for a walk or play with him. To teach him to "lie down" put a collar and leash on the dog, walk to him. tell him to "lie down" and gently push down on his withers until he is on the ground. Don't be too concerned about what position he is in as long as he is lying down. Give him a pat and tell him he's a good boy and then tell him "stay there", push your hand at his face and walk away a few steps still saying "say there" and pushing your hand held high and walk back to him and tell him he's a good boy. You can do these exercises as many times throughout the day as you wish, just don't do it too long at each time. (five minutes max.) If he already knows these things let me know and we'll get started on something else. Let me know where you live and then we can get you both going to some trials and get you into an organization where you can learn by doing and seeing. Good luck and get back to me ASAP......Bob

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Hi there. This is going to take some time and energy on your part and mine so here are some of my recommendations for the implentation of a program for your daughter. First of all, it would be nice if she could get to a few trials to begin with to see what is done with the dog and livestock and be sure that that is her interest. See if she enjoys watching and has the interest to put in some hard work learning what to do. I don't know what area you live in but if you could let me know I'm sure I could put you on to a good trainer in that location. Find out if there is a good stock dog association in your area and join. I am talking about "working stock or sheep dog associations", not CKC or AKC oriented clubs. I can give you a hand with this as soon as I know where you are. There is an exceptionally good book out there for beginners or anyone written by Vergil Holland called "Herding Dogs, Progressive Training" ISBN 0-87605-644-3. I believe he also has a follow up book out now too. You could look into that also. I would recommend you get that book as it has a very good troubleshooting section and explains things in detail throughout the book. Things that you can do with your dog right now are just basically teaching him manners and obedience that will get him started in bonding and listening to you or your daughter or both. Vergil's book will help with that but you can certainly teach him to "lie down", "here to me" (recall or come to you), "stay there", "that'll do", (stop working or doing what you're doing). If you keep your dog in the house, you can teach him most of these things while you interact with him in the house or while you are out for a walk or play with him. To teach him to "lie down" put a collar and leash on the dog, walk to him. tell him to "lie down" and gently push down on his withers until he is on the ground. Don't be too concerned about what position he is in as long as he is lying down. Give him a pat and tell him he's a good boy and then tell him "stay there", push your hand at his face and walk away a few steps still saying "say there" and pushing your hand held high and walk back to him and tell him he's a good boy. You can do these exercises as many times throughout the day as you wish, just don't do it too long at each time. (five minutes max.) If he already knows these things let me know and we'll get started on something else. Let me know where you live and then we can get you both going to some trials and get you into an organization where you can learn by doing and seeing. Good luck and get back to me ASAP......Bob

Bob,

We live in NW Georgia. I am planning to go to a few trials to let her see what is happening. We have also been watching videos on the internet, and some show she watchs on tv. I have been looking at books and training videos, but I have not decided which to buy yet. Our dog satys outside mostly, but he does come in the house. We have been working on sitting, down, and stay. He is doing pretty good, except I can't get him to lie down while he is running. Only after I tell him to sit. Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. Thanks, Shay

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Bob,

We live in NW Georgia. I am planning to go to a few trials to let her see what is happening. We have also been watching videos on the internet, and some show she watchs on tv. I have been looking at books and training videos, but I have not decided which to buy yet. Our dog satys outside mostly, but he does come in the house. We have been working on sitting, down, and stay. He is doing pretty good, except I can't get him to lie down while he is running. Only after I tell him to sit. Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. Thanks, Shay

 

 

Getting him to lie down while running is just a matter of putting a long line on him (abouit 50 feet for now) so that you have control all the time while you are out running him. Let him go for his run but always on the line so that when you tell him to lie down you have a way to enforce it. Let him get about 5 or 6 feet from you to start with and tell him to lie down calling his name first so you have his attention. Give a sharp jerk on the line and go to him and push down on his withers and make him lie down. When he's down, give him a "good boy" and walk away pushing your hand at him up in the air telling him to stay. Don't go too far to start with but as he gets better at it get a little further away both with the lie down and the stay. Don't try to control an untrained dog off line as he will get away with anything he wants as you will have no way of enforcing your commands or showing him what you want. Good luck and stay in touch. We'll get your daughter trialling down the road.......Bob

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