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kaykay

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I have a one year old female border collie. she is doing well in training except for heeling. Ive never had this much trouble getting a dog to heel. Help!!!!!!

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Hi kaykay

Two methods to try. First one. With your dog on the leash and possibly in the back garden, walk forward several paces, then turn abruptly and walk the other way. Your dog will immediately race up to be by your side and the moment she reaches your left leg, stop and praise. As you progress you increase the amount of steps you take before stopping. Second one. If your girl is food orientated, try holding a treat against your left thigh and hold it in the same place as you walk along. Take several steps then give the treat. Again, increase the amount of steps you take before giving the treat. As you progress with this method you start transferring the treat into the right hand and pretend it's in the left. A handler at the club I attend actually holds the dog's treat in her mouth, henceforth her dog's eyes are totally focussed on her face.

I hope this all makes sense to you.

Regards, Val

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Thanks Val. I will try those. She did a little better today. She seems to go on sensory overload when we go for a walk. Shes so distracted by every noise. She was in obedience training at 6 months, but the trainer said she was too imature and to wait. She said this was common for border collies, which I must say I have never read. I think it irritated the trainer that Sadie (my dog) tried to herd all the smaller dogs. Her herding instinct is so strong! Thanks again for the help.

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Kaykay

What a shame that your dedication to your border collie and her training was undermined by what appears to be an impatient trainer. You've obviously started off how you mean to carry on and I do hope you manage to find a trainer that will help you now. In the club I attend, border collies start their training just after their final shots. I left it too late with Tess and Pepsi, they were one year old when we started obedience. Pepsi, being the one who loves to please, is now pretty good, but ever wilful Tess still turns a deaf ear when she wants. Regards, Val

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Kaykay,

 

Border collies are a very late-maturing breed, and young ones seldom benefit from intense pressure. That doesn't mean you shouldn't be training; it simply means that you have to train in a way that's appropriate for your dog and her stage of development.

 

Perhaps the trainer you were dealing with is either unwilling or unable to modify her training methods to suit your dog as it is now. But you don't need a trainer to work on the basic concepts.

 

Sometimes you simply introduce a concept during a training session, and then later you start to work on more details. You don't expect children to write sonnets the first day they see the alphabet. Accept small advances, and you'll make progress very rapidly.

 

------------------

Bill Fosher

Surry, NH

 

 

 

[This message has been edited by Bill Fosher (edited 12-07-1999).]

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I really appreciate this message board. You guys are so much help. Border Collies are very rare in my area, and my previous experience has been with German Shephards. I have been reading everything I can get my hands on to help in this quest. I have continued to train her basic commands at home, she has excellant recall. The only trouble we have is heeling. We are new to this area, but I think I have found a better trainer who has alot more experience with Border Collies. We start in Jan. I just felt the other trainer was not patient enough. Sadie is a very soft touch and does not take well to rough handling, which was that trainers method. If Ive learned anything about Border Collies...its be patient! Thanks again Bill and Val.

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Kaykay, been there, done that! I think a lot of obedience types come from a point of reference of handling rather bone-headed hunting types; at least there were always alot of hunting dogs in basic obedience. Methods that don't psyche those breeds can devastate a sensitive collie, and seconds to Bill's comment about late maturity. This is a real plus, as it's also the root of their boundless energy. I've never had a collie that didn't turn out well . . . . eventually.

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