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Shall I send my dog to a residential training kennel?

(32 Posts)
HGAFC Tue 23-Oct-12 15:16:56

I own a border collie. She's four years old, wonderful in the house, great with DCs etc and generally an absolute pleasure.

However, she turns into a complete monster out of the house. She gas zero recall, barks aggressively at other dogs and generally makes walks a horrible, embarrassing ordeal. She went to puppy classes when she was younger but we were asked to leave because of her behavior. It seems to be fear rather than aggression but that doesn't make it any easier to deal with.

I floated the idea of sending her to an experienced trainer to DP but he seemed opposed, saying they're cruel and aggressive but I just don't know what else to do with her. WIBU to send her for her benefit as much as mine?

Mrsjay Tue 23-Oct-12 15:24:29

If you are going to do that go and see the place first it could be cruel tactics or not but i would want to see you need trained too would you go as well ? maybe get a trainer to come to your house do a 1 to 1 with you or some people on MN suggest a behaviourist have you spoken to your vet ?

Ullena Tue 23-Oct-12 15:24:47

I wouldn't send a dog away to be trained. It will learn to obey the trainer, not you. So not a solution, iyswim. Try finding a trainer who will come to you, ideally a behaviourist. Someone to help you get back to basics with her regarding walks/other dogs. And walk her on a long line, so she is not off lead but can still explore, but is able to be reeled in if needed.

Paiviaso Tue 23-Oct-12 15:25:23

It does sound like you need help. There are lots of different training techniques, and trainers often specialise in a specific one. Find a trainer that practices one you are happy with. You can probably view a class or session to see how the trainer in action before you commit.

mayihaveaboxofchoculaits Tue 23-Oct-12 15:27:50

This is our problem too, we have asked for help from differing people but nothing has worked, im hoping someone can suggest something because it is a nightmare.

HGAFC Tue 23-Oct-12 15:29:11

I hadn't thought of a behaviorist, excellent suggestion. DP just wants to ignore the behavior in the hope she'll grow out of it however I really don't feel that's remotely fair on anyone unfortunate enough to be walking their dog at the sane time as us sad

ExitPursuedByAaaaaarGhoul Tue 23-Oct-12 15:29:14

Whereabouts are you? I know someone who is using a sort of Doggy Day Care in Stockport to sort out problems.

Mrsjay Tue 23-Oct-12 15:29:40

OH I dont think YABU do want to send her just check it out first she may come back a changed dog but you would need to be able to follow up IYSWIM

HGAFC Tue 23-Oct-12 15:32:17

We're in the north east exit.

The local doggy boot camp is run by an.ex police dog handler. He's known to be incredibly strict, he takes the dogs with no owner contact for x amount of weeks then has the owner go to him for lengthy sessions for a few days to learn his techniques.

Scuttlebutter Tue 23-Oct-12 15:32:56

Firstly, you would probably get a more informed range of views if you post in the Doghouse, where there are several knowledgeable posters including behaviourists, trainers etcc.

Both the recall issue and the barking are solveable by staying at home and working one to one with a reputable behaviourist and trainer.

Collies are incredibly intelligent and very sensitive and need skilled, sensitive and very smart handlers who are used to the breed and their characteristics.

Training you to work with her will be a big part of the training which is why I wouldn't go for the residential option. Having said that, there is no reason why residential training should be cruel per se. You might get a lot out of doing a residential course together - this would really strengthen the bond between you and allow you to concentrate on training without being distracted by DC etc.

To find a behaviourist to help with reactions to other dogs, talk to APBC - website here. They are committed to using the latest, best (by that, I mean academically tested and reviewed) methods, involving positive training methods. Definitely no cruelty or harsh methods.

For a trainer to help with the recall, go to APDT - website here. Again, only positive and humane methods.

Good luck!! smile

Crinkle77 Tue 23-Oct-12 15:33:36

YANBU Border Collies are notorious for being wild. Just today there is an article in the mail online about 2 border collie's who were shot by a farmer after they escaped and were chasing his sheep. You need to be a resposible dog owner and you owe it to your dog. You are not going to get any pleasure from your pet and vice versa if you can't even take it for a nice walk.

HGAFC Tue 23-Oct-12 15:35:38

Thanks scuttle, I'll ask for this to be moved to the doghouse.

freddiefrog Tue 23-Oct-12 15:36:47

We did it with our springer.

We did obedience classes/puppy classes/1 to 1 with a trainer but we just couldn't get through to him. He did a week on his own, then DH and I spent the weekend learning the techniques

The place was recommended to us, we knew the man who ran it and we checked it all out first.

HGAFC Tue 23-Oct-12 15:38:10

Did it work well Freddie? I'm nit expecting miracles but just the barking ceasing would be a huge step in the right direction.

NewKateMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 23-Oct-12 15:40:05

Hi everyone,

Just to let you know we'll be moving this thread to The Doghouse shortly.

HGAFC Tue 23-Oct-12 15:42:05

Thanks Kate grin

Mrsjay Tue 23-Oct-12 15:47:18

If the trainer gets you in for sessions then go for it you cant be misearable with your dog , we are waiting on a space to come up in obedience class for our new dog he is Xcollie he likes to round you up sigh

freddiefrog Tue 23-Oct-12 15:49:02

Yes it did.

Our problem was his concentration, i.e, he had none. At all. We couldn't get through to him, we'd tried so many techniques and just wasn't getting anywhere.

At home, he behaved perfectly. With no distractions we could get him to sit, lie down, go to his bed, etc, etc, but outside, on a windy day with leaves and dust flying around, people walking around, planes over head, we just couldn't get through to him. He's never been aggressive but his recall (that was spot on indoors) went out the window, he pulled like a train if we used a lead, ran off if something distracted him. Walking was awful - I couldn't let him off a lead as he ran off, but I couldn't walk the 3-4 miles he needed on a lead because of the pulling

The bloke who we used was a game keeper, strict but not cruel, worked on him intensely for 7 days with concentration, walking to heel and recall then with us for 2 days.

He's not perfect (he still needs reminding to walk to heel) but I can take him to the beach/fields and let him off lead, knowing he'll come back when I call him

Mrsjay Tue 23-Oct-12 15:52:13

She wont grow out of it our last dog was a sweet heart in the house loved the kids but turned when she was out she was unpredictable and very barky we tried classes and was told they were not for her, she won't grow stop imo she will just get more anxious,

panicnotanymore Tue 23-Oct-12 16:27:03

I have a collie with nervous aggression, and I would caution against using an ex-police dog handler. I had one work with mine and his methods were not suited to a very nervous dog. Check his methods - many work on the dominance theory which is very wrong for collies. Collies are desperate to please, dominating them is not helpful. When afraid they may well snap or nip, so if you teach your dog that every time another dog approaches you will try and dominate, he is going to get even more wound up and nervous in advance.

I would advise finding a behaviourist or sheep dog trainer who has proven experience with collies. They are very sensitive, intuitive, intelligent dogs. They are not (as someone suggested up-thread) notorious for being wild, they are notorious for being easily bored and frustrated through lack of physical and mental stimulation which leads to behavioural problems.

Collies are wonderful, if you need help with one it is always best to go to a someone with breed specific knowledge. Try calling a breed rescue for advice on behaviourists. I'd also recommend getting into agility. My reactive dog ignores all other dogs when focussed on his 'job' and will do agility in a group without a problem. If I tried walking him through the same group of dogs without the agility distraction he'd go nuts. I also walk him with a friend who fosters greyhounds, which has improved his behaviour around large dogs hugely.

Positive training, kindness, and a 'job' for your dog will work wonders.

Good luck.

Lifeisontheup Tue 23-Oct-12 16:37:29

Where are you based OP? We had a collie and went to a wonderful trainer who had a beautifully behaved border collie herself. If you're in Hampshire/Surrey area I could give you her name.

Lifeisontheup Tue 23-Oct-12 16:38:26

That'll teach me to read the thread- just seen you're in the North so no good I'm afraid.

cedmonds Tue 23-Oct-12 18:36:23

Lifeisontheup who was it you used?

Lifeisontheup Tue 23-Oct-12 19:29:20

Maggie Spencer- she was fantastic not sure if she's still working as my second dog is nearly 14 so past the training stage.

rachmultiplemum Tue 23-Oct-12 19:50:19

Can you get to Lincoln?

If so i recommend Fern Ember, of Happy Paws dog training she is brilliant.

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