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How can i stop my bloody Border Collie chasing things?!

(13 Posts)
airforsharon Fri 10-Jun-16 13:13:44

He's a bloody Collie today because he's just blistered 2 of my fingers, trying to muscle in on a couple of other dogs game with their ball. I'm hot, cross and blush because just as I was giving him a slightly terse bollocking the postman walked past and gave me A Look.

He's 10 months old and generally very very good save the chasing thing. He would especially like to chase cars - i'm working hard on this and he's getting much better, but when other dogs are around he's deaf to me and tries to charge off. I don't walk him off lead because of this (hence the blistered fingers). He also pulls on the lead, again this is getting better. I was walking him across the local playing field on a long lead, practising his recall and he was doing well until the other dogs appeared then it was like I didn't exist. I'm not inexperienced with dogs, but never had this problem before and i'm at a bit of a loss because it's showing no signs of improving. He's 20kg now and I have to walk him separately to my other dog because I need both hands and all my wits about me to do so.

Any advice? I had a one to one training session a couple of months ago with a chap who really helped re the pulling - going back to him is an option but not a cheap one so if anyone has 'been there done that' and can give me some hints i'd be really grateful.

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Fri 10-Jun-16 14:38:37

Well they do say to go back to basics with the heel work, but at 10 months I wouldn't expect him to be perfect on the heel yet anyway. What I do with mine is the second he pulls past my feet, I stop. You need the patience of an absolute bloody saint and it will take aaages but the idea is that as soon as he pulls to get where he wants to go, you stop and he doesn't get to go. Then as soon as he falls back you set off again. So eventually he learns that to get where he wants to go he has to walk with you. You have to be really, really consistent for it to click.

Easier said than done, I know, but it does seem to lay off after a millennia while.

airforsharon Fri 10-Jun-16 14:48:54

Ms thanks for your post. That's pretty much the way I walk him now, although i'm sure he knows what he should be doing - as soon as I stop he reverses straight back, text-book style! - he's still a shocker for being distracted, then it goes out of the window. I think I do need to be more painstaking though and stop every single time he pulls, I have got into the habit of only stopping when he really pulls, as I know he can and will about-turn. But the attempted chasing/running off has got me foxed.

LilCamper Fri 10-Jun-16 14:59:23

Put knots down the length of the long line. When he takes off drop it and stand on it.

Don't have a go at him when you do get him back. This will make him LESS likely to want to come back in the future.

LilCamper Fri 10-Jun-16 15:01:34

PS. Welcome to the teenage phase.

Bassetfeet Fri 10-Jun-16 15:08:11

I feel your frustration OP . Have had two border collies in the past and I learned oh how I did blush . Fabulous dogs and the breed closest to my heart. I learned quickly that they need a job to do . Totally focuses on chase
Food treats when trying to distract were useless . Their focus is the chase .
So I always kept a special ball in my pocket to use when meeting other dogs and used it as as a distraction,kept their interest and dog past phew then threw the ball . Win win . Food never ever lured my dogs back but am interested in those who found it helpful to retrieve .

Re pulling . Maybe out of favour now but for local walks to shops etc a Halti harness worked for me . She used to put her nose up for me to put on bless her . When she was old we just shuffled to the shops together off leash both of us .
Hold on airforsharon. A teenage border collie is joy and WTF we done combined . Find that toy he loves beyond anything else . Oh and a cube of cheese and chicken for reward .

airforsharon Fri 10-Jun-16 20:49:55

Lil that's a really good idea, thanks, it'll make the line much more secure. In my defence I rarely get terse with him, like a toddler I try and ignore the bad and praise the good. But my hand ruddy hurt so I was quite peed off.

Yes I think his age might be a factor too.....there was a lovely spell of about 3 months when he seemed to have picked up recall really well and never bolted, so I could let him off lead in the field. The he bolted one day, maybe 2 months ago, straight through the open door of an art class in the community centre blush. He's being castrated on the 20th, that'll wipe the smile off his face.

Basset big help, thank you. He does like toys at home but ignores them when we're out, much prefers other dogs. Actually at home if I throw a ball, another dog will chase the ball and he'll chase the dog. His favourite toys are rope pull/loop things but perhaps I should try something very noisy for outside to get his attention? And you're right, they are an absolute joy, he's so friendly and happy. The children have nicknamed him Billy Bonkers.

He's curled up snoring with his head on a Spaniel now.

LilCamper Sat 11-Jun-16 09:00:42

Castration won't alter behaviours......recent research recommends you don't have them done until physically and mentally mature. For a BC that would be closer to 18 months to 2 years old.

airforsharon Sat 11-Jun-16 10:44:24

Really? That's interesting, I hadn't heard about that. His testicles haven't descended, so the vet just suggested leaving it until they could be sure they wouldn't, which is (iirc) any time after about 8 months.

CalmItKermitt Tue 14-Jun-16 17:11:22

If he's reversing back when he hits the end of the lead it's not because he knows where he should be. It's because you've inadvertently trained a behaviour chain and created a YoYo dog 😄
Kikopup has a video on this very thing 😉

Gide Tue 14-Jun-16 22:41:34

Please use a harness if you're using a longline. If you have a collar and lead attached, consider switching to a slip lead and using the excess under the chin twisted over the nose. The dog can't pull against this and you can use one finger, literally, to walk him. Google a video of how to do this if you're not sure. Ideally, teaching him to heel properly is beater, of course.

The border collie is apparently the most intelligent dog breed. He sounds like he's under stimulated, bored, maybe. My dog needs a job and collies are workers, they need mental as well as physical stimulation. When he's old enough (12 months), would you consider fly all/agility/scent work?

He needs to be allowed to think. If you've not had a collie before, (any breed, actually, some are more in need of a job than others, even within the same litter) then perhaps you've taken on more than you realised and you might have to change what you do with him on walks. Maybe it won't be normal walks, it'll be training.

lovemysunnydays Thu 16-Jun-16 11:33:35

Have you thought about taking him to a training class? A professional eye can be really useful, we found that with our whippet.

airforsharon Fri 17-Jun-16 14:39:41

Gide funny you should say that, I had exactly that conversation with another collie owner this morning, doing a figure of 8 with a slip lead, across nose, worked well with her dog.

When he's turned one year I'll be able to take him to agility classes. It was always my intention to do that, and i'm considering enrolling us in a 6 week behavioural class, run by the same people.

I really don't think he's bored. He's with at least one other dog all the time, with me for most of the time and frequently out. If at home he has access to the garden all day, and he's frequently played with. One of his favourites is hide the sock - I hide, he finds. I've just bought a book about understanding collies, hope this will give me some more ideas.

Calmit yoyo is about right.......

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