Collie troubles!!(31 Posts)
Looking for some training tips! My 3 yr old collie has developed a couple of annoying little habits id like to nip in the bud.
First thing is sometimes when he meets someone with no dog, usually someone who is paying him no attention or looks suspicious to him (like the guy who lives along the rd wears big long coat and has a big long beard and he isn't a 'dog person', he is a prime candidate!!) he will jump up on them and grab their sleeve. He makes no noise and isn't 'biting' as such but it obviously could frighten someone and i want to nip it in the bud. Any suggestions? I wondered if just perfecting his 'wait' command is best? So he never gets to go over in the first place? Although there are times i am not there so would be good to discourage the actual behaviour too, if anyone has any suggestions.
He is quite a timid dog, not too nervy but definitely not bold.
The other thing he has started is going out of the garden and down the track to meet friends who are coming to the house (generally knows not to go out gate and has been very reliable with this until recently when this started) he will jump up at them in an excited to see them manner but very noisy and mouthy, runs off looking for a stick, then runs back jumping and mouthing them. He even took my friend by the glove today - very gently bringing her up the track. Obviously as this is only people we know they can help with this, so no attention for the behaviour, saying 'no' firmly etc but just looking for any suggestions maybe from people who have had collies with similar traits. He has no bedness in him, he is generally a sweet well behaved boy.
My last collie used to do the sleeve thing too. The best way to stop it is to never let it happen. If he only does it to other people don't let him near enough to do it. Teaching you dog to do something else like sit when he sees people will also help.
If you dog is getting out of the garden don't let him in it unattended. Watch him the entire time and if he looks like he is going to leave correct him so he doesn't. If this doesn't work, put him on a lead each and every time he leaves the house.
You need to keep your dog on a lead. He should never be in a position to grab anybody by the sleeve or to leave your garden. Sorry if that's too blunt but I'm a little aghast at the former being described as an 'annoying little habit', anybody reporting that would have very good grounds to claim that he's a dangerously out of control dog.
Ok so we don't live in a built up area and he is the type of dog who likes to be outside which he is a lot of the time because of where we live. He isn't dangerously out of control in any way shape or fashion and would never hurt anyone. However this new behaviour could, i realise, frighten someone which is why i am looking to nip it the bud. He's a farm collie, with typical working collie traits and 99% of the time he is good as gold. This is a new habit and one i will sort out.
He isn't dangerously out of control in any way shape or fashion and would never hurt anyone.
You may be confident he'd never hurt anyone however legally he could indeed be considered dangerously out of control.
Taken from the Gov.UK overview of the law:
"Your dog is considered dangerously out of control if it injures someone OR makes someone worried it might injure them."
Running up to someone, jumping up at them and grabbing their clothing could absolutely fall under the latter.
The best way to stop the behaviour is to prevent it (the more he does it the more likely he is to continue to do it) and also do lots of work on impulse control. Giving him an appropriate outlet for his instinctive herding behaviour if you don't already may also help.
Collies nip. They also have tremendous bite inhibition or there wouldn't be many sheep left. One of our collies is a yappy snappy badly bred bitch, and I have to manage her behaviour. Outside this is pretty straightforward. I get her to come to me and tell her to lie down and focus on me until the thing she may be rude to has passed. Another really useful command is STOP!! Because your dog is a collie, you should be able to train this quite easily and make him stop where he is even if he's across the fields and far away. I have been taught to whistle train one of our dogs, and frankly I'm not very good at it but it is useful to know about.
Your collie must be very pleased with himself bringing guests to you. Have you tried distracting him with a toy or something else? As Deadnettle wrote, it is better that you are in control and when he does as you ask, he will be pleased and you will be pleased and he will be pleased that you're pleased.....
In the house, yappy snappy is not so easy to control as it is in her eyes, her own place, so different rules apply.
trionic i am aware of this. I know a person only has to feel intimidated by a dog to warrant intervention, this is why i am asking for training tips to help nip this in the bud. I have my own ideas about how to tackle this but it is always useful to draw on other peoples experience also.
easy funnily enough he has never nipped. He is mouthy but you never feel his teeth. He is very soft mouthed. Even when the dc play with him, he will be full of nonsense mouth wide open being very noisy but stick your hand in his mouth he will never 'play bite'. He is an exceptionally playful and tolerant dog in the house. The dc are able to handle him no problem. He is very keen to please like you say and generally easy going.
What does yappy snappy do in the house that is not so easy to manage easy ?
"He's a farm collie"
Is he working dog and, if so, what is his daily routine?
If not, are you doing to anything to keep him occupied, or does he generally keep himself busy outdoors?
I do think it sounds like you might not be keeping your dog's mind busy enough, not directing his behavior. If you don't, he will, and this new behavior will be the thin end of the wedge.
I had a rescue collie with issues for ten years and she taught me so much.
Your collie is merely 'working'. He's bringing friends to his pack and defending you. His instincts are spot on and he using them.
I would suggest some clicker training, it really worked with my dog aggressive collie as they are bred to please and being rewarded for doing what you ask makes them so happy! Look up how to clicker train and try that! You could work on 'Stay' and 'Leave'?
I found I had to keep her mind busy, so Kongs with her dinner in it or scattering her food in the garden and hiding it helped. I taught her to track too and she had a good play/toy session every day, these really helped!
Otherwise, rural or not, keep him on his lead or you may be putting his life in danger if the bearded chap makes a complaint.
Fab dogs, collies, I so miss my girl, she was my best freind.
inmyshoos, Ms Yappy Snappy is from a backyard breeder. We took her on as a puppy anyway, on the basis that over the years, I have built up a good collie wobbles team to deal with whatever comes our way. On her first outing to the vet she tried to bite him, she snarled at my trainer, and I was firmly told by a person who specialises in the worst kind of collie wobbles that she is has a crap temperament and I need to keep her under control. She is a darling little dog, but she is very nervous and doesn't really like new people and she is likely to nip. So.. she isn't allowed near the door when someone comes in, and isn't allowed to go near the new person without close supervision (on a lead or being held), or she and the other dogs stay in a different room. Outside she is relatively easy and has a good recall and lies down and concentrates on me. Really, the switch in my behaviour was to lead the dogs. They are brilliant when they know what is expected of them. This doesn't mean endless agility or heelwork, but really basic things. Yappy Snap adores one of our other dogs. Today I am going to take her out alone and see how we get on.
Just back from a quick stint on the playing field. She was fantastic once she'd stopped yipping and looking for the love of her life. So I have a dog who wants things to do. What we were practicing was really, This way, that way, come, go and stop. My commands are rudimentary and bear no relationship to what shepherds use!
Sorry just to clarify he is from a litter of collie pups from a farm. We have had him from the rescue since he was around 10/12 weeks.
He is with me pretty much 24/7. He is walked twice with out other dog. He is always off lead. We play different games on walk. He comes with me in the car if i go out. Travels well and behaves when we visit people etc. This behaviour i want to change has only happened around hus territory.
Today we have had a training session on impulse control. Working on his 'leave it' and 'ok' commands. Also on the walk this morning we worked on his 'wait' and 'stay close' command.
Going to stage a few situations over the next few days to see if we are making progress
easy thanks for replying. A very interesting post. She sounds like a wee darling but typical complex collie. They are such a fantastic breed but so complex, i think due to their intelligence and need to be busy/have a job.
I have lots of collie owner friends so will call on them to help with this. I know they will be happy to help stage a few situations to test how we are progressing.
How old is your girl? Do you have other collies and are they straightforward? Generally my collie is fairly easy but he has his quirks like most collies!
My reacue probably farm collie does the sleeve thing not to outsiders though just us when he is bored he also nicks socks of feet <sigh> , you really need him not to go up to people it isn't fair on people or dog collies ime can be unpredictable and snappy and always elvolving new behaviours
We have a leave it for jaydog which tbf he is very good at doing we also have a specific tuggy toy he gets when he is in that mood,
I think your first instinct to perfect his 'wait' or 'leave' command is the way to go. I would also try to secure your garden so he can't go walkabout, but I'm not sure that's possible. If it's not, then I guess you have to be more aware about where he is.
I say this as mother to two rescue dogs, one a farm-bred collie and one a small collie-cross. Big dog is a fab boy, very sensitive and kind but he also feels like he is defender of the home and all in it and I have to be aware that he doesn't feel like he has to use threats, especially because it stresses him out more than anyone else. He has a super-solid 'leave' command and using it tells him that I don't consider the person a threat so he shouldn't. He trusts me and it works for us. Little-dog is was undersocialised as a youngster before she came to us and she still feels the need to be defensive if anyone approaches (usually just single people, not groups). She'll shout and swear at them but it's just bluster and she's really insecure. I tend to keep her on a long lead if there are likely to be strangers around. I think she'll mellow in time, but I can't risk her alarming people.
mrsJ my boy has a fairly reliable 'leave it' although i always feel a bit rude if i use it in reference to a person! I have done though and it does work if i see it coming and am quick enough. I will obviously be hyper aware now that i am seeing this pattern emerging.
dotdot Interesting that your girl feels a single person approaching is more cause for alarm than a group. My boy would be the same. How old is your girl? Would you say your boy is the more straightforward? My friend's old collie girl was pts in Sep and we have been looking for another collie for her. She is dead set on another bitch but my dogs have been as easy as my girls and i'm not sure about this bias towards bitches (although i do have a soft spot for them myself - my first collie was female and made me fall for the breed)
My little girl is now just turned 3 and we got her when she had just turned 1. She came who lost interest when she stopped being a cute puppy and it was never anyone's 'turn' to take her out so she didn't get out. She's incredibly affectionate and will cuddle up to anyone in the house but she does find people appearing outside to be scary, she's dog-friendly too but she's defensive first before she relaxes with them. My boy (now almost 7) has been with us since he was about 18 months and he was similarly spooky with strangers when he arrived. Now he's awesome and totally obedient and friendly. The only thing he has an issue with now is young children running around and screaming, he has nipped before to try to get them under control. I don't put him in that position now.
My boy is definitely steadier than the little girl, but he's super, super sensitive to emotions. If anyone is shouting (we have teenagers, voices get raised!) an he thinks it's him that's in trouble and gets upset. The little one is less sensitive, but she's not a typically 'collie' as he is - I think she's a collie/staffie/whippety cross. She also has a strong prey drive which he doesn't, he's completely safe around other animals but she's a chaser. She's pushy about getting affection while he's more likely to ask nicely. She'll take herself to bed while he will always wait for me to go, even if it's 3am. I think he's the easier and smarter dog, and I reckon they had similar early lives.
Aw love the pics guys!!
dot your boy sounds similar to mine. He also does not like kids running around screaming. I won't take him to watch my dc when they play football/rugby etc. He just gets too excited and does this weird screaming noise Although like i say - he has never nipped but he would jump up and mouth them and be noisy. He also gets upset when there is shouting at home. If i am arguing with my husband he will glue himself to my feet.
mrsj how did you get yours doing the laundry?? That is a command i need to work on!
He loved emptying the dryer not great on the folding mind you we had to stop that game he started putting his ball in it <sigh>
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