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Biffy reactive to cars/traffic

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Ragnar&Biffy, Jan 13, 2020.


  1. Ragnar&Biffy

    Ragnar&Biffy PetForums Junior

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    Hello again, Biffy my Border Collie pup is still doing really well and now is 6 1/2 months. Training walks for the last month or so showing some real progress, went down the route of the reverse technique and is starting to work brilliantly ..... in quiet areas. To get him to favourite run around places i have put a stop to pulling across the road and now i drive him across to get in his head and unused to any sort of pulling.

    My training walks are done often but usually in the early morning or late and night with a few others thrown in. However this is where the problem becomes evident. His is still very reactive to cars, this is now starting to effect the training walks. When i do the reverse technique it works brilliantly and he walks by my side with lots of focus. However he can see or hear a car in the distance he starts pulling and goes back into his old self until the car goes past.

    Should i just continue with the reverse technique within this situation?

    I am treating the 2 problems as separate issues, i have started find quiet places where he can see cars and a distance and starting to work on his focus more when they become visual or he can hear them and intend to move him in closer as time goes on concentrating his focus on me. This is advice i have been given and read up on. Can people give their opinions if i am going down the right route?

    many thanks
     
  2. Linda Weasel

    Linda Weasel PetForums VIP

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    Sounds ok to me.

    Also, try somewhere like a supermarket car park (PAH?) where you can sit with him initially, with the car door or tailgate open, and just watch cars so they’re less of a big deal for him.

    He needs to be able to look at them and work out for himself that they’re not worth the effort; habituation.

    Focus won’t totally solve the problem if he has an underlying issue (fear/excitement/prey drive).
     
    Torin. likes this.
  3. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    Sounds as if you're doing well. Collies excel at chasing cars, bikes and joggers, as well as sheep, given half a chance. Sitting or walking him quietly around a supermarket car-park will certainly help because the cars aren't going anything like as fast as on an open road, which will give you a better chance of getting his attention or practising walking on a loose lead.
     
    Torin. likes this.
  4. Ragnar&Biffy

    Ragnar&Biffy PetForums Junior

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    Many thanks to both of you for your reply. I will definitely be looking at the option of doing what you said as I have ample supermarket car parks around me so thank you again.

    Difficulty is which has prob be ingrained in him from an early age (fully accept my fault for this) is we live right next to a very main road and so even getting out the house he starts to be reactivate.

    Good thing is though he has now completed puppy and junior obedience class at his training ( me and Biffy did a test without us even realising) we start senior obedience tomorrow night. Can't wait!
     
  5. Linda Weasel

    Linda Weasel PetForums VIP

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    If you live on a busy road then maybe there’s an opportunity there to traffic watch.

    Perhaps from just your front step, to start with, if that gives him enough distance to not react.
     
  6. Ragnar&Biffy

    Ragnar&Biffy PetForums Junior

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    OK thanks very much again, this is defiantly possible, i didn't do it at first because i read into flooding and maybe read some wrong information to it.
     
  7. Torin.

    Torin. PetForums VIP

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    Starting somewhere quieter with less traffic and/or slower speeds like the carpark suggested above will help avoid this and give you both confidence :)

    I would personally avoid the busy road on your doorstep method as that runs more of a risk of making the dog more fearful. When I was dogwalking in London I walked a couple of collies (one was BC, one beardie) who had been 'got over' their traffic fears via the lurk in house doorway when the owners both lived on busy roads, and both dogs ended up fearful as adults. The beardie (who had lived on the very main road) was particularly bad. Like I can see that for some people who are really keyed into dog training/ behaviour would be able to make that method a success, but the risk of accidental fallout is much higher. Whereas you can't really go wrong with the gentle increasing of difficulty method.
     
  8. Sunflower_

    Sunflower_ PetForums Newbie

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    When a problem behavior occurs you don’t only want to solve the problem behavior that shows, you want to find and solve the reason behind it. In this case you don’t only want to solve her reactiveness to cars, you want to solve the reason behind it. Why is she chasing cars? Probably because she’s a herding dog and gets an outlet of her herding instinct by doing this. What kinds of activities is she offered that gives her an outlet for what she’s bred for, herding? It sounds like she could use some more exercise and activities that suits a Border Collie.
     
  9. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    If you read through the OP's posts you will see this collie is only 6.1/2 months old and the owner is already doing obedience classes with him.
     
  10. Sunflower_

    Sunflower_ PetForums Newbie

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    I have read it. However, the obedience classes might not be enough for this dog, especially when it’s a Border Collie we’re talking about. A 6 month old dog can still be under-stimulated.
     
  11. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    OK but by the same token a 6 month old collie can also be over stimulated.
     
    rona likes this.
  12. Sunflower_

    Sunflower_ PetForums Newbie

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    Yes that’s possible, but It’s more often a sign of a Border Collie who doesn’t have an outlet to do what It’s bred for.
     
    #12 Sunflower_, Jan 14, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
  13. Linda Weasel

    Linda Weasel PetForums VIP

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    Ab
    Absolutely not suggesting flooding; not a method to even try. I just thought that if the road was far enough away from your front door (for example) you could conveniently watch from there, to start with, assuming your dog would be under his reaction level.
     
  14. Ragnar&Biffy

    Ragnar&Biffy PetForums Junior

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    Many thanks I wasn't suggesting that you were suggesting flooding it was I case of I was worried about that so I may have misread or mis heard my advice I had received. Unfortunately the road isn't that far away. Well we live in a standard terrace house on a street however within 15 meters there is the main road which is regularly busy. What's your opinion on distance?
     
    #14 Ragnar&Biffy, Jan 15, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2020
  15. Ragnar&Biffy

    Ragnar&Biffy PetForums Junior

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    Many Thanks for all the replys but is there a way that I can tell if he is over or under stimulated? I feel I'm doing enough and feel to be honest I'm doing a lot....
     
  16. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    It sounds to me as if you are doing really well with your young collie.

    Very generally speaking Border Collies almost fall into 3 different categories these days - hard wired working sheepdogs, purpose bred sports collies and the show bred type. It's usually the working sheepdogs that can cause problems if they are purchased as pets and not given a job to do.

    If you are walking and training your youngster daily and he settles pretty well the rest of the time then that's fine. Some just haven't got an off switch and want to do 'doing' 24/7 and that could be because they have become exercise/training/working junkies (over-stimulated) or because they are bored with lack of exercise, training or a job to do (under-stimulated).
     
    Torin. likes this.
  17. Sunflower_

    Sunflower_ PetForums Newbie

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    It’s hard as an outsider to get the correct picture of how much exercise and training the dog gets. Therefore It’s only you that can really tell if the dog is under/over stimulated or just fine. Border collies needs a lot of activity so it’s normal that you feel like you’re doing a lot. Whether that means you need to do more or less is hard to tell. It’s also very individual, sometimes you can’t just do “substitute” training for herding, some Border Collies needs to herd for example.

    However, it’s also very important that the dog has time to rest and recover from the stress impulses and hormones that are being released during activities. High energy breed are also more sensitive to stress and therefore it’s also important to practice passivity training (I don’t know if that’s what you call it in English).
     
  18. Linda Weasel

    Linda Weasel PetForums VIP

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    I would say you need enough distance that he’s aware that the traffic is there and is calm about it.
    If he reacts by pulling, jumping, whatever ( the stuff you’re trying to fix) then it’s too close.
     
    Torin. likes this.
  19. Ragnar&Biffy

    Ragnar&Biffy PetForums Junior

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    Many thanks again for all your replys... feel got a bit more of a way ahead now and lots more to think about.
     
    Torin. likes this.
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