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Border collie fixated on car headlights

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by GaryasaurusRex, Mar 27, 2021.


  1. GaryasaurusRex

    GaryasaurusRex PetForums Newbie

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    I have recently re-homed a 6 month old male border collie and so far he's been responding really well to training but I have been having trouble with him and car headlights.

    He gets fixated on them and I am struggling to get his attention away from them, I have tried treat rewards, toys, turning the other way and sitting on a bench next to the road for a while each walk and rewarding when he focuses onto me.

    I'm just looking for any tips to help try and get him less fixated on cars.
     
  2. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    Oh dear that's a very difficult one because once collies are fixated on light beams it's extremely difficult to stop them. It sounds as if you are doing all the right things and all I can say is continue with the training and if possible get him really into something like a tuggy toy. Does he play well? Hopefully now that the clocks have changed you can walk him in daylight hours.
     
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  3. GaryasaurusRex

    GaryasaurusRex PetForums Newbie

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    He does like his tug toy a lot but even with that it's still a struggle to hold his focus for more than a brief moment I have got him to stop wanting to lunge quite as much and thought getting a boomer ball or taking up treibball with him so he still has that outlet it's just more focused on a safer activity than car herding, it's nice to hear what we have been doing already is the right things just a lot of perseverance and consistency with it and hopefully he will get better.
    Thanks for the reply
     
  4. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    So is it a form of shadow chasing or is it good old car chasing which collies love to do? Car chasing is a lot easier to 'crack' than shadow chasing. What form of training have you done with him - I'd be teaching 'leave' and 'watch me' (both taught as a game of course).
     
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  5. GaryasaurusRex

    GaryasaurusRex PetForums Newbie

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    We have been teaching him "leave" and "watch me" he's got a lot better with the watch me the last couple of days.

    It's seems like it's the movement that he's focusing on rather than the actual object as when a car is going slowly he's not as interested in it, we have been hoping that the more we introduce him to the surroundings the better he will become just didn't want to do the wrong things and unknowingly reinforced that behaviour with the CRS
     
  6. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    Oh that's good that it sounds like car chasing as opposed to shadow chasing which is awful. Car chasing is common in collies because of the herding instinct and it's so self rewarding when in their mind they've seen the offending vehicles off. Sitting or standing with him at a fair distance and keeping his attention either on you or a toy/treat is the way to go and then by degrees get a bit closer. I probably don't need to tell you as you sound as if you are doing well but make sure you go overboard with praise/treats/or a good tug on a toy when he does ignore the moving vehicles.
     
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  7. GaryasaurusRex

    GaryasaurusRex PetForums Newbie

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    I really appreciate the help, I will give that a try later today we have a field close to home that has a road far off at one end that we could use to progressively get closer to and not many other distractions to contend with other than the cars.

    I do give him loads of praise when he gets the focus onto me I'm still learning his character but so far he seems far more toy orientated than food, plenty of training days ahead.
     
  8. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    Pleased to help. I've owned and trained collies for well over 40 years plus handled and judged thousands more on training days and at obedience shows.
    Are you intending to do any dog sports with him?
     
  9. GaryasaurusRex

    GaryasaurusRex PetForums Newbie

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    I have been looking into treibball and I have a friend that does flyball I thought that would be a great outlet for him and give him a job to do
     
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  10. Ragnar&Biffy

    Ragnar&Biffy Biffy

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    Have you thought about the different sounds of cars rather than just cars as mine responds differently to different cars / vans...

    Sounds stupid but an "quiet car" whizzed by the other day and biff barely payed attention to it.... Reward the calmness of the sound of cars even though the mut can't see it . Just a thought
     
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