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chasing cars,bikes,joggers

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by alfiecome, Nov 16, 2012.


  1. alfiecome

    alfiecome PetForums Newbie

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    Hi all new member here looking for a bit of advice.
    We have a 4month old border collie and we just cant seem to stop his herding instinct, we have tried distraction methods that are treat based just wondered if anyone has any other suggestions that we could try.he's great on the lead untill a car,bike,jogger goes by then he just goes to ground waiting to pounce and chase them, any ideas would be great amd many thanks.
     
  2. MirandaA1

    MirandaA1 PetForums Member

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    I'd also like some advice on this for Scout (a terrier, so probably different motivations from a collie!) - she wants to chase joggers and cyclists. I have been keeping her on a flexi, and making her sit/stay and watch me while they go past, and treating her if she doesn't move. I don't know whether this would work if she was off lead though.
     
  3. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    Can you explain how you have tried distraction methods with your collie pup?

    Is there anywhere you can walk him without these distractions because if he continues to do it I foresee major problems later on as they can get obsessed?
     
  4. alfiecome

    alfiecome PetForums Newbie

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    Hi yep tried the treat method of distraction and just trying to keep his attention,as for places to walk him yes there are lots but i dont want to be restricted to them places ie be able to walk to the local shops,have tried a slip lead but i dont want to walk him like that as i get no enjoyment from keeping him on a tight lead although he walks great on the lead if there are no cars about.
     
  5. mcparlston

    mcparlston PetForums Member

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    We also have a 4 month o,d collie that does exactly the same so don't worry you are not alone. We haven't figured out a method yet for stopping him chasing apart from grabbing him by the collar until the jogger or cyclist has passed. I'm going to try either waving a favourite toy at him or using his frisbee as a distraction methods but much of it is dependent upon me spotting the jogger (easier) or cyclist (not so easy) in time.
     
  6. alfiecome

    alfiecome PetForums Newbie

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    I know what you mean just some are the best walking routes are near a pretty busy cycle path, how you finding the frisbee thing was thinking of trying that not just to distract him but as a toy he loves his 2 tennis ball in an old sock.
     
  7. Moobli

    Moobli PetForums VIP

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    Firstly, BC Rescue say it so well ...

    Border Collie Rescue - Border Collie Breed Advice

    Because of the background of this breed and its many inbred and inherited instincts that make it what it is, we should expect some adverse reactions if we do not allow the dog to be and do what it has been bred for.
    To summarise the root of many of the Border Collie's behavioural problems we first need to consider these inherited traits. Border Collies have been bred for hundreds of years to enhance certain characteristics.
    They are bred to have strong instinctive abilities to - Chase, Herd, Bond, Watch, Listen.
    They are bred to have particular sensitivity to - Movement and Sound.
    They are bred to have enhanced - Intelligence and Ability to work on their own - following a combination of instinct and training
    These are all qualities that are appropriate to their work as sheepdogs and conducive to carrying that work out in a quiet rural environment.
    Many behavioural problems that occur to the Border Collie happen because the dog is being kept in a situation or environment that is conflicting with its natural instinctive behavioural drives or over stimulating its enhanced sensitivity or failing to satisfy its intelligence and working ability.
    In addition, and often adding, to the problems arising from these factors are the general behavioural problems that all breeds of pet dogs suffer from due to poor handling, trauma and lack of socialisation and the fact that many simple, social, behavioural issues commonly reported are a result of errant behaviour being inadvertently encouraged by the dogs owners.
    It is worth noting that working sheepdogs suffer very few of the common behavioural problems suffered by pets and when some do exhibit patterns of behaviour caused by poor socialisation, these seldom become problems to the dog or owner in a working environment.
    It is only when we take these dogs away from environments that are compatible with, and that satisfy, their inherited drives and sensitivities, that we observe patterns of behaviour that can be called 'problematic' or 'anti - social', in that they are disruptive and difficult for their handlers to cope with in a domestic human environment and are often detrimental to the physical and psychological well being of the dog.

    ****

    So, what to do with such border collies in a pet environment? I would suggest that people who are struggling to control their collies contact a collie experienced dog trainer or behaviourist who really understands the breed and what makes them tick.

    It is possible to manage a collie that chases bikes, vehicles, joggers etc by keeping it on a lead (is that really fair to the dog though?) or teaching a solid recall or emergency down. These need to be taught away from any distractions initially, and once the dog is recalling or lying down every time, then it is time to start to introduce distractions one at a time and taking the training very slowly.

    Chasing vehicles is a very dangerous occupation and so needs to be addressed immediately, hence the need for a good trainer if you don't feel confident enough in your own ability to nip this unwanted behaviour in the bud.

    Chasing bikes and joggers is equally dangerous with today's Dangerous Dog legislation.
     
    #7 Moobli, Nov 16, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2012
  8. mcparlston

    mcparlston PetForums Member

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    He loves the frisbee thing and is really good at retrieving. He could play it for hours. How are you finding the whole walks thing generally as I was told at training classes that I was walking my collie for too long so have had to cut right back. Are you thinking of giving the classes a go? I have found them very useful and the lady who is taking the class is brilliant.
     
  9. Bobbie

    Bobbie PetForums VIP

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    I would suggest you find a good training school that is also fun and take your collie there. You will then learn yourself ways to stop this behaviour plus the dog will have a ball collies just love to learn.
     
  10. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    Have you just tried the distraction methods and trying to teach an alternative behaviour at close range to the triggers? Did you pre- teach and get solid any commands to get and keep focus and attention prior to trying to use them outside in the actual situation? If not that may be why it doesnt seem to help either. Timing is very important too as if you mistime to try it and they get focused and too into the behaviour then its harder to try to get them to refocus.

    Using a head collar can sometimes help too as you have more control of the head and to help you break eye contact before they get fixated if your timings right, also where the head goes its easier to guide the body away in another direction too. If you are going to try a head collar though they have to be introduced and habituated and used to wearing it before you use it outside. You also need to ensure thats its a correct comfortable fit too. Sometimes it helps to have two leads, one on the headcollar and one on a normal collar or a harness then you can walk them on the normal one and keep the other slack, and then just bring the head collar into play when needed to gently turn the head and guide them away from focusing so much on the object.

    Some dogs can become very toy orientated instead of using food, and the toy can sometimes be used as a reward instead and often works better. Some dogs its also finding a food treat that they find interesting too.

    The more she does it though the worse it well get, especially with collies as they are very sensitive to things and stimulated by moving things, and they can also become very obsessive about things too.
     
  11. alfiecome

    alfiecome PetForums Newbie

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    Hi all thanks for all the replies, will try and cover all of them, maybe we need to sort some more solid commands in the home and work on the timing as sled dog hotel has suggested, tbh its a simple thing and didn't really give that a thought.
    we have booked alfie into some classes they start when he's 20 weeks(in around a fortnight)so have a cpl of weeks to try a few things with him.
    we didn't realise we might be walking him too much normally he gets a 1 hour walk twice a day with other shorter toilet walks on top(does that sound to much macplaston) what advice was you given.
    thanks again.
     
  12. mcparlston

    mcparlston PetForums Member

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    I was giving my border collie about the same but then got chastised at puppy training classes. I was told no more than 30 minutes for the whole day and then build it up by 5 minutes per month. Even though they want to run and run, too much exercise can cause hip dysplacia. If that wasn't enough to scare me she then told me the story of a lady who walked her dog too much and it had to be put down at 6 months. That just about did the trick and I cut down his exercise. I thought it may make him more badly behaved but it hasn't really he still is pretty obedient, I guess he hasn't reached the terrible teens yet!
     
  13. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    That is much too much, not only in terms of his joints and physical exercise,but also as regards to over stimulus and being taken over the threshold of what he can cope with as to new sights sounds and situations, especially if you live in a busy urban area with lots of traffic, noises and loads of people in busy places and he has been subjected to them all at once. it also depends too on how much early habituation and socialisation he had prior to you getting him too. If for example all her knew was a quiet rural area, and wasnt born indoors and handled and used to noises and people that can also have an effect if they are suddenly plunged into the exact opposite and get assaulted with too much stimulus for too long periods of time. A few introductions at a time, starting in less busy areas with a few challenges and then building it up on a slower steady regular basis introducing a few things at a time is usually better for short periods and in short bursts so they begin to adjust and learn to cope as they go is better.

    This may help its called the Puppy plan, explains about socialisation and why it is important and also at the end of the breeders and early care givers section and new owners section there is a download with a socialisation plan to follow.
    The Puppy Plan

    If he is 4 months then around 20 minutes is plenty of outside exercise. You can make up the rest to keep him mentally and physically stimulated by doing a few 10/15 minute training sessions a few times a day in the garden beginning to teach him the basics like, sit wait, down, come when called etc. and also mix it with a bit of play too, like throwing a toy. You can also turn the play part into a more interesting training exercise too once you have taught him the basics, like sitting while you throw the toy, then throwing it and doing a send away with perhaps the command find it, once he picks it up, call him to return it to you in a retrieve (also a sneaky way to teach recall too) then you can teach him to drop the toy or ball on command, and then repeat again getting him to sit, whilst thrown etc etc. With the training session using reward based training when he gets it right, and the controlled play aswell, it should improve things like impulse control, focusing and paying attention to you for commands and should give you more general control of situations when out too. its also a great way to keep them mentally and physically stimulated, which dogs need especially a breed like a BC.

    Other things that you can use to keep him phisically and mentally stimulated and to teach him to self amuse, are things like Kongs, other toys you can put his food and treats in, and safe type chews, as chewing is a destresser and wind down activity for puppies and dogs, they need to chew especially when teething too. Some suggestions are below.
    Classic Kongs, if he has wet food you can give some of his meals in these you can also stuff them with various things too to keep variety and interest
    Recipes - Kong

    If he is fed Kibble you can put some of his allowance or meals in a busy buddy this you can also fill with different things too
    Busy Buddy Twist-n-Treat - YouTube

    Again if he has kibble you can feed some in a Kong wobbler
    Wobbler Dog Toy | Dog food fillable toy for paced eating | Kong Co.

    There is even puzzle bowls that you can put kibble and treats in
    Buster DogMaze - YouTube

    Good chews a lot of dogs love is the stag antlers there is an easy chew version
    https://www.antlerdogchews.co.uk/easy-antler-dog-chew-medium

    You can also play scent games hiding treats and toys and encouraging him to find them.

    Another good command to teach in your training sessions too is the watch me. You start at home in the training sessions, holding a treat, in a position so that he has to look up into your face and make eye contact. The second he does say quickly watch me and immediately treat. When thats reliable you can work on keeping the attention and focus longer, by saying the watch me,
    and when he makes eye contact say wait, before giving the treat. You can then when he has the concept of this, increase the time between the wait and giving the acutual treat a little at a time, so you can get and keep his focus for longer and longer. If you teach a sit, then the wait me and the watch me and wait, then if he is taught to sit as well he wont be lunging after things possibly when outside either.

    When you start to use it outside, you need to at first begin working a good distance away from triggers at first, far enough away so that he is not reactive to them whilst practising/using the commands outside. This would be perhaps so you can hear traffic but not be near too it, or a good way away from joggers bikes etc. Once you have perfected and know you can keep his attention there, then slowly bit by bit you up the anti and get closer and closer to the triggers a bit at a time in baby steps. If he reacts you have gone too near too soon, so start again at the previous distance. Remember too the timing you have to get his attention before focused on the trigger and really into the behaviour.

    Dont know what you have been using for food treats but best ones tend to be cheese, hotdogs, sausages, chicken any thing liver based, also the cheese spread in tubes you can get bit of ham in and allsorts, are usually good as a lot of dogs love them, and once you have squeezed out a little they often become engrossed trying to lick more out the tube. So if you have not used these before try these and see if he finds some of these irresistible.

    With other dogs, toys work better, and you can use things, like squeaky toys,
    furry/squeaky toys, tug toys and things like even tennis balls, show one of mine cheese or a tennis ball gets instant attention and nothing else exsists, so its often finding what floats your particular dogs boat so to speak and then using it to your advantage and as a reward.
     
  14. mcparlston

    mcparlston PetForums Member

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    Don't worry alfiecome you won't have done any damaged. Just cut right back and do everything sledge dog suggests. You'll find the puppy training classes give you loads of confidence of different things you can do with your collie. Although I am convinced it is my collie who is training me rather than the other way around - he's too intelligent for his own good!
     
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