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Difficulty with walking on roads

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Mazza1011, Jul 19, 2018.


  1. Mazza1011

    Mazza1011 PetForums Newbie

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    We have just taken on a 7-month-old border collie, who appears to have had very little basic training. Recall is non-existent and we're currently working on that bit-by-bit.

    However, another issue we have is that he pulls very hard when walking beside roads and when a car passes he flattens then tries to chase it. We've been trying to get him to walk to heel but it's an ongoing struggle of wills and as soon as he hears a car, there's no chance. It's making walking him a bit of a nightmare tbh. He's very reluctant to get into the car, so I don't know if there is a link there?

    Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. Teddy-dog

    Teddy-dog PetForums VIP

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    I think it's quite common for collies to develop this trait as they have a very strong herding instinct and are highly strung (and can become obsessive!).

    I haven't dealt with this issue myself so unfortunately can't offer any advice as I'd hate to give you rubbish advice but I know we have a few members with experience of collies who will hopefully be able to help you :) I know @Twiggy is someone who springs to mind (hope they don't mind the tag!)

    Also, how long have you had your dog? Remember that a move can be stressful, especially for dogs prone to being anxious like a collie, so the problems could be exaggerated by the stress.
     
  3. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    Yes car/bicycle/ jogger chasing is one of the many little foibles in collies. You need to address this asap before he becomes an 'expert'. If possible start on a very quiet lane or in a park with an adjacent road. Ask him to sit when you hear a car approaching and stuff him with tasty treats, or if necessary get in front of him and block his view. This is where a "sit - watch me" is very useful and you can practice that in your garden.

    I found out the hard way 3/4 years ago after I took on a 6 yr old collie. I had no idea she was a car/bike chaser until I was walking my dogs along a cycle/footpath at an agility show. She pretty near ripped my arm out of it's socket and almost had me and the cyclist on the floor. It was very embarrassing and training started immediately as the next cyclist came by.....!! From the dogs point of view it's either herding instinct kicking in or can be fear based because in their eyes they are successfully seeing off the offending vehicle or jogger.
     
  4. Mazza1011

    Mazza1011 PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks both for your advice. This morning as the car went by, I stopped him, blocked his view and fed and talked to him. Should I continue like this (obviously not during rush hour, as we wouldn't get anywhere)? He does seem OK with bikes, which is good - he will stop and wait with me while they go past. I keep him on his lead, though, not taking any chances! Having been knocked off my bike by a dog, I would hate to be on the other side of that.

    We have only had him a week, so am optimistic we will get over this car thing. :)
     
  5. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    Can you try and avoid walking him during rush hour as the more he practices car chasing the more obsessed about it he will become? Well done on stopping him and yes you should continue for the moment. After a while when he's improving you could change to something like a tube of squeezy cheese in your left hand (assuming he likes it) and just squeeze a little into his mouth whilst carrying on walking. The idea is to change his perception so that not chasing cars is actually very worthwhile because of yummy treats.
     
  6. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    I absolutely agree with Twiggy but I wonder too if it would be easier for you if you put a headcollar/halti on him so you have more control and can turn his head away more easily. Your might find it calms him as well.
     
  7. Mazza1011

    Mazza1011 PetForums Newbie

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    Good idea, thanks! I will certainly try that.
     
  8. StormyThai

    StormyThai Moderator
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    Torin. and Mazza1011 like this.
  9. Alice144

    Alice144 PetForums Newbie

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    Had a very similar issue with my dog and paid for a trainer to help with the issue. His behaviour is so much better and here is what we done:

    Firstly, is your dog on for or wet food? If dry take half of his kibble and use it as treats. Bring some high quality treats too, we use sprats (dry fish) and chop into 3. Get a bag to put all of these in (you will need a lot). Get a 10ft training lead and perhaps a halti. I wrap the lead around myself to give me hands free for the treats.

    On walks every 30 seconds call your dog and give him a treat. At the moment he is more concerned to see how far he can pull. Giving him a treat will give him something to check in on. Make sure you follow this up and soon your dog will "check in" by himself and hang around you in hope for treats. This will also distract him from moving cars ect. If you only give him treats when there is a car he will pick up on it and will ignore the treats. Regularly giving him treats will make you the "fun" on walk and his attention will soon be only on you and not be surroundings. (The "check in" is the best thing I have ever done with my dog).

    Encourage your pooch to play games on walk. Throw some treats on the path and allow him to sniff and find it. Sniffing is a great way to exhaust your dog. When you cross the road make your dog sit and then reward him.

    Can you change when you walk your dog (not rush hour), are there any quieter roads you can go on?

    What food is your dog on? I found my dog was also much better on walks when his food wasn't so high in carbohydrates. I changed from burns food to Arden grange.

    It's going to be a long process but you will soon find walks enjoyable. I love mine now and use to dread it. Your collie will soon settle down.

    Good luck :)
     
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  10. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    Good post although I don't totally agree that it will be a long process or that using treats for a specific problem will make this young collie start to refuse them.

    The instance I quoted with the 6 yr old collie who very nearly had me and the cyclist over took all of 5 minutes to correct; basically the next cyclist but I've been training collies for years.
     
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  11. Mazza1011

    Mazza1011 PetForums Newbie

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    Feel free to pop round... ;)
     
  12. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    That made me laugh. Apart from my own (and I currently have four) I must have handled, trained and judged thousands of them over the past 40 years.
     
  13. Alice144

    Alice144 PetForums Newbie

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  14. flyballcrazy

    flyballcrazy PetForums Senior

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    Can i ask, what happens if your pup just isnt interested in any treats. We have rescued a 5mth old collie who has been aloud to car chase on walks, he is totally zoned out to anything other than the car. We live on a quiet estate so maybe see 2 or three cars if we walk along the road. I do make him sit and stand in front of him but he still pulls and tries to chase. Treats just dont interest him at all.
     
  15. StormyThai

    StormyThai Moderator
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    He might be over threshold meaning he can't take food or you might just have to up the reward.
    As he is a collie then a ball on a rope or bungee might work well. You can divert chasing cars with chasing the ball on a rope.
     
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  16. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    Please someone correct me if I am wrong but have I read that a flirt pole is great for allowing the chase drive in a controlled environment?
     
  17. Linda Weasel

    Linda Weasel PetForums VIP

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    Didn't have time to read all posts so sorry if somebody's already said this.
    My dog can walk to heel perfectly well, does stunning close heel work, but pulls like a train by even slightly busy roads. Nothing will distract him from this and it's really hard work to get him to even look at me... and it's because he's scared, so I guess that in his mind he's trying to get away from all this stuff he doesn't like.
    I've not found a cure but manage it by just avoiding.
     
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