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Puppy Disobedience off-leash?

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Fairbz, Feb 4, 2021.


  1. Fairbz

    Fairbz PetForums Newbie

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    Hi there,

    First time poster and dog owner. My BC pup, who's 6 months old has pretty strong recall skills and fairly reliable in the park. However, as of late, she's been really bad for finding things that she shouldn't, food, for example and once she becomes fixated on that, she just does not listen to me.

    Tonight, she managed to find an old cup on the grass with leftover food in it, and that was it. I called her, whistled her, tried luring with treats, squeeked a kong air ball in my pocket to grab her attention and the usual recall methods and I got zero response. Once she had it in her mouth, she would run a suitable distance away with it to eat/lick the remaining food, and bolt whenever I got close to her. She basically turned it into a game. Eventually, after about 10 minutes I managed to get my foot on top of it when she accidentally dropped it, and then I spent a further 10 minutes trying to get her to come close enough for her to go back on the leash. I understand that she's still very young, but I'm worried that this behaviour continues into adulthood.

    This is frustrating because usually I call her and she comes straight over. I'm just relieved that there were no other dogs or distractions about otherwise it might have taken me longer to retrieve her. She always manages to dodge me because she knows she's getting put back on the leash.

    I'm trying to research as much as possible in regards to the border collie, but I can't seem to find much on this. Is this something she will grow out of? What's the best approach to get her to respond to me when she's acting like this? Should I just keep her on the leash more?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    Keep her on harness and long line and work on a strong Leave and reestablish the Recall - rewarding with a very high value treat and lots of praise.

    It’s relatively easy when there are no distractions so training needs to continue when there are some.

    Don’t let her off until you’re confident she will Leave on command as each time she ignores you she’s just practicing the unwanted behaviour.

    When you do, practice calling her in, attach the lead praise/treat, then a few yards along release her to “go play” again so she doesn’t associate recall/leash as end of fun time.
     
    Fairbz, Twiggy and tabelmabel like this.
  3. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel Banned

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    @Twiggy will be able to give advice specifically on the BC. I know my friend with BCs, one of hers as a pup was a nightmare for eating things he shouldnt and she had him muzzled for a while til she got it sorted.


    I agree with lurcherlad that a longline will help get your pup back but, remembering, what my friend's BC was like, it might be worth Twiggy popping in here with her insights.
     
  4. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    Actually my advice would have been the same as Lurcherlad. You can't take the chance of her eating something toxic plus the more she practises making a game of running off from you with her 'prize' the better she will become at it until you have no recall either. Have a look on Youtube for videos of how to teach 'leave'.
     
  5. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    When working on recall, make coming past something the dog may want, part of the game. Start with something of relatively low value, then increase the desirability of the object until she can reliably come to you past her favourite toys, and food. She should get a reward at the end that makes leaving the things she wants worthwhile - a game of tug, loads of praise and the most delicious treat.
     
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  6. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel Banned

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    Thanks @Twiggy - i wondered if border collies might be more fixed on behaviours and less easy to distract than other breeds.

    My friend is an experienced BC owner but her youngest did give her some bother - when he gobbled up a tennis ball to stop her getting it off him, resulting in an expensive op, the muzzle went on!

    He is a super agility dog now, very well trained and obedient but i know he gave her a lot of hard work in the early days!
     
  7. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    Hmm probably any breed or puppy that is after food would do the same. I suppose the difference is that collies are usually highly intelligent so therefore possibly quicker to turn it into a 'try and catch me' game.
     
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  8. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel Banned

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    Handy to know and would make sense as my pal got her difficult collie off a farm at 6 wks of age. Mum was back at work and the pups were scrabbling over bread rolls chucked in by the farmer's wife!

    I was put off collies by this friend who does a tremendous amount of sports activity with them and is forever bemoaning people she sees with unstimulated collies.

    But in fact i think i might have done ok with a collie. And my friend agrees:)
     
  9. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    Yes I'm sure you would. The trouble is with collies they can be so different in so many ways and are loosely speaking split into 3 groups - working sheepdogs - show bred Border Collies - sports dogs. IMO it's the working sheepdogs from farms that cause the most problems if they are not in experienced hands.
     
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  10. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel Banned

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    Yes, it is the working ones my friend has. Well, 2 of the farm and one from a long line of agility champs. I think i told the tale of her dogs somewhere on the forum once. It is an amusing tale. Suffice it to say she has not reached the heights of agility competition she wanted!

    She isnt too impressed with murphy and his antics but i think she quite likes what i have done with tilly.
     
  11. Fairbz

    Fairbz PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks all for your swift and helpful inputs! @tabelmabel/@Twiggy, my BC is also from a working sheepdog farm so that might be a factor.
     
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