Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

untrainable dog

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Deb, Jun 30, 2009.


  1. Deb

    Deb PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    1
    Is there such a thing as an untrainable dog??? Or is it the trainer that is untrainable!!! I have a 8mth old border collie (having had dogs previously and trained them without too much problems) and dont seem to be gettng anywhere.
    1. toilteting - we leave the door open most of the time (dread the winter coming) and mostly she will go outside but yesterday she was outside most of the afternoon and then came in and wee'd on the kitchen floor without warning!! She is crate trained and i feel that every time i leave her i have to put her in the crate (even if i am popping in the shower). I really want to be able to leave her in the utility but am sure i will come back to wee's.
    2. chewing - we are constantly with her and she is restricted (as are we!!) to the back rooms. She still attempts to chew but as we are there we can stop her but if i put her in the utility while i am doing something eg answering the door she chews the door frame. Have tried sprays but she licks it off.
    3. walking - am now using a canny collar as she was a nightmare pulling and this is much better but at times she stills puts her head down and GOES FOR IT. My hand is sometimes red raw.
    4. recall - used to be good but last few weeks she will come nowhere near me if she is off lead and we have a standoff lasting 20-25mins sometimes. Last night i sat on the field and felt like crying. She doesn't come back voluntarily - i usually have to make a grab for her as she passes!! I don't tell her off but inside i am calling her all the bad names i know!! I'm so frustrated that i feel like not letting her off the lead at all on walks.
    NB have tried all the training advised learned on this forum for the above problems for the last 6 mths to little success. In the house or garden she will do recall lovely but is a different door away from home. She has been to dog training classes-again did everything she was supposed to there but not outside. All i can say that today i am not liking my dog very much.:(:(:(
     
  2. JSR

    JSR PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Messages:
    4,207
    Likes Received:
    317
    I'm in a rush but just on point 1, leaving the door open all the time may be causing a problem. She doesn't see the house and garden as a separate space so therefore will not see any difference between going in the kitchen or the garden. You need to go right back to puppy house training, out every hour, praise,praise, praise etc etc!! Once you are feeling more confident then you can think about a dog flap if your garden is secure?

    I'll have a lookie at the rest later...my boss actually has given me some work so I have to rush off..how rude!!!:D;)
     
  3. Deb

    Deb PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    1
    If we do close the door she has wee'd in the kitchen without making any effort to go to the door which is why we started to leave it open. Believe me i do praise constantly - so much so i'm sure she ignores me now as she's heard it so often!!!!:D
     
  4. JSR

    JSR PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Messages:
    4,207
    Likes Received:
    317
    That's why you need to go back to the beginning. Are you at home all day cos then it's so easy to house train? It usually takes me on average 2 days to re-train the foster dogs, having other dogs that are clean does help of course, but I find by taking them out every hour or half hour if need works. Otherwise I'd be popping her to the vets just in case she has an infection that is causing her to wee more often than is normal.
     
  5. Deb

    Deb PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    1
    Forgot to mention her biting. As a small puppy she had the normal nipping but we got over that but now she will turn and bare her teeth if we move her away from something she shouldn't be doing eg biting the table leg and will really goes for us. Have tried to distract her which she ignores but i don't want to give her treats to get her away as will she not think she is being rewarded for chewing the table!!!
     
  6. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Messages:
    21,576
    Likes Received:
    663
    I'll leave the other points for those experienced more with the breed to help with, just going for the recall, I've had a couple of instances with my girl Tau (Labrador) recently, where she's been pushing this one. I've stamped on it (metaphorically) as quickly as I can, and am seeing a good improvement over the last couple of days.

    The first time she basically stuck twos up at me, I had no chance of getting anywhere close for her to even hear my 'Oi you b****y 'orrible mutt' growly voice, and so when she did choose to come back to me I just quietly popped her on lead with a mental note to make sure that one got dealt with. She got a few practise short recalls and they were perfect.

    The next day she chose to fail at recall close enough for me to act, and she got the growly voice at exactly the right point. She got put back on lead, and we practised heelwork and stops, and a few recalls, and praised for getting it right. Over the last couple of days we've been really practising heelwork and stops, and of course recalls, both on and off lead. I am really pleased to say, she's recalled off two rabbits legging it in the opposite direction, and even came away from the same spot (bang on the whistle recall) this morning, where she'd failed to recall originally because of whatever lovely scent. In fact I've had a few lovely long recalls where she's turned instantly and come back; I've also had the odd occasion where a smell might distract her coming in, and the very second I've seen that sign again where she switches off I've pounced on it. She actually loves getting things right, so given the opportunity, she loves coming for a fuss and praise, the more I can get that with her the better.

    Her recall isn't bad, but it isn't 100%, I don't believe there is such a thing, the only time it deteriorates though is when I'm not practising enough, and it gives me a kick up the backside to stop taking it for granted so much when she doesn't recall.

    NB: please replace 'Oi you b****y 'orrible mutt' for 'You lovely sweet pink and fluffy cuttiepie' if you really can't bring yourself to call your dog that, its the growly voice and your 'I mean it' attitude that really count :D
     
  7. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2008
    Messages:
    4,781
    Likes Received:
    163
    Without stating the obvious you have a lot of issues. If a parent was describing how their child had all these problems, you would probably say that the child is disrespectful and not following the rules.

    I think that rather than look at training, you need to look at how you are managing your dog. It sounds as if the dog is in charge and does what it wants, whilst you look disparingly on.

    In my opinion you need to re-establish yourself as pack leader or for want of a better word, the boss. Only once you have acheived this status will you solve all the problems you have.

    You mention that you have tried lots of things, but have you considered the fact that it is you and not the dog which needs training? I do not wish to sound harsh or critical, I myself made a number of mistakes, which you can read about in my profile! More often than not with dogs, it is not about training the dog, but about us understanding WHY they are doing it and how we can best solve it.

    If you are interested in this train of thought, I will happily expand on my ideas and techniques.
    x
     
  8. Deb

    Deb PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    1
    Any advice greatly received!:D
     
  9. rona

    rona Guest

    How much exercise does your dog get?
    How much training or stimulating play are you giving your dog?
    Have you had a Collie before?
     
  10. Deb

    Deb PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    1
    I proberly exercise her too much as she is still a pup but here goes. She goes out in the morning for a 30-40mins walk. Then early afternoon she is taken on a lead walk for roughly 1 1/2 - 2 hrs. Early evening she is either taken to the farmers field and let off to run round for approx. 1hr or we take her on a lead walk for 1hr. last thing at night she is taken for 10 mins walk. I work 12 hr shifts and am able to work hubbys days off so there is always someone to do this.
    I have spent time both in the house and garden playing with her - i would say about 15 mins in the morning and again in the evening but this is a very rough guide as days differ. We hide a toy and she looks for it or throw the ball to retrieve. She can sit, lie down, roll over, give a paw and stay (only when in the house or garden-totally different if elsewhere!!)
    I have never had a collie before (had labs last 2 times) but my hubby has.:D
     
  11. Deb

    Deb PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    1
    Also have teenage daughter who plays with her in the house/garden but due to being bitten is now very reluctant.:D
     
  12. cdcclub

    cdcclub PetForums Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    266
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can I ask what you use to clean up the pee and if the dog is around when you are doing so?

    If you are not using a product that is killing off the scent then your dog will still assume that they can do their business in that area as their scent is already there.

    If the dog watches you clean it up again this will be a learnt behaviour also giving it the green light to urinate in that spot.

    As for the chewing, collies that are under stimulated or nervous are prone to chewing. You need to find away to keep the brain active and make sure that your dog is getting the amount of exercise it needs both for the body and the mind.

    Collies are extremely sensitive to moods of their owners if you are becoming fed up or angry with situations they can really sense this, try not to focus to much on what your dog has been like over the past few months and try to start with a clean slate and go back to the beginning with the training and bonding as having the trust and companionship between collie and owner is essential for you and your dogs training to build up a happy life long bond.

    Will read through your post a few more times and see if there is any other ideas I can think of to help you out.;)
     
  13. JSR

    JSR PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Messages:
    4,207
    Likes Received:
    317
    There's a very good reason why I will never have a collie...they are just too bright for their own good!! Sounds like she's bored and I know you are doing your best cos the exercise most definately should be enough, but for alot of collies its not just a physical outlet they require. Is there anyway you can join some classes with her? She needs to have that brain worked until she drops!! Obviously agility is out until she's 18 months but if you have a local class it might be worth contacting them and asking advise. I HATE heel work to music but in her case it might be worth investigating as it does make them think (and getting hubby to practice with her will be entertaining for you!!). Even just general obedience classes will make her think.

    If not a working trainer would be my way of going, because it sounds to me like she's got an extreamly strong working drive and it's just not being met in a home situation. Some collies are just not suited to living as a family pet without being given a 'job'. She could be trained to work for you in the house, picking up clothes etc. Sounds stupid maybe but anything that will give her brain a chance to work and not just her physical being.


    Personally I don't like working breeds purely as pets, my JRT 'works' while he's out on his walks, he is trained to hunt because it gives his natural instinct a working. I'm planning to get a lurcher in the next few months, and that too will be worked.

    Not going to be easy with this young lady but collies rarely are!! ;)
     
  14. hazel pritchard

    hazel pritchard PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2009
    Messages:
    2,973
    Likes Received:
    35
    In some ways your dog sound like our Lakeland X ,He is the most challenging(thats my polite word for him) dog i have ever know,he is hubbys dog,but its me that has him all day,he now does agility training and although he is still hyper at times he is alot better,it seems he now has focus if you have a club near you maybe a chat with them will help.
     
  15. cdcclub

    cdcclub PetForums Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    266
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ok points one and two can be easily achieved by having her on a house line, I find with collies they love nothing more than being around humans 24/7

    If you have her beside you all the time you can pick up completely on her toileting habits and this will stop the accidents in the house. It can be a bit of a chore at times having your dog attached to you but trust me it is well worth it. This should also cut down on the chewing as you will be there to correct it.

    the walking issues, when she begins to pull come to a complete stop or start walking in the opposite direction. from a very young age I taught my girl the Watch command where by when I said watch she had to be totally focused on me. I began this with treats holding it up by my face and gradually hiding the treat from view. I built up the time she had to wait till she got a treat.

    my girl now knows if I say watch that I want her complete attention as she assumes that she may either get a treat or some more exciting command or task to do or her favourite thing in the world a game of fetch with a tennis ball.

    The watch command can come in very handy if you need her distracted when the become focused on anything else but yourself.
     
  16. spid

    spid PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2008
    Messages:
    14,214
    Likes Received:
    380
    Collies can be tough but can alos be wonderful - I've had two would love another but the time and situation isn't right for us at the moment. Basically collies are incredibly intelligent and there is no reason that she can't do what you are asking. So back to basics.

    With the pulling this is what I did, I remember when my collie was 14 weeks old, one day she wouldn't stop pulling hard on the lead, so I just sat down. When she stopped pulling I got up and moved, when she pulled I sat down again. It took us 1/2 an hour to travel about 10 feet and then she was perfect for the rest of the walk. I'm sure I had to repeat the exercise a few times. But she learnt. It works because when you sit down you take away the reward of going forward. Simple.

    Try walking her on a very long lead for the recall problem she gets to run you get the security of having her come back - again I remember with Jazz that when sh wouldn't come back as a pup I tended to run in the opposite direction calling her - never failed. I got the pup back, she thought it was great fun and coming to me meant a reward either the chase, being fussed, or a treat. I also trained her to a whistle as it was more piercing to her when head down sniffing than my voice. Very useful when she got too far ahead for me to shout too.

    Keeping her close indoors sounds great for the chewing and weeing - I taught Jazz and Josh to pee on command ('empty') just by being around and watching them pee and saying the word at the same time. CHewing might indicate that she is bored - try a frozen Kong toy stuffed with treats. Try bitter Apple sprayed everywhere, get her teeeth checked out to make sure thy aren't worrying her. Weeing etc - basically you need to spot when she is about to go and with a 'no' and 'uhuh' (slight disapproval in voice) take her outside and fully encourage her.

    She is still young, still a pup and still needs to play - lots of games, lots of training exercises, when you walk her take a ball and a dog frisbee (boy, can collies jump!), talk to her all the time, carry very smelly treats with you, mke her your best friend and she will end up ready to die for you. When she is old enough get her along to agility classes, or fly ball, or take her along t mountain rescue and she if she can help there.

    Collies are dogs that can't be taken lightly but are an absolute joy and brilliant companions, but they are made to work and NEED to be stimulated or they act up. The only thing I never got my collies to do was bark on command - probably cos I taught 'quiet' first (silly me). You need to be one step ahead of your collie all the time - IT'S FUN, honest!
     
  17. Colliepoodle

    Colliepoodle PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    Messages:
    1,791
    Likes Received:
    176
    Great post! I would add a note of caution about the Frisbee though - the dog in the OP is too young to be doing too much jumping at the moment...
     
  18. Deb

    Deb PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    1
    Dont want to sound negative but believe me i have tried EVERYTHING you have suggested time and time again. We always take a ball for walks but she now refuses to bring it back to me and drops it a good few yards away. If i dont throw it for her she rounds me up or runs after someone elses ball!! The training classes we went to were ok but spent a lot of time sitting around while each dog had its turn. I am going to try agility when she is older but worry if i cant get her trained now she would be no good in a class with other dogs. As for the lead attached to me inside for her wee's this only happens occasionaly so i dont know if its worth doing. Also she chews if i am not there - she has taken to lying by the back gate and chewing that much to hubbys annoyance!!
     
  19. hazel pritchard

    hazel pritchard PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2009
    Messages:
    2,973
    Likes Received:
    35
    when Rusty was about 13 months old if i let him off lead he would just run and run,sometimes it took 3 hrs for him to come back near enough to get his lead back on,before this he had been great,so i got a 30ft lead and retrained him in recall,it took about a week,now he is really good,when hes off lead now i dont talk to him unless i want him on lead,he started agility a couple of months ago and we found a great trainer who would let him stay on lead at first,after half and hour he was so focused on the jumps etc he came off lead.it has taught him not only agility but also reinforced the obediance,
    Hope things work out for you and your dog,
     
  20. JSR

    JSR PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Messages:
    4,207
    Likes Received:
    317
    Where did you get her from? Sounds to me like she's from working stock. She needs to be working, the poor do must be going out of her mind with boredome.:( Collies should never be bought from farms or unregistered breeders as a dog from generations of working animals will never be happy in home.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice