Thursday, 7 April 2011

Calming a Border Collie....

It's always great to get positive feed back after a job, but here's one that is of interest. The dog, a border collie female aged 5 yrs, had been in a stressed state for quite some time, the dog would follow the owner intensely about the home and had never relaxed during the day as a result. There are some dog to dog issues also which we have made start upon. Collies are often good candidates for clicker training in my experience and with the owner here that has a good sense of timing it's a perfect match making swift progress in the first week. It further proves the point I often make that older dogs can learn new tricks, the magic is in identifying the best approach with each dog and owner, and to remain flexible in doing so.

Hi Nick

It was really good to meet you on Monday. I don't know who was more tired me or Millie. I think we were ready for bed at 7!

I have had two really good days with Millie, its almost as if someone has stolen my dog and put a similar one in her place!

She is responding really well to her basic commands again such as sit and down. We are working on stay as she is doing this but tries to get up and move before I want her to, but she's thinking about it now at least.

We have already got a calmer dog going outside by making her wait until we want her to go out which has reduced this mad barking when she goes outside.

The nudging of my arm has improved as I tell her down and now she just lies down and sighs at me! She isn't following me half as much, she doesn't seem that bothered if I am there or not!

Most of all, because I am off this week I have been able to increase her walks and we have been to the park for an hour, I am amazed at the improvement in her behaviour with other dogs already, although not perfect and I know it will take time, I feel more confident that I can handle her when she sees another dog. She seems less bothered by them too. Nick when with Ted she is off lead but at the moment I when am an my own I use the extension lead as I feel happier at the moment with this. Is this ok in the short term until I am confident that she will do what I want her to when she sees other dogs?

Millie responds really well the the click and treat. I had forgotten a couple of other things which we had trouble with such as using spray bottles (when cleaning for example) or if Ted is using a drill or anything that moves and makes a noise. I successfully cleaned the window yesterday using the down and stay, and today while Ted was using the drill used the click and treat. Both times we only had one bark instead of a constant barking from her.

I feel really positive about how we can develop this further and its so nice to see her lie down and sleep.

Think that's all for now but I will keep you updated.



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