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Havers Dog Behaviour Blog

My dog behaviour blog is all about dogs and owners I have helped and dog related items in the news.

Improvements in the house, more work required outside.

In Moira with a transformation and a bigger challenge.

The last time I visited this dog, he would growl if I touched him and was very unsettled with a visitor in the house.

Two weeks later and he is climbing all over me and is a very different dog. He is still demanding and getting attention for being excited but in much shorter timescales so he is coping better.

Border Collies are such fascinating dogs to work with because they can be so controlling and outsmart their owners. My job is to get the owners one step ahead and that can be a challenge and a lot of fun!

So his behaviour inside the house was much better, that just left the outside and in particular his behaviour towards other dogs. He wasn't aggressive but he was very confused and would run up to them in an assertive manner and some dogs would not like this and they would react.

The collie would then retaliate and everyone gets stressed .

So what is the problem? No recall, certainly, but more importantly the dog is making a decision without including his owners in that decision. He has been allowed a lot of freedom of decision for most of his life so he is used to being a bit too independent .

Sure enough, once off his lead he encountered a very bouncy Dalmatian behind a metal kissing gate that are on most public footpaths. He was not coming back, we went to fetch him, put him on his lead and brought him away but he was fixed on the dog and we gradually got him to break is intense stare.

When there are gaps in relationships, like this one where he is not including his owner, it an be the most annoying and frustrating thing for the owner.

They did trot out the most used line I hear, "When there is no distraction, his recall is fine"

A recall is only a recall when it works when it absolutely has to, regardless of distraction.

A recall is best trained on a lead in front of ever increasing distraction levels because you have to prove to your dog the only decision available is to respond to your instruction.

It is a lot of hard work, it does take time but there might be a time when it makes the difference between life and death.

The easy option is to let your dog off for a run and hope it will be ok because you can't get it back.

Your dog might then make a decision that does not have a good outcome and you can't to anything about it.

The recall is the only thing you dog has to do, without question, without doubt. everything else is a nice to have, the recall is a must have.

How good is yours?

Steven HaversComment