When a Border Collie chases cars..
A new client recently bought and downloaded one of my dog behaviour guides from my web site on how to stop a dog pulling on the lead. As I always do, I send a thank you email which also requests if the client has any questions to reply to the email so they can have the support they need to make sure everything is correctly understood.
I got a reply to the email telling me how much the dog pulled on the lead and when close to a road, the dog also tried to chase the cars. What advice would I give?
I replied saying there was a great deal I can do to help but it would need a very long email so my client agreed on a 45 minute home visit which took place today.
Two Border Collies only 4 months apart in age and the female was very vocal and insistent on getting attention and the wheel chaser was the male. He was very quiet, probably couldn’t get a word in but he was wary of the lead when we brought it out.
Rather than going straight out to find some cars, I created activity and noise with the other dog so I could see how he thought he should behave on the lead and he was quite determined to go wherever he wanted to go, he didn’t seem to grasp the concept of going where the person with the lead wanted to go and he would stand firm.
Looking at a dogs associated behaviour on the lead is always a good place to start as you can observe his expectations. In this instance, I was asking him to walk with me away from the other dog playing with a ball.
This was clearly something he had never had to do before and he struggled with making a different decision but within a few minutes he was walking around the kitchen with me on a loose lead.
The owner had never thought of doing lead work in the house and using the other dog as both stimulation and distraction and she was very pleased with how well her dog responded and how calm he was. What was the most pleasing was his tail and more importantly the position of his tail. It started off tucked under and as we progressed his tail relaxed, moved position and when praised, he showed us some movement in it so he was really embracing the whole new approach.
We then progressed outside and he walked out of the door on a loose lead and we stopped at the kerb where he let two cars and a van go past without any reaction at all and his tail was still relaxed!
His owner was delighted that she had learned a great deal, especially about her noisy ball obsessed female but to see her male being able to change his behaviour was the most rewarding part.
She has booked a 90 minute home visit for next wek so we can take him for a walk and continue his progression.
The photograph is of a Border Collie because they are beautiful, this is not one of the dogs I worked with today.