Different Commands and Different Responses

When a working Border Collie has had different owners, they may have been given different commands. Opposite commands gain a different response. This can lead to a lot of frustration and you may be inclined to believe that your Border Collie is disobeying you.

Being aware of this possible issue, we humans can think around this and compensate for the differences quicker in a trial situation rather than expecting a Border Collie to remember its new response to a command.

For example:

For one Border Collie the commands and response may mean

Command "Go By" Response = go anti clockwise
Command "Away" Response = go clockwise

Another Border Collie the same commands and response may mean

Command "Go By" Response = clockwise
Command "Away" Response = anti clockwise

As you can see that by changing a Border Collies existing commands causes a lot of confusion and this can set back your Border Collies training and effectiveness in competition.

This can lead to a lot of confusion to your Border Collie and strip away your Border Collies confidence in you.

If possible when you first take ownership of a Border Collie, list out the commands and the required response associated with the command.

Here are a set of commands that we use and the required responses:

One possible method to avoid this, is to introduce the whistle and associating the different whistles with a set of required responses this will avoid the above issues. This takes practice and consistency on your behalf

The iPhone has an app called “Extreme Sheepdog Trials” it's unique, original and thought provoking fun which you can even play by whistling! So maybe this could be an alternative for you to master before trying it out on your Border Collie.

Here is another app for the iPhone called Sheepdog Whistles 1.0

This is a useful app which allows you to learn all whistles to train your Border Collie to work stock.

Best part is that you can master it without confusing your Border Collie on what your whistle means.

Advantages of using a Whistle

Disadvantages of Using Whistle

Try using a whistle, it's another level of communication and something new for your Border Collie to learn.
Sounds tricky? It is but once you get your head around it and with some practice, you should be fine.