If you want a well behaved Border Collie, then basic obedience training from the time it comes home is the key. Unfortunately, Border Collie’s are not psychic and do not come pre-trained, unless you are adopting an older Border Collie. Even then, your expectations will be different to what the Border Collie is used to so you will still need to put the effort in to have a well-balanced family member.
When training, you need to keep it fun and do several short sessions a day. Training should not be hard work. If you keep it fun, your Border Collie will go to the end of the earth and back for you. Be warned, if you feel you are getting frustrated end the training session on a positive note and come back later and try again....
Here are some tips to always keep in mind when training your Border Collie:
Positive reinforcement is the best method of training your Border Collie and the difference between those who are successful and those who are not, is often timing.
Border Collie’s are born with a natural instinct to please. Getting your timing right helps you tap into your Border Collie’s natural instinct. You must always reward good behaviour, even with words such as ‘good girl’. Do not punish bad behaviour. Ignore it if it is not dangerous.
Your Border Collie is one smart animal and will soon learn to manipulate the whole household if you let it. For example, a Border Collie puppy loses its ball under the couch and you can see it is within reach if it works out how to get. Instead your Border Collie puppy barks at you for help. If you ignore the behaviour, your Border Collie puppy will either work out how to get it, or give up and find something else to do. If you get it when your Border Collie puppy barks, you teach your Border Collie puppy not to think for itself, and your Border Collie puppy is effectively training you to do whatever it wants.
It is just as easy for your dog obedience training to go wrong if you reward your Border Collie for behaviour you do not want. For example, you tell you Border Collie to sit and you reward and praise before it sits you a training it not to sit. It is the same for everything.
The window of association with something for your Border Collie is only about 2 seconds. You need to reward within that time for complete success so your Border Collie understands it is that particular behaviour you want it to repeat.
Your Border Collie will soon work out what behaviour is rewarded and what is not and stop doing the behaviour it gets no reward for.
Rewards come in many forms for your Border Collie. Just being by your side can be a reward. Good treats, especially natural ones like shredded chicken are excellent. Just make sure you factor the treats into your Border Collie’s daily food intake to make sure it does not put on weight.
Other rewards you can use in training include a favourite toy, a kind word, a happy ‘good work’ or ‘good dog’. Training is more successful if both of you are happy and relaxed. Spend training sessions bonding with each other having fun.
Through training you build up trust with your Border Collie puppy. Through trust and respect your Border Collie is going to be much more open to what you want it to learn than if you are shouting, yelling, or even hitting your Border Collie. Instil fear into your Border Collie and, be warned, one day it may turn on you or someone else out of fear.
Take time to get to know and understand your Border Collie. What it likes, what it dislikes, and what motivates it for what reason. Use this to your advantage to motivate and reward your Border Collie’s good behaviour.
Too often we may expect too much from our Border Collie’s too quickly. You need to ensure your Border Collie understands what you want from it in all situations so you need to ‘proof’ the behaviour. Once your training is successful at home, start proofing the behaviour outside of your home. Just because your Border Collie knows how to stay at home, does not mean it will stay in the middle of the park.
Socialise your Border Collie and practice your commands with new distractions so your Border Collie understands that you require obedience whenever you ask it no matter where you are or what is going on.
Teaching your Border Collie puppy to accept being in a crate is one of the best things you can do. It comes in handy for all sorts of reasons and can become your Border Collie’s safe place. read more..