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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've got a new client with an adorable lightening fast Border Collie pup, male 3.5 months.

Wondering if you have any advice or insight to offer in terms of training specific to this breed.

One thing I noticed right off the bat, he's very visual & discriminates between objects very easily.

With clicker training, he picks up on what I'm looking for within 10-12 reps & I can easily add a cue.

The only things I am teaching him are related to walking.

LLW, disengaging from moving traffic, passing strollers, other dogs, people etc.

If allowed to fixate, he barks which escalates into a display.

Anything else I can teach other than sit, down, stay? I am NOT his trainer, I am his dog walker. I am trying to get ahead of any possible issues I may have with him as an adult during walks.

My clients are wonderful people, but are waiting to start training, I'm unsure why but don't want to overwhelm them.

As per DVM's advice, they are waiting for his last set of vaccines to socialize & begin training.

This means after I let him out during appointments, I have some free time to socialize with him, hence laying groundwork for eventual neighborhood walks.

So!!...any tips BC peeps?

I'm all ears.....:wave:
 

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BCs are just like any dog really. They have some quirks, and they do tend to learn fast, but clicker/marker training works well for BCs as it does for all dogs.

What exactly are you wanting to do with him? Are his owners ok with you training him or do they want to do it themselves? I think it's fine (great, really) to work on manners and LLW, but I would not be pleased if my dog walker started teaching my dog tricks, ya know? Unless the owners aren't really interested in in training him themselves and are leaving it up to you.

Control Unleashed is a great book that has some exercises for increasing a dog's focus and preventing reactivity. If he is already barking and lunging at passing cars it sounds like reactivity may be an issue for him going forward, so that book might give you some ideas. LAT training specifically is great.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm pretty sure they are planning to train on their own, so I ONLY work with things like leash manners, general manners etc.

They are also aware of what I am teaching him.

I don't want to interfere with anything they might want to teach him, so I'm careful about how I interact with him.
I'd hate to rob them of the joy that comes from the sense of accomplishment that comes with that.

Just wondering if there's anything specific to BC's that one might not think of as possibly becoming an issue.

Of course there's regular dog stuff, like people, cars & other distractions, which is where I'm at.

About that BC with the huge vocabulary...can TOTALLY see it =D
 

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I think reactivity to moving things (dogs, people, cars, bikes, etc) is probably the biggest thing that BCs are prone to and you might want to be proactive in preventing.
 

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The only thing that I can think of other than reactivity to moving things because they like to chase/herd, is their stare.
A lot of times BCs (and other herding breeds) lock in on an animal they are interested in and get a very intense stare that antagonizes or makes other dogs uncomfortable. It's actually a thing if you googled the Border Collie Stare. The purpose of it is to be able to stare down livestock.
But that's in the same column as reactivity and just watching your dogs general body language, breaking eye contact if it gets too intense, keeping the dog under threshold for stimuli that could work them up, etc.
 

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In general impulse control is your friend. Though imo a lot of this will need to come from the owner vs the dog walker. As a dog walker I would work on leash manners and him being able to pass dogs/cars/bikes/etc.
 

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I do suggest that you teach him as much as you can, b/c I've found that the more you stuff into the little brain early, the easier it'll be for the dog to understand how to learn, and what you want.

You might teach "Fetch" ... like Chaser :)
You could teach shake Right paw, and Shake Left paw.
Turn Right, and Turn left...

Then try to teach the idea of Left and Right.

I don't think it would hurt to teach him 'clicker training' , then the owners could have the fun of teaching by using a 'pre-loaded' clicker trained dog.
 
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