Many things can go very wrong. I have seen many dogs from the top class of intelligent breeds develop behavior problems. These problems can occur to pet owners and experienced owners, regardless of their best intentions. Problems can arise for owners who have tried everything from puppy class to dog sports to give their working breed puppies every opportunity to become a fully trained adult dog.
Unfortunately, many Border Collies and other intelligent dogs are prone to being among the hyperactive breeds, which leads them to hyperactive behaviors such as car chases, reactions to other dogs, nervousness, aggression, and problems with memory training.
You should start training a Border Collie puppy the day you bring him home. At just a few weeks old, they can absorb a lot of information. If you wait a few months to start training, you’ll end up with a headstrong dog who won’t be as sensitive to commands.
It’s a good idea to get your Border Collie puppy into training sessions when he’s around 12 weeks old, if possible. Just remember that most puppy training schools require several vaccinations. Until you can get your Border Collie puppy into obedience school, you can begin the training and socialization process at home.
Tips for Successful Border Collie Training
The following tips are essential for both trick training and obedience training. They will help speed up the time it takes to train a Border Collie. Note that you must follow all the tips to get easy and quick results.
- Get Your Collie’s Full Attention: If you want your Border Collie to learn something, make sure you have his full attention. You can’t expect a classroom full of children to learn anything if they don’t pay attention to what their teacher is saying. Likewise, you shouldn’t expect your dog to learn or listen to what you’re teaching him without getting his attention. Choose a place and time with minimal distractions to start training the dog. If possible, eliminate as many distractions as you can.
- Use positive reinforcement: Border collies usually learn best through encouragement rather than punishment. Make sure to always reward good behavior. You can either use treats or simply praise the dog. This is the best way to show your dog that they are doing the right thing and encourage them to do it «right» again.
- Always be consistent: Be consistent when training your Border Collie and want to keep things straight. Avoid changing the names you use for commands, for example ‘sit down’ to ‘sit’. Instead, pick one word and stick to it. If you are teaching your Border Collie to stay away from furniture or other parts of the house, you should also be consistent. Don’t confuse the dog by letting him go to the sofa on certain days and not allowing him on other days. By doing this, you are slowing down your Border Collie training progress.
Get Your Puppy Involved
Include your dog in as many of your daily activities as you can. Take part in a dog sport that you will both enjoy. Sheep herding tests, fly ball, agility, scent work and tricks are a few examples. This will fulfill the needs of your working dog, it will help you understand each other and teach you mutual respect and teamwork. It will also be a lot of fun and will bring you together with many other Border Collie enthusiasts!
In addition to training, provide plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, including walks, swimming, and opportunities to sniff. If your Border Collie puppy does not yet have a good memory or if you cannot let him go for another reason, then learn how to use a long lead on walks, so that he can enjoy the freedom to participate in normal dog activities.
What causes stimulation in dogs?
Dogs, especially border collies who are sensitive to extremes of emotion, can become agitated in all kinds of situations, from excitement at meeting new people, to fear of new situations or other dogs. The more intense the emotion the dog feels, the greater the stimulation. Agitation in border collies is particularly problematic when dogs are prone to being fearful or frustrated in certain contexts and can often lead to:
- aggressive behavior
- hyperexcitability problems such as jumping up
- inappropriate play as dogs get more and more excited and rough
- too scared reaction