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training my collie?

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Well-known member
Feb 10, 2005
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My old cow dog passed away last fall. I didnt know how i would make out without her, or how to replace her. She was fantastic, self taught and a collie/german shepard/wolf cross. Smart too, she understood everything i said. But now on to todays problem.

We did breakdown and buy a border collie, or i am told a MacNabb Collie. Not sure the difference, except this one is tri colored. Anyway, she is smart, to smart for her own good, trys to second quess where I am going and be there before me and the cows, which hasnt been working to good. So what i need is some advice, training techniques and such on turning this dog into a real great cow dog.

She is amazing about one thing, if it isnt a cow she isnt interested in it, dont chase cars, horses or tractors. I love that about her.
I would definitely recommend taking the dog to a good trainer, as it sounds like she is at 12:00 from you, with you on one side of the cattle and her on the other, or she is sitting in the gate that you are trying to chase the cattle through. Borders gather cattle to you, and need to learn to drive them instead. The first thing many people want to do is cuss the dog for being in the way, when in fact they are doing what they are bred to do. Dog training isn't that expensive, and its well worth it to get off to a good start.
First, get her to come to you. immediately every time. you've likely done this already.

teach her to down or lie down, this will control wrecks if nothing else.

A BC is a fetch dog (also called a lazy man's dog) so teach fetch. So your dog is returning the ball, let's down her, tell her stay, throw the ball and after 20 seconds say go get the ball. Of course you'll have to be quick snatching her back down the first couplw times you do this.

next let's dirrections by tieing a rag on the end of a stock whip and let her wrestle and play with the rag. then toss it to the left and sat come by or right and say away to me. then send her before you send the rag.

You can teach this stuf in a week or so, but reinforce it in a fun game. Once this ground work is solid, working on sheep or goats or geese builds up confidence. Now you can make her do whatever you need in your operation.

Never yell at your dog
a light scolding will crush her
if she's over working, call her back and do it again
if you're just not getting along today, send her to the pickup
never call her toyou and get her in trouble

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