Fred is a young, high energy border collie mix who is VERY smart – but sometimes doesn’t take the time to think. He just reacts (as border collies are bred to do). His issues were pulling on the leash on walks, chasing the cats who live with him, reliable recall from out in the yard, and reactivity at the front door when guests would knock. It was frustrating for his owners, Caitlin and Brian.
We started working on leash management skills and keeping Fred focused on walks, and now we’re starting to slowly increase the level of distractions that might happen on a walk – mostly other dogs. We changed his recall word to come from the yard into the house to “Cheese!!!” and rewarded him with his favorite cheese when he came sprinting in. We’re also getting him used to looking at one of the cats, from behind the safety of a baby gate, and then having him move away - clicking him for not reacting, and reinforcing him by tossing treats when he moved away.
To solve the issue of Fred going bonkers at the door when guests arrive, we taught him to go to his bed when given the cue, from different parts of the house. He learned to run over and lie down on his bed and stay there until he heard the release word (“Break!”). Then, we changed the cue for him to go to bed to the sound of knocking at the door. So when we knocked on the door, Fred would run over and lie down in his bed, and stay there until he heard the release word. The knocking sound that had previously stressed him out became a game, where he could get rewarded for running to his bed! Fred loves games.
Fred is still working and learning, and his humans Caitlin and Brian are very smart and funny. They understand Fred’s unique personality and quirks, and they love him so much. They work with him every day, helping him deal with his issues and develop new skills. Caitlin, Brian and Fred are such a great team, and I really enjoy working with them.
Oh - and do you what Fred’s favorite cheese treat is, when he comes in from the yard? Gouda. Know why??? Because he’s a Gouda Boy!
Here’s a video of Fred learning to Go to Bed when he hears knocking at the door: