husband and I wanted a Border Collie. We tried to prepare & do our homework.
We talked to several people and read up about Border
Collies. High energy dogs need plenty of exercise. Were
to be physically able to handle such a high energy dog?
We have a safe fenced in back yard, and keep our gates
locked. We have a small back yard, so we take advantage
of living near a large park. We knew leash walks, playing
ball, running with the dog, (exercise in general) is
necessary for all dogs, especially a high powered working
a Border Collie. When we got our Yorkie, I had back surgery
and couldn’t walk. I tried to learn everything
I could to train this high spirited little dog. Training
starts the day you bring your dog home, ALONG WITH A
TO YOUR VET. Dogs are social animals. They need to be
in your home and they need you to socialize them with
dogs and people.
I found several books, and a puppy training video by
Dr. Ian Dunbar very helpful.
(the video is available, as are many good dog training
books in the library) We had
also taken a Basic Obedience class where our Yorkie received
a “Top Dog” award. I have given beginner classes myself for Basic Obedience.
We both had knowlege
of basic obedience and experience in helping dogs with
certain behavior problems.
My husband is excellent in agility training, as he has
been in AKC Nationals.
We had fostered different breeds of dogs, and had an
idea of what type of dog we wanted.
I think I’ve checked out most of the training books
in the library, plus, purchased a few.
contacting Mo-Kan Border Collie Rescue we decided to
look at a “shy, little,
Border Collie” On a snowy, cold, winter evening
we drove out to the country and
met what we now believe is THE BEST little Border Collie
we could hope for.
Freedom was more than shy, she was afraid of everyone
and everything. Some well
intentioned people told us Freedom could never be trained.
She was 2 years old and
hid in the corner of our family room for three months.
It was hard just trying to get
her to go outdoors, where she also seemed terrified.
Freedom just turned 6 yr. old
this month. She now loves to play ball, and run in agility.
My granddaughter has
been extremely successful in running Freedom in agility.
Freedom is in AKC, Excellent A now and will soon be in
Excellent B, and working on her Master Agility Championship.
My granddaughter is 12 years old and having Freedom enables
to be an AKC Junior Handler and receive points toward
a scholarship. Having Freedom
made us try harder & learn even more about dogs and
shy submissive behavior. It was
an extremely tough job to get such a fearful dog to do
agility, my husband has helped
both my granddaughter and our dog to achieve this very
tough accomplishment. In the beginning she was constantly
struggling with fear issues.
Now we are seeing some happy tail wags!
We’ve had people come to us expressing certain
ideas about different breeds of dogs.
Our Yorkie has never been yapping & barking, nor has
he been a “lap dog”, and
our Border Collie has never been hyper. She is calm and
gentle. We love them,
and know it is best for them to be treated as dogs, not
humans. We do not feel sorry
for Freedom because she is overly fearful. That would
be nurturing & make it worse. Instead we try to give
her the leadership she needs. For those first three
months, we got down on the family room floor, facing
sideways and away from Freedom.
we threw toys out, which my Yorkie gladly played with.
The first time I lifted my arm to throw the toy, Freedom
ducked as if I were going to kill her! I ignored her
fears and had a good time playing with my Yorkie. After
of doing this, FINALLY, one day Freedom slowly, quietly
came out and softly picked a toy up in her mouth and
took it back to her corner. This was the BEGINNING. I
I could help Freedom. Now, a few yrs. later, with her
tail up, instead of between her legs, she fetches toys
for me. We’ve taken this POSITIVE training to the
front yard, the park and other places. It really helped
us introduce Freedom to more people, and to the sport of
agility. Freedom was afraid of the teeter, in agility,
but having the ball in front of her pushed her forward
in a positive way (leaving the fear behind). We added peanut
butter to the end of the teeter, to enforce the “touch” command.
We keep dogs experiences positive. Our dogs respect us
as their human leaders, because we took time to study
and learn what their particular needs were.
Freedom needed to play, she needed obedience, and she
needed agility to bring her
out of her fears. She slowly gained confidence. When
my granddaughter comes over, she runs away & hides from
Freedom. Freedom gladly runs to find her. I hold Freedom
back and my granddaughter runs around the pond in the park,
then I release Freedom with permission to “GO!,” she
quickly catches up to Jordan where she is given tummy
rubs and/or some yummy treats. Freedom chases us, we
her. Freedom sits by the front door and WAITS till we
tell her it is OK to follow us out. Freedom WATCHES us.
watches our body language and connects it with a word.
to please us. If she misunderstands, it is because we
giving the right signals. She
has learned several tricks, her favorite is DEAD DOG
(I can see her smile when she
plays like a dead dog) She also thinks she’s pretty
cool when she jumps up high to fetch
a ball. Freedom occasionally will walk up to people,
to smell them and see who they are. She’s had so many
people in agility approach her and give her treats that
forgetting her fear of people, and starting to check
people out. Freedom may always have some fear problems,
is 80% better and happier than she was. AND, we
will always be there for Freedom to help her go forward
away from her fear zone.
A comment by Dr. Ian Dunbar in his video really stuck
with me. It was something
like this: “ You can jerk a dog around all you
want and he will probably do what you
tell him to do. BUT, he won’t like it. More important
he won’t like you for treating him this way.” My
husband and I love our dogs, we want them to respect
us. We are persistent, yet, gentle in our training. We
our dogs see us as their human pack
I worry about all of the homeless dogs that were once
PURCHASED from breeders. A high price to pay for a piece
of paper. I can’t help but believe if money
weren’t a part of this, there wouldn’t be much breeding. To take
a puppy away from it’s mother and put it in a cage in a Pet Store doesn’t
have anything to do with love. It is a sad sight. Purchasing a pup from a Pet
Store will only subject more pups to the same fate. Shelters now claim to have
40% specific breed dogs. A shelter dog is being euthanized an estimated every
6 seconds. If you want a certain breed LOOK, buy a photo. If you want a living,
breathing, best friend, get a dog from a Rescue Organization and learn about
it’s needs. You will receive much more than you give. We know, we have
Dan & Linda