Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Training

 

Housebreaking

The first thing you will need for your new puppy/dog is a crate. This will help in training for bathroom
habits as well as reducing chewing incidents and keeping the puppy safe when there is a risk of him
getting harmed (escaping outside. Getting under your feet while cooking, etc.). You want one that is large
enough for the dog to turn around and stand up, but not much bigger. There are crates that are
adjustable, you get the size you need for when the dog is an adult, then put in the divider to make it
small enough for the puppy, expanding the space as he grows. This is where the dog should spend it's
first night home and every night there after until reliably trained. Even after the dog is trained, it still appreciates having free access to it's crate, so it has a den of it's own to go when it wants to get away
or just sleep.The dog should spend anytime that it is not supervised in the crate.
Please do not leave it crated for long periods of time, a collie is a sociable dog and would rather be
by your side when you are awake. When the dog is out of it's crate keep an eye on it at all times.
This is very important to house training. If you see the dog "about to go", clap your hands, say no,
shake a can of pennies, etc. to get it to stop. Then immediately take it to a designated spot in the yard (this should be the same spot every time) and tell it to "go potty" or any other phrase you would like to
associate with the deed. Walk the dog in small circles in the area, till it goes. Then praise immediately
and profusely...."good boy, potty!". Yes, you may say it quietly so the neighbor's don't think you have
totally lost your senses. If the dog urinates, but won't defecate while outside, you can insert the
cardboard end of a paper match half way into the rectum (not the sulphur end). This will cause the
dog to try to push it out and in doing so will also go. When he does, praise him. Eventually your dog
will learn to go on command. This is nice when it is bad weather or you are in a rush to get to work.
If you have taken your eyes off the dog while inside and a mistake does occur, it does no good to
punish him, as he will have no idea what he is in trouble for. Messes should be cleaned up thoroughly
with a product designed to take out odor as well as stains. Nilodor is a good one. But if you catch
him in the act, then by all means scold him firmly and get him outside where you can then praise him
when he finishes it there.
The best thing to do is to set up a schedule so the dog can learn to save up for his spot outside. A puppy
should go out immediately upon waking, after eating, after playing, and before bed. A young puppy cannot
be expected to wait more than 6 hours at night or more than 4 hours in the day time. An adult dog usually
can wait 8 or more hours between times, but it is best that he have the opportunity at a minimum of 4
times a day.



Basic Obedience

Every dog should learn basic manners. It makes them welcome in more places, and you are more likely
to want to take a well trained dog with you and spend more time with him than one that constantly gets into
trouble. Collies are easily trained as they desperately want to please their masters. It is best to start when
your dog is a puppy, but even as an adult, they will still learn quickly. There are a few important things to
remember in training:
1. Use the same command EVERY time.
If you tell Rover "down" one time and "lay" the next, he will not understand.
2. Do not give a command without following through. If you say sit and Rover doesn't move, do not give up
and forget it. Instead, place him in position.
3. Do not repeat a command more than once, unless you are repeating it as you are placing the dog in
position. If you say it more than once, the dog learns that he does not have to do it the first time, he can
wait till the 2nd or 3rd.
4. Always end a training session on a positive note. If you are teaching down, and Rover is not getting into
position unassisted, and you are getting frustrated, back up and tell Rover to do something he knows, like
sit.
5. Keep training sessions short. 5 mins. for a puppy and no more than 15 mins. for a dog.
6. Praise and smile. If you keep it fun your dog will enjoy learning and will work harder.


Sit:
In a room free from distractions, get your dog in a standing position. Stand in front of him and tell him to
sit while raising your left hand and pointing towards his rear. If he backs up instead of sitting, then try putting
his rear end near a wall. If he still doesn't sit then put him into position by putting pressure behind his knee
with your right hand while pointing at his rear with your left and say s-i-t. It may help if you have a treat in
you left hand. You will want to gradually reduce the treats, till they are unnecessary. As soon as he sits,
praise him and give the treat. When he can sit without assistance, then ask him to sit with in 3 seconds. If he
does not respond within 3 seconds, put him in position. Do not treat unless it is a quick sit now. Gradually
add distractions during lessons. You can teach this exercise rather quickly if you ask him to sit for dinner,
petting, and outside. This provides mini lessons with a reward. Eventually, you will be able to drop the voice
command and he will sit when you point at his rear.


Down:
This can be difficult to teach any dog, as it is a position of submission. It is also the most important
command. This command could save your dogs life. Imagine your dog is headed towards you and a car is
coming between you. He cannot hear you because of the noise, but you give the signal. Being able to drop
instantly, your dog just avoided injury or worse. Start with the dog in a sitting position on your left. With
the food in your left hand point to the floor in front of the dog, bringing your hand to the floor command
"d-o-w-n". You may have to leave your hand on the floor for a few minutes, but the dog should follow the
food and lie down. Give him the food as soon as he is all the way down. If he does not lie down, then
position him by pulling his front legs forward with your right hand. If he still resists, then take his lead and
place it under your left foot and pull up on the end, while pushing his shoulders down. Don't forget to praise
and treat as soon as he is completely down. After he drops quickly on command, start backing away a little
and giving the command and the signal. Gradually increasing the distance. If he does not drop immediately,
do not give the command again. Go to him and place him in position, then do a couple more closer. This
one takes time, as your collie wants to be near your side. Some dogs will walk to you and then lie down.
If he tries this, say "ahhh!", put him back in the exact spot he was, then put him in position. He will soon
get the idea.


Stay:
To teach this, put him in either the "sit or "down" position, with his lead on. Give the command "stay" while
swinging your left palm from the left side of your body in front of the dogs nose without touching it, and
back a few steps away, keeping an eye on him all the time. Should he start to move say "ahhh!" If this
works, praise quietly. If not, position him at the exact spot he was without giving another command and
praise when he stays. If the verbal correction is not enough, try using to leash to keep him from going too
far. When your dog is on a steady stay for several minutes, gradually increase the time and then the distance.
For dogs that continue to move after repeated gentle assistance, a mild physical correction is warranted.
After your dog is steady at 30 ft, start adding distractions. Use your imagination. When you start this stay
close to the dog so you can prevent moving. This is very difficult for the dog, so be patient with each new
distraction and give extra rewards for doing well.


Come or the recall:
Always make it enjoyable for your dog to come to you. Never call your dog to you to punish or scold it.
First use this command when the dog is already coming towards you. Kneel down, clap, call the dogs
name, command come, and praise. Have a treat ready for him to make the experience even better, Soon
your dog will be looking forward to coming upon command. As he gets older, you will need to put him on
lead and practice so that he comes EVERY TIME. Practice no more than 5 recalls in a session. If you call
him and he does not come, reel him in by repeatedly jerking on the lead while taking up the slack. Do not
go to him. After he is coming reliably, increase distance. Use a light check cord as long as you can find.
Don't make him aware he is wearing it. Let him get interested in something then command him to come. He
will probably ignore you. That is when you reel him in. When he is reliable at a distance, start adding
distractions while still on lead, Be consistent and firm, only give the command once. Correct him gently the
first time, but if he starts acting as if he has a choice in the matter, apply firm correction immediately, like a
quick firm pop of the lead or check cord. After the swift correction, go back to your merry way as if
nothing happened. If done properly the dog learns this is what happens when you do this...simple cause and
effect and will not take it personally. The dog must learn that coming on command is not an option. After he
is reliable with distractions and distance, try off lead. Start in the house, then an enclosed area. Make sure he
is reliable before trying him in an open area. If he does not come, turn your back to him and head in the
other direction, at this point your concern is to get control of your dog. Call his name and clap, fall and
pretend you are hurt, anything to get him to come to you make yourself the most appealing thing there is to
play with. If you run towards him, he will see it as a chasing game. If he still doesn't come, then try running
at an angle to him, inviting him to chase you. When he comes in for the chase grab his leash. Then take him
back to the spot he was at when you gave the command and walk backwards while jerking him to you till
you get to the spot you were standing in when you gave the command. Then praise and treat. Remember,
never let him think he can get away with it even once.

I hope this has helped. If you have any questions about these or other training issues, e-mail me and I will try
to help or refer you to some excellent sources of information.

 

  Home

Grooming  Puppies

 

Copyright © 2001-2003 Willowynd Collies, all rights reserved. Other existing copyrights of material on this page also reserved