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.
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
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
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.
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
with your right hand while pointing at his rear
with your left and say s-i-t. It may help if you have a
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
command and he will sit when you point at his rear.
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
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
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.
To teach this, put him in either the "sit or "down"
position, with his lead on. Give the command "stay"
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!"
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,
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
is reliable with distractions and distance, try off
lead. Start in the house, then an enclosed area. Make sure
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
I hope this has helped. If you have any questions
about these or other training issues, e-mail me and I will
to help or refer you to some excellent sources of
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