How to Train a Border Collie

How to Train a Border Collie
Developed in the Anglo-Scottish border, collies were trained to herd the livestock. Among the many collies, this particular breed is known for its excellent companionship and as a good herding dog. If you are the proud master of a dog of this breed, learn to train it and experience the bond of love and affection with your dog.
Border collies descent from the Landrance Collies, and are mainly trained to guard the cattle.This British born sheepdog, falls under the herding dog breed, which was mainly trained to guard the cattle. Due to its unique and astounding herding qualities, the dog is a favorite among many farmers. Sheep, goats, cows and other cattle were a source of good wealth to farmers. Therefore, these dogs were bred and trained in a manner, to guard the cattle and keep them away from any danger. This working class dog, can perform different tasks and uses its own peculiar techniques to keep the flock of sheep together.

Characteristics

Border collies have developed themselves to be an independent and a very smart breed. Playing the role of a guard comes with many responsibilities. Their genetic build make them excellent working dogs. These sheepdogs can adapt their working techniques as per the requirement of the shepherd or the farmer. Mainly trained for the hill conditions, they blend well with the sheep and uses unique methods to keep the flock together. This ability of keeping the flock close to each other, saves the sheep from getting isolated. This natural trait of the dog is very helpful to the shepherds and makes work more easy for them. As the flock of sheep is taken for grazing into hills, the dog has to be extremely alert and attentive to quickly react to any danger. Sharp vision boosts the dog's concentration level and helps to keenly observe each sheep. This workaholic dog is trained to imitate a predatory pose to drive the sheep back to its flock and prevent them from getting too far away. This breed had to work away from their masters and had to cover long distance to keep the sheep away from the danger. With such a work environment, these dogs developed themselves to be more independent and intelligently live up to their work expectations.

They are medium-sized dogs and grow up to 21 inches. Their coat comes in different color combination and shed less hair. Mainly black, white, brown and black are the common color combination of the coat. The eye color of this shepherd dog will vary from shades of brown to blue. Though these dogs are trained for farm purposes, they also prove suitable pets for performing household chores. However, being an extremely hardworking dog, it requires sufficient physical exercise which helps them remain mentally occupied. Out of boredom these dogs have the tendency to dig holes in the ground and even develop mental instability.

House Training

They can be trained to perform household activities as well as for field work. Every little pup, needs to be disciplined through efficiently well planned training sessions. Discipline brings obedience and even strengthens the bond between the dog and its master. So, let's not wait any longer and study the different techniques.

Teaching the Basics
When a pup has been introduced to its new home, it needs to get well acquainted with the new family as well the environment in which it's going to dwell. To avoid getting your house into a complete mess, pick up small commands like Go Potty, Stay, Sit and No to induce some discipline in the little one. However, the master has to be patient, as being a pup, it's going to take a few days to adapt itself to its new home. Frequently using these commands, will make your pup aware of what its master wants from him. Therefore, gradually the pup will begin to obey as well as start developing a bond with its master. Keep in mind to praise the pup whenever it obeys the commands. This will assure the pup that he is behaving the way his master wants him to behave.

Sometimes take your dog out for a walk or play with him as this will be a good way to keep the dog physically active. Once the dog gets acquainted with its environment, take him out to train him for doing the field work.

Socializing
Acquaint your pup with different environment as it would help in improving its concentration. Visiting different surroundings can help the pup become aware of the noises and might try to ignore them during the hardcore field training sessions. As the pup tries to follow you, keep taking its name so that it doesn't lose track and feels safe. Do not forget to praise, every time the pup picks up your trail and comes to you.

Leading
Once the pup becomes older, use a leash, whenever you take him out for a walk. As the dogs are let outside the house premises, they tend to lead the way and are curious to explore more. Tying a leash can prevent your dog from taking flight and stay closer to you. The ideal way to walk your dog, is to make him walk at your pace and beside you. If the dog begins to lead, slightly jerk the leash to create pressure on the dog's neck. Automatically the dog will try to match your pace. As it does so, release the tension on the leash. Repeat this method whenever the dog tries to lead. Gradually the dog will learn to walk closer to its master.

Teach to be Attentive
To save yourself from the embarrassment, teach your dog to be attentive. At times a dog's attention gets diverted and tend to ignore its masters commands. Hence, call out its name and when it obeys, pet and praise your dog.

Advanced Training

Herding
Herding is a natural instinct for these dogs. An appropriate time to train for herding would be when it is a year old. However, it is not necessary that the dog will be mentally fit to take the entire responsibility to protect the herd. Though, it's a natural instinct, the owner of the dog has to be patient till the dog masters its skill of herding. Here are a certain terms that could be helpful for teaching the dog how to herd.
  • Flank: This term is used to make the dog get up and gather the sheep.
  • Outrun: Its command for the dog to stand on the other side of the sheep without creating any sort of interference in them.
  • Fetch: In case the sheep has lost its way and the master commands to fetch, the dog will immediately bring the sheep to the master.
  • Go: On this command the dog begins to move in a clockwise direction circling the flock of sheep.
Teaching Tricks
Tricks are fun and enjoyable. Teach a few tricks to your pup to make the training session more entertaining.
  • Roll Over: Make your dog lie on a soft surface. Once the dog is settled, kneel beside him with one hand placed near its front leg. As you command the dog to roll over, give a slight push from the side and make your dog roll. Keep repeating the commands and treat the dog after it attempts to obey your command.
  • Kissing trick: It's a very simple and enjoyable trick to teach your dog. Sit beside your dog keeping plenty of his favorite treats with you. Bring your cheek closer to the dog and command him to "Kiss". Point a figure to your cheek and command so that the dog understands it better. Every time the dog makes an attempt to obey, treat, pet and praise him.
  • Hand Shake: Make your dog sit facing you. While giving the command to shake hands, gently push the front leg and offer your hand. Keep repeating the command and always offer your hand, so that the dog understands and gradually begins to shake hands.
They are an intelligent dog breed and require a lot of care and attention too. A happy and healthy environment can help your dog live up to even 17 years. Therefore, if you are about to bring or are thinking of bringing a collie pup home, learn to train it, to enjoy the company of the most loyal dog around.