Teaching a Border Collie Mix to Stay to Develop Self Control

By: David Codr

Published Date: May 17, 2018

In this Omaha dog training session we taught 3 year-old Border Collie mix Frank to stay to help him develop self control and respect for his humans as authority figures.

Frank barked quite a bit when I first arrived and was pretty anxious. I kept a close eye on him to observe his body language and avoid any movements that may result in a bite. This was a bit tricky to do as Frank was somewhat eye contact dominant.

I didnt get a chance to show the guardians how to do this exercise due to that eye issue, but when he is calm, id like his female guardian to practice this Focus exercise with him twice a day for the next week to help him see her and her eye contact as a positive.

When I discussed Frank’s aggressive behavior with his guardians, it quickly become clear that he was confused as to who was in charge in his home. While he listened to the larger husband, he showed little respect for the wife and had even nipped her a few times.

Because of the potential for a bite, we went a lot slower than I go on my other in home dog training sessions. As Omaha’s dog behavior expert, I am always stressing to clients that slow and steady progress is far better than pushing and rushing things.

I shared my petting with a purpose philosophy with the guardians and also stressed how important it is to reward Frank for desired behaviors through passive training.

I also made a few structural suggestions like asking the dog to sit before letting it outside, having the wife hand feed Frank for a week or two (after she eats something in front of him first) while touching him in specific places (working from his rear flank to his head), then handling his food prior to putting it in the bowl to add some of her scent to it.

To help the guardians interact with Frank in a positive constructive way, I showed them how to teach a dog to stay. Training a dog to stay is a great way to help the dog develop some self control, plus it can come in very handy.

Id like to see the guardians practicing this stay exercise with Frank a few times a day, in different parts of the house and following the progressively increasing levels of difficulty until he can stay for duration, distance and distractions.

Once that is the case, the guardians should put Frank into a stay before heading to get a drink of water, a bathroom break, etc. The idea is to have Frank practice staying, ie listening to them, for progressively longer and longer periods of time.

Because of how human aggressive Frank was showing the potential for, we will need to set up a follow up session in a month or so to build on the progress we made in this dog behavior training session.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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