HOW TO TRAIN A BORDER COLLIE
Training is an important stage in the life of a dog or puppy, but also that of its owner. It's best to start training your Border Collie as early as possible, but not just any old how! Dog training requires some prior knowledge and understanding to make sure you do it correctly and don't traumatise your pooch.
Are Border Collies Easy to Train?
Border Collies are generally known for being easy to train due to their high level of intelligence. However, it would be wrong to believe that this means it will automatically be quick and straightforward. It is precisely because of their intelligence that Border Collies sometimes pose difficulties for their new owners. You should begin training your Border Collie the first day you welcome your new puppy home. In this way, you help your pooch to settle into their new home, while gradually learning the rules and how to behave with their peers, other animals, and other people. An uneducated dog can even turn out to be a danger to themselves, as they won't understand basic safety rules. Likewise, a poorly trained animal can also be a danger to others. This is why it's so important to begin training your dog early before any problematic situation occurs.
While it's easy enough to control a puppy, Border Collies soon grow and, in adulthood, they measure around 50cm at the withers. Despite their elegant silhouette, these are strong, muscular dogs. This makes them much more difficult to restrain. In addition to training, it's also crucial to socialise your dog from a young age. Ideally, between the ages of 3 and 12 weeks old. If you adopt a puppy from a breed, you are usually allowed to bring them home at 8 weeks old, so you'll only have a month to provide them with as many positive experiences as possible. The Border Collie is a sensitive dog breed, so training your puppy must always be done gently; any sort of violence could traumatise them permanently.
Border Collie Training Tips
To successfully train your Border Collie, it's important to have a strong relationship with your dog. Don't only pay attention to them during training sessions. It’s vital that you also spend quality time with your pooch outside of training, particularly in terms of games or tender moments together, to create a real bond between you. Three main principles apply for training any dog, regardless of the breed: patience, coherence, and consistency! You can continue training your Border Collie throughout their life; they're capable of learning new tricks at any age. A puppy is more receptive than an adult dog, but the latter is still perfectly capable of assimilating new learnings.
Patience is one of the keys to successful dog training. You can't expect your Border Collie to remember everything you expect from them with a snap of your fingers. As smart as they may be, your dog will need to repeat the exercises over time in order to master them. Be kind, and be prepared to start over as often as necessary.
Coherence is another of the main pillars of Border Collie training. Boundaries need to be in place right from the start: it is easier to grant permission later than to withdraw permission granted too early. Set limits and make it clear to your puppy that you are in charge. Keep your commands short and easy to remember, and stick to them along the way. Modulate the tone of your voice to better convey what you expect from your Border Collie.
Finally, be consistent with yourself and your furry friend. Training your Border Collie is a long process. Repeat a training exercise every day until it's been incorporated into your dog's learnings, then move on to the next one. Focus on one thing at a time to avoid overloading your pooch with information.
What is the Best Way to Train a Border Collie?
Make use of the strengths of your Border Collie’s character, but also be aware of their weaknesses. While the Border Collie is indeed a very intelligent dog, this intelligence comes with a sense of initiative that can play tricks on you. Your four-legged friend is quite capable of ignoring your commands if they think they know better.
Border Collies are also tireless, hard workers, but this tendency towards physical exertion can sometimes lead to "obsessive" behaviour. For example, like all good sheepdogs, they invariably want to herd their “flock” or run from side to side. Border Collie training must take into account the specificities of the breed. Be careful not to apply general dog training advice you've heard from a friend, for example, as it won't necessarily apply to your Border Collie.
Take advantage of playtime to train your dog without them noticing it's a training session. Border Collies love to exercise, and will never say no to a walk. Take advantage of these moments to teach your four-legged friend to walk on a lead without pulling and to come back to you as soon as you call. An adult Border Collie needs at least an hour and a half of walking each day. Set aside 15 minutes for training. A Border Collie puppy will not need walking for anywhere near as long. Take them out for a maximum of twenty minutes, with time for them to do their business. Be sure to potty train your pup and praise them when they go outside.
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