Positive Based Training

Tips & Tricks

Border Collie Save & Rescue endorses Positive based training based upon the latest Operant Conditioning training methods and techniques.

Common bborder collie behavioral issues and some tips and tricks to you can use to help.

Digging behavior is one of the more common problems people have with their dog.  

The first thing is to determine why your dog is digging.  The two most common reasons are:

  1. To get to something on the other side.
  2. Boredom and it is fun.

The 1st issue usually required removing or hiding whatever they are trying to get to.  Things likes other dogs or animals, pedestrian traffic may need to be “hidden” from the dogs view or blocked with a physical deterrent, such as chicken wire and concrete fence border.

The 2nd reason is more instinctual.  Rule of thumb is to always try to avoid fighting an instinct…it is hard to do and rife with failure.

Suggestion (will work for 2nd reason and may help with 1st):  Work WITH the dog and train them to dig where YOU want. 

Setup a sandbox or raised garden kit somewhere in your yard.  Fill it with a sandy soil.  It should be loose enough so that it doesn’t pack and you easily dig a hole in it, but solid enough the hole doesn’t fill on it’s own.  Then, bury things for the dog in the sandbox like bones, treat balls, biscuits, etc.  Whenever the dog digs in the sandbox, praise them.

This is triply rewarding…

  • Easy to dig = Big Fun
  • Finding treasure = Big Fun
  • Praise from you = Big Fun

Wheh your dog digs elsewhere in the yard, simply call them over to the sandbox and get them to dig in that location.  When they do, praise.

This technique can also be used to help with separation anxiety.  Before you leave, bury something for the dog to find which will keep them occupied for awhile (treat balls filled with part of their daily meal work great for this) .  At first, hang around while they complete the task, then start leaving earlier and earlier.

Make it a game the two of you play and keep it fun!

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