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My dog is disobedient during his puberty.

I have a small problem, my dog has reached puberty. He knows his commands very well, when I train him at home everything is just fine, but when I go outside, he is more focussed on our other Border. When he is of-leash, he does not want to obey at all (even when I am alone with him), he continuously jumps into ditches, and when you give him the "here" command, it rather is an invitation to run away. I often have to catch him to get him back home. What can I do about this?

Welcome to the world of puberty! You have noticed that your dog is very much trying you out. And since he will always defeat you in terms of speed and manoeuvrability, you will have to use other means.

Because of his adolescent behaviour, he is currently not impressed by an angry voice or attitude. An important rule is not to try to catch him if you know on forehand that you won't be able to. It will enforce his feeling that the attempt to undermine your authority has succeeded. It is much better to get him to come to you through positive means. In the beginning, use a secluded area (garden, fenced area) to get him used to the fact that when you cheerfully call him, something really nice will happen. Determine his ultimate joy (food, playing a game, etc.) and use that as a reward (despite the fact that he already knows the command). When he runs away outside again, you can use the same treat. Another thing that often works with certain dogs is running fast into the opposite direction. His urge to be part of the pack often wins from the joy of the distraction. Make sure he notices that you disappear, so he won't be surprised. Make sure your other border runs with you. In this way, he will see two loved ones disappear.

You can also use your other Border Collie. You write he is very much focussed on your other BC. Call this one (and him), and reward both for obeying. When he does not obey, disappear again. Jealousy for the treat of the other (the treat Mr. Obstinate loves), is most of the time sufficient motivation to come.

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This page last modified: Friday, 01-Aug-2008 17:07:14 CEST
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