Border Collie Information: How to Train

Herding cats isn’t easy! If you don’t believe me, you can ask my border collie, Jake. We live on a ranch, so Jake is a working dog. He has a JOB. When the cows need to be herded from point A to point B, it is Jake’s job to get them there. Jake loves his job, and he is really good at it. He wouldn’t dream of playing with the cows — that is his work — but Jake is a border collie, and border collies are born with a natural herding instinct. So, Jake herds the cats (or tries to) just for fun. He hasn’t had a lot of luck with that yet, but he will never give up.

The Challenge of Training a Border Collie

How To Train a Border Collie

Border Collie Training

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Training a border collie, regardless of the popular opinion, isn’t easy. It isn’t difficult to train a border collie because they are dumb. Border collies are anything BUT dumb! No, the problems that arise when training a border collie are because they are just TOO smart. A border collie WANTS to obey his master. He wants to do exactly what his master wants him to do. But there are problems training border collies because the trainer can send mixed signals without even realizing it.

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For example: You can teach a border collie to sit on command in only two or three tries. But then the next time you give him the command to “sit,” he will look at you for further instruction. Why? Because you raised your arm in a different way or used a different tone of voice when you gave the command, so he thinks this is a different command. He needs to figure out what you want him to do. Consistency is the key to training a border collie. You must use the same commands (both voice and hand signals) in exactly and precisely the very same way every single time.

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Facts About Training Collie Dogs

Probably the most famous collie in history is Lassie. I doubt seriously that there is anybody who hasn’t heard of Lassie. In the Lassie Come Home movie and in the TV series, Lassie was so smart that she appeared to be a thinking and reasoning human in a dog suit. Everybody who has ever seen the movie or a series episode probably wishes that they could have a dog just like Lassie. Lassie must have saved Tommy’s life a hundred times!

How To Train a Collie Dog

Training a Collie Dog

Training a Collie Dog

Like every other collie ever born, however, Lassie was born into this world without any skills at all. She wasn’t housebroken, and she had no idea what obedience was.  Certainly didn’t know any tricks, who Tommy was, or how to save him on camera. She was trained! Everything that you see Lassie do on the screen, she is doing because she is being TOLD what to do. She does it because she has been trained.

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Collies really are a smart breed of dogs. Because they are so smart, collies are easily trained. The training that you choose to give your collie puppy will be the determining factor of just how well behaved and how many commands that your collie understands. You can have a wonderful and loving pet that is well trained without spending 24 hours a day for two years on training. You can even have a dog like Lassie — IF you have the time, patience, and techniques to train your collie.

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Most collie owners are perfectly happy to have a dog that just knows basic obedience, but other collie owners are drawn to the show ring, agility, rally, obedience, therapy work in hospitals, and more! What your collie can do is limited only by the time, patience, and training that you provide!

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The AKC version of a collie is not the same as the collie that you know as Lassie.  Dogs that play Lassie are bred to be bigger than the AKC standard. The AKC Collie breed is smaller and lighter by 10 to 15 pounds, and the standard for markings is different as well.

Collie Dog Breed Temperament and Personality



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