I had a collie once, that I have spoken of before that taught me a lot about
motivation. His name was Mango and if he was not purebred, it was hard to
tell what the other part was. Anyway, if you wanted obedience work you
kept the game happy and you jacked your own energy level up and gave the dog
lots of praise.
Now I have heard that a lazy person ought to get a lazy dog. However, if
you want to do something with a collie besides teach him to lay on the porch
you have to get out of the lounge chair yourself and work your hiney off to
keep him interrested!
The reward was well worth the performance the the dog might give you in the
Here is an example of a cute little routine my dog gave me that caused my
synical brother to drop his jaw at, one time. He had his tax papers
scattered all over the liveing room floor of my mother's house and someone
let Mango in from outside and he went tearing into the liveing room with his
wet feet in a direct intersecting path of the documents on the floor. There
was a couch behind the papers that was freestanding with out a wall behind
it. My brother and I both looked up at the same time and I said in a happy
tone, before my brother could let loose some curse," Mango, Over!"
Mango cleared the papers as well as the couch as easily as if it was a foot
high stool. He sailed as if with wings over a half of a liveing room full
of scattered papers and over the couch as well. He landed at my feet as
light as a feather and came to an instant sit looking up at me as though he
was then expecting some new command. Jerry just said," I don't know how
you taught that animal that, but I think God just saved all our butts."
I think when the dog came in the house he was so elevated in spirit after a
good run with the other dogs and he was extremly excited to be allowed in
the house that he just came bounding in. I had previously before taught him
to jump over a similar couch and when he came in with such momentom at the
command " over", he departed the floor instantly instead of waiting till he
got closer to the couch. There is aslo something uncanny in the judgement
of a pet sometimes that can not be explained. The papers had never been
there on the floor before. Perhaps he thought that they were an added
object, something new, or some added game by me. He gleefully met the
challange and jumped them too. Ofcoarse, I never told my brother that it
was simple luck. Everybody reading this will know that I could never get a
repeat performance of the same act. If you can get one glorious,
spontaneous act out of a collie go with it and thank your stars. No drills
allowed. I just told Mango,"Good dog!" Now lets go outside (the other door)
and play a fun little game. I took him outside immediately, leaveing my
brother to ponder.
Anybody got a theory? How did the dog know to make the lift-off 6 feet in
front of the couch instead of another stride in, and at the base of the
couch which would have had him right in the middle of the papers.
----- Original Message -----
From: Laura Sanborn <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2002 11:47 AM
Subject: Re: Ivy update:
> Hazelanne Wessel wrote:
> > The results I got from a trainer here in
> > town who has worked with many breeds, but not many RCs was not a good.
> > King simply went through the motions in a lack luster disinterested way.
> > The schutzhund trainer who helped turn his attitude around to a tail
> > wagging dog who WANTED to please me said all that sharp chain jerking
> > harsh attitude was bringing him down and depressing him.
> > Britt (my Schutzhund trainer) said that Dobermans don't respond well to
> > force and harsh treatment or nagging either. They tend to bite the idiot
> > that treats them harshly. And they ignore nagging and boring training
> > My best advice to you Lynn, is to use positive reinforcement, treats
> > praise for new learning.
> Hazelanne, It's interesting what you said about your Schutzhund trainer
> knowing more about how to motivate your Rough Collie than did a
> dog trainer who has worked with many different breeds. Certainly there
> not very many RC's in Schutzhund. I suspect the main reason for this is
> that Schutzhund is about testing a dog's working abilities, and to do
> the dog must be in DRIVE. The name of the game is not just obedience but
> rather obedience with willing attitude. Dogs who are nagged and bored
> have a willing attitude.
> Really good Schutzhund trainers adjust their training methods to tap into
> the variations in how different dogs respond. The Schutzhund trainer who
> we've worked with the most (who unfortunately moved to Florida a few
> ago) does just that, and he uses only "no force" positive motivational
> techniques and negative reinforcement (no reward if the dog does it wrong)
> to teach dogs new behaviors. He (Ivan Balabanov) has competed at the
> highest national and international levels of Schutzhund with this training
> philosophy. The first dog he owned, trained, and put a Schutzhund title
> was a Collie! Maybe having a Collie taught him right from the start how
> motivate dogs through methods other than force.