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FARMCOLLIE  July 1997

FARMCOLLIE July 1997

Subject:

Boundary Training

From:

Steve Niedrauer <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Farm Collie Breed Conservancy and Restoration <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 10 Jul 1997 13:35:06 UT

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (44 lines)

<<Teaching the perimeter is not that hard. It is the distractions on the
other side of the perimeter that would concern me. >>

Planned distractions (as tempting as you can make them) are part of the
training process in the book I mentioned before (The Koehler Method of Dog
Training).  The idea is to give them so much practice saying "no" to
temptation that it becomes automatic.  Some dogs learn it with only a few
staged sessions, others take more.  But it does work.  This method begins with
long lines, graduating to throw chains (these are more of a psychological
correction than a physical one--they don't hurt the dog).

<<I'm assuming you mean herding or livestock work by "duties".  No dog
should be off leash in an unfenced area - public or private - until it
has a fool proof recall.  My own herding dogs are never participating in
any kind of "duties" unless I'm right there to control the situation.
Although our farm is fenced, cross fenced and there are even gates on
the driveway my dogs are NEVER out of the house unless I am.  >>

I suppose I would disagree with this under certain circumstances.  A working
dog's duties can include far more than herding.  Our dogs' duties include
guarding and hunting down "varmints" (animals which are harmful or
undesireable on the farm) as well as helping to care for the livestock.  If
they are cooped up in the house, they are not only miserable, but they can't
do their job.  Hawks could carry off a whole flock of chickens while the dogs
snooze in the house.  Nighttime is the worst time for predators, and foxes as
well as stray dogs would have free access to whatever they can catch if our
dogs were not on duty.  I would agree that there needs to be training on
recall, and unquestioning obedience in some kind of "cease and desist" command
(whether it is a "down", "no" or "stay").  There also needs to be training in
boundaries, but proximity to a road should not stop the free range of a
working dog if there is a need for it.  It just means that boundary training
needs to be that much more intense and forceful.  I have seen ranging dogs
used at places which bordered extremely busy roads, but properly trained dogs
were never seen near the road.  I think maybe the key is the "properly
trained" part.  I know of lots of people who assume that their dogs would
never go in the road, but don't bother to make sure.

I know that most dog people would disagree with me on this point, but it does
seem a shame to limit a working dog's usefulness if there is a way to train
for safety.

Sandra
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