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Discussion Starter #1
Hope nobody minds an off-breed question, but I could really use your collective wisdom here.


If breed matters, he looks mostly like a bc, and acts it, until he's presented with wildlife, then insert 'terrier' here.



My off-leash goal, me walking in the woods doing people things. Dog doing dog things, sniffing, running, chasing squirrels, staying within in sight, coming when called.



Problem. I've achieved 'coming when called', fabulously, amazingly, repeatedly, at 100 mph, every 30 seconds, I'm exhausted after 10 minutes of this. And that's what I mean by “crazy bungee dog”


For my other dogs, I've basically just used an ecollar to proof an already pretty good recall, and once that's done, I have a dog that runs about in the woods, chasing things within sight and doing other dog things, and I can recall them if I wish to. That means, occasional recalls, but mostly the dogs would just have dog fun, and I have people fun (hiking).




Sonic, on the other hand, runs 100 mph ahead on the trail, does rocket recalls and when released, rockets back out again. If I don't call him back, he will disappear, completely, for a long time (the experiment has been tried). He does occassionally do automatic check ins, but in Squirrel-topia my rewards don't mean much, sometimes nothing.



For now, I've been doing the recall thing until I think he's getting too ramped up (some of this behaviour, squirrel chasing, is verging on obsessive) and I leash him up so that I can relax.

Sorry about the book. Any ideas, with or without the ecollar to get him to tool about in the woods like a normal dog without me having to recall him a million times? (he will not play with a toy in this environment).




Or should I just be patient and thrilled that he has so much energy? I'm okay with that until x-country ski season. Then I can't so easilly leash up, or mind/watch him when I'm skiing.


He's 2 yrs old, a former free-range street dog pet.
 

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Two things here. First, he's primarily a Border Collie. Second, he's primarily a Border Collie. It sounds like he has you well trained on recalls. *G* He's learned he can come straight back to you and then run ahead again. Border Collies are known for being obsessive. You will hear OCD in connection with BCs often. Research Border Collie traits and behaviors, Border Collie OCD. If he were mine I'd have him in an obedience class. I'd give him a job. If he's that fast, maybe look into flyball with him, sounds like he'd be awesome. Or try agility. He needs to do something with boundaries so he learns some self control. Once he learns some self control it will help in other aspects of what you want from him.
 

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If I was convinced the area was safe and my dog will check in periodically and can trail me to my present position....I would put a GPS collar on him and let him run.I suspect the frequent recalls would amp him up more.
Whenever I take all of my dogs together for a hike I park in the same spot each time and if we get separated they always come back to the car.Sometimes they are waiting for me next to the car.Once I parked in a different area and as I watched from a distance they all gathered up and waited at the old spot:)
 

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Two things here. First, he's primarily a Border Collie. Second, he's primarily a Border Collie. It sounds like he has you well trained on recalls. *G* He's learned he can come straight back to you and then run ahead again. Border Collies are known for being obsessive. You will hear OCD in connection with BCs often. Research Border Collie traits and behaviors, Border Collie OCD. If he were mine I'd have him in an obedience class. I'd give him a job. If he's that fast, maybe look into flyball with him, sounds like he'd be awesome. Or try agility. He needs to do something with boundaries so he learns some self control. Once he learns some self control it will help in other aspects of what you want from him.
Ha ha, and yep.:smile2: this was my idea of 'downsizing' from a gsd--whoops!

And yes, I think you nailed it, he enjoys those recalls (regardless of the 'tool' I'm using), and I want him to.

I didn't want to right a novel, but, had him 9 months now, 1st 4 on lead, and dealing with re-homing issues and learning to learn (marker/clicker training),
he's becoming awesome, but location matters, so his awesome bc attention is happening at home, the front yard, starting to happen on leashed walks, and I just saw the barest smidgeon appearing on the trail last week.

I'm on wait list for agility, but (because of budget) will likely be teaching him 'active tricks/freestyle/parkour' moves. Just got him jumping both my arms in a circle, in the living room.

Reading between the lines, um, I think continue as is, and the focus will come with maturity? Or not. As in, he's having fun, I'm (mostly) having fun, so all good. He's already getting tons of clicker training daily for obedience and active tricks. I still am teaching him tug and frisbee, as he's not toy crazy (wish he was).

The OCD thing reminds to yes, leash him up when he gets too wired. Again, reading between the lines, those bungee recalls are ramping him up, and sometimes I need to stop feeding that.

How in heck does a street bred dog from Caribbean turn into all border collie in the first place? :wink2:Okay, but yeah, he seems to be.

Thanks! Honestly. I guess breed matters then, my gsd's did not do this crazy stuff. (they did other crazy stuff)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If I was convinced the area was safe and my dog will check in periodically and can trail me to my present position....I would put a GPS collar on him and let him run.I suspect the frequent recalls would amp him up more.
Whenever I take all of my dogs together for a hike I park in the same spot each time and if we get separated they always come back to the car.Sometimes they are waiting for me next to the car.Once I parked in a different area and as I watched from a distance they all gathered up and waited at the old spot:)
The frequent recalls ARE amping him up (a useful insight, thanks). I just expected the opposite (as in 'too many recalls' would lower drive and the dogs start sticking around)

We have coyotes, so I pretty much panic about him running out of sight. He will chase anything. He will get excited about coyote trails. Also the forest is frequented by other users, horses, cyclists, leashed dogs, etc...so I need to see him.

He DOES go back to the car if he runs off, but I and husband were a complete mess between his dissappearance and return.

Maybe we are helicopter dog-parents in this, but really want him in sight.

Between my two answers, I'm thinking this is less an ecollar question (the ecollar has solved recall proofing) and more a question on how I can keep my dog below a certain threshold when hiking in the woods.

So far I do try to reel him in (leash him up) and or/obedience train (mini training session) when I notice he's going from 'gee fun wow' running to looking frustrated (amped up)

Thanks, it REALLY helps to have others seeing this from the outside in.
 

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Have you tried teaching him a "Close" or "With Me" command?

The BC's we train with all have that command trained, so that the handler can walk across a field and the dog has to be physically and mentally *with* the handler, regardless of what else is going on in the larger area. The dog isn't in any sort of formal heel, but has to stay within 15' or so. The dog can be attentive to what's around, watch other animals, pause for a few moments while the handler keeps walking, but the dog is expected to stay within the "bubble". If the dog attempts to move too far away or starts sniffing and falls behind, the handler gives a verbal reminder command and/or a correction.

We're working on proofing this at the moment, I'm using "Close".

It might not initially give as much freedom as you'd like, but it would definitely help pace the dog for longer walks and avoid the high speed zooming back and forth. Just a thought!
 

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Have you tried teaching him a "Close" or "With Me" command?

The BC's we train with all have that command trained, so that the handler can walk across a field and the dog has to be physically and mentally *with* the handler, regardless of what else is going on in the larger area. The dog isn't in any sort of formal heel, but has to stay within 15' or so. The dog can be attentive to what's around, watch other animals, pause for a few moments while the handler keeps walking, but the dog is expected to stay within the "bubble". If the dog attempts to move too far away or starts sniffing and falls behind, the handler gives a verbal reminder command and/or a correction.

We're working on proofing this at the moment, I'm using "Close".

It might not initially give as much freedom as you'd like, but it would definitely help pace the dog for longer walks and avoid the high speed zooming back and forth. Just a thought!
Could I ask 'how' and could I do this with a greater range?

He was extremely frustrated when walked only on a long-line, as in, his 'issues' were getting worse and he didn't start acting like a normal dog until he was getting about 1/2 hr off-lead exercise per day (re, running like a crazy thing), so I don't want to slow him down too much until/unless I give him a replacement (if only I could convince him that frisbees are as much fun as squirrels).

I have tried using 'whoa' (with the long-line, I'd say whoa when he got close to the end of the line) and now off-lead with the e-collar, the pager, or nick (low level). In case it's relevant, I'm using the einstein mini-educator. His response to whoa is the same as recall, he comes all the way back.

I'm still afraid I'm between a rock and a hard place. He needs the running exercise/freedom, but I'm also using squirrels to exercise my dog which is not ideal, but the toy thing has not come through yet.

My husband says he acts more like a normal dog in a nearby field, so the bungee dog is happening in 'wilder' places where I/we go. He also acts sort of normal on a popular route where there are other dogs around (and likely less wildlife).

And again, thanks, and thanks hive-mind.
Long long ago I got some ace help with my probably working line awesome adopted gsd (Dynamo for those that might remember), and glad you don't mind me picking brains now that I've left the gsd-fold, so to speak.
 

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Could I ask 'how' and could I do this with a greater range?

He was extremely frustrated when walked only on a long-line, as in, his 'issues' were getting worse and he didn't start acting like a normal dog until he was getting about 1/2 hr off-lead exercise per day (re, running like a crazy thing), so I don't want to slow him down too much until/unless I give him a replacement (if only I could convince him that frisbees are as much fun as squirrels).

I have tried using 'whoa' (with the long-line, I'd say whoa when he got close to the end of the line) and now off-lead with the e-collar, the pager, or nick (low level). In case it's relevant, I'm using the einstein mini-educator. His response to whoa is the same as recall, he comes all the way back.

I'm still afraid I'm between a rock and a hard place. He needs the running exercise/freedom, but I'm also using squirrels to exercise my dog which is not ideal, but the toy thing has not come through yet.

My husband says he acts more like a normal dog in a nearby field, so the bungee dog is happening in 'wilder' places where I/we go. He also acts sort of normal on a popular route where there are other dogs around (and likely less wildlife).

And again, thanks, and thanks hive-mind.
Long long ago I got some ace help with my probably working line awesome adopted gsd (Dynamo for those that might remember), and glad you don't mind me picking brains now that I've left the gsd-fold, so to speak.
Hmm. I'm not sure how it would be best/most efficiently done for distances beyond 15-20' or so....

The BC's I've watched have been trained with a long line type method, usually a thick horse lead rope with a knot tied in the end (as an emergency brake). A few people I train with use e-collars, but the majority use a long line until the dog is solid off leash, and then most of them train naked. Theoretically, maybe using the vibrate function as a poke - "Hey, that's far enough, remember me?" - would accomplish that communication... Probably a good question for someone with lots of depth of experience in e-collar use.

The theory behind the "Close" command, as explained by my trainer (who is a devout, dyed in the wool BC person), is that the dog has to learn to mentally stay with you, even when their eyes and ears and nose are free to gather more information about the other animals in the area. They're free to move their position around the handler, but the dog gets a correction if it starts herding the handler (orbiting/zooming around in circles/frantic behavior/getting amped up).

Just my $0.02. I don't currently own a BC, but I see quite a few of them every week. :)
 

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Yeah,you certainly don't want him bursting out of the brush and spooking a horse or chasing coyotes.WIback has the best idea,but teaching it will definitely be a challenge.Your dog loves what he's doing now so much:)I'll bet he'd really love lure coursing too,if that was available in your area.
 

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He is being ramped up by the running. It's a game. A fun one. I would seriously start teaching him a leave it command. Make sure you are both following up with any command you give him, no slack at all. Do you have a yard? There are some great DIY websites that will show you inexpensive ways to make your own agility equipment and you tube videos to show how to start him. Border Collies need a job to do. Their mind never stops, always thinking. They'll look for something to do, some can be very destructive if not given a job. It sounds like you're keeping him intellectually stimulated, that's great! And important! As well as letting him get his energy out. They are very energetic dogs.


I taught a 'with me' command. It meant they had to stay where they could see a hand signal. That meant they had to be watching me. It started in the house, a game. Then the small yard, then the big back yard and then away from the house.


When herding, whistles are often used, especially if working the dog away from you. You might want to teach him whistle commands, they carry much further than a voice.


The command 'That'll do' is famous from the movie, Babe. It means that'll do, we're finished, leave what your doing, herding, and come on back. It's stuck with me and all my dogs learn a that'll do command. That'll do means stop playing over there and come back, leave the squirrel alone and come back, stop chasing whatever you're chasing and come back.


Look around for a herding instinct test and see if he can be tested.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I think I need to join a border collies anonymous group--the fact that I'm still here on the germanshepherds board just shows how much I'm still in denial...

but seriously, in this case, it's the only board I know of where mentioning ecollars will not derail a thread. And I very much appreciate that, especially here, because it's looking like the ecollar is only a very small piece of the puzzle, the bigger piece seems to be, I have a border collie, duh (I swore I would NEVER get a bc, but he's not really a ..., okay, never mind).

Yes, I have a very small front yard. I clip a long line on him there (traffic/dogs/cats up front) and work with him only when 100% engaged, and that is a good discipline for me (and him) as rely on engagement only, and it's working (if he's jonesing for squirrels, or distracted, I'll just keep him on a short leash (boring) until he looks to me (which happens) and then train (mostly just a tug-n-treat frisbee, but starting to add in obedience, or loose healing.

Indoors, the above (not much with the frisbee, obviously-tiny house) and pre-agility, like wobble board and contacts, and tricks.

I HAD diy agility equipment, and gave it away when Dynamo got old. :-( Thought I'd never do that again, and determined my next dog would be something smaller and more laid back,--smaller, check, laid back, whoopsie....

Not yet ready to off-leash him in my yard, (no margin of error there), but will bug the husband for a jump or two when I'm ready.
@Deb thanks, thinking about a hand signal. Something visual he has too look for.

I have till the snow flies. Will proceed with caution in terms of the e-collar, until I figure out what my criteria is, I really can't do more with it...but will keep leashing him up before he goes to crazy land, instead of after.

Right now, my mind is spinning with ideas as I read and absorb.
 

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I think I need to join a border collies anonymous group--the fact that I'm still here on the germanshepherds board just shows how much I'm still in denial...
Even if you do join The Other Board.... there's no need to leave this one! ;)

I frequently find myself on the other side of the fence... since I spend a ton of time around BC's, I end up picking, choosing, adapting methods for my GSDs. Both are incredible breeds, IMO.
 

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Island dog a couple things:

1. Read Lou Castle's website, particularly about crittering. May or may not be appropriate for this issue but reading can't hurt. It addresses game chasing specifically vs recall.

2. You can teach a dog not to exit a certain permiter with an e collar by doing longer distance walkaways. Where basically you walk until your dog is 30' ahead then turn and walk away. If the dog doesn't turn to follow you you can then use stim (I mostly use continuous vs nick, I like to be able to let off the button to mark the moment when the dog begins compliance. I start this as an introduction for dogs that really want to range out of sight. They wind up being free range velcro....they get that there is a basic distance around you they are allowed to range then thats it.

3. Another thing I do is use vibe as a moving boundary. I will vibe the dog and say "that's far enough". If they continue on past the vibe I will recall or walk away using stim if necessary. If they turn any other direction and continue moving I leave them alone...so it is kind of like shaping with an e collar. Using the vibe to play hot or cold and you let the dog know paat this point is a no fly zone. I would use that any time a dog is about to go out of my sight but with enough lag time that if I have to switch to a stim with command I can before I lose the dog.

I have even been able to let my shepherds out to potty with no leashes in parkinglots...I put them on a grass island and if they try to set foot on pavement I vibe and let them know that is a boundary.

When I do the free range velcro thing if it is a dog with a lot of motivation for going away from me (I.e. not a shepherd) a hunting type breed usually like a bird dog, I know that drive will always be there to lure them away. So set them on a certain distance and then let them earn a little more at a time as they prove trustworthy.
 

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@Thecowboysgirl thanks for those steps for specifically using the ecollar. I've read up on Lou's site, and start there, so did 'some' of that. The crittering, I'm not doing yet, because he critters EVERYTHING, and I'm not sure about wanting to stop him from chasing rodents (and he gets equally excited over a chipmunk vs whatever other AWESOME stuff is out there.

#2. & #3. sound very on target, because, while I'm teaching engagement, engagement, engagement, it's just not happening out in the woods (someday, I hope so, but not yet), so I'm leaning that way, very much. It's good to know a 'moving perimeter' can be established. I like.

And yes, as far as his behaviour off-lead in the woods, he's VERY MUCH acting like a hunting dog, runs, and keeps running, given the chance.

When we tried an experiment (stopped recalling), he kept coming back in wider and wider circles until he didn't. He was gone 40 minutes, before he returned to the car.

Thanks, boy, my mind is buzzing now...
 

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I hear ya on the chasing everything. I have had dogs like that. The crittering protocoll also involves at least one prey animal that you have control over which is easier said than done sometimes.

Is he new to being offleash in the areas this happens? Sometimes the novelty will wear off a little. When I have done what I described I did temporarily inhibit the dogs quite a bit from the amount/distance they wanted to run. When it works you get a dog who is a little more cautious about how far/fast it can go. So that has to be something that you are okay with. Most dogs like you describe are kind of a hazard to themselves and others the way they bolt offleash so it is worth it to cause that inhibition.

Sometimes your dog scares you enough you really want them good and inhibited but some people/some purposes for the dogs that inhibition isn't good.

I say temporarily because you can let them earn back more freedom but if they are motivated enough, and some dogs are, they will always be looking for that chance to give you the slip.
 

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@Thecowboysgirl thanks for those steps for specifically using the ecollar. I've read up on Lou's site, and start there, so did 'some' of that. The crittering, I'm not doing yet, because he critters EVERYTHING, and I'm not sure about wanting to stop him from chasing rodents (and he gets equally excited over a chipmunk vs whatever other AWESOME stuff is out there.

#2. & #3. sound very on target, because, while I'm teaching engagement, engagement, engagement, it's just not happening out in the woods (someday, I hope so, but not yet), so I'm leaning that way, very much. It's good to know a 'moving perimeter' can be established. I like.

And yes, as far as his behaviour off-lead in the woods, he's VERY MUCH acting like a hunting dog, runs, and keeps running, given the chance.

When we tried an experiment (stopped recalling), he kept coming back in wider and wider circles until he didn't. He was gone 40 minutes, before he returned to the car.

Thanks, boy, my mind is buzzing now...
So what you describe when you quit calling him and he ranges and ranges until he is gone. With the longer distance walk aways I won't usually say anything to the dog unless I really think they aren't getting it and it seems unfair. But I want them to think that losing sight of me is the problem, what I look for is the dog keeping an ear cocked toward me so to speak, I look for them mirroring my motions, if I drift one way they do to, and so on. You teach them that ranging too far isn't as fun anymore. But it is tied to the behavior, not a command, so they are more likely to self regulate

The long distance walk aways kind of have the same effect as changing direction a lot when training a dog to walk on the leash....when we go constantly in a straight line the dog wants to just surge up ahead and pull or run a half mile up the trail and then (maybe) double back. When you are unpredictable the dog is much more forced to pay closer attention to you, especially when you make getting left behind unpleasant (and I do this with the lowest level of stim the dog is not willing to stand there and just tolerate but I am not aiming for punishment, this is really negative reinforcement....I hold down continuous until the dog turns to follow me and then let it up)

These are the commands I use:

"NO" For e brake, emergency stop, don't take one more step

"Here" recall

"This way" if I am changing directions and want to cue them. I sometimes say this on a few walkaways to help the dog cheat until they get it

"That's far enough", soft boundary, go any direction but forward (this takes time to shape)

Of course you can call any of that anything you want, whatever comes natural to you, but those are basically the directional language I use with offleash e collared dogs
 

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@Cowboysgirl Thanks for the pure gold --the details addresses my concerns and reasons. Next time I go out (and for awhile) I'll be thinking about how to apply, making a plan before I apply.
In answer to your question, this seems to be happening in places less frequented by dogs and hikers--likelier juicier wildlife than "just squirrels". I go to about 5 different places in a week. I live on a suburban lot, but very near fabulous forest trails, a pure luxury of choice.
The bungee dog thing could also be some trigger stacking--it starts out fun, but then he gets more ramped up, frustration builds, because the chase sequence is getting interrupted. So limiting his range might help with that, while continuous recalls feeds it (inadvertant drive-building squirrel chasing)--just a thought.
Much to think about and plan.

And everybody, you are all awesome!
 

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Bwa ha ha, what a blast from the past... such fun to read my own post. Nothing has changed, except I've grown to love this incredible bungee dog, realized that he loves to run, I love seeing him run. So, I still do the multiple recalls if both of us are having fun. If either of us is getting frustrated, he's either leashed up for a full brain break or he must do a "with me" (invisible leash) and we try again. Yes, bolt, recall, bolt was ramping him up, but now mostly it's a fun free activity we do.
I gotz video! Sonic being a fab bungee dog
And, yes, I do yard agility, diy canine freestyle, and made a free meet-up group to practice obedience with dog friends. Also did some agility classes, and other, will do more agility class likely during mud season.
 

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Bwa ha ha, what a blast from the past... such fun to read my own post. Nothing has changed, except I've grown to love this incredible bungee dog, realized that he loves to run, I love seeing him run. So, I still do the multiple recalls if both of us are having fun. If either of us is getting frustrated, he's either leashed up for a full brain break or he must do a "with me" (invisible leash) and we try again. Yes, bolt, recall, bolt was ramping him up, but now mostly it's a fun free activity we do.
I gotz video! Sonic being a fab bungee dog
And, yes, I do yard agility, diy canine freestyle, and made a free meet-up group to practice obedience with dog friends. Also did some agility classes, and other, will do more agility class likely during mud season.
 
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