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Discussion Starter #1
You've got a dog that tries to herd and nip children. If on leash, will lunge and bark at them. Offleash will nip at their legs and hands. Dog was a rescue and in the shelter it was shyer and submissive.

(Management already taking place - dog is no longer ever allowed offleash with children present.)

What or how do you go about correcting this behavior?
 

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it really depends on the age of the dog. but hey you could try and get a herding title on him. maybe use the childeren as the "livestock"? lol j/p.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The dog is a non-GSD. They do not want herding titles, and there are no herding events in the area without driving a good distance that I know of. Nor would she appreciate advice of teaching it to herd children. :p :p
 

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LOL her loss. but depending on the age of the dog it would need some type of correction be it leash or something else. Age plays a important factor.
 

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What is the breed?

Have they started obedience classes with a positive type trainer?

Good that they are doing management by removing the temptation until the dog knows what they are doing/should not be doing!!!!

Also I am not sure how to train the kids-I am sure that parents may have some little tips to make them less appealing.

The dog may be stressed by kids and not a good match for kids-that is something they are going to have to explore. I think it takes a special, stable dog to truly enjoy being around children.

I would do Nothing in Life is Free (NILIF) with the dog to try to help it.

I would check out the Yahoo Shyk-9 group.

What I would do, in addition to classes is work on a fun and ironclad leave it command. That usually happens into the classes a little more, after some of the basics.

When I teach leave it I start out using absolutely no value items. Things the dog doesn't care about and can leave with no issues. Then start adding more enticing things as they begin to understand the idea of leaving it, working up to things that are second only in value to the reward of leaving it.

My goal is to have the dog come to me for a leave it command. Did not work today with one of them and all my dogs are going to be doing a two week leave it boot camp! My leave it is not to be questioned! EVER!
(laughing at my power trip)

I put the dog on a leash in the beginning of the leave it. Leave it is supposed to be a fun, happy thing (unless someone screws it up, Mario...). So dog on leash, kleenex waiting to be shredded is dropped on the floor. We walk past and as their nose goes down, I say-usually in a different tone-I start out high and happy - LEAVE IT and put the higher value treat that I am holding in my right hand down by their head and lure their head up and looking at me. If the dog is struggling I will give the leave it treat (people food) right at the time of the word leave it to mark it-not giving them the chance to make a bad choice. Say good leave it! Working toward over time the dog automatically looking up for the eye contact to get the leave it treat.

This morning we used chicken. My GSD Bella doesn't even look at the leave it items any more-she just comes up in a sit (she decided on the sit on her own) for the treat. The mixes...not so fast and smooth, but they do it (they like to see what the leave it item is-I can hear their little minds saying is it worth it?).

So, in situations where the dog wants to do something I don't want them to do, I can use leave it and they just do-which is very nice. I think it would apply in this situation, and if not, they have something fun to do with the dog, because when they get good at it you can toss a handful of treats in the air, do moving leave its, etc. and watch them work through it.

My Schipperke mix (bred to kill rodents) and Chow mix were tossing a bunny they found and I yelled leave it-they ran to the porch for their leave it treat. So it interrupted some major prey drive!

Good luck!
 

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My Malinois is like this. For her it's prey drive. If I run and play with her, she'll jump up and grab my shirt sleeve, also.

I will never leave her off leash around children, because as soon as a kid has a burst of energy she will chase it. But it's only the smaller children. The teenagers, she mostly ignores, well, at least she is ignoring them now. She's gotten better as she has grown up. She's 2.5 now.

Maybe if I had children in my house, I could have worked with her on it. I have her now so she doesn't chase the squirrels on the street, so it must be doable. For the squirrels I just make her down and stay. That's probably what I'd do with children, too, but you have to be consistant, and do it often. We have a lot of squirrels, not so many children. I also train her for obedience and agility, so she's a good listener, and is always improving.

(BTW, she is a very good herding dog when we have the occassion.)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Originally Posted By: JeanKBBMMMAANWhat is the breed?

Have they started obedience classes with a positive type trainer?

Good that they are doing management by removing the temptation until the dog knows what they are doing/should not be doing!!!!

Also I am not sure how to train the kids-I am sure that parents may have some little tips to make them less appealing.

The dog may be stressed by kids and not a good match for kids-that is something they are going to have to explore. I think it takes a special, stable dog to truly enjoy being around children.

I would do Nothing in Life is Free (NILIF) with the dog to try to help it.

I would check out the Yahoo Shyk-9 group.

What I would do, in addition to classes is work on a fun and ironclad leave it command. That usually happens into the classes a little more, after some of the basics.

When I teach leave it I start out using absolutely no value items. Things the dog doesn't care about and can leave with no issues. Then start adding more enticing things as they begin to understand the idea of leaving it, working up to things that are second only in value to the reward of leaving it.

My goal is to have the dog come to me for a leave it command. Did not work today with one of them and all my dogs are going to be doing a two week leave it boot camp! My leave it is not to be questioned! EVER!
(laughing at my power trip)

I put the dog on a leash in the beginning of the leave it. Leave it is supposed to be a fun, happy thing (unless someone screws it up, Mario...). So dog on leash, kleenex waiting to be shredded is dropped on the floor. We walk past and as their nose goes down, I say-usually in a different tone-I start out high and happy - LEAVE IT and put the higher value treat that I am holding in my right hand down by their head and lure their head up and looking at me. If the dog is struggling I will give the leave it treat (people food) right at the time of the word leave it to mark it-not giving them the chance to make a bad choice. Say good leave it! Working toward over time the dog automatically looking up for the eye contact to get the leave it treat.

So, in situations where the dog wants to do something I don't want them to do, I can use leave it and they just do-which is very nice. I think it would apply in this situation, and if not, they have something fun to do with the dog, because when they get good at it you can toss a handful of treats in the air, do moving leave its, etc. and watch them work through it.

My Schipperke mix (bred to kill rodents) and Chow mix were tossing a bunny they found and I yelled leave it-they ran to the porch for their leave it treat. So it interrupted some major prey drive!

Good luck!
The dog is either a Border Collie or a BC/collie mix.

There are NO positive trainers in the area other than myself. The only other class in the area would have this woman hitting her dog witha leash, rolled up newspaper, and an open hand. She has not yet taken classes with me. We decided that she doesn't necessarily need a group class, just private lessons to work on this individual behavior. They report no other disobedient behavior or problems.

The plan(that is apt to change) -We will start out with name recognition and distraction training with the kids a good distance away. I will have the kids inch closer and closer in a calm, relaxed state, diverting their eyes and dropping a cookie, as we continue to work with name recognition and ignoring the kids when she is told to(So sort of like your "leave it", but instead just with her name. If the owner chooses, she may say leave it as well). Once she has a background in learning to pay attention to handler when told, we will heighten the distractions - the kids will be asked to again go a much further distance away, and this time do something with more activity, such as jumping jacks, or just running in small circles(no vocals at this point, just physical movement). I'm hoping for little to no reaction at this point, so that we can call the name, use a "spacial correction" if we must, and praise immensely for no herding/barking/lunging behavior. If there is a huge reaction, the dog will have already been placed on a prong collar incase of this kind of obnoxious reaction. If the dog hits the line, it will get a self correction, and directly after I will use a spacial correction. Get directly in front, back him up until he pays attention to me, and then give him his space back with praise and a cookie for paying attention to me while I continue to block his view. If you cannot praise, you cannot correct. So if ever a correction on the prong has to be issued, I will go back to a short name recognition game with high value rewards and again ask the kids to come in calmly to deliver cookies. She will learn kids are not the bad things that cause her to be disciplined, but her obnoxious behavior. As we work through the steps, I hope to see improvement, and if the owner sees it too we will continue a few more private lessons to hopefully get to the points the kids can be running and screaming a good distance away and the dog not react at all. (However, my advice will still be that this dog is NEVER offleash around that kind of activity in the future.)

Definitely still open to more and new ideas and methods. I like to have many tools up my sleeve. I will also have a squirt bottle with me filled with water. And I do own a Head Halti.
 

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BCs are high drive. I have two - they need lots of exercise, or preferably a job. Does this dog have a job? I think the training is fine, but what will also help is to redirect that energy in a positive way for the dog - agility, herding classes, flyball whatever. Question is, are you correcting the dog for engaging in an activity it was bred to do without giving him another outlet?

Lots of exercise will also make the dog too tired to herd the kids.

It worries me that you are characterising her behaviour as "obnoxious". It is always a problem when people get a breed of dog they know little about and then are unhappy with a behaviour that is essentially a breed characteristic. Sounds like the dog may be frustrated with not enough to do? BCs are not for everyone, they are intense dogs.
 

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Absolutely dd!

Is Ava a BC mix? I don't know-but she has a great love of herding and nipping and bossing and moving and pulling and pushing and is absolutely hilarious. On our good days, I remember to give her jobs and harness that drive and on bad days I say Ava-leave me alone! GAH! But then remember she's just doing what she's supposed to do.

Like labs and birds. Schips and vermin.

BCs are not also the first dog I think of for family dogs? Maybe that is me-but the ones I have met are a little on the neurotic side. . . and since she was shyer and more submissive...

http://www.bcrescue.org/bcwarning.html interesting information there-I hadn't read up much on them recently and have forgotten a lot of what I read when I got Ava.

http://www.bordercollie.org/lwbc.html
 

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Here's another good link:
http://bordercollierescuetn.com/about.php

They are smart dogs and think they can train YOU.

Not sure how old the kids are in this case, but can they engage more with the dog to do ball throwing or other games that will include the dog and tire her?

Also games that engage the brain can be just as useful as physical activities to ensure the dog is stimulated. Suzanne Clothier has some on her site that are scent games, but hide-and-seek or find the toy, or other variations on that theme can be very useful and FUN.

It worries me when people get a working breed that can run all day and manage a big herd of livestock and expect them to be happy with a 15 minute walk around the block and then some TV watching time. It just doesn't work.
 

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My neighbor (brother in law) has a 1 yr old blue healer that bites at my nieces (ages 5 and 6) ankles while riding their bikes so I will have to pass on the good advice here. Thanks
 

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Quote:but the ones I have met are a little on the neurotic side.
Um, I prefer "sensitive". I think that is actually true, but I attribute it to a great degree to human mismanagement - not enough stimulation at the developmental stage. They are really cute puppies, but people don't realise how much work they are, and once they are out-of-control adolescents, they get dumped. So the positive experiences in puppyhood have been missed, and you have a neurotic dog who is terrified in the shelter - at least, that was my experience.
 

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Oh-the ones I met were in training classes-chosen for their drives, etc. But just a lot going on in their heads. Able to process more, more quickly than what was going on so they would have these little OCD behaviors. I bet it would be easier on them if there were a BC only class so they could go rapidamente!

The ones coming from the shelters-well-just imagine having that kind of brain and what you said-very difficult for those dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
dd, this behavior is NOT acceptable, no matter if it is a natural instinctual tendency and drive. Herding people should never be allowed. And this is what I intend to teach the dog, while educating the owner on other outlets to keep the dog's mind stimulated and exercised.

We'll see how it goes. We might be able to get the dog in some group classes, maybe get her introduced into agility. Otherwise, it will just be a whole heck of a lot of teaching new behaviors and playing.

Though from what I know of this dog, the dog is not overly active or drivey.
 

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No one said the behaviour was acceptable. But too often people think they can deprogram behaviours that have been bred into dogs for generations without giving the dog another outlet. Like "my terrier is digging up the garden, what should I do???" To find a BC herding children is not particularly surprising, i think.

Typically what happens with BCs and other working breeds who are not given an outlet is they try to herd people or they become destructive. There was nothing in your post to indicate this family is undertaking other activities that are beneficial to the dog and appropriate outlets for the dog's natural tendencies. That was my point. If she is herding the kids, it sounds like she is looking for something to work on, and not being given anything positive to do.
 

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BTW, I think agility would be a great outlet. If they don't take a formal class with her, then what would be helpful would be for them to put aside some "working time" for her every day where she gets one-on-one attention that can help her blossom and to stick to doing that regularly.
 

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The lesson went GREAT!!

Well, the kids were about 15-20 min late. A misunderstanding in what time the lesson was at between all three of us(the BC owner, me, and the student of mine that brought her kids). But that gave me and the owners more time to talk more about the issues, about how much exercise the dog got, about what else they tried adn exactly what they did... etc. "Della" does get plenty of exercise physically. Running and walking every day. And playing too. Not maybe as much mental though - but she's actually a very calm, sweet, relaxed, and not very spastic.

The dog did not take treats. So from the getgo we were using praise alone.

At first I had the kids visit with the dog, asking them to be very calm and praising and attentive. Gave "Della" the chance to meet the kids and learn they were good ones. She is a very submissive dog. At first I wanted her to become more relaxed around the kids before we started working.

Then I told the kids to go way out and just run in circles. Thats when I started to see Della whine, bark once, and lunge a bit all at the same time. I had her on a pretty short leash, and on the prong collar. She hit the prong, let out a small yelp, and then settled into a sit and looked up at me. I praised her IMMENSELY for giving me her attention, as if she was the most perfect dog in the world - because at that moment she was. She learned her lesson and then gave me her attention. GOOD dog! She whined a second time when I told the kids to up the anty and make some noise along with their movement. The moment she did so I stepped directly in front and invaded her space saying "Ah Ah!!". She stopped, looked at me, and tons and tons of praise. I switched off from the prong and onto her harness. From then on all she needed was a verbal correction(and very very few) as I asked the kids to come closer and closer as they continued to play, run, and yell. She was very attentive towards their movement, but stayed still and did not bark, whine or lunge. She had learned. So I started walking her through their movements and excitement - she in movement rather than just sitting there. This was a bit more difficult for her, but she passed with flying colors. Frequently throughout the entire session I had the kids come up to her calmly to give her attention, praise, and petting. And at the very end took out the tennis ball. The kids played with her and threw the ball back and forth between themselves as they again acted as distractions, yelling and running about. Rewarding her with teh tennis ball from time to time. The lesson DID put some stress onto Della - she was experiencing some new rules she'd never known before - but it is to never break her spirit - and at the end of hte session she had learned kids CAN be good things, not to be scared of just because got some negative reaction from human because of her behavior. Her ears were up, her tail was relaxed, she was playful.

Next step? We're taking her to a baseball game! No more little league games, but we figure the bigger people games would be better to start off with anyway.

I'm happy with how it all went. The owners are happy. The kids enjoyed htemselves and got a treat out of it! It was just a great time.
The owners were a joy to work with.
 

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wow, can you come to my house??lol marley does the same with my grandson, especially once he goes into running around the yard. tries to grab his hand or does the jump up. i know she just wants to play and he is only 3.5, so just her size and i am sure she thinks he is another dog. my trainer said to use treats and call her each time she did this, well she is really fast and if i am not right there, she goes into the play mode, with the jump and the taking of his hand. nothing aggressive, just enough to frighten a small child. doing better, treats didn't work really.. i like the way you talked about the training, so i guess i should have her on a lead when we are out in the yard. suggestions are welcome.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Marley, I am a person that believes in being very fair and positive with dogs. I do not believe in harshness. However, I will use corrections. The catch with this is that I NEVER hold a grudge against the dog. The moment the dog looked up at me, I praised her as if she were the only other being in the world. Nothing else mattered.

Ideally, I would have loved to work more on foundation behavior with the dog. More name recognition, more reward training. More just focusing on me with the kids jogging before I asked them to start right out with running. However the dog was just not treat motivated, nor was I going to spend all lesson trying to find somethign that would motivate her enough to regain her attention. So made it as fair as possible by sending the kids a VERY long distance away at first, as they gradually got closer and closer.

IMO, if you have to correct, the correction should be well timed enough and done properly enough to only need very few. This dog did not get any more than 4 corrections the entire hour. She got reminders of "Ah ah", with no follow up correction, but she needed very little. And EVERY negative(correction) in dog training should ALWAYS IMMEDIATELY be followed by a positive.

If the all positive route isn't working, its time to step it up a notch. Don't get me wrong, I am ALL for trying the least coercive and adversive methods possible. I'm all for trying positive methods first. But when the dog is not responding and learning, it is time to try somethign new.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The beautiful sweet girl that did so well!!:

 
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