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Old 08-15-2010, 08:14 PM
mamallama mamallama is offline
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Default Question about dog reactivity & training

My approx 4 y/o rescue dog which I've had ~6 mos seems to be reactive to collies. I say "seems" because as we pass and/or greet all kinds of dogs on our daily walks, there's a man w/a collie that just drives him crazy. We're on opposite sides of the street and my dog will bark and lunge. I didn't know if it was the man or the dog (or combo) that was making him react, but at a recent training class, the instructor had a collie and our "walk past another dog" test did not go well with my guy.

I'm interested in a beginner's rally class at another facility that would be starting soon. I haven't contacted them yet, but when reading up on the instructor for the class I see she owns 3 collies. I'm disappointed/embarrassed that my dog reacts this way. He's a good guy in most ways, even does some therapy visits, but apparently has a bone to pick w/collies. My current instructor said not to get too upset about it - that some great dogs have similar problems. Is this true? As soon as I read the rally trainer has collies, I thought, heck, now I can't attend her class.

Advice? Reassurance? Tips?
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Old 08-15-2010, 09:07 PM
lizzybeth727's Avatar
lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
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Location: Central Texas
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Yep, this isn't an uncommon problem. Maybe your dog had a bad experience with a collie at some time and now all collies remind him of that.

I think it's a great thing that your possible trainer has three collies, that way you can work on fixing the problem! Try to let her know ahead of time that your dog has this issue, so that she doesn't get the wrong idea about him. Most instructors also keep their dogs put away while they're instructing, it's distracting to try to pay attention to your dog when a classful of people are paying you to pay attention to them.

I'm particularly interested, though, because the impression I had is that collies aren't very common.... they're difficult to find around here, and breeders are almost impossible. Where do you live that they're so common? Or are you talking about border collies?
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Old 08-16-2010, 12:19 AM
Maura Maura is offline
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Location: The Mitten State
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Yes, your instructor can use her dogs to help your dog accept collies. She will probably have you use treats as the two of you lesson your dog's region of reactivity.
Forever Home: A Guide to ReHoming the Rescued Dog, from Wild Rose Press
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Old 08-16-2010, 06:47 AM
mamallama mamallama is offline
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Join Date: May 2010
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Thanks for your reassurances lizzybeth and Maura. I'd definitely tell the instructor ahead of time about the reactivity, I just wish I didn't have to layer another problem to the mix of teaching a class. I guess it comes up more often than I knew, though.
lizzybeth - I'm in the upper midwest and actually I don't see that many collies ... well, I hadn't until I adopted a dog that sees them as his arch enemy [sigh]. And these are the good ol' Lassie-type collies. My guy's fine with border collies - hung out w/bc's while in foster care.

UPS trucks, garbage trucks ... and collies.
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