Training and Behavioral Issues with Border Collies

Border Collies are often considered to be the most intelligent of all breeds. They almost seem telepathic at times in their ability to seemingly read your mind. Some Border Collies may be smarter than their owners.

As you would expect, they are very easy to train and they respond well to positive reinforcement techniques (praise and reward). Clicker training is often used to train them but you can also use a positive verbal cue instead of a clicker, such as, “Yes!” when the dog does something that you like. Border Collies can be food-motivated and they enjoy training treats, but they really like to please you, so will respond to lots of praise.

A Border Collie’s herding instincts can get him in trouble sometimes. They do have a tendency to follow after things that move on instinct. This can include cars. If it moves, some Border Collies will have the urge to chase it. This urge would be something for an owner to work on with training.

Likewise, you may need to work carefully in an enclosed area before you try off-leash commands in an open area. Your Border Collie might be tempted to chase something that moves across his field of vision if he is not fully proofed on an exercise.

Border Collies are also highly energetic dogs and they need lots of exercise each day. If they don’t get enough exercise they are likely to resort to destructive behavior. They can chew on furniture, chew on woodwork, or dig holes. Somehow they will find ways to use their energy, even if it destroys your house. Make sure that your dog gets plenty of exercise each day.

Because Border Collies are so smart, they also need mental stimulation to keep them happy. These dogs want to work or, at least, do some kind of structured activity. Train your Border Collie. Get involved in dog sports. He needs something to do.

Border Collies can be shy around strangers so it’s important for them to receive good socialization from an early age. With socialization they will be friendly dogs, able to mingle with people and pets more easily. Good socialization and training can also help them when it comes to being more relaxed and less likely to fall into instinctual behaviors such as herding people and nipping at heels.

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