Breed: Border Collie
Behavior Challenge: Behaving aggressively (defensively) towards other dogs and general lack of confidence
Petey was a shy and confidence-lacking. It didn’t help that he was overwhelmed by being in group class situations with rambunctious, over-excited dogs. He needed a little more time to process events and become comfortable with them. He also needed to trust that his human companions would have his back.
Petey had several animal companions, including another Border Collie, Pip, a Chihuahua puppy, and a Pug, in addition to a couple of cats. We worked with both Border Collies as well as the Chihuahua to a lesser degree. Petey and Pippin would become acclimated to an e-collar and begin basic obedience training there. We would use many of the things that would trigger a response, like other dogs on leash, to proof their proficiency and progress to off-leash.
We worked with this family over a more protracted timeline, approximately 5 months, and attained fabulous results because of the family’s commitment to see the training through. By the end of our time together, the dogs were walking confidently near other dogs, including on the crowded Lake Harriet path, and were enjoying off-leash freedom in open spaces. The relationship between the dogs and owners was greatly enhanced by the work they did together, and Petey’s confidence soared.
In Their Own Words – Our Client Experience
The brief recap of my experiences with Sarah and Paws n Motion are that we all love her. Now for the longer version…
We came to Paws n Motion thinking we had a single problem – a very dog reactive and growing male Border Collie puppy (7 months when we started). He could not be around other dogs outside our home without behaving in a threatening way – hackles up, growling, barking and pulling on the leash to aggress towards the other dog. We tried training through a local trainer but found that having a reactive dog in a room with several other boisterous and some equally reactive dogs was not a combination that worked for us and especially not for Petey. We left in frustration each time and he clearly did not enjoy the experience either.
I talked with other trainers, but for our family Sarah fit perfectly. She is warm, supportive, funny and the right amount of involvement, encouraging us to learn yet at the same time encouraging us to lean on her experience when needed.
Over the course of the months we spent with Sarah, we discovered how to communicate our wishes to all of our dogs and also discovered our older Border Collie (Pippin) was not the well behaved lady we thought. She had us trained. When we set boundaries and rules for all family members, including her, she suddenly had to test them all and became the resistant one. However, Sarah taught us the tools to work through Pippin’s days where she is more resistant than others. Us having those tools means we continue to engage in activities that we would previously have marked as options we could no longer do because we were not sure how they would behave. We now can give them success even in those high stress places.
The Importance of the Right Training Tools
For the Border Collies we use the e-collars. I love the e-collar. We generally have it so low, I am not able to feel it when I tested it on myself. But it allows me to quickly redirect their attention to a positive direction. Our Chihuahua was too tiny – the e-collar was as big as she was. With simple leash corrections she is coming along wonderfully as well and is changing from a wee tyrant to a little lady.
I don’t think I can effectively tell you how cool it is when you see your 1st round of successes and have that inner pride of how brilliant your dog(s) is/are. It’s right up there with your child on the honor roll. To watch them do what you asked, when you asked it and how you asked is spectacular. As a result the relationship for us as a family changed.
Obedience Training Reduces Stress and Improves Family Relationships
We came to Sarah because of Petey’s extreme behavior and worked through behavior issues with each dog that makes us all closer and able to mutually enjoy each other. My son, who disliked Petey the problem puppy, was suddenly taking him out to play. After a few sessions my daughter said “I actually like Petey now”. He went from a problem, scary, puppy to the most loving docile and nonreactive dog. Each of our dogs has grown in so many ways and as I said above, we have all become closer as a result.
Ongoing Success Even After Training Sessions are Over
The best part is we saw positive changes from the very 1st lesson. We continue to see those positive changes and to build on them. The dogs wanted to learn – I believe they were experiencing the same level of frustration that we were. Once we took on a consistent leadership role the dogs learned at record speed and continue to surprise us each day with just how smart they really are.
I would definitely do it all over again. And I do not hesitate to recommend Paws n Motion to every one.