Border Collie Gone Wild

Posted by Don-Currie
Jan 23, 2008
I have a 2 year old female Border Collie that likes to run from gate to gate in my back yard,leaving a path or ditch which is leaving a mess in my yard. She does this when foot traffic or motorized traffic goes down the street in front of the house. What can I do to stop this behavior? Thanks Don
Posted by Blue
Jan 25, 2008
Hi there I'll try and be of assistance, but I'm sure the kingdom of pets team will have some advice too!

It sounds like she may be bored - and needing to "herd" or interact with other things (in this instance, the traffic are her "sheep" and only distraction). Do you take her to leash free dog parks or do agility training/fly ball/Frisbee with her? Border collies require a lot of exercise, both physical and mental, or they will resort to destructive and repetitive behaviour to alleviate their boredom.

You could could try calling her off of her bad behaviour (try to do it before the behaviour really gets going) and reward her with a vigorous play session of fetch or mentally stimulating training with treats!

Alternately, if she is adequately challenged mentally and physically, you could try taking her out on a leash for a while and correcting her behaviour - it will take time and patience, but it may resolve the issue.

Ideally you'd like to correct the behaviour [I]just[/I] prior to it starting (like when you see that crazy look start creeping into her eyes ) this way you can stop her before she becomes obsessive and difficult to get through to. Either that or as soon as her behaviour starts becoming too excited end her play session. With the leash you can correct her by quickly growling at her (or saying Aaaah) and then reel her in away from the fun. Make her sit and when she is calm, release her from her sit and try again.

Don't use your recall (if she is trained for one) as this will put you back - she'll learn that when she comes when called - she doesn't get to race around and have fun!

When you do want to recall her for going into the house, make sure there's plenty of treats or a favourite toy immediately available as soon as she comes to you.

Then, later, you could try a longer leash with more freedom, and use the same technique to correct her when she misbehaves.

With the leash, you are given the ability to control her bad behaviour and reinforce the good behaviour with allowing her the time to run free!

Posted by Todd
Jan 27, 2008
Hi there Don and thank you for your question.

As Blue pointed out adequate exercise and play is very important for this breed. As many toys, big bones and daily exercise is important. If you are willing to agility is a great way for both you and your dog to get along better and expend some energy.

I would also recommend stopping your dog from being able to see outside. This is part of the reason your dog may be anxious so by putting newspaper or polyurethane over the gate may help with the problem.

Blue's method of controlling it before it happens is a great idea so i would give this a go.
If it is a major problem i would fence your dog in the back section to stop this happening.

I am sure with Blues method, exercise and patience things will get better. Good luck and please let me know how things go.

Kind regards

Todd Field