How Can I Fix a Ruined Dog?

Posted March 23rd, 2013 — Filed in Stockdogs

Question:     I have recently purchased a female border collie that I will pick up as soon as she weans her pups. My question to you is. How would Bud and yourself go about fixing a dog that was way to aggressive on stock. Second question is how to rebuild her trust and respect in her handler. The previous owner  put a shock collar and a jerk line and had his way with her. Basically  destroying her because he was clueless on how to work a dog with the kind of strength.

Answer:       Have you read the material we have posted on our website?  Especially the things that were put on the site in July 2009.  This was where the first and most basic dog articles were put.  We’ve never had any problem with teaching a dog not to be too rough without taking away her ability to use the force that is sometimes necessary.  Be sure to take the time to read these things, then write back to me and let me know your situation.
 What kind of stock?
 How many?
 What size pen or pasture?
 
Comment:     I train cutters and will try to use her to gather anywhere from ten head of yearlings to eighty head of yearlings in a forty acre trap. I have just found your website and read almost all the stockdog post and was completely fascinated with all of it.  I love the concept of actually letting your dog use its intelligence to learn to read cattle as opposed to waiting for your every word.  I was taught  to train cutting horses like a trial dog and was on pens and needles the entire time. Not until the man shut his trap was I able to feel my horse and make the proper adjustments to get my horses worked.  By the time he saw a mistake, then yelled at me, then I heard it and reacted it was too late.  I’ve been watching a lot of dogs work in person and on you tube and it seems the same way with a lot of these dogs. I was just curious how you guys would have handled a dog like this. She was started by a good dog guy then he sold her as a started dog. The new owner tried to drive roping steers down the alley to rope and she went ballistic trying to eat the cattle. So he did what any “good” hand would do and put the shock collar on at full strength and a jerk line and jerked and shocked her until he ruined her.  I saw some video of her getting started and at one time she seemed to have a lot of potential.   I hope the additional info will help.

Answer:      80 head of yearlings in forty acres is just about  ideal.  Unless he has convinced her not to work at all, you have a good chance of making a good dog out of her.  Did you read how, when Bud changes directions, the dog must run to the lead to stop the animals?  This lets your dog burn up a lot of  energy without you having to get after your dog and without your dog abusing the stock.  When the dog starts to settle down and think he realizes that if he pushes the stock past you that he has to go bring them back.  They soon learn to ease up on their own and even work up the side to slow the cattle down so they stay behind you.

Let me know what she wants to do when you get her home.