Basic Border Collie MannersName recognition
: Say the dog's name, then give him a treat. Keep repeating as often as it takes for the dog to start turning his head whenever he hears his name.Recall
: Use the leash in the house, a longline outside. Say the dog's name to get his attention, then an upbeat "Here!" If he doesn't turn around immediately, give a light tug on the line. When the dog comes, give praise, a treat, and a hug. Make recalls the best thing in your dog's life. If the dog is hesitant, take a few steps backward after calling him and hunker down.Praise
: Ask the dog to do something, like a Sit. When he's sat, tell him "Good Sit." The use of praise with the request gives the dog a chance to learn faster. Give him praise for figuring out on his own what he should do. If we remember to praise him for thinking, we help him to be a mannerly dog on his own and not just a robot. Quietly praise during the correct action. Correction
: To stop an action, give a "No!" or an "Ah-Ah!" noise in a growly tone. This corrective growl is useless if it isn't immediately followed by a lesson and praise for the proper action. Jumping
: Teach the dog to sit for attention. If the dog already has a habit of jumping on people, say "Off!" and quickly turn away from the dog. Do not push the dog away with your hands; touching rewards him for jumping. Withdraw your attention from the dog until he Sits. To reinforce the Sit, hunker down to the dog's level; he'll be calmer when he's close to your face. A "Hug!" can later be added, if the dog is to be allowed to jump in certain circumstances. Barking
: Respect your dog by investigating why he is barking. If it’s something he shouldn’t be barking at, just walk away from him in a disappointed manner, muttering about how stupid he is (Border Collies hate being called stupid). If he barks appropriately, praise him. Allow your dog to bark 2 or 3 times before saying “Enough!” and give him a treat. It’s hard to bark and swallow at the same time. The result is a trustworthy watchdog.Naptime
: Give yourself and your Border Collie a break now and then. Say “Go to bed” and throw a treat into the crate (kennel) or dog-proofed room. Teach him with short sessions at first until the dog learns he isn’t being permanently abandoned.Sit, Down & Stay
: Raise a treat slowly over the dog's nose and say "Sit." The rump should go down as the nose comes up. After the dog knows Sit, slowly tap a treat along the floor in front of the dog's nose as you're dragging out the word "Down." After the dog knows Down, put a treat a few inches in front of his nose, say "Stay" and hold him in place by his collar. When he relaxes into the Stay reward him by bringing the treat to him.Release
: Whatever the dog has, you have something better. If he has a toy in his mouth, take a treat over to him, hold it in front of his nose, and say "Release!" as you offer him the treat.That'll do!
: Every time a job is finished, say "That'll do." This will teach the Border Collie to quit and come to you. To prevent him from ignoring a "That'll do," use intermittent reinforcement techniques (see page 14). For example: he's been catching Frisbees. Withdraw the Frisbee, give a "That'll do," walk a short distance with your dog and wait until he is calm and attentive. Tell him "Ball!" and toss a tennis ball for him a few times. The surprise of one job ending with the possibility of another job beginning makes a reliable "That'll do." Use a "That'll do" with all his activities, be it obedience, herding or tennis balls. He will respond better to "That'll do" than a Recall or a Down when he is overly excited about something, if you've been consistent.