car chasing and lead pulling nightmare


we have a 10 month old collie and she is adorable but a terror on the lead and chases cars, which puts my back out and stresses me to the max! I am not too soft on her, and do my best to assert my authority have tried many techniques, but she just goes into panic mode and I am very much at the point of thinking she just doesnt belong anywhere but a farm? we are in a quiet seaside town, but she still goes beserk at any vehicle. we have tried sending her to her original breeder for 5 weeks and not seen much improvement and have put much energy in ourselves, daily walking and training etc… Help!

Answer #1

1know exactly what you are describing as I went through the same thing with my border collie shep who is now 11 months old. walking was a nightmere. anyway things are much better now ad he does not even look at cars passing by anymore let alone chase them. I started by finding out what motivated sheo and held his attention . it was a ball ! no interest in food and certainly no competition for a car wheel !!! I started by bringing shep to a local road that has regular traffic and making him sit on the corner away from the road. I sat him facing me . every time I saw a car approaching I distracted him with the ball and tried to evert his attention from the car. each time he got p to move I got him to sit again and tried to distract him. when he gave me ( or should I say the ball in my hand his attention I rewarded him with a treat. I did this consistantly for 15mins every night and while doing it I walked him away from cars as doing the exersise for 15 mins and then walking along the road and he chases a car will only undermine the work. eventually after two weeks he was easily distracted by the ball and paid less and less attention to the cars going by . when he was paying no attention to them I began walking him again by the road, if he became excited I would stop and make him sit again until. he calmed . it takes patients but is worth it . Dont give up. it is essential however that before trying the exersise to give your dog a good run on the beach or int he park so that you are not starting the exersise when he is full of energy but is a bit more sedate. and remember find a place to walk him away from cars while doing the training . good luck and hope this has been some help

Answer #2

I think your ‘many techniques’ is your problem. You need to be firm and consistent with your dog or they will get easily confused.
The easiest thing to do would be to hire a trainer that will come to your house and work one on one with you and your dog. The breeder could have taught her a bunch of stuff but then when she gets home the commands and teachings she got from the breeder aren’t enforced by you. If you have a trainer work with you, you will already know what you have to do and be taught.

Good luck.

Answer #3

thanks, I hear what you are saying but this isnt the problem, we are very consistant and are doing as the breeder did and I shouldnt have said that, what I shouldve said is “ tried a haltie and a choke chain”, cheers

Answer #4

You don’t have a panic-ing dog…you have a herding dog with an obsession…I’ve seen GSD’s, Aussies, Border Collies, Heelers…have obsessions on a variety of things that move…from cars, to livestock…even birds…

I’m sure that by now, you are feeling anxious when you hear a car coming…because you know she’s about to go berserk…a vicious cycle. Dogs are hard wired to feel/read body language, and your anxiety is going straight down the leash. In her doggie mind she’s thinking “ooo…mom doesn’t like cars either…I’ll double my effort to send them away”…WHICH, in her doggie mind she does, when they keep on moving down the road.

So…your first rule of thumb will be to remain CALM…

Second…your objective. You’re only objective is to desensitize her to cars and get her focus on YOU. Don’t try to get too many things done at one time…Like make walking her separate from this car thing.

Take her to a street where cars go by regular…put her in a sit/stay. Here is where timing comes in…Car comes down the street…you remind her of her sit/stay the second before her eyes lock on the car’s approach. Now she’s going go for it, but you are going to jerk UP and back, and put her back in her sit/stay, at the same time saying “NOPE! SIT/STAY”. Ok…second car comes…you’re going to do the same thing…catch her BEFORE she leaps, pulling up on the leash…”NO, SIT/STAY”…by the third time you’re going sense some hesitation…that’s what you’re looking for…her focus on her obession is getting interrupted by you. If by any chance the interruption is good enough that the car gets by her without her moving…PRAISE PRAISE…and more PRAISE!

Because you have a bad back, a prong collar might help you…they look ugly, but if you put one on your arm and give it a jerk you’ll see that it hasn’t much bite (especially thru as much hair as a collie has)…but this will allow most of the discipline happen betwen the dog and the collar…you just happen to be on the end of the leash. I have always used a prong because I’m 100 lbs, and my dogs always weigh far more than me.

Now, because this is an obsession…you may have to do this “stand on the street” thing for up to 30 days, before you can take her for a “fun walk” (fun for you, I mean :) )…for 30 days you’re going to have to be vigilant…and not let her slide even a tiny bit… A sit/stay is a sit/stay…period, end of story…ok? :)

Try this and see how it goes…the good news is…she’s still just a pup, and this is not a long time obsession…The by product of this training will probably be a dog who’s focus is on you 99% of the time…truly, all the pain in the butt stuff now, may just end up being the beginning of a great rellationship.

Let me know how this goes…keep your expectations down for the first week…keep your “goal” in mind, and remember baby steps…We can fine tune this. Techniques are general…but all trainers have an arsenal of fine tunings to fit individual dogs…let me know…ok ?

Another thing…keep your focus on the dog…don’t worry about bystanders…you’re doing what you’re doing because you LOVE your pup…and want her to be a good partner for life. She can’t focus on you, if you’re not focusing on her.


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