This was our first session with Ruby the Border Collie from Washington.
Ruby, like a lot of Border Collies, can get quite reactive towards cars, she wants to chase, being a border collie. She is also a pretty bad resource guarder - especially if someone drops something then goes to pick it up, and she has bitten before. She also pulls quite badly on the lead.
So far, they have been to another trainer who used a slip lead and said to yank Ruby every time. This damaged Ruby’s neck so the owner took it straight off.
We started by building up some focus from her on to her owners, then taught her a heel position then how to move and focus in this position. By the end of the session, we had really beautiful heeling from Ruby and some fantastic loose leash walking.
Next, we started looking at resource guarding. We took scrunched-up bits of paper (she would normally guard), dropped one, and then dropped the treat and repeated it a few times so something appearing on the floor predicts a treat following up. Once Ruby understands this, when something is dropped, she looks up for food, and then we can cue her to do the behaviour while someone reaches down, grabs the dropped item, and then gets the treat. So a fairly straightforward one to resolve.
We also looked at her reactivity towards traffic - each time she sees a car, she gets the treat.
We did that at a distance where she was alert to the traffic but more interested in treats, then moves her closer and closer. By the end of it, she was hearing that car coming and was automatically looking back for the food so she’s really good with that.
Ruby is going to do a spot on, she’s done very well so far and she will continue to do brilliantly.
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