CollieLass1 CollieLassMost would say that a Border Collie pup wasn’t the best choice for an elderly couple who are not very physically fit, so it shows how one shouldn’t pre-judge.

Firstly, 7-month-old Lass is exceptional. There are so many areas of her life where she is unbelievably good for a puppy. She is wonderful with all people and loves dogs so long as they don’t bark at her.

Secondly, though disabled and wheel-chair bound, the lady in particular is totally switched on to the programme, and she will help her husband.

They want to cure her jumping on people, to have her walking nicely and to come back when she is called.

The man in particular has been constantly throwing toys for her, over and over, every time she brings one to him. He never turns her down. She jumps on him and constantly mouths him when on his lap. He encourages the very behaviour they don’t want; Lass behaves quite differently with his wife who is less of a pushover.

I noticed that when Lass was called or asked to do something, she would take no notice and it had to be repeated several times. When you think about it, if their attention is on tap, available whenever Lass wants it, there isn’t much reason for her to come to them when they want, is there.

So, they need to change the way they themselves behave so that Lass takes more notice of them, and they need to do more rewarding her when she makes a good decision, like lying down peacefully beside them instead of leaping up. With ‘come’ good in the house and garden, they are now ready to work on ‘come’ on a long line when out. She has a tendency to chase moving things with wheels and who knows what she might be like with sheep! Her recall has to be really solid before she is let off.

The clever pup needs more mental stimulation in the form of hunting games, working for her food and so on, correcting any unwanted behaviour by giving her an acceptable alternative.

Seeing what a wonderful young dog Lass is already, the couple, who have had her from a puppy, have been doing a lot of good things already. Brainy Border Collies traditionally need a lot of work, exercise, stimulation and training, and Lass, with her wonderful nature, has fitted into the somewhat sedate lifestyle marvellously.

Five or so months later Las is doing brilliantly: “Lass is doing really well. No more jumping at cars and she walks so well now even with me and my stick. John can let her off lead and the recall is amazing one call and she comes. She plays over the fields with a couple of dogs when John calls her she comes straight back…brilliant. Getting close to the tractor too and will sit in the trailer now so getting there.
She is a year old in a couple of weeks and she is so much calmer now. She does still jump at times but people just say “what do you do”and she sits down we are so proud of her. We can stop and chat with friends and she just sits and waits for us. She is doing well with her staying too. John is getting further and further back. And he always walks back to her as you said. We must thank you for your help with Lass we have learnt so much”.

NB. The precise protocols to best use for your own dog may be different to the approach I have worked out for Lass, which is why I don’t go into all exact details here of our plan. Finding instructions on the internet or TV that are not tailored to your own dog can do more harm than good. One size does not fit all. If you live in my own area I would be very pleased to help with strategies specific to your own dogs (see my Get Help page).