Collies are herding dogs, and as is usually true of this type of working dog, they are intelligent, eager to please and energetic. You can teach a Collie almost anything, as long as you approach them properly and keep the basic nature of the Collie in mind. Look for things that you and your dog can enjoy together to make training a fun time, not chore time, for both of you.
Proper socialization is essential for Collie puppies. This teaches them to accept other people, sights, sounds and animals. Puppies that are properly socialized are not afraid of meeting new people or of experiencing places and things outside of their homes. As a result, they are much easier to live with and to train. Enrolling your Collie puppy in a puppy training class is one good way to provide some of the needed socialization while working on some basic obedience and manners.
Collies in general are very sensitive to their owner’s wishes. Your Collie will try hard to do what you expect. Positive reinforcement is the best way to train your Collie. Use a combination of treats, praise and positive interaction to reward your Collie for doing the right thing. This causes your dog to repeat the wanted behavior in search of more rewards. When the response to a command is incorrect, you simply withhold the reward until the dog corrects it. If you focus on correcting your Collie negatively for an error, and especially if you are harsh, your Collie can become unsure, and you may end up with an overly sensitive and fearful dog. It is best to always stay positive.
Collies are herding dogs. For a Collie, it is natural to try to round up moving things, including other animals and children, vehicles and bicycles. It is best to discourage this behavior unless you will be teaching your dog to herd properly. Collies can get pushy when trying to herd, and this behavior can frighten people, and especially small children. A Collie may bark and even nip when the herding instinct is aroused. While this isn’t aggressive behavior in a Collie, it looks pretty aggressive to the one being herded, and it poses problems for you and the dog. To stop your Collie from herding behavior, spend some time working with the dog on a leash until you have complete control. Do not allow your Collie to believe that it's acceptable to exercise their instincts outside of your control. Otherwise, you may soon find that you can’t stop your dog from chasing after children, pets, bicycles and cars.
Collies love to be active with their family members, and your Collie is likely to enjoy any type of training you decide to pursue because it is a chance to be with you. Staying active will be good for your Collie's body, mind, and happiness. Due to the active nature and high intelligence of this breed, many Collies do very well in dog sports and competitions such as obedience, agility, rally and herding. The time you spend with your dog deepens the bond between the two of you, and Collies that are given activities to occupy their time and use up their excess energy are less likely to find ways to get in trouble. Bored, lonely Collies often bark incessantly, and may become a serious nuisance to their owners and their neighbors.
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