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Author Topic: Mark Mendoza book - Bearded Collie Training Secrets  (Read 31085 times)


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Mark Mendoza book - Bearded Collie Training Secrets
« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2015, 05:49:02 pm »
Welcome to my world lol.Beardies can be the most stubborn,ignorant of dogs to break to herd sheep but oh boy when they finally get it you have 10 years of pure delight from a dog that can run up and down hills all day and still have a happy smile on its face at the end o it
(DancesWithSheep) one of the few left, a dying breed


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Mark Mendoza book - Bearded Collie Training Secrets
« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2015, 09:16:57 pm »
Coop just remember he is a teenager now, at that stage all previous learning can often go out the window for a while  :lol:  It will get better   :D


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Mark Mendoza book - Bearded Collie Training Secrets
« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2015, 08:28:38 am »

At the age of 13 weeks my dog had a brilliant recall but as he matured and got to about a year old all the training we had done went and he would not come back on some occasions as investigating other things was more interesting than me.  I made myself more interesting and within a few days we were back to where we were. So the age of a dog can influence itís behaviour a great deal and can make life confusing and frustrating for us as owners.

However I think in this case its different and it may not be an age thing. What I have been trying to say is that this is not a recall problem and a dog of any age may behave this way.  If like my dog he would generally not come back then thatís a recall problem, the problem in this case is that the dog is chasing other dogs.  If we replaced the other dog with a cyclist, runner or car and our dog behaved the same way, chasing and incessantly barking at it we would consider that a behavioural problem.

What happens when a dog chases like this and barks, the barking becomes self rewarding so the dog does it even more and as the dog continues to bark the barking becomes addictive and then the dog becomes stressed and anxious.  Because the dog has become stressed there are changes in the front of the brain that prevents the dog from being able to access any previous things it has learned, so we can do as much recall training as we possibly are able to but that may not be sufficient to call a dog back when it has become so aroused, so itís not a recall problem, itís a chasing problem and it may not be related to a dogs age.  Yes young dogs do run off to investigate and play with other dogs and wonít come back when they are called, but when it chases like this and barks annoyingly thatís a behavioural problem I feel and one which may continue into adulthood.

A good example of beadies becoming excited and then stressed is when in the car.  I have seen so many that are excited to get into the car and then they start to bark. The barking then become addictive and the dog is unable to stop barking and becomes stressed. At this time the car soon becomes covered in salvia and the dog pants heavily between little barking breaks, itís quite upsetting to observe.

So other behaviours like jumping up are signs of excitement which can soon lead to stress, so help may be needed to help lower the dogs arousal level and make things more calmer, rather than obedience training, and we can think the dog is being strong willed but the reason is that itís to aroused and itís just not able to focus and concentrate on any training its learned.  I have helped owners interact slightly differently than they have been doing and how to convey calmness to their dog and the dogs respond well to this, this is what I mean by guidance.

I agree with Barbara, interactions with calm dogs is good as long as he remains calm and you can reward him for being calm.  How often do we interact and reward our dogs when they are excited but we rarely reward them for their calmness.


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Mark Mendoza book - Bearded Collie Training Secrets
« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2015, 04:40:59 pm »
Hi all, I appreciate it is difficult for folks to say what the problem may be, us, his age or a behavioural problem, when you haven't seen him and tbh I didn't expect this much of a response from my original query about a book-   not complaining, it's great and has got me thinking and I have to admit a little worried we may have a more serious issue than we thought. What I would say is he is and always has been very excitable and in classes he could rarely replicate what we were able to get him to do at home. But when you talk to other beardie people they almost always say ' Oh but that's beardies' but without having anything to compare him to its hard for me to distinguish what is normal beardie enthusiasm for everything and everyone and what is potentially what Chris is referring to, excitement tipping into anxiety. I'm inclined to think the dog chasing/barking is more behavioural as he becomes oblivious to anything or anyone else at that point in time and he's more likely to do this with other excitable breeds like cockers and springers.

Would be interested to hear more about reducing dogs arousal by 'owners interact(ing) slightly differently than they have been doing' and creating more calm communication. Do I need a specialised behaviourist for this or should our 1 to 1 trainer be aware of these techniques?
Thanks again all.


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Mark Mendoza book - Bearded Collie Training Secrets
« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2015, 08:56:01 pm »
Hi Coop,

I am really sorry if I have caused you any worry, and these are just my thoughts based on my experience in working with beardies.  Please donít worry these are not problems that cannot be improved.  

It is very true what you say, beardies are an excitable breed and it is very hard to know what is normal and what isnít.  I always think that we should train our dogs to what we want them to do and behave, not what we are told to do.  Some owners like their beardies to jump up at them and do other things, were as I donít like dogs jumping up at me so with my dogs I have trained them not to jump up when they greet me or anyone else, but I have not taken away their excitement  of meeting people, they still get excited but do not jump up.  We have to train beardies in a way that controls their excitability but does not break their character and their individual personality, we have to embrace who they are and work with that.  As owners as we are so close we donít always see things others may, having someone on the outside looking in can be so helpful and they often see things that we donít, only because we are so close.  Often owners unknowingly encourage excitement and are surprised when they realise they are doing so.  Being excitable is not always a  bad thing, in fact it can actually help beardies overcome some problems, itís how we direct that excitement.  

It sounds like to me that you are very capable and have all the skills to achieve what you want with your dog.  It is really positive that you can achieve things in class with him although you struggle with him at home.  That says to me that you can do it, and its harder in class due to all the distractions, so maybe have think what is different about being at home, why do you think you cannot achieve the same results at home that you can in class. Are you any different, are you more confident in class with the trainer and less confident at home, things like this.

Although it may not be a recall problem, there are times when the right recall training can help, if that makes any sense.  Sometimes we can get through and that depends on when we apply it, and what we do, once the chase is on then itís harder to call the dog back.

I am not sure where you live but if you would like to send me a pm I would glad to give you may phone number if you would like to talk in more detail.  You can tell me what you are doing in regards of his training and I may be able to suggest doing things slightly different.  If you want to look for someone to help then may be a person with qualifications in behaviour may be of help.

When working with our dogs I like to think of them not as a breed, and that they are not all the same, I think of them as individuals and any training needs to be personally suited to them rather than one training method fits all beardies, if you know what I mean.  Although we do have to consider  behaviour individual to a particular breed at times, but we can still think of them as individuals.  People ask me what do I do to stop a beardie barking, but that depends on that beardie and what works best for that dog.  

Itís hard for me to say what I do, but many owners are surprised that I don't talk much to their dogs, I only really use body language to convey what I want and to calm a dog down, our voice can only make our dogs more excited, so everything we do with them is done in a calm way.  I am not sure really how other behaviour people may work, I have been told that I am bit different, not sure if thatís good or bad really.  I used to work with leopards so I had to be calm and I started using body language with them and it worked so I applied it when I worked with dogs and it helped a lot.  We spend so much time telling our dogs to sit, lay down and come here, when I feel we need to work on a more emotional level with them, as they are emotional animals.

Your type of post is really interesting and I think we all like discussing things like this.


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« Reply #20 on: July 31, 2017, 07:57:09 pm »
I have the Pippa Mattinson book - I found it very helpful.

I also have a beardie who behaves like an angel one minute and a little devil the next.

I once was foolish enough to say to someone, " She doesn't like being told what to do" only to be faced with raised eyebrows and " I wonder who that reminds me of "!!  :oops:  :oops:

I have found it very difficult to find a trainer of any sort until recently. I now go and work alongside an agility group, but doing my practices not theirs. Millie's brain goes into orbit if we try agility so we have changed tack. She has the opportunity to socialise as well as learning to ignore the distractions. So far it is working quite well.

Oh lordy, hope I haven't spoken too soon    :roll:


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Mark Mendoza book - Bearded Collie Training Secrets
« Reply #21 on: July 31, 2017, 11:47:08 pm »
I've never had a problem with any of my Beardies learning. Thy are so intelligent and learn very fast. Beardies are just like that. I've always had 3, and they all played with each other. We only have one now as our other two have gone to the Rainbow Bridge, due to old age. :cry: They weren't interested in playing with toys, maybe a ball, sometimes. They all preferred to play chasing! :roll: Now that Sophie is on her own, She'll play with other dogs at the beach. Has a wonderful time, they are usually little ones, and seem to seek her out now! :D She's nearly 12, but they love chasing each other. :D They really have her on the run, but she keeps up! :lol: