George the Collie Vs Training Pt.10

Another week of improvement.


George is coming along very well and his training is moving on well. This weeks homework brought up some points I found quite interesting.

We had been tasked with getting George to lie down and wait for at least a minute. This has highlighted a) his poor attention span and b) how much of a puppy he still is 😊

We have almost got him used to waiting for the minute but the training showed me that the use of language is more complicated than I imagined.

I had been using George's name at the start of every string of commands in order to get his attention but it turns out this overuse of his name can be detrimental to his training and actually make him 'switch off'.

We now use his name at the start of a training session and end each session with the word 'Enough' re-enforced with a treat. It actually worked.

I was aware that tone, pitch and volume have a direct effect on the dog but I wouldn't have thought that you could overuse a word. Every day a school day.

He is now half way through his Bronze level training and doing well. His gate work is brilliant as well as his recall and you do wonder how far he can go.

George the Collie on Dogs v Cats

A story of love, not hate.

Ever since books have been in print and images have been shown on screen there have been ‘Dog v Cat’ stories.

Natural enemies. Nature or Nurture?

Of the last three dogs we’ve had, none have been ‘taught’ that cats are the enemy and so, obviously, they do not see them as such.

Parents teach to their kids who pass it on and so it goes on, needlessly.

Cats, naturally being more safety conscious tend to shy away from dogs, especially if they’ve had a bad experience and this can set the dogs on edge. One feeds the other and so the problem persists.

But start them off on the right foot and make it a good, friendly experience and you get a different outcome.


Spread love, not hate.

George the Collie on Dog Friendships.

Dogs and dog friends….

The life of a hermit is more likely one chosen than enforced. People need to be with others, even if it’s for short periods. People need people.

It’s the same with dogs.

If your dog doesn’t go out, doesn’t get walked, has no contact with other dogs, how is it supposed to react when it sees another dog? That’s probably the second question your dog will ask itself on seeing another dog. Right after ‘WTF?’ 

So, to have the most balanced dog, it needs experiences, good and bad, of other dogs so that it learns how it feels when other dogs are about. If they don’t get this, how can you expect you dog to improve its social skills?

You can’t keep your dog locked away and then shout at it for losing its self control on seeing other dogs – it’s a natural reaction for the dog.

George has been socialised as much as we can from an early age, with people too, not just dogs and cats.

As such, he is a joy to take out. He is genuinely interested and excited to meet others and I can be confident he poses no threat to any of them. 

This confidence only comes from testing and knowing your dog. If you don’t help your dog – you’ll reap what you sow.

You dog loves being social so, please, give it every chance you can. 🐾


George the Collie Vs Training Pt.7

Dog training and problem pups.

George started his puppy training last Friday. 

A week off six months old, he was one of the oldest in his group but we chose to wait to rejoin a training school we trusted.

Training is fine but it is always interesting learning something about your dog and parallels with humans.

George is already good at the ‘sit’ & ‘down’. His recall is quite good too but tonight, there was a dog there and the owner had NO control over this pet.

She was an older lady with a beautiful dog, completely out of her depth. At 4 months, this dog was massive and a ball of chaos.

George found him facinating. Sat next dog along, he had a front row seat of this problem pooch.

George also though that he could also start to behave like him, something I hadn’t seen him do before.

It was like when you were at school and in your class was ‘that’ kid who was always playing up and in trouble. Impossible to ignore and a bit of a magnet to the easily led.

And that’s what I learnt about my George. He won’t walk to heel and often ignores commands but he is easily lead and, by that, I don’t mean on a leash. 😏

George the Border Collie Vs Ethical Dog breeding.

So there has been some coverage in the news recently about ethical breeding of pets. Not just dog but cats too.

There are a number of sites and traders now refusing to promote, advertise or support selective animal breeding, to breed in or out desired traits.

There are a number of ‘flat faced’ dog breeds where, due to excessive in-breeding, a number of long term health issues are presenting themselves (ulcerated eyes, breathing issues etc). All this to provide people with a physical end product based on what they think they want from a pet. Cats being bred to support a genetic ‘flat eared’ trait that leads to lifelong joint pain for the cat all because certain celebrities have the same thing.

They are beautiful animals, very cute as well but it comes at a price, not monetary, and are you prepared to pay it? Many people will without a blink and its easy to understand.

We had Harry the Border Collie for sixteen years. He was a Blue Merle collie, bred for the marbling of their coats.

Before we had Harry, I had no idea what a Blue Merle was but he was a beautiful boy, that couldn’t be denied but those looks came at a cost – bad knees. Apparently, a floating patella needing reconstructive surgery at 12 months old is a side effect of the breeding. A cost to the dog, without a doubt, but once healed he was better, fitter, more mobile.

In hindsight, I still wouldn’t have gone without Harry, he was a true blessing. Although he was of pedigree stock, this was uncertificated and so uncheckable.

After Harry died and we decided to get another dog, we carried out ‘due diligence’ by finding a breeder registered with the Kennel Club. Parents whose lineage could be traced back generations with no physical defects like we experienced with Harry.

For everything we didn’t do or check with for Harry, we did with this dog and so we picked up the stunning looking Ted. We wanted a dog with strong genes to avoid skeletal issues and a good looking coat. Nothing flashy, but nice and so we had a lilac collie.

Unfortunately, for Ted and for us, all the checks and balances could not prevent a dog being more style than substance.

For every good thing about Ted, there were two things wrong. He was hyperactive, aggressive and, basically, dangerous. He COULD be lovely but the aggression meant he had to go. Whilst we had him we tried everything to fix the problems and for everyone we did, more became apparent.

After the massive heartache all this caused, we thought we were off dog and a month later, completely unplanned and unprepared, with no checks carried out – George arrives.

George is great and I cannot think how we lucked on such a good dog but here we are.

For me, having been on the good and bad side of selective breeding, it shows that there are pro’s and cons to both sides. We did our best but this is where the nature/nurture argument kicks in – who’s right?

With George, we met the parents and him – job done. That’s all it took to get my hands on what turned out to be one of the best dogs I’ve ever had.

I think, if how a pet looks is the most important thing in choosing an animal, you probably shouldn’t be getting one. What happens when that celebrity you follow gets bored and changed pets to suit their next haircut or sponsorship deal?

Go with your heart, your true heart, not the one you show on social media and you might just drop lucky on the best thing ever.