Context sensitive

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    I’ve noticed, trying to train our boy, that what he learns is very context sensitive, ie behaviour learned in one context does not translate easily to another.

    One example, the retrieve.  He likes to run after a ball but will not bring it back for another throw. He loses interest and drops it, or will run past me and not give it up easily. However, in the house when I have the clicker he will bring the ball back to me and drop it into my hand every time. In the house with no clicker he prefers the ‘I’ve got the ball and you haven’t’ game.

    Is this a collie trait?


    I’d have a good think about what you just wrote if I was you  :ok: I am not an expert on training but just from that post I can see what you are doing wrong and why he won’t retrieve to the hand



    dogs are situational learners (that means they learn the cue in “that environment” specifically) and then it is moved on and transferred to all environments as you move up the criteria.

    when you are outside are you using your clicker and treats – if not why not?  once you have cued a “come” and “give” with clicker and got them reliable and fluent at this criteria he will do it.  at the moment fart arsing about with the ball is much more rewarding than just coming back to you.

    same in the house – you NEED clicker and rewards to train him, he wont work for you without encouragement.  why should he ?  dogs dont do “trudging to work resentfully” every day unless you beat the cr*p out of them they do “what will you offer” and work for the highest bidder – ie: you+clicker+treats and NOT ‘just you’.

    the chase (running after ball) will come from collie drive and the instinct is obviously strong in him BUT its no excuse not to get his cues in.  Bonnie has this from her collie and whippet lines and is absolutely glazed over when in “the chase” but i can still hold her off rabbits with her “leaveit” cue.

    Claire x


    actually he gets more and more like Oban  ::)


    He knows if you have got the clicker he will get treats, no clicker chances are no treats


    cj when he is being a loon outside with the ball what do you do hun? how do you respond to him?

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