Might Fason understand he's no longer the newest animal on the ranch? I got a new border collie this weekend. He moved in to help Mahzi the lab and Miles my current border collie with the workload as I move Miles into a management position. He turns eight this year and is slowing down with only his three legs. Miles will still be going to expos and horse shows with me this season, but he just can't continue the day to day, all day, physical labor around the ranch at home. The new dog was living with an older couple in Windsor, but since border collies need more exercise and job satisfaction than can usually be found in a residential area they decided to give him to me so he can come work at Bit of Honey.
True to his border collie intelligence he has figured out very quickly what is allowed and what is not. He was a little nervous around one of the horses this morning and curled his lip at her, so I gave a little jerk on the leash. That was the only discipline he needed. There was one other time he was feeling intimidated and he lunged at one of the geldings because he didn't know what to do, but a quick "NO" from me, then briskly walking the other way as a distraction solved that easily. The border collies are sensitive, so it is important not to over-correct or they start to worry. So far he has only made each mistake once, and as soon as he knows what the behavior standards are he is fine. If I have to go into a pen with a horse I tie the dog to the fence outside so there's not the safety issue of dog plus leash tied to human plus horse to cause mayhem.
Many more episodes of "training the horse-training dog" to come!