Running Along the Fence Line and Barking
#1
One of my BCs likes to run along the fence line and bark his head off at other dogs being walked while I am outside trying to work in the garden.  He will also run along the fence line and bark at a bicyclist.  The other BC does not do this.  The problem is, if I am working in the garden and concentrating on what I am doing, I don't notice that he has alerted to movement along the fence line until the barking and fence running starts.  He does not try to jump the fence.  My idea was to get a 50 foot long line and somehow tether it to me so I can reel him in and give positive reinforcement when he listens.  I know that telling him to stop and/or trying to catch him while is running along the fence line does not work, and it could be dangerous for me too.  Like I mentioned, the other BC is not a problem.  They play well together, and will play in the backyard running back and forth and wrestling.  So, if I have one BC tethered to me and the other free, I wonder if this will cause aggression problems between them.  Should I leave the other BC in the house while I am outside in the garden?  Is that fair?  I was wondering if anyone had an idea to break these particular bad habits?  Thanks.
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#2
For me fair is whatever is in the best interest of the dogs. I really do feel your problem, I am working through this motion sensitivity with my two right now and it is not easy. I think your idea with the long line is a great idea. When they have reached threshold words are wasted and perhaps add to the excitement, it's just noise at that point. I understand your concern with one dog restrained and one not but I think there may be a higher chance that there "is not" a problem than there is of there being a problem. In our household being on a long line kind of comes under the category of freedom. If they are just milling around in the garden with you I think they will be fine but I would keep an eye on any physical interaction as this could be dangerous to either dog if a tangle occurred. If it turns out that it is best to put one dog inside, I don't think that is unfair at all. When you have multiple dogs there are times when this is necessary in order to give each dog what it needs and your full attention. I do it with my boys often for training and while they are probably not happy about it they have become accustomed to it and dogs don't hold grudges.
We have an acreage property with a long driveway down to the house. The boys are OK with cars arriving but when leaving the acceleration of the motor and increasing speed seems to trigger the motion sensitivity. I have been teaching them to go to place (crate, bed, etc) when cars are leaving. Max is getting the hang of it really well, Jasper knows what he should be doing but still struggles with the excitement of it all. It is proving to be a slow process but I am confident we will get there. Your plan seems similar in that your objective is to have them come to you and remain calm when the thing they are reacting to is present.
I think we are on the same page with how to handle this but I also would welcome any other suggestions.
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#3
The first thing we did when we moved to this home was to fence in a rather large area by the house. It's probably just over an acre in size. 
Within this area we have our fish pond and play ball with the dogs. When they would see deer or other critters, if not playing ball, 2 of them would go to the fence and bark and run with the critters. 

I'm not a fan of the fence running and barking so it had to stop. If there started we stopped what we were doing and went to put them in the house. When the critters were gone and the dogs were calm they could come back out. If they started again, in the house they went. It didn't take long for them to figure it out. 
It still can happen on occasion but when they are told to come front they do. It's much better than going in the house. 

It wasn't fun stopping the work and walking from one side of the yard to the other every time a dog decided they wanted to run and bark at the critters. By doing so we have got it pretty well under control. Some days not much work got done but in the end it was worth it. 

By tethering the dog to me I would be afraid I would get all wrapped up. Not so sure it would work for me. We have to try different things to know what works best for us. 
Good luck working this out. Let us know what you come up with.
Linda

One Border Collie Is Never Enough

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#4
Thank you for the replies. I had one other thought. Our home is on one acre and completely fenced, but there is a large field (about 20 acres) across from our property. I may go to the field with the long line with treats in pocket to lure him for a recall when he is triggered. He's a pretty big boy (23 inches tall and almost 60 lbs). The only thing I would worry about would be him pulling the long line out of my hand if something triggers him in the open field, right next to a main road in and out of our subdivision. I may need to wear a glove on the hand that holds the long line. He is a wonderful dog, very loving with people and dogs and his manners were perfect when we first adopted him. Maybe in addition to showing motion sensitivity, he also feels he has to protect us from the scary dogs, people and bicyclists on the other side of the fence? I am hoping to practice in the field this weekend, if the snow ever melts off the ground. In the southern Denver suburbs we got hit by a late spring snow this past weekend and we have about a foot of snow on the grassy areas. I really do appreciate the advice you all can give me.
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#5
When I use a longline I wear a narrow belt or pants with loops and use a carabina hook to attach the longline to loop or belt. If you don't know what a carabina looks like, just look on eBay and you will recognise what I mean. Yes, if you get distracted and lose attention there is a risk of being pulled off your feet should a dog suddenly take off but if you have your mind on the task it is easily avoided. LOL, I am personally a little too heavy for either of my boys to pull me over. I also prefer to use a harness when using a long line because in the event that the dog does cause a sudden jolt there is less risk of injury to the dog. Long lines are great training tools but it is imperative that you remain on the job to avoid sudden yanking on the line, can be quite dangerous otherwise. I sometimes use gloves and have found equestrian gloves to be fantastic, I use them when I am tracking with my dogs.
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#6
I like the idea of a carabina hook and the use of a harness also. I have a question, since it is my position to be aware of the surroundings so I don't set my dog up for failure, if I see a distraction in the distance, would it be better to let my BC see it also and then begin the recall training? Or if I see the distraction first start reeling in the longline while calling his name for the Reward? In the second scenario I feel I would have more control since he will be closer to me instead of 50 feet out.
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#7
Personally, if I saw the distraction first I would practice the recall and reward. Be mindful to allow the dog to make the choice to recall and only take up the slack, the line is just your safely net. Once he has come to you of course try to position so as to ensure he also notices the distraction hold his focus with small rewards and them big praise and reward for job well done after distraction has passed. If it is a distraction that is not going to pass, be mindful not to ask for too much duration, finish on a high note and move on.
The day will come when you can recall "after" the dog has noticed a distraction but for getting started I think your second scenario is the way to go.
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#8
One other thing to think about. You may want to make sure your long line is short of reaching the actual fence line. That's one more interruption of the unwanted behavior and gives you one more chance to make distraction work for you.
Gotta love 'em.
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#9
Tie knots along the top 1/3 of the long line to make it easier to grab or step on if needed. 

60 pounds of dog, tied to my belt loop and running away from me on a long line, I'd be afraid he would pull my pants off.  Giggle
Linda

One Border Collie Is Never Enough

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#10
I dont see why the dog running along the fence is a problem. he is not getting away and is getting exercise and obviously enjoys it. Some times I think folks try too hard to make dogs conform to their expectations and not the dogs happiness. No harm no fowl. Our dogs love running along the fence and there fore it gives me joy as well. The neighbor hood kids and folks know tehy cant get out and most of them enjoy the dogs antics too.
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