Sunday, 1 October 2017

09:42 – It was 41.0 (5C) when I took Colin out at 0645, mostly clear. The overnight low was down in the 30’s. Autumn is definitely here.

Colin’s new shock collar arrived yesterday. I plugged it in to charge the transmitter and receiver, went through the procedure to marry them, and then played with it for a while.

It offers the option of four different stimuli: flashing an LED, beeping, vibrating like a cell phone, and finally delivering an electric shock. We decided to set it vibrate mode. After dinner yesterday, we took him out loose. He did his usual walk over to the corner of our property near the road and started sniffing. He ignored Barbara the first time she called him. She waited a moment and called him again. He ignored her again, and I pushed the button to activate the collar. Colin levitated sideways several feet and then came back to us on a dead run.

I just now took him out for his morning constitutional. He ambled down to the corner of the property near the road and started sniffing around. I let him do that for a minute, and then called him. He ignored me and started to walk across the road. I pushed the button, and he turned and came back onto our property on a dead run. I let him sniff his way down our south treeline and around the southwest corner of our property. After he did his business, I called him. He ignored me and kept sniffing around. I called him again, waited a moment for him to respond, and then pressed the button. He came on the dead run, passed me without even stopping to ask for a treat, and ran up to the front door, where he stood and waited to be let in.

I wish I’d had this when he was a puppy. But better late than never. We’ll use the stimulus as little as possible, but we will use it as necessary until he comes reliably when called. They say one can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but that doesn’t really apply to Border Collies. They learn new tricks on their own, regardless of their age.