Jessie – The collie who loved to chase bikes

Four months ago I was almost at the end of my tether with my young border collie, Jesse.  He didn’t like, and therefore tried to chase cyclists and joggers, nipping and barking at them.  I started avoiding places where he might have such encounters because I was worried about the potential outcome and, consequently, restricting him to on lead walks most of the time.

I asked the vet for advice and he recommended that I contact Colin Rose.

After checking his website, I rang Colin and we arranged a 1:1 session the following week.  Over the past four months we have met a total of 7 times, graduating to the busy Bristol-Bath cycle track during the afternoon rush hour after the first two sessions.

Initially, Jesse was very nervous, although I have to say that he took a shine to Colin straight away!  Working firstly with a tug toy as distraction, we graduated to using using a clicker to mark the desired behaviour of looking at me, showing no urge to lunge or chase, followed by a high value treat, each time a cyclist passed us.

Four weeks ago Colin and I put Jesse to the test and took him for an off lead walk along the cycle track.  We avoided the busy rush hour bikes, but nevertheless, many passed us during the hour’s walk.  Jesse behaved impeccably throughout the session, showing no desire to chase the bikes as they disappeared into the distance, even though he had every opportunity to do so.

Since then I’ve been able to walk him happily along a much less busy, local cycle path and today we had a final, successful session, walking off lead again along the Bath cycle track.

Jesse is now almost 2 and has improved in leaps and bounds, although he still has some issues, such as with strangers that approach him that he isn’t sure of.  Colin has also given me lots of helpful advice as to how I can address them too.  I’m sure that in time and with patience we will overcome these fears too.

Thank you Colin, it’s been a pleasure working with you!!