Sniffers & Snowflake: A Success Story

You’ve got to love a success story now and then and I wanted to share with you a short tale. One that shows you that things will get better in the end with some work and focus. You’re going to have insanely frustrating days with your Border Collie puppy. No way to avoid it. Days when you think to yourself “This is not going to work…I can’t deal with this dog in my house anymore!” We’ve all had those days…and they can be rough.

A while back Tia B. shot me a note about her new Border Collie puppy, Sniffers, and her kitten Snowflake. All was not going well in the home. Tia wrote…

My husband surprised me with a Border Collie (mix) this Christmas and I couldn’t be more excited.  I have been wanting another Border Collie Mix for a long time now…We are currently having an issue with Sniffers (3 months old) barking and chasing our kitten up the Christmas tree!  Any suggestions on how to get her to stop bullying?

While this sort of thing would make a good YouTube video I’m sure it was extremely aggravating. We had something kinda similar with Ned’s flashlight obsession and figured it might take a similar solution. Our suggestion on the fix was as follows…

Congrats on the new addition and welcome to the crazy! At 3 months old your BC is looking at that kitten as a really fun toy. My opinion is 1) your kitten is going to teach that puppy a lesson pretty soon (usually a good scratch on the nose does the trick) and 2) focus on redirecting Sniffers every time he starts are your kitten. It’s a tough road…you need to be “on” all the time and catch him each time he starts after the kitten. Redirect – Change Focus – Ask for Trick/task – Offer reward. I hope that helps? It’s not easy but TOTALLY worth the work now for the peace of mind later. Let me know how you make out – and if you think of it shoot me over a picture of Sniffers and we’ll get him up on the site!

So, how did it turn out?

Sniffers the Border Collie


From Tia:

I appreciate your advice on Sniffers and her new friend Snowflake. She has stopped intimidating the kitten by barking at her thanks to your coaching. They now wrestle together in a playful way and there is no barking! They even cuddle together now, check out the picture!”

Nice, right? Good job Tia! Way to keep at it and solve the issue. So glad it worked out! We learned the redirect/task/treat thing from reading training books and watching videos and all that jazz so keep learning! It can and will get better with effort and focus! Let us know how these guys do in the future and thanks for the note!

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