Zip Early Learning
August 2018: 6 months old
She is a wild running, butterfly-working dog
Or more scientifically: a dog with a compulsive behaviours that responds very fast to arousal and movement in the environment.
Her first response is to chase and grab when there is fast movement. This is normal, juvenile behaviour in a sheepdog. She has yet to find, or it has yet to emerge, an adult “eye”, or stalking behaviour that will work well on sheep and other dogs, cats, pigeons. But not butterflies or bats.
Some young collie pups arrive with a very strong eye by 12 weeks and learn to develop flanking moves. She is the opposite way around and until she discovers the power of eye, which is infinitely more effective than chasing, chasing will get stronger. I need to arrange some eye clinics!
This need, or compulsion, to chase and race is being used as her default behaviour. If I have Merrick in the kitchen for training she will evacuate to the garden to chase. If I groom Time up on the table, same response. If this option is not available, there is high, frustrating arousal resembling a panic.