But, he is learning how to bring the sheep in. It is my fault, not his, that progress is slow, because I do not know how to properly train him. He is cattle bred and wants to push from the front as cattle dogs often do, but for sheep, he needs to come from behind. Robbie is very intelligent, as most border collies are. He learns tricks in one session and remembers them well. That does not always mean he will perform the trick though, not if he does not want to. But he wants to the majority of the time, because he gets praise and pets and love and that is what he enjoys the most. I have not trained any dogs with food rewards, just with love and so far, it has worked. Robbie is very loving and soaks up the praise which makes him want to please even more.
Robbie was housetrained without being house trained. He just did not mess in the house. He knew. He sleeps in the house, but is not allowed in many of the rooms or near any furniture. I believe farm dogs, who run through everything on the farm, should be relegated to a washable surface. There are days when the place he sleeps looks like the outside, the dirt and debris is so thick. Robbie is my 11th border collie and my farm helper and companion. I love that dog!