Huntaway Collie Cross Training Issues

Firstly, this is my first post so I apologise if I have posted in the wrong place. I joined the forum to see if anyone can advise me on my huntaway border collie mix boy 8 months. I don't have a farm, I bought the dog as a pet and now feel this may have been a mistake, though I bought him from a farm and they seemed satisfied I would be OK as an owner with a large garden and another dog (collie) who I walk every day it should be OK for him. However this dog has such a strange character, he is deeply rebellious and apparently untrainable as a pet. He also has far more energy and need to run around on acres of land than I can provide. However my main question is about the character of a huntaway (he is only one quarter huntaway). Are they generally very headstrong rebellious dogs? He is also physically difficult, very strong and jerks his head and body about all the time meaning I get bruises when I try to stroke him. He understands commands but will not obey them, for example I try to get him to lie down before I will give his dinner. He lies down then gets straight up again, this is repeated several times till he very grudgingly lies down angrily. There seems to be no willingness to please me. My BC is totally different, she always wanted to please me, very easy to train and teach and therefore makes a much nicer pet. I can't even give this dog a cuddle or stroke, he pushes his body into me or his legs, he is very strong and I get hurt by him every day. He also treads on my feet. He seems to want to make contact with me but not in a nice way. He won't move if I ask him to, he stiffens his body up and he is very heavy. Not sure if these are normal huntaway traits, or if it is teenage hormones/rebellion and he might get better? He is not neutered. Any advice is appreciated as long as given kindly. I have considered rehoming him to a working home as honesty not sure it's fair on him to be a pet, the joy on his face when he gets to run freely in a field when I can, is unsurpassable, also the little bit of joy that he gets from trying to herd my four chickens, he looks so happy, he's not being allowed to do what he was made for really. Thank you.
 

Dry Rot

Member
Livestock Farmer
Wrong dog in the wrong home. I will let someone else answer this one as I don't think my reply will be politically acceptable. This is why, when I bred gundogs, I had a five page application form. I am sorry for the OP and even sorrier for the dog. Others may be able to answer the questions specific to huntaways but with a large price on offer, some breeders will say anything. And the other three quarters of his breeding are what? Sadly, the rescues are full.
 

Bald n Grumpy

Member
Livestock Farmer
The only connection between a hunterway cross and a border collie is they're are both dogs, hunterways are totally unique IMO . I've got a cross for work and it's no use at all 90% of the time and I won't have another, I accept it's probably my fault but after having Collie's I didnt have a BL**day clue what to do with a hunterway.
He's a nice friendly dog and I will keep him though.
 
Wrong dog in the wrong home. I will let someone else answer this one as I don't think my reply will be politically acceptable. This is why, when I bred gundogs, I had a five page application form. I am sorry for the OP and even sorrier for the dog. Others may be able to answer the questions specific to huntaways but with a large price on offer, some breeders will say anything. And the other three quarters of his breeding are what? Sadly, the rescues are full.
other 3/4 is border collie. No I take your point. I also think that the breeder was not fully honest with me and yes, I too feel sorry for the dog as I'm doing my best but agreed that what I have to offer is never going to be fully compatible with his needs. It's a shame for us both as he's actually a lovely dog, but not served well in my environment.
 
I have had two collie X huntaway composites (both parents collie X huntaway). I have found them to be good working dogs. Not as classy as a good border collie but more versatile as both are good in the pens and can catch (one better than the other). From what I've seen of Welsh collies, they are quite similar. Both bitches, full but not litter sisters, and with lovely natures. Bombproof with kids.
@Byronandseren My guess would be that the problem with your dog is threefold: not enough physical/mental stimulation, teenage belligerence and possibly lack of firm handling. Sounds to me that he fancies being alpha male
 
I have had two collie X huntaway composites (both parents collie X huntaway). I have found them to be good working dogs. Not as classy as a good border collie but more versatile as both are good in the pens and can catch (one better than the other). From what I've seen of Welsh collies, they are quite similar. Both bitches, full but not litter sisters, and with lovely natures. Bombproof with kids.
@Byronandseren My guess would be that the problem with your dog is threefold: not enough physical/mental stimulation, teenage belligerence and possibly lack of firm handling. Sounds to me that he fancies being alpha male
Interesting answer, thank you. I try to firmly handle him but he's very strong and tends to ignore me when he chooses. I agree with the physical stimulation. I tried with lots of mental stimulation like I did with my BC, but he just doesn't seem to catch on and loses interest quickly. It's one of the things that's very different about him from my BC who wanted to learn new things all the time and was very persistent. I have taught him a few tricks and he loves to chase a ball. Yes I think he does want to be alpha male esp as we are a household of females! He is currently on the sofa being as cute and gorgeous as any dog could be as we managed to get out into a nature reserve today, he's worn himself out. Sadly most days I can't manage that and it's just a walk/run up the bridle path and some ball play in the garden.
 
I have had two collie X huntaway composites (both parents collie X huntaway). I have found them to be good working dogs. Not as classy as a good border collie but more versatile as both are good in the pens and can catch (one better than the other). From what I've seen of Welsh collies, they are quite similar. Both bitches, full but not litter sisters, and with lovely natures. Bombproof with kids.
@Byronandseren My guess would be that the problem with your dog is threefold: not enough physical/mental stimulation, teenage belligerence and possibly lack of firm handling. Sounds to me that he fancies being alpha male
No such thing as a Welsh collie 😉
 

Martyn

Member
Location
South west
We have had two huntaway cross BC both have enjoyed work but also sofa life, our bitch had a leg injury and soon decide she preferred house life, super with our children and loves attention. Sounds like yours needs a different home to be honest, the current signals it's giving you are positive, maby a few years of work then it might become a garden/house dog.
 
Interesting answer, thank you. I try to firmly handle him but he's very strong and tends to ignore me when he chooses. I agree with the physical stimulation. I tried with lots of mental stimulation like I did with my BC, but he just doesn't seem to catch on and loses interest quickly. It's one of the things that's very different about him from my BC who wanted to learn new things all the time and was very persistent. I have taught him a few tricks and he loves to chase a ball. Yes I think he does want to be alpha male esp as we are a household of females! He is currently on the sofa being as cute and gorgeous as any dog could be as we managed to get out into a nature reserve today, he's worn himself out. Sadly most days I can't manage that and it's just a walk/run up the bridle path and some ball play in the garden.
Get him off the sofa for a start! Dogs get in the house here but sofa for humans only.
 

MRT

Member
Interesting answer, thank you. I try to firmly handle him but he's very strong and tends to ignore me when he chooses. I agree with the physical stimulation. I tried with lots of mental stimulation like I did with my BC, but he just doesn't seem to catch on and loses interest quickly. It's one of the things that's very different about him from my BC who wanted to learn new things all the time and was very persistent. I have taught him a few tricks and he loves to chase a ball. Yes I think he does want to be alpha male esp as we are a household of females! He is currently on the sofa being as cute and gorgeous as any dog could be as we managed to get out into a nature reserve today, he's worn himself out. Sadly most days I can't manage that and it's just a walk/run up the bridle path and some ball play in the garden.
Bad dog indicators: sleeps on bed/sofa, extenting lead, harness, trained with treats
 

Fellstoflats

Member
Livestock Farmer
Having worked with huntaways, but not owned one, I'd say the comparison between the two is chalk and cheese. The huntaways are very independent, and bred to be so- working at distance, a lot of the time of their own mind, with only very basic instruction.

I'd say me and my collies were a team, working as one- the huntaways and I work together, but in a different way.

They are lovely dogs, and can be great pets, and really affectionate. Best of luck!
 
I have had two collie X huntaway composites (both parents collie X huntaway). I have found them to be good working dogs. Not as classy as a good border collie but more versatile as both are good in the pens and can catch (one better than the other). From what I've seen of Welsh collies, they are quite similar. Both bitches, full but not litter sisters, and with lovely natures. Bombproof with kids.
@Byronandseren My guess would be that the problem with your dog is threefold: not enough physical/mental stimulation, teenage belligerence and possibly lack of firm handling. Sounds to me that he fancies being alpha male
my daughters old Welsh Collie was aggressive with other dogs, and I thought she was a lovely dog (however others may have had different opinions!) anyway, as soon as she was out working sheep she was a different dog, you could see that was what she was bred for and was all she really wanted to do. She just seemed so happy when she was working.

My daughter and late mother in law took her to a dog training class, they said Nessie as soon as she got there looked for the biggest dog there, then attacked him! My mother in law was apparently so embarrassed she would not go back.
 

Dry Rot

Member
Livestock Farmer
These days we forget how much instinct is bred into working dogs. Above, we have examples of working dogs that work best to signals and others who have to use their initiative. None were bred to be pets and I would hazard a guess that in times past when food was scarce, nobody in the countryside knew what a "pet" was, let alone kept one. Even the 'toys' had a purpose to keep your hands warm on a long cold coach journey!

In my youth, working pups were given away or sold for a nominal sum -- and if they didn't work, they'd be tapped on the head and buried in the dung heap. I wonder how long it will take for our working dogs to be completely destroyed? It is certainly happening already, along with the knowledge to train them. Not everything can be trained with treats. I am not saying cruelty is the answer but some things dogs do because they like doing them, others they do because they must.

Nature created pain for a reason and in small doses it serves a purpose in learning, whether it is a child learning that hot things hurt or other things are good to eat. Actions bring consequences. Sometimes, if owners would just sit down and think, "How is my dog, with a limited intelligence and even less knowledge of English, going to understand what I mean and what I should want him to do? How can I best communicate with him?".
 
These days we forget how much instinct is bred into working dogs. Above, we have examples of working dogs that work best to signals and others who have to use their initiative. None were bred to be pets and I would hazard a guess that in times past when food was scarce, nobody in the countryside knew what a "pet" was, let alone kept one. Even the 'toys' had a purpose to keep your hands warm on a long cold coach journey!

In my youth, working pups were given away or sold for a nominal sum -- and if they didn't work, they'd be tapped on the head and buried in the dung heap. I wonder how long it will take for our working dogs to be completely destroyed? It is certainly happening already, along with the knowledge to train them. Not everything can be trained with treats. I am not saying cruelty is the answer but some things dogs do because they like doing them, others they do because they must.

Nature created pain for a reason and in small doses it serves a purpose in learning, whether it is a child learning that hot things hurt or other things are good to eat. Actions bring consequences. Sometimes, if owners would just sit down and think, "How is my dog, with a limited intelligence and even less knowledge of English, going to understand what I mean and what I should want him to do? How can I best communicate with him?".
When I was in Australia, a neighbour told me he used to get a puppy to run under the sheep's legs in the race, by pulling them under with a piece of string. When I asked, what would he do with the puppies that were scared, he told me he would shoot them!

With a trained dog, if it runs under the sheep's in a race, it means you can really load the race well.
 
Firstly, this is my first post so I apologise if I have posted in the wrong place. I joined the forum to see if anyone can advise me on my huntaway border collie mix boy 8 months. I don't have a farm, I bought the dog as a pet and now feel this may have been a mistake, though I bought him from a farm and they seemed satisfied I would be OK as an owner with a large garden and another dog (collie) who I walk every day it should be OK for him. However this dog has such a strange character, he is deeply rebellious and apparently untrainable as a pet. He also has far more energy and need to run around on acres of land than I can provide. However my main question is about the character of a huntaway (he is only one quarter huntaway). Are they generally very headstrong rebellious dogs? He is also physically difficult, very strong and jerks his head and body about all the time meaning I get bruises when I try to stroke him. He understands commands but will not obey them, for example I try to get him to lie down before I will give his dinner. He lies down then gets straight up again, this is repeated several times till he very grudgingly lies down angrily. There seems to be no willingness to please me. My BC is totally different, she always wanted to please me, very easy to train and teach and therefore makes a much nicer pet. I can't even give this dog a cuddle or stroke, he pushes his body into me or his legs, he is very strong and I get hurt by him every day. He also treads on my feet. He seems to want to make contact with me but not in a nice way. He won't move if I ask him to, he stiffens his body up and he is very heavy. Not sure if these are normal huntaway traits, or if it is teenage hormones/rebellion and he might get better? He is not neutered. Any advice is appreciated as long as given kindly. I have considered rehoming him to a working home as honesty not sure it's fair on him to be a pet, the joy on his face when he gets to run freely in a field when I can, is unsurpassable, also the little bit of joy that he gets from trying to herd my four chickens, he looks so happy, he's not being allowed to do what he was made for really. Thank you.
Interesting post about your huntaway dog 🤔 , we have a huntaway x bitch called Meg 😀 she is a little different to a Collie ... She likes to dig a hole to lie in out of the wind ? She doesn't like sheep and will sit with her back to a pen full but loves working with cattle, the bigger the better 🙄 she will speak up on command . I know some on here will disagree but she sleeps in her bed inside the back door and will eat when she fancies snacking on her food through the day . She does like a run just for fun and what you discripe sounds typical and he really wants to be put to work .
 

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HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

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The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...
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