Great Lakes Border Collie Rescue
Great Lakes Border Collie Rescue

Olaf, now Jasper
Gender: Male
Age: 8 Months
Height/Weight: 23" / 45 lbs
House-trained: Yes
Fenced yard required: Yes
Location: Mid-Michigan
Foster Home: Pam and Roberta
Crate-trained: Yes
Treat-motivated: Yes
Toy-motivated: Learning
Likes Car Rides: tbd
Good with cats: NO
Good with kids: 8+ (due to size)

Olaf was adopted in August, 2015 and is now known as Jasper. Here he is with his new human!

"He is doing great! He sits, waits, lays down with a verbal command and we taught him a non verbal hand raise. He learned not to jump up within the first 24 hours of us ignoring him and turning on backs on him when he did it. he sits and waits for his food and is learning to let us touch his paws and belly (in preparation for grooming training). he walks very well although I don't think he was walked much before because EVERYTHING is new to him (sewer grates, skateboards, kids, people, moving cars,etc.) we are having fun slowing introducing him to the world (including my son's tuba which was so fun to watch - he did great by the way and was laying down listening to When the Saints Come Marching In within 20 minutes)."

Olaf came to GLBCR as an owner-surrendered dog. He is a mix of Border Collie/Australian Shepherd, and was whelped in September, 2014. Although we never know the real reasons for his surrender, I suspect he entered the worst stage in any dog’s life – adolescence. Adolescence is the reason owners need to set an early foundation of leadership and obedience commands, and it is obvious poor Olaf has had very little of either! In fact, I’ve called Olaf an oaf, and a fellow GLBCR volunteer astutely noted that OAF is Olaf without the L!!

Dogs need to interact with their “family”, and Olaf, like dogs that lack guidance in manners training, resorts to brash, obnoxious behavior to get the attention he craves. Bad attention is better than no attention at all, after all! He will jump up on people, and comes close to knocking them down! He is a huge mouther, and will take your hand, wrist, or other body part into his mouth. The REALLY good thing about his poor behavior is it is not permanent, and he is fairly easily corrected! Already, he is learning his poor behavior is a poor choice for him.

Olaf is crate trained. In fact, he spent quite a bit of his life in a crate, so sometimes he “argues” about going into a crate. He knows, though, that eating happens in his crate, and many times treats get tossed into his crate, and those things will quickly change his mind. He sleeps in his crate, too, and does just fine with that. Now, like a dog used to getting attention when he does undesirable behavior, he fusses when other dogs go outside and he gets left behind (because he feels life should be all about him!). In time, I’m certain that fussy behavior will diminish, if not disappear! What Olaf did not understand when he came to me is he cannot just “explode” out of his crate! He is learning - and almost has it down pat in just one week! – that he must SIT and WAIT when the door is opened, and he will be released to come out with an “OK!” (Olaf knew a fairly steady SIT, but would pop right up almost immediately with even the slightest amount of praise!) I believe Olaf is potty trained! He gets really frantic and fussy when he has to go outside, and knows to run to the door. He seems to understand when I tell him “go potty!”, but I also reinforce it. I ask him, too, to “go poop”, and reinforce that, too. Olaf is also learning (VERY well, I must add!) to SIT and WAIT at the door, and he cannot go outside until released with “OK!”

Sadly, I don’t think Olaf was exposed to the wonderful world of Fetch! He has a very short attention span when I get him excited about a toy. He’ll run after a tossed toy, sometimes picking it up, and sometimes not. Sometimes he brings a toy kinda-sorta close enough to me to consider he perhaps retrieved it for me, but often he does not! He doesn’t seem to know about Nylabones, and I think his love of toys of all kinds will need to be nurtured.

Unlike many Border Collies, Olaf is not a super high-energy dog. He has typical puppy energy and exuberance, but he settles down nicely. Among other things he needs to learn is he doesn’t have to be busy and active –all- the time, and teaching him a steady “settle” command will be helpful. I can even provide a hand-out I wrote on the subject for you to read. As he matures into an adult, Olaf, with the right guidance and training, will become a very steady, easy-going and happy companion.

Olaf’s play style with another dog is quite rough and rather irritating for the other dog. He prefers to chase the other dog, and will grab at the scruff of the other dog’s neck and hold on. I’m surprised my Rosie has tolerated this rough behavior as much as she does! For that reason, he doesn’t get to play with my own BCs much. I understand he is not nice with cats AT ALL.

While Olaf is with me, I am working on manners, and teaching him any obnoxious behavior is NOT appreciated! Will I be teaching him more obedience commands? Probably not, as I think he will not be with me for very long at all! The obedience training will be up to his new owner(s); in fact, it will be a requirement of his adoption! “Do not pass GO, Do not collect $200, JUST GO TO A TRAINING CLASS! Or 2, or 3!!” A training class will be the KEY to forming a solid and lasting bond between him and his adopter. Once that happens, I’m SURE Olaf will be a SUPER companion. IF Olaf is not taken to a training class, I can foresee a failed match, because he is a classic example of how an ignored dog becomes an obnoxious dog, FAST! THAT is something I refuse to let happen!