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This stunning Border Collie came to Woodgreen with a worrying obsession. Her elderly owner couldn’t give her enough exercise, so Margot started chasing shadows for entertainment.

Spotting the signs of boredom

Three-year-old Margot is a typical Collie. As well as being highly intelligent, she had boundless energy. This had become too much for her owner to handle and she couldn’t give her the support she deserved. Margot’s boredom triggered obsessive behaviours including light and shadow chasing. Anything would set her off, whether it was the shiny reflection of a watch or the shadow of a tree branch.

“The longer the habit develops, the more difficult it is to change.”

Wendy, Behaviour and Training Specialist

Shadow chasing can be caused by a medical condition or behavioural problem. We gave Margot a thorough check-up and ran some tests to make sure her brain was healthy. We wanted to rule out any neurological conditions and, thankfully, the results came back clear.

Margot, three-year-old Border Collie

Positivity and support to help Margot

Our next priority was to create a behaviour and training plan to reduce the light and shadow chasing. Our approach focused on trick training and scent work. We wanted Margot to use her nose instead of her eyes. She loved her food, so we introduced fun ways for her to eat, including hiding treats and scatter feeding.

Margot’s brilliant handler, Steph, helped to keep her mind and body active by setting up obstacles for her to weave in and out of. This was an effective way of keeping Margot entertained so she could burn off some energy.

During her stay with us, our behaviour and training specialists also supported Margot. To give her the best chance at success, she was given medication for her behaviour alongside the training. This helped Margot focus on her activities while keeping her relaxed. We wanted her to develop new behaviours to replace the shadow chasing. We reduced the medication over time and she stopped taking it when the team saw an improvement.

Margot with her new owner from The Dog House

New beginnings

Margot came on leaps and bounds and we were so impressed by the incredible progress she had made. Now she was much happier and calmer dog, it was time for our rehoming team to begin their search for the perfect new owner. She was the first dog that came to mind when we met avid hiker, Katherine, and her hubby Mark, on The Dog House. Despite her lovely temperament which may have suited anyone, we were looking for a loving home with owners willing to continue her training – and it was clear Katherine and Mark would be an ideal match.

In the Meeting Pen, Margot had a few sniffs around before approaching Mark and Katherine to say hello. Our team had their fingers crossed Margot wouldn’t be too shy, and thankfully she was soon over for a good fuss. It was clear from Katherine and Mark’s faces, they had found their four-legged friend at last!

After taking Margot home, we supported both Katherine and Mark to come up with a training plan that would fit their lifestyle. We checked in to find out how Margot was getting on and offered advice whenever they needed us. Mark recently got in touch with us to let us know how it’s going.

“Margot could not be doing any better or be more of a delight. She has come on leaps and bounds since we got her; the shadow chasing has reduced. Margot loves playing ball and getting her belly scratched. She needed a ton of love and a safe home to relax into, and we wouldn't change a single thing about her.”

Mark, Margot's new owner
Let's do it