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Old 10-15-2011, 02:40 AM
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Default Border Collie People

My sister brought home a BC x GSD mix puppy without doing any research whatsoever a few months ago. She just wanted a cheap Craigslist puppy despite my advice. It angers me as much as it angers you. Darla's parents were working dogs on a farm. She was living in an apartment when she got Darla and Darla's brother (whom her ex-boyfriend took with him when they moved apart). Was she thinking at all? No, obviously not. She probably just thought they were cute. Typical, right? Anyway, she and Darla recently moved in with me. I have had a rescue Border Collie for a short period of time and he was great, but I have not had to raise a high strung 6 month old puppy from working parents I wouldn't say that it is hard, but it is different, and maybe the proper word would be...CONSTANT. I have always had bully breeds, this is VERY different for me.

My sister is out all the time (she works and then leaves Darla with me morning, afternoon, and night) so Darla is basically always home with me after I get home from school/work. She is here with Karma (who just got spayed and is in heat), Kenai, and whatever puppies I take home to train from the kennel I work with. Her energy really bugs Karma and Kenai. I've got my hands full as you can imagine. Darla is VERY smart. She is GO GO GO constantly, as I did and do know about this breed, but I guess you don't really know the signifigance of it until you experience it. She has no off switch. If she is not being worked with or given constant attention, she becomes destructive and loud. I go to school, work, and have homework to do. I've tried Kongs filled with all the tasty tidbits you can think of. She gets bored of those. I play ball with her and do some training when I get home, which she responds to well, but when she's inside she runs full speed all around the house no matter how much exercise she gets or she whines. Constantly. She puts Kenai in a frenzy and drives Karma NUTS, to the point where I won't let them out together anymore. I have talked to my sister about doing some herding or agility with her, or some type of training or work with her or making the decision to rehome her to someone who better fits her needs. Everyone in this house has said something to her. She just gets offended and throws a fit. I am very upset with how ignorant my sister is and how this is something I need to add to my schedule now. I barely have any time as it is. Please don't see this like I am blaming Darla - I'm not AT ALL, she is a great, smart, sweet, loving dog, and I do absolutely love Darla, and I like Border Collies - would I myself have made the decision to bring a Border Collie into my life or home right now? No. But my sister did no research and it is really unfortunate, she has a lot of potential and she is really an impressive dog. It's very sad to me, as is the lack of socialization she recieved, she is a very skittish dog to add onto her naturally being sensitive. I LOVE dogs, but it becomes a bit too much when this is not my dog and not what I bargained for, if that makes sense. With her never being home it creates a lot of tension in the house (and a lot of other factors that add to me being so uptight with her since she has moved back in...it has NOT been a good experience and nobody is sure what to do from here).

Her ex-boyfriend has Darla's brother, who does live on a farm and is doing great because his owner works from home and he is ALWAYS doing something with the dog. Both of the pups have always been very intelligent, they were taught to sit and stay at 8 weeks old.

All I'm looking for is ideas specific to Border Collie minds, anything BC owners and lovers have learned with their dogs, training techniques, things to keep her busy at home so I can relax, do homework and study, and stay sane Thanks!

Oh and here's a picture of her since you guys haven't seen her since she was tiny.

100_1236 by ohmanlookatmylife, on Flickr

Last edited by PitBullLove; 10-15-2011 at 02:52 AM.
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Old 10-15-2011, 04:20 PM
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The biggest thing I can suggest, as someone who has had a handful of border collie puppies:

Quit trying to keep her so busy.

The more you throw exciting, stimulating things at her in order to keep her out of your hair and under some facade of relaxation, the more she is going to grow up to expect there to ALWAYS be entertainment at her disposal. Even now, it sounds like she can't handle not having something to do. She needs to learn that it's not always "go time". As long as she gets some exercise every day, I would see to it that she also spends some time being bored out of her skull and learns to deal with it.

Lay down a handful of basic but fair rules and expectations, and stick to them. Do not micro-manage her, let her do her thing and only intervene to correct her if she's breaking a cardinal rule. If you want her to be calm and not run or whine in the house, insist on it. If you want her to leave the other dogs alone, insist on it. Just don't create a hundred little rules that a high energy, frenetic puppy will forget about.

It sounds weird, but the best way to create a balanced, controlled dog out of a wild working breed is to leave them alone and teach them self control. Crate her when she gets frustrating or hard for you to deal with. Put a meal/treat and a bone or chew toy in the crate with her so she has a way to blow off some steam, and let her howl or shriek or scratch at the crate door all she wants. Leave the room if you can't stand the noise, but do not ever let her out when she's being loud. If you want to let her out and she's being loud, just wait another 5 minutes or however long it takes until she quiets down, then reward her by letting her out. Teaching her to crate up quietly might be your salvation through her rowdy puppy years.

I wouldn't over-exercise her, but I would definitely give her a good hard run and some mental stimulation outside. Sounds like she thinks inside = outside and she doesn't take her shoes off or lower her voice before she comes in, like any rowdy kid. If she gets some good, hard exercise and still wants to be hyper and obnoxious when she's indoors, let her know that you won't go for that. Teach her a down-stay, tether her somewhere inside, or put her in a crate/proofed room. Don't let her run around like a maniac. If you can teach her to blow off all her energy when she's outside, and relax and rest inside, I think you'll have a much easier time with her.

ETA- she is really cute! She looks so much like an Aussie.
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Old 10-15-2011, 06:24 PM
Michiyo-Fir Michiyo-Fir is offline
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Exactly what RD said.

After the few training and exercise sessions per day, if she's being destructive or demanding attention, crate in a different room and ignore!! It doesn't matter how much she screams, she has to learn to deal with it and not have something happening every single second of everyday.

When an OCD prone dog like a BC is overstimulated and overexercised, it can create a massively annoying bundle of nerves and energy without being able to settle. I've seen it a lot with certain sports people that do too much too soon with their new puppies.

Another thing that is great is on kikopup's channel there's a video teaching puppies to settle and awarding them for relaxing and not doing anything. It really helps a dog learn to enjoy some quiet time. Sorry, I can't link the video right now from my phone.
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Old 10-15-2011, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RD View Post
ETA- she is really cute! She looks so much like an Aussie.
I haven't read your post, but yeah, what RD said! haha

I agree with the quoted part, though. My first thought was Aussie, not Border Collie!
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Old 10-15-2011, 06:47 PM
Brattina88 Brattina88 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michiyo-Fir View Post
Another thing that is great is on kikopup's channel there's a video teaching puppies to settle and awarding them for relaxing and not doing anything. It really helps a dog learn to enjoy some quiet time. Sorry, I can't link the video right now from my phone.
kikopup***39;s Channel - YouTube

I'm pretty much doing the same thing with Bailey. She has to learn how to "self pacify herself" and settle without being constantly entertained -- in our case, also without pacing in circles or circling someone

Very, very cute! We'd love to see more pics
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Old 10-15-2011, 07:04 PM
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I second the suggestions above!

A strict schedule is also really helpful for dogs like this - the predictability can often help them self regulate in the long run (i.e. no "walk now? now? NOW?!", instead "oh we'll go for a walk in the afternoon, might as well chill until then").

I'm also a HUGE fan of indoor tethering for dogs that are too wound up in the house because it allows them to be uncrated, but unable to rehearse behaviors like frenetic running, pacing, etc.
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Old 10-15-2011, 07:54 PM
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I absolutely agree with RD. It's not just a border collie thing, Juno was the exact same way, and I just kept throwing more and more activities at her. Mistake. She had no clue how to settle herself and expected constant stimulation day in and day out.

I had to break her of it. We did lots of matwork type things during the day, where I'd watch a half hour tv show and she was expected to lay on her mat. At first I had to drop her treats frequently but gradually I weaned her off them. I did more quiet, mental exercise with her and stepped back from so much physical exercise. Started providing her with more bully sticks and Kongs so she had something to occupy her, but it was a quieter solo activity. I don't want it to sound like I stopped exercising her physically--but we no longer did 2 hours at the dog park, 3 mile walks, and games of fetch all in one day, every day.

Age is of course a factor too. I'd expect any puppy to be a bit of a maniac. She just needs to be taught how to relax too.
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Old 10-15-2011, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RD View Post
Quit trying to keep her so busy.

The more you throw exciting, stimulating things at her in order to keep her out of your hair and under some facade of relaxation, the more she is going to grow up to expect there to ALWAYS be entertainment at her disposal. Even now, it sounds like she can't handle not having something to do. She needs to learn that it's not always "go time". As long as she gets some exercise every day, I would see to it that she also spends some time being bored out of her skull and learns to deal with it.

Lay down a handful of basic but fair rules and expectations, and stick to them. Do not micro-manage her, let her do her thing and only intervene to correct her if she's breaking a cardinal rule. If you want her to be calm and not run or whine in the house, insist on it. If you want her to leave the other dogs alone, insist on it. Just don't create a hundred little rules that a high energy, frenetic puppy will forget about.

It sounds weird, but the best way to create a balanced, controlled dog out of a wild working breed is to leave them alone and teach them self control. Crate her when she gets frustrating or hard for you to deal with. Put a meal/treat and a bone or chew toy in the crate with her so she has a way to blow off some steam, and let her howl or shriek or scratch at the crate door all she wants. Leave the room if you can't stand the noise, but do not ever let her out when she's being loud. If you want to let her out and she's being loud, just wait another 5 minutes or however long it takes until she quiets down, then reward her by letting her out. Teaching her to crate up quietly might be your salvation through her rowdy puppy years.

I wouldn't over-exercise her, but I would definitely give her a good hard run and some mental stimulation outside. Sounds like she thinks inside = outside and she doesn't take her shoes off or lower her voice before she comes in, like any rowdy kid. If she gets some good, hard exercise and still wants to be hyper and obnoxious when she's indoors, let her know that you won't go for that. Teach her a down-stay, tether her somewhere inside, or put her in a crate/proofed room. Don't let her run around like a maniac. If you can teach her to blow off all her energy when she's outside, and relax and rest inside, I think you'll have a much easier time with her.
^Best post ever. We need to somehow...sticky just the post with the title: "Is your dog too busy?" or something like that...
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Old 10-15-2011, 08:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RD View Post
It sounds weird, but the best way to create a balanced, controlled dog out of a wild working breed is to leave them alone and teach them self control. Crate her when she gets frustrating or hard for you to deal with. Put a meal/treat and a bone or chew toy in the crate with her so she has a way to blow off some steam, and let her howl or shriek or scratch at the crate door all she wants. Leave the room if you can't stand the noise, but do not ever let her out when she's being loud. If you want to let her out and she's being loud, just wait another 5 minutes or however long it takes until she quiets down, then reward her by letting her out. Teaching her to crate up quietly might be your salvation through her rowdy puppy years.

After reading through your post, this is the best advice!

I did/do this with Blaze. So many people ask me why I just let him sit there and whine, whimper, or bark. Isn't that mean, is the question people pose. I always tell them "Being in the crate or tethered up isn't physically hurting him in ANY way. If he would like to throw a tantrum about it, that's his problem." He would throw tantrums when younger about being tethered while watching other dogs work. A trainer told me at the beginning of the weekend to just ignore him and let him see that, after he had thrown that tantrum, he was perfectly okay! By the end of that weekend, he had improved ALOT and it stuck with him.

What do you do when she's crying in the crate? Have you tried just letting her cry it out? How did that go? What about tethering to you while doing things like homework? Don't be afraid to let her cry it out/have a pity party for herself. They can relax, They just have to see that it won't kill them.
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Old 10-16-2011, 12:22 AM
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Thanks so much everyone for your time and advice, I really appreciate it! It makes perfect sense now that I think about it. I know how puppies act and I wouldn't expect anything less than puppy behavior, I deal with them day in and day out, but Darla's behavior is...different. Perhaps because she has never had a stable home, owner, or situation and that has made her uneasy or made her tend to have anxiety. I do leave her in her crate to cry and scream, but she continues. And continues. And continues. And continues. Like it entertains her or something. I'm going to move her crate into my sisters room tommorow so it will muffle it a bit more. When I put her in the outside kennel, she ruined the chain link, pushed the door out, dug a few holes, scratched the house, chewed the dog houses, and climbed the kennel and tore the tarp cover apart. This is all in an hour. If that. I now have to use a chain and bungee cords to close this very expensive outdoor kennel. I feel like I need to start taking a Xanax every day when I come home, lol.

Lizmo, I know exactly what you mean when it comes to people asking, "Isn't that kinda mean?", I've even been told I'm being abusive by leaving her in the crate to scream. And to answer your questions.

What do you do when she's crying in the crate?
I leave her there. I never let her out when she's crying or being loud, I believe that's giving in to her bad behavior. I've never done that with puppies. Sometimes I will firmly say, "NO" and other times I'll spray her with a spray bottle. She KNOWS it's wrong, as soon as I come out to her crate she lays down and looks at me like, "Oops, I forgot again" and then continues when five minutes passes or someone walks by or if I let one of the other dogs out, like she cannot contain herself. Karma, being in heat (and being who she is and the breed she is), is easily irritable right now and looks at her like, "I'll get you for this you little fluffball". And she will, which has led to them being constantly seperated. Karma has never liked Darla's energy which is why I was thrilled when my sister moved out. She moved back in a week later She gets along great with Kenai and she LOVES my cat (bathes her everyday) but she Darla's energy irritates her (we're a lot alike LOL).

Have you tried just letting her cry it out?
Yes, I usually do until I cannot STAND it because she will keep on doing it, which is when I move her to the outside kennel where I cannot hear her. I can't leave her out of her crate because she'll chew things, steal laundry, and pee on EVERYTHING.

What about tethering to you while doing things like homework?
I could try doing this. I have tried it before, but she pisses herself over EVERYTHING. Just submissive/happy peeing. If you say good girl. If you say no. If you say hello. If you pet her. If you snap her leash. She pees.
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