Our BC has just turned 4 months old. My wife is getting discouraged. We have been working with Gina and I think she is doing fine, comes when called by name, sits, lays down and etc. We are working on having her calm down and not be jumpy when she is in the house.
I understand she is still a puppy and a work in progress.
My wife who is doing 90% of the training thinks Gina should be able to lay quietly and be petted or loved and maybe a cuddle without mouthing.
Do we worry about the wildness, or when she goes out of her way to be ornery and just put in her kennel for a time out and someday she will be loving and a cuddlier?
Four months old? Oh goodness, this is a baby! We wouldn't expect a toddler to sit silently in our lap for more than 60 seconds. She's a puppy, a baby, and she's going to be a puppy for months to come. Wait until she hits 6 months and really starts exploring her boundaries. Wait until she hits a year old and starts thinking she's a big dog!
Tell your wife that you guys will be working with this dog for a very long time. Border collies are full-time dogs. Maybe by the time they are 4 or 5 they can be settled and laid back, but for the most part, they are clever, inquisitive, busy-minded dogs who will always keep you on your mental toes. Who needs sudoku or crossword puzzles when you have a border collie?
I would not expect laying quietly for prolonged periods until about 10 months old. And sometimes they don't act like "adults" until they are about 3 years old. The cuddling may never happen. Border collies are not known to be cuddlers. Some are fabulously cuddly. Others just can't be bothered. They prefer to show affection in other ways.
As for mouthing, she is teething now and will continue teething for at least a couple more months. My advice is to stock up on Nylabone-type chewies and rubber Kongs and and have a ready stash, so every time she goes for something inappropriate, you can stuff a proper chewie in her mouth. She's going to chew, she has to chew, so give her stuff that's okay to chew on.
But don't expect a cuddler. Seriously. I have 4 border collies and an Aussie, and none are real cuddlers. Sometimes my 11 month old female will hop up on the loveseat beside me and curl up for a nap. Sometimes my 11 month old male will come sit beside me and lean against my knee for a couple minutes. Sometimes my 3 year old female or my 9 year old male will lay down for a nap at my feet. That's about it for snuggling and cuddling, though. They'd rather DO something with me than snuggle up like a house cat.
Your girl is going to be a puppy for a long while yet. Buckle down for the long haul. Remember, border collies are not bred to be lap dogs or pets. They are bred to work. Making a pet of a dog who comes form a working heritage means you're going to be full-time dog owners pretty much for her entire life. She may never be a mellow, cuddly, snuggle-buddy. But she can be one of the brightest lights in your life, if you let her.
Oh, and teaching her time-outs with her chew toys may be a sanity-saver. Nothing makes me happier than a puppy that's willing to entertain itself.
Best of luck!
You ask of my companions. Hills, sir, and the sundown, and a dog as large as myself that my father bought me. They are better than human beings, because they know but do not tell. ~ Emily Dickinson
To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace. ~ Milan Kundera