Jump to content


BC Routines and Behavior

  • Please log in to reply
21 replies to this topic

#21 GentleLake


    Senior Member

  • Registered Users
  • 5,767 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 28 December 2017 - 09:36 PM

They can also adapt just fine to a very variable daily structure.


I have a chronic illness that makes it very difficult to maintain much of a routine, especially a morning routine. My dogs are as forgiving if I wake at 10:00 am as they are if I wake earlier. They don't pester me to get up and if I wake up early just long enough for a quick trip to the bathroom (for me, not for them) they usually just watch to see if I'm actually getting up or if I'm going back to bed for a while. They will start to stir around 10:00 if I haven't gotten up yet, but they're not insistent about.


The rest of my days are just as unpredictable. Sometimes we go out and do something, others nothing will happen at all. They're fine with it. They do know from watching me if I'm getting ready to go out, usually before I've actually begun getting ready, and whether or not they'll be able to go along. But since that's not consistent on a day to day basis it's nothing anyone could call a routine.


They only time they get antsy about anything being done "on time" is feeding, but even then they'll just go and lie down to wait if I (rarely) tell them I'm not ready yet.


I think the whole dogs-need-a-routine thing is vastly overrated, a holdout from the often silly Barbara Woodhouse approach to training dogs, which I thought was nonsense then. Some people do better with routines and perhaps they project this onto their dogs. I don't know. But for the past 20 years since I was forced to stop working, all of my dogs, including fosters and most of whom are now long gone, have thrived with my inconsistent lifestyle.


That's not to say that they aren't the most incredible time keepers, though. They are, as well as pretty darned amazing GPS systems as well. They might not be able to tell me how to get somewhere, but they sure know where we're going if they've ever been there a couple of times before.

"People in your life always come and go all the time; the dogs are always there for me. Always." ~Samantha Valle

#22 Gloria Atwater

Gloria Atwater

    Senior Member

  • Registered Users
  • 2,661 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Interests:Sheepdogging!

Posted 28 December 2017 - 10:49 PM

My girl knows so many of my routines... she truly knows what I do when and what that means.. lol.  Is yours in tune with your routine?  What do your dogs do as part of their routine or when you are doing something they understand is part of your routine?  And what happens when the routine has changed for a number of days?


Right now I've been home for several days and have been doing things with her... but it seems the more i do with her, the more she wants to do... she's 18 mos old now and I've definitely found some holes in our training as we've advanced in agility so we are fixing those things... I'm wondering if some of what I'm experiencing right now is more of the same thing... today as an example, she had outside play time with me and with the other dogs... went for  3-4 mile hike and then still was pestering me for more play time later plus was a little obsessive about the cat... we did more trick games inside but she's just not settling down...I feel like she wants me to be her constant entertainment committee... and I also feel like she's kind of working on training me...just now, she jumped on my chair whining for attention... she's got a ton of toys, she's done a bunch of things... I feel like I need to ignore her when she starts pestering me for attention but I also feel like a heel for ignoring her too...


What do you with your dogs if they don't settle down?  I'm a little baffled as she was really good when I was working and life was routine even though I was sick... now it seems like I've done more with her and she's more "wired"....I'm sure its just a stage and we will be going back to a normal routine in Jan... just want to not feed the obsessiveness behavior which is not her norm... thoughts?


sorry so long



If she's pestering you, I'd say she needs more time-outs. If you can put her somewhere and just let her entertain herself with some chew toys or something, that would be a help. 18 months is an age they can seem to push boundaries, so you'll need to make sure those boundaries are firmly established. When you say you're done, you're done. If she won't take no for an answer, put her up and leave her with something to entertain herself. Teach her a place to lay down with her toys, if you think that would help.

But no border collie needs constant playing or entertaining or interaction. After all, border collies on the farm have to learn and "off" switch because they can't go full-throttle all the time or they'd burn out. Help her learn her "off" switch.  Good luck!

~ Gloria

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

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

Copyright: All posts and images on this site are protected by copyright, and may not be reproduced or distributed in any way without permission. Banner photo courtesy of Denise Wall, 2009 CDWall. For further information, contact info@bordercollie.org.