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BC Routines and Behavior


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#1 knightrider

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 06:39 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



#2 knightrider

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 07:54 PM

after a full day of doing things and being busy...my girl was pestering right before i sat down for dinner... she will jump on me or bring me a toy to tell me she wants to play... because i had already done several things with her today, I chose to ignore her... finally she has crashed on the couch... :wub:  I'm wondering if I'm just a victim of my border collie training the human???



#3 BillG

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 09:35 PM

Our BC Gina is up with me at 6:30 am, we go out in the fenced yard she explores and does what needs to be done, back inside our somewhat heated porch has food and water as needed. Jumps into the Lazy Boy and waits for whoever wants to have fun. BTW She just turned four months old.

But she also has an hour or more of free time in the yard, entertaining herself with outside toys several times a day. When its cold her outside times will be shorter, and there is also a insulated Ingoo doghouse.

Several times a day training or play sessions. If she gets stressed or needs a time out its kennel or crate time. Toward evening and bedtime at 9 or 10 pm in the kennel, things wind down with some training or a visit to my mother in law.

Not nearly as much one on one time as you do. But our advantage, we have a very large secure fenced yard. Squirrels to chase and holes to be dug!,

Retired teacher, HVAC/R & Electrician.  Gina -  Border Collie / Aussie pup.  Ankeny Laser Engraving


#4 CptJack

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 10:29 PM

I don't do routine for the dogs.


There are things that are pretty routine - morning routine, mostly - but exercise and meals? NOPE.  Somedays they get hours, sometimes they get let out to pee.  Sometimes we train, sometimes we play ball, sometimes we take a walk, sometimes we go swim.  Sometimes it's a bunch of short 5 minute sessions, sometimes not.  

 

There are things *I* do that signal fun things - 'do you want to go play?' putting on shoes, grabbing treats or a toy from a particular location - but the time varies quite intentionally. 


I don't have a regimented life to start with and I also, doubly, triply don't want a nag and I learned FAST that, as you said, the dog would train me.  Or, well, I suppose I'd train the dog to be a naggy, persistent pest.  Not something I want to live with.



#5 CptJack

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 10:33 PM

Oh and my response to a dog who won't settle is basically to tell them to go lie down (and make sure they have a chew).  If that gets ignored?  They get crated.  Pestering me is just - well, clearly, a thing I do not love.   The dogs get a LOT of attention, training, and exercise.It clearly varies by day, but it's actually a whole heck of a lot when taken on an average.   I refuse to be guilt tripped by an adrenaline junkie :P  



#6 urge to herd

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 11:50 PM

What Cpt Jack says. I dove into border collie life by getting 3 in 2 years. All adults, one w/a really horrific back story, and the other two basically stable personalities.

 

They still took over my life. Very, very gradually, I took my life back. I decided when we went for walks or played ball. I decided when to engage with them, not the other way around.. 

 

It took some time to put the humans back in charge, but we did it. Gibbs came to me as a pretty easy-going boy, so there really wasn't anything to 'fix'.

 

Like Cpt Jack, I don't put up with pestering. Your dog will continue to nag you to play with/entertain her as long as you let her. She won't decide on her own to give you a break. Be clear and consistent, practice telling her to go lay down or crate up, give her a chewie to give her something to do to calm down. Keep doing it, it will take a while.

 

Ruth & Gibbs 



#7 knightrider

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 06:42 AM

I really don't have an exercise routine either, but my dogs know about my barn chores routine and when I'm going outside to do that... or leaving for work.  This new thing with constantly pestering has escalated since I've been home from work more... and I was home alot over the last month due to being sick... so I think she was trying to train me.

 

I did finally start ignoring her and it worked last night.  she went to her bed and settled down.  she has a ton of toys and bones and such to play with... And I do give her some natural bones and/or bully sticks, but i have to give all the dogs that when i give it to her... I just hesitate to give her a bone unless she's being quiet or has done something I've asked her...

 

I think you are right... maybe she's trying to be a notch above me in the heirarchy and that needs to change a bit... I can't be her entertainment committee and have her demand attention all the time.  thanks.



#8 Donald McCaig

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 07:06 AM

Dear Doggers,

 

Routine is your friend. Use it. One difficult example.  Our farm is bounded by several hundred thousand acres of government land and when I open a door the dogs go out into it. Mostly they stick tight but Roxie, one of our guard dogs, likes to wander if she can find a companion. Jake, my six year old, has joined her - last time they got fifteen miles away before we got the phone call. Waiting for that call ruins the day.

 

Consequently, Jake NEVER goes out w/o Anne or I. I'm on oxygen 24/7 but a portable tank and ATV lets me exercise the dogs daily -  about 3:30.  Just before it's dark, Jake has his final pee: 5:20 or so.  He won't go out again until 7:10 am.  That's longer than I'd like but works.

 

Rarely, during the night, he tells me he MUST go out. Flashlight, tubing and wary of Roxie, I'm  grateful Jake pees/poops on command.

 

Routine.

 

Donald McCaig



#9 JohnLloydJones

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 07:50 AM

Routine is your friend. Use it.

I'm with you all the way on that one.  Border collies* love a baseline routine to control their day. A little variation on top is fine, but the bed rock routine has to be there.

Note*: I suspect this is true for most, if not all breeds.



#10 CptJack

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 08:30 AM

My dogs have *routines* because life has routines and rhythms. 

 

What my dogs do not have is an expectation that life is going to work in a particular way in regards to meals and fun (and types of fun and types and locations of meals) and even relative time.

 

Everybody gets up at 6:30 and gets a potty trip.  That potty trip may include some play outside.  The play outside may include a person or may just be with each other.  They may get called inside immediately.   Once they are inside I may feed them in crates or I may have them work for their breakfast.   They may, or may not, be crated or left lose or leashed up and taken out and loaded up (some combination of them but not all -) because maybe we're going back to bed and sleeping in, maybe we're going to visit relatives, maybe we're going to an agility trial, maybe we're going to take a couple of dogs and hike, maybe it's a lesson day for one or two of the dogs.  


Lunch time (for humans?)  Sometimes I'm home and sometimes my husband comes home.  Sometimes they're home alone.  Sometimes when we're home, there's exercise and silly play.  Sometimes there's a training session. Sometimes, again, he comes home and we grab a dog and go.  Sometimes we just go somewhere ourselves. 


After work there's USUALLY a pretty hard core individual exercise session for them.  Not always, though.  Sometimes weather's bad, sometimes I don't wanna, sometimes I sit around and watch TV on the couch.  There is always dinner for them.  Again - sometimes in crates, sometimes they work for it.  Sometimes they get it at 6, sometimes they get it at 7:30 (or anywhere between)

 

Bedtime is predictably around 10.  Sometimes, though, it's not.  Sometimes, though, it's 8.  Sometimes, it's midnight. There's always a last call potty trip before.  Sometimes, though rarely, some portion of people are coming HOME at midnight.   Sometimes, though rarely, they sleep in crates.  Sometimes, someone falls asleep on the couch and a dog chooses to stay there.

 

The dogs are reliably housebroken.  Potty trips aren't on a strict schedule either, but the dogs will hold it until offered, when we're out and they need to (and go on command; best thing ever) - but they've often got access to the fenced back yard so take themselves out if they need to.  They're content to veg in the house, eager to play and train to work when it's on offer and otherwise pretty content to lounge around the house and chew a thing.

 

I have had one too many dogs get anxious and pushy and naggy because dinner was late, their 'walk' (or play) wasn't happening on time according to them, or just plain refuse to let me sleep in because it was a weekend.  They're flexible animals and do just fine as long as house *rules* and expectations of behavior stay the same.  Which, in fairness, I'm sure means 'NO NAGGGING!" would work just fine as a rule and get the same result - but I prefer to avoid setting up expectations of things that life being life will prevent me always being able (or wanting) to meet to start with.


With people AND dogs. 



#11 knightrider

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 09:19 AM

Maybe my bc has been more wired lately because our routine is so much different... I don't necessarily like feeding routines because there are some days that the dogs don't eat till 9pm because I don't feed before agility or whatever class i'm taking.  I don't stick to a normal exercise routine, but they do have their routines to go outside... during the week, we get up at 430/5 to potty and I go to the gym...they eat before i go, then when I return I do the barn chores and they are outside.  they are in while i go to work and when i come home they go outside immediately.  sometimes i do barn chores right away, i sometimes it happens later.. during the week we have agility 1-3x per week at night so we are at a class till late.  the other nights I might have things to do or we might go for a walk... weekends the routine changes because i go back to sleep after the first am potty break and feed them before going to sleep... they go outside with me for barn chores at daybreak, then we do whatever during the day... sometimes whatever is just hanging in the house all day long, sometimes, it is a hike, etc...

 

I do think that my girl is off kilter because every day for awhile has been a weekend day...



#12 Tommy Coyote

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 10:19 AM

Shoot.  My dogs know what I am going to do before I do.  They know by the way I sit on the bed and put on my shoes that I am getting ready to take off.  I feed them at 4:00 am before I leave for work.  They are all sitting there staring at me at 4:01 if I am late getting up.  How do they know what time it is?  Same thing at 4:00 pm when they get their evening meal.  I have to feed on time because Joey needs his meds every 12 hours.  They know my routine down to the minute.

 

They know that we always take a nap in the afternoon because we get up so early.  All I say is "go take a nap" and they are up on the bed ready to sleep.

 

I had a friend that had both dairy cows and sheep in the same pasture.  If she sent the dog to fetch the sheep she didn't even have to tell her which ones.  She only gathered up the sheep because she knew that it wasn't the right time to bring in the dairy cows.



#13 urge to herd

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 01:15 PM

I don't subscribe to the hierarchy idea about dogs wanting to move up in rank. There might be a few dogs who try that one on, but I don't believe I've ever had one.

 

My belief is that dogs think like this, "Does this get me something I want?" That could be play w/the human, could be food, could be a potty trip, could be a softer, warmer place to sleep. Dogs, once something has gotten them something they want, will use that specific behavior again and again. Every time they get something as a result of that behavior, it reinforces their thinking, "I pester the human/whine at the door/go stand by the food dish" and I get playtime/a pee break/food."

 

When the human is consistent and reinforces Only the Desired Behavior, then the Desired Behavior becomes the default. When the human inadvertently reinforces Undesired Behavior, then Undesired Behavior becomes the default. And the human complains that the dog never listens.

 

Once an Undesired Behavior has been reinforced a couple times, however mistakenly, it has to be overlaid w/Desired Behavior and those reinforcements. That can take a little longer than installing Desired Behaviors in the first place, I know this from personal experience. More than one, at that.

 

For me, the more mechanistic approach described above is easier. I don't have to figure out how to be the pack leader, I just need to be consistent in knowing how I want the dog to behave and reinforcing those behaviors. Reinforcement can be everything from a head scratch to food to a walk.  It just seems simpler and more direct to me.

 

Ruth & Gibbs



#14 CptJack

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 03:18 PM

I don't subscribe to the hierarchy idea about dogs wanting to move up in rank. There might be a few dogs who try that one on, but I don't believe I've ever had one.

 

My belief is that dogs think like this, "Does this get me something I want?" That could be play w/the human, could be food, could be a potty trip, could be a softer, warmer place to sleep. Dogs, once something has gotten them something they want, will use that specific behavior again and again. Every time they get something as a result of that behavior, it reinforces their thinking, "I pester the human/whine at the door/go stand by the food dish" and I get playtime/a pee break/food."

 

When the human is consistent and reinforces Only the Desired Behavior, then the Desired Behavior becomes the default. When the human inadvertently reinforces Undesired Behavior, then Undesired Behavior becomes the default. And the human complains that the dog never listens.

 

Once an Undesired Behavior has been reinforced a couple times, however mistakenly, it has to be overlaid w/Desired Behavior and those reinforcements. That can take a little longer than installing Desired Behaviors in the first place, I know this from personal experience. More than one, at that.

 

For me, the more mechanistic approach described above is easier. I don't have to figure out how to be the pack leader, I just need to be consistent in knowing how I want the dog to behave and reinforcing those behaviors. Reinforcement can be everything from a head scratch to food to a walk.  It just seems simpler and more direct to me.

 

Ruth & Gibbs

 

Yeah, pretty much this.


If it's a behavior you want, LET IT WORK.  If it's a behavior you don't?  Don't.  It's really not much more complicated than that.   Though once you accidentally reinforce something you don't want to have around, grit your teeth and strap in for the 'extinction burst' where the dog tries harder to make that old thing that used to work work again.   And don't forget: variable reinforcement (ie: sometimes reinforcing, sometimes not) is how you build consistency and reliability in a behavior!  So sometimes giving in, even if you mostly don't, is NOT going to help get rid of the annoying stuff.



#15 urge to herd

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 08:18 PM

^^^ This about extinction bursts. Warning - neurological amateur geek stuff coming up. My understanding is that an old behavior is not 'replaced' in terms of new connections in the brain. It's overlaid w/a new behavior. In times of stress, an old behavior that you haven't seen for a while can surface. We humans just need to be consistent in reinforcing the desired behavior and doing anything from ignoring to outright blocking the undesired behavior that has re-surfaced.

 

Geek over.

 

Ruth & Gibbs



#16 GentleLake

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 11:03 PM

I've always understood extinction bursts as the dog's (or other animals', including humans') not understanding why the behavior that previously brought some kind of reward is no loner doing so, and therefore s/he initially keeps repeating the behavior in an attempt to elicit the expected reward. The more invested the dog is in eliciting the reward, the more intensively the dog will repeat the behavior until s/he finally gives up.

 

Or are you talking about something different with the old behavior returning in times of stress?

 

And BTW, I also don't believe the thing about dogs trying to move up the ranks. It'a all part and parcel of the seemingly intractable dominance myth.

 

The belief that dogs and others, including ourselves, repeating what works for them makes much more sense.


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


#17 D'Elle

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 12:53 PM

For me, the more mechanistic approach described above is easier. I don't have to figure out how to be the pack leader, I just need to be consistent in knowing how I want the dog to behave and reinforcing those behaviors. Reinforcement can be everything from a head scratch to food to a walk.  It just seems simpler and more direct to me.

 

Ruth & Gibbs

 

^^ This.

My professional work is uneven and largely unpredictable. I may get up one morning thinking I am going to work and then it gets cancelled. Etc.

 

My dogs go with the flow. They ask for what they want:: "time for a walk now?" but if it is not time for a walk they settle down again, secure in knowing that at some point in the future a walk (or whatever else they want or need) will be forthcoming.

 

The only sure routine we have is to get up early and eat breakfast. And, I call all the little things that we do during the day routine as well: sit and wait for food or to go out, do a behavior I ask for in order to get a bite of something, bedtime biscuits and training, tug play with those who want it, and so on. They don't happen always at the same time every day but they always happen, and the dogs know it.

 

They also know what I am going to do just by how I move, I suppose, because they will know if it is a work day or not before I get dressed. They know that I am going to take them for a walk as I am getting up from the chair, long before I get to the leashes or my boots.

 

Sometimes I think they can read my mind. But it actually is more a case of being superbly observant of me and picking up on tiny "tells" that inform them. Things I am not even aware of.

 

This morning, Digger knew I was going to cut up a banana before I reached for the fruit bowl and was at my feet asking for his end piece. Now that one I have not figured out, especially as I have not had bananas in the house for weeks.


D'Elle

and family.

Left to right: Kit, Jester, Boo, Digger

 

 

Mydogs12-2013Smaller.jpg
"You gonna throw that?" --Jester:  2001 - June 24 2016. Remembered with much love.
"I'm grouchier than you are" --Kit

"I love everyone!" -- Boo

(Boing! Boing! Boing!)--Digger

And not pictured, Benjamin the cat, who thinks he is a small border collie with superpowers.

 

 

 


#18 urge to herd

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 01:39 PM

Gentle Lake, yes to the 'in times of stress'. The reading I've done, (wish I could cite article or book names) if I'm understanding correctly, is that in times of great stress, the earlier laid-down 'code' is more likely to be triggered.

 

If I come up w/any sources for that statement, I'll share them here.  Thanks for asking for clarification.

 

Ruth & Gibbs



#19 JohnLloydJones

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 07:46 PM

How do they know what time it is?  

I don't know, but once they get used to a routine, they are the best clocks in the world.

We go for our morning walk at 04:00 and I have one dog on one side licking my face and one dog on the other side nuzzling me with a wet nose at 03:45. No weekends or Holiday breaks. Fair weather or foul. New comers learn the rhythm within a day or two.  



#20 BillG

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 09:36 PM

I don't know, but once they get used to a routine, they are the best clocks in the world.
We go for our morning walk at 04:00 and I have one dog on one side licking my face and one dog on the other side nuzzling me with a wet nose at 03:45. No weekends or Holiday breaks. Fair weather or foul. New comers learn the rhythm within a day or two.  


I Love It, the same almost here my BC knows the minute.

Retired teacher, HVAC/R & Electrician.  Gina -  Border Collie / Aussie pup.  Ankeny Laser Engraving



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