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Hooper2

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  1. Well, I wouldn't count on them becoming more manageable at 5 or 6 months. That's sort of like expecting your adorable 8 year old child to become more manageable as a teenager. It's at least as likely that they will become less manageable - faster, stronger, more independent, more inclined to test boundaries, and hormone-poisoned . Over the years I've taken my dogs on unleashed walks on my mostly fenced 10 acres starting when they are a couple months old. The walks are pretty short at first, and I'm keeping a good eye on them, and as they get older they drag a long line until they learn that "come" is a command, not a suggestion. But yeah, they get to run around, and stop and sniff, and roll in the dirt, and yes, occasionally snack on some deer poop starting at a young age. I throw a nice soft toy or, better yet, a precious precious plastic jug for them to fetch to remove the temptation of carrying small potentially pokey sticks around. Yes, there are risks. They could step in a hole. They could roll in something more odiferus than dirt. Although I keep a good eye out and only take them for these walks in broad daylight, I suppose they could encounter a porcupine, or skunk. Coyotes have been known to jump or dig under the fence. I dunno. One person's "being cautious" is another person's "helicopter parent", but whatever level of risk you are willing to tolerate, those risks aren't going to go away when your pups hit their adolescent years.
  2. You say you've talked to your vet, but has he been checked for a bladder infection? Those are less common in young males than in females, but certainly not unheard of. My senior bitch recently started needing to go outside like three times per night, and after a couple more or less sleepless nights for both of us, it was off to the vet. One day on Clavamox, and poof!, she's clearly feeling soooo much more comfortable, and able to control her bladder for much longer. If your vet hasn't already ruled that out, you should definitely consider treating for a possible infection.
  3. You don't say how old your dog is but I'm guessing somewhere between a year and a year and a half? If that's the case, the wild destruction may wane on its own in a few months. I've read, and had this confirmed by my vet, that dogs go through two teething phases. The first one is the one in which the teeth emerge through the gums, and lots of pups become compulsive chewers at that point, presumably because chewing relieves the discomfort of teeth poking through gum tissue. And then teething is done, and many compulsive chewers become much less compulsive, or lose interest in chewing all together by the time they are about 9 months to a year old. And then, just when you think it's safe to leave a shoe on the floor for a moment, dogs go through a second teething phase somewhere around 15 months, give or take a couple months. This is the point at which the teeth are becoming fully anchored in the jaw bone. and lots of dogs will resume their constant need to chew for another month or two or three at this point. Your dog certainly sounds more extreme than most, but, well, he is a border collie. Anyway, out of the 10 dogs I've owned, two came to me as young adults, and 6 showed the pattern of becoming chewing monsters at about 5-6 months of age, then seemed to outgrow it, then one day when they were about 14-16 months old, suddenly needed to destroy my couch, carpet, shoes, whatever. I'm a slow learner, but for my last two dogs, I've been pretty vigilant about keeping them crated when I couldn't directly supervise them until they were over 2 years old. As for the humping... Lots of times when people ask about what to do about dogs that constantly bark, they are advised to reach the dog to do the undesirable behavior on command, and then teach an stop command as part of that. So, uhm, maybe you want to teach your dog to hump on command, so that you can then teach him to stop??? Probably not. But the concept amuses me. Because I'm 12.
  4. In addition to using a chain leash (clipping a chain slip collar to the end is genius if you can't find a chain leash), if this is something that always happens just at the very last block or your walk, try not always making the last block be the end of your walk. It sounds to me like Kev knows when the walk is about to be over, and is doing whatever he can to take control at that point. We advise people when teaching a recall not to only use the recall when the fun is about to end. Do lots of recalls, reward, and then release your dog to go play again. You may need to apply the same principle to your walks. When you do return home, can you sometimes walk a block or two past your home, turn around and then come back? Can you vary your walk so that you approach home from different directions? Can you drive a block or two or three from your home, park your car, walk your dog, return to your car, and then drive the two or three blocks home? The idea here is to make it less predictable to Kev when the walk is about to end.
  5. Scent work was the first thing I thought of too. If you type "scent work" or "nosework" into the seach bar on youtube you will find a bajillion videos on training scent work. I even saw a couple that specifically mentioned helping a dog with anxiety by teaching scent work right in the title. If there is a dog training club near you, they may offer scent work classes. Even if your dog is too anxious to attend a class, most instructors would be happy to take your money and let you come and watch the class, and then you can do the same things with your dog at home. There may be many who disagree with me about this, but I also suggest doing some formal (competition style) obedience training with your dog. Again, your dog is probably way too anxious to attend a class, but classes are all about training the handler, and then you go home and apply and practice what you learned in class. The reason I recommend competition style obedience (which I really don't enjoy in the least myself) is that it is highly structured and takes a lot of concentration on the part of the dog and handler. If your goal is to mentally tire your dog, using all positive training to find and maintain perfect heel position and perfect "fronts" can keep you and your dog occupied forever. And don't worry about having to teach your dog to walk with his head craned up staring at you while heeling. That's completely unnecessary. It's all about finding and maintaining a precise position, not about staring into your face. If you can't stomach formal obedience, then trick training can accomplish the same thing, and again, youtube is your friend. All of these activities require the dog to concentrate, without the adrenaline rush of agility or flyball. And concentration is what will tire your dog.
  6. You should reconsider ducks. Yes, they are messy, but most of the mess is confined to wherever you keep their water. Ducks don't need to have a swimming pool. For a small flock of maybe a half dozen ducks, one of those rectangular feed pans that are about 1.5 ft X 2 ft X 0 .5 ft deep is plenty as long as you change the water daily. You can reduce the mess quite a bit if you cover an area around the water pan with coarse gravel. There will still be a mess but it's not like you have to turn your whole yard into a mud pit. I recommend khaki campbell ducks if you want eggs. Domestic mallards are also nice (make sure they are the small mallards, and not the big rouen ducks that look like mallards but are a larger meat breed.) Smaller sized ducks move more readily and eat less. Runner ducks and runner crosses are popular but I don't like them for dog training and I don't understand their popularity at all. The biggest problem with ducks is that the males are serial rapist and will harass females mercilessly during breeding season. Having an all male flock is not the answer, because they will just gang up on the weakest male if there are no hens available. An all female flock is better, but then you have to deal with eggs. I rinse them off, and store them in a zip lock bag in the freezer. They will crack as they freeze, but I just cut them in half while still frozen and add a half egg-sickle (including shell) to my dogs' dinners. The dogs love the eggs, and I feel like I'm getting a little something back for the cost of the duck feed.
  7. I'm not a vet, and I exercise my young dogs more than a lot of people do. So I would say that 30 min of fetch IN A DAY is not excessive. But 30 minutes of CONTINUOUS fetch probably is not advisable. Five minutes of fetch followed by ten minutes of walking, and the five more minutes of fetch then more walking, then maybe a couple more minutes of fetch would probably be better. There are a lot more twisting and high impact stops and turns in a round of fetch than we realize. Short bursts of intense activity and longer rounds of low impact activity will give you the benefits of exercise with much less stress on young joints
  8. Also? These parents have a white pup "in every litter"? How many litters have these two parents had and why are they being repeatedly bred to each other? Do either of these parents work livestock? If the reason you want a border collie is because you love the personality and intelligence of a good border collie, then get a pup from someone who breeds border collies that do what border collies do - work livestock. I wouldn't worry too much about the white coloring, and the face looks a little narrow for a border collie, but certainly not something that makes me think there's no way he could be a border collie. But the multiple breedings of the same two parents raises red flags for me - I definitely know good breeders who've repeated a breeding, so that's not a deal breaker. But I'd want to know what it is about these two parents that makes them such a perfect match that they've been bred together frequently enough that the breeder knows they produce white puppies "in every litter".
  9. You've gotten a lot of good advice here, both on what to try if you are committed to keeping this pup, and on responsibly rehoming him if you just can't make it work. I just want to add one tiny comment regarding him having "loads of toys". I'd reduce the number of toys to more like three - maybe a kong that you can stuff with goodies, MAYBE a rawhide chewie or bully stick if you supervise him while he has it and he doesn't try to swallow it whole, maybe a tough rope toy. But if your dog has "loads of toys" how exactly is he supposed to know what is a toy and what isn't? If he's allowed to chew say hypothetically 20 different things, how is he supposed to know that item # 21 (your slipper, or the irreplaceable doll, or the urn bearing grammie's ashes) isn't a chew toy? Make it easy for him - a small number of distinctive toys, and nothing else. Ok - I lied. Now I'm going to add a second comment - your boy doesn't sound all that different than the way my now 1 yr old was acting as little as a couple months ago. I never had the biting problem you describe, and he only once pulled out of his collar, but the nonstop chewing, the couch jumping, the general reactivity ... oh, yeah. He's far from perfect yet, but he's much better and I see improvement on a weekly basis. I attribute most of that to my tremendous skill at letting time pass until he matured. All the other stuff you've been told about consistency, confinement, short training sessions are superb advice. But all of it requires giving puppy brains time to mature into dog brains and not messing up too much in the meantime.
  10. Sorry, but it's just not possible to tell from a photo, especially a photo of a young pup, especially a photo of a young pup lying down. It's possible that a border collie could have that much white, although it's unusual. Can you post pictures of the parents? Do the parents work livestock? Are the parents registered, and if so, with what registry? And, do you trust this breeder to tell you the truth about the parents?
  11. It's a little hard to interpret what your dog is doing in the video because I can't see what the birds are doing and how they are reacting to your dog's approach. But it looks to me like he's showing a little bit of "eye" as he approaches the birds. "Eye" refers to the sort of stalking behavior that border collies exhibit as they approach livestock, and their use of their intense stare to control how and where livestock moves. Border collies vary in how much eye they show when working livestock, and handlers vary in their preference for intense "strong eyed" dogs vs "loose eyed" dogs that show a much less extreme stalking approach. And "eye" is only one of many components of working livestock. Anyhoo, back to your original question... What your dog is doing is showing a component of herding behavior. If it's interfering with you taking your dog for a walk, distract and redirect him, as you have been doing. That won't discourage him from using that tool appropriately if/when he's actually working livestock. I hope you get the opportunity to work with someone who can introduce you and your dog to working livestock if you are interested. It can be an endlessly fascinating activity if you and your dog have an aptitude for it.
  12. First of all, when you say your dog tries to "herd" ducks and other birds, what is he actually doing? If he's just chasing them, that isn't herding. That's just chasing. Herding involves controlling where the stock moves and at what rate of speed it moves (other than moving away from the dog as fast as it can). Dogs can actually truly herd poultry, so it's not inconceivable to me that your pup is attempting true herding behavior, as opposed to allegedly "herding" cats, cars, bicycles, people, and all the other things that owners think are being "herded" when they are really just being chased and harassed. This misconception about herding comes up a lot on these boards, so please don't be offended that some of us get a bit strident about the distinction. Anyhoo, if your dog is just chasing animals, don't let him do it. I assure you, people who actually work livestock with their dogs, don't allow their dog to chase bicycles, chickens, children.... Don't rain down fire and brimstone on your dog for chasing, but prevent it as best you can, and when you slip up and he takes off after a bird or some other animal, your strategy of distracting him with a toy, and redirecting him to an appropriate activity is exactly what you should be doing. And don't worry that this will discourage him from actually working livestock appropriately when the time comes. I have free ranging domestic ducks and sometimes chickens and sometimes turkeys and every pup I've ever had has initially chased them if given the opportunity. When I start teaching them to work stock, I do indeed use the dog to help me move ducks and turkeys around in a controlled fashion. Interestingly, once my dogs have learned how to appropriately move poultry they lose interest in chasing them. The only time I've ever had a poultry caught and killed by one of my dogs was by a dog who was absolutely worthless as a stockdog (he had other endearing qualities, but talent with livestock management wasn't one of them).
  13. I think your instructor has given you some very good advice, especially regarding having your dog go in and out of the crate frequently every day for very brief pleasant bits of time. Some dogs are fine with spending extended time in a crate pretty early on. But for many pups, if the only time they are crated is for what seems to them like a very boring eternity, then it's not surprising that they will join the resistance when you try to send them to their crate. So, a minute of crate time here, five minutes of crate time with a stuffed kong there, throughout the day should help with her attitude toward the crate. Enrolling in a trick class should be fun, and is probably at least as helpful as enrolling in a basic training class. At this age your goal is for your pup to learn how to learn. She might as well develop that skill doing something more fun than just doing sit/stays and walking on leash. But I STRONGLY disagree that you have to be doing training sessions many, many times a day, and I REALLY STRONGLY disagree that you should be physically exercising your pup to physical exhaustion on a regular basis. First of all, you can't do that. You will keel over from physical exhaustion yourself before you manage to physically exhaust a healthy adolescent border collie (or lab, or golden, or aussie, or springer, or beagle, or....). And even if you manage to hire someone training for an ironman triathalon to exercise your pup, all that you will have accomplished is that you will now have a nice healthy adolescent dog who gets antsy if she doesn't run ironman triathalons every other day. Won't that be delightful. On top of that, it's not good for adolescent joints to be exercised to the point of physical exhaustion on a regular basis. So, you'll have a healthy active dog who expects to run 26 miles a day and then go for a swim and run along beside a bike for a few more hours, but she'll also be in chronic pain. Swell. Likewise, if you give your dog "many many" training sessions, then she will grow up expecting your active attention many many times a day. Every day. For the rest of her life. Take your dog for a couple 45 minute walks every day, and throw in a couple 15 minute physical play sessions/pee breaks in between. Spend another 15 minutes or so a couple times a day training. The rest of the time, she can be loose in the house under your supervision, or tethered to something immobile with supervision, or in a crate, or in an X-pen if you want to give her a bit more room to stretch out. I think what often happens is people think their pup needs this enormous amount of attention and exercise, and so they provide that. And lo and behold, after a couple years of devoting their life to fulfilling what they perceive to be the needs of their pup, provided both dog and owner survive, the pup does finally mellow out and start to learn to relax. And the proud parent attributes all that to his/her hard work. But 75 % of it was just that pup and owner managed to survive until the pup reached maturity. I'm not advocating that you neglect your dog, and certainly regular mental and physical exercise and socialization are important. But raising a dog, even a border collie, shouldn't require your undivided physical and mental attention every waking moment, and if you provide that to puppies you'll end up with adults who demand that.
  14. I was just about to post this same advice. Over the years I've always alternated between boy dog then girl dog then boy dog... on the theory that boy/girl combos are more likely to get along than same sex combos. But, sometimes I've had three dogs, and it wasn't possible to have them each be a different sex, and they all got along anyway. My latest addition is my first deviation from the boy/girl alternation - an unneutered 11 month old male who gets along fabulously with my 7 year old intact male. At 11 months, I suppose it's possible that the youngster's puppy license may still expire with my older male, but I see no signs of it. My crotchety 13 year old spayed bitch hates them both, because she''s old and dignified and getting frail and they are both doofuses. As Journey said, get the puppy/dog you like the best.
  15. I rinse off surplus eggs and toss (well I don't actually "toss" them) raw into a Ziploc bag and freeze them. They do crack as they freeze, but I cut them in half while still frozen and give both dogs a half eggsicle, with shell, a couple times a week. The dogs think they are yummy, and it allows me to feed eggs year round without wasting the spring bounty.
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