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Hi, I am glad that I found this board, it has already been so helpful and I love reading the posts. I hope that you guys can offer some reassurance and advice based on some of my worries, concerns/questions Background: I live in a village with my husband, close to woods and not too far from the Lake District. My husband and I love going on local walks and enjoy going for hikes in the lake district. We have always said that we'd like to get a dog, and a border collie is my favourite breed, so when for health reasons I decided to take a long career break, we decided to get our puppy - I have lots of time to be with her and train her. We bought our black and white border collie puppy home on Saturday (9 weeks, now 10 weeks), from a local farm. Initially I wanted to do lots of research and carefully select a breeder but when we visited this farm, owned by very welcoming family, we fell in love with our puppy and generally got a good feeling about the place. Unfortunately, although she was chipped, flea and wormed, their vets advised against giving these puppies their first vaccination (as they had with previous litters) until they went to their new homes. I was told that this was due to different vaccine strains. Also having lived in a barn with her litter mates and her mum, seeing very few people or traffic she has had very little socialisation. After a few days of settling in, I took my girl for her first vaccination on Monday. It wasn't a good experience for her because she was scared due to the traffic on the way in, scared by a large dog that came too close in the waiting room, causing her to bark, and then because she was so spooked she barked at the vet aswell. Overall a stressful experience, and one that I so wish had gone differently for her. Generally I have been amazed by her, at how fast she has seemed to settle with us and how quickly she is picking up toilet training. I have a crate for her, so at night (or during the day when she's tired/ needs to calm down) I place her in it, close the door and cover it over with a blanket. I leave her with a night light, and although I feel now she could go through the night, I do get up at about 3am to take her out for a wee. I wouldn't say she is "crate trained" as she doesn't go in there of her own accord to go to sleep, but I do feed her in their for positive reinforcement and when placing her in I always reassure and praise her. Putting her in her crate is met with some whining now, but she soon settles down. In the day time, over the last few days, I have tended to spend most of my time with her. At the moment she is confined to one room, and I have a blanket that I have placed at the foot of the settee where she plays either by her-self or more often than not with me. She has soft toys, chew toys and he odd ball, but I tend to only allow a few toys out at a time and rotate them so shes not bored or over-stimulated. When I feel she is calm I do some basic command training like sit and down, with treats, which she has picked up quickly, and we have a good routine for toilet training, where at the same time I'm teaching her to sit on a mat to wait whilst I put my shoes on, and not bite the lead when I attach it. She is doing really well. My worries/anxieties are first her lack of socialisation, especially with other dogs (I have had people over to meet her and she has been really happy and affectionate), and cars. I have started carrying her down my quiet road every day, giving her reassurance but she does get very scared as we approach the main road. Is this normal for this age? Also I'm not sure how much time to spend with her. She goes in her crate when I am not there and have to do other things for myself and chores in the house. I feel that the crate gives her a safe place to be when i'm not there, and she can't be destructive when not supervised, and also at times I feel that she does get abit overstimulated so I feel her crate is good for calming her down. When I'm not giving her attention, she has started to push the boundaries and chew on things she shouldn't - like chair legs, and furniture. I tell her No firmly, or say down and place her down. I do also distract her with something else but its like its something that's stuck in her head that she wants to repeat again and again to test me. Is this normal, and am I doing the right thing with preventing her from being destructive? I would appreciate your advice going forward. I love her, she is a lovely pup, I just want her to be happy, and grow up confident with good manners. Thanks
This is my first post on the boards here, but I have been following frequently. I brought home an 8-week border collie a couple weeks back (put deposit on her a few months ago) Since putting a deposit on her, life has begun to get quite busy with work and finding out that I will be attending graduate school and I've begun to doubt my ability to provide the environment I had hoped for this brilliant pup. I recently found myself trying to figure just how much i can crate her during the day to get what I need to get done, but it often feels like all day (with visits to let her out, of course) This is the exact scenario I hoped to avoid for such a great dog that will require so much attention, stimulation and exercise. I am so conflicted over what this might mean for this puppy. Her needs are such a high priority for me. Have other owners come upon this situation? How were you able to remedy it? I have done such extensive research on the breed, which is why I have so much worry. The worst thing I could imagine would be to bring her up in an environment that didn't foster her abilities, which even at 10-weeks she is displaying so brilliantly. I'm literally tearing up inside. I would love to hear people's insight and experience. Thank you!