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Bad Behaviors

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I own two BCs, 1 year and 5 months old. The youngest is proving hard to housetrain, and the older is following in his behaivior.

Also the oldest doesnt like strangers and will bark at whoever comes to the door. Any help will be welcomed

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Guest Dynamite Tess

Hi Penguin,

I'm no expert here, and I'm sure the other members will correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me like the oldest dog is not following the youngest's example but simply 'marking'. Little one urinates, the older one 'marks' to re-establish the pecking order. Some time ago I lost my dominant cat and couldn't understand why the remaining one kept urinating in the house. I was told she was confused. The dominant cat's scent was fading, the remaining cat didn't know where she stood any more and was urinating to see if the dominant cat would re-mark to establish pecking order. Okay, we're not talking cats here but all animals have a pecking order. The only thing I can suggest is that you keep putting pup outside. You will have to be vigilant but there are usually signs that they are about to pee.

With regard to the barking. I'm afraid I can't help you with that. My girls don't do it, and to be honest I found it a comfort when my previous dog did it, especially when the person at the door was a male stranger. Maybe someone can come up with a solution whereby your dog can bark a warning to any ill intentioned stranger but stop the moment you open your door. I would like to try and write further but I am having problems with my modem tonight. It has disconnected me 3 times while writing this post.

Good luck Penguin and keep us posted.

Regards, Val

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Aha! Now that DOES explain a few things! Thank you very much. The problem, though with putting puppy outside is that nobody is around for 7 hours of the day. What with jobs and school and such. We've tryed to keep them both out all day, but the neighbor didnt like the barking that much and we had a police man at our door. So the problem is that we cannot let them run free in the house as the youngest isnt trained and also enjoys chewing furniture... he's getting rid of that habbit slowly with help from the oldest redface.gif)

So the best action would be to wait, no? Untill he's old enough to hold it in? Sounds horrible to me, but I see no other solution at the moment. Again, any reply would be welcomed

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Hello, Penguin, from a fellow New Hampshire-ite,

 

I think you need to consider crating the dogs during the day when you're gone. A five-month old pup should be able to hold it for seven hours (although not too much longer than that.)

 

I think Val's right about the marking thing. If you break that cycle, you should be all set.

 

The barking at strangers at the door will take longer to deal with. We work at home, and get frequent deliveries from FedEx, UPS, etc., as well as the usual neighborhood visitors. Our dogs tend to bark at them, whether they know them or not. Some of it is just excitement, but it doesn't look that way to people entering the yard. It looks like two big black dogs running full tilt at them barking.

 

As our Border collie's confidence has developed, she's gotten a lot better about this. She might still growl a little, but all I have to do is say "No barking" and that's about all it takes.

 

Dog usually bark or act agressive because they're afraid. Once that fear melts away, they don't need to be jerks anymore.

 

Best of luck!

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Guest Dynamite Tess

Bill and Penguin

I envy a man at our agility club who has taught his dog to bark on command and can therefore stop it on command. I watched fascinated as he told his dog to 'speak' and the animal came out with some good old hefty woofs. Then the guy said 'little speaks, please'. His dog just gazed at him opening and shutting his mouth with just the merest hint of a woof coming out. I'm still trying to work out if it was indeed the words 'little speaks' that was the key or the wag of the guy's finger as he spoke them. Whatever, it worked a treat. Regards, Val

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Val et al: My first Border Collie (obedience, etc.) knew "speak" and "whisper". We had a hand signal for "speak". Old Daisy was in a couple professional theater productions in Detroit: "Of Mice and Men" where she had to limp and look very old; and "Learn to Fall" where she had to enter and exit on cue, jump up on the bed, etc. AND bark whenever the word "pie" came up in the dialogue.

It went pretty well, with the main character giving her the "speak" hand signal initially, but as the shows run drew on, she took to improvising: In "Of Mice and Men" she recognized the line preceding her exit and started to anticipate it. Since the dialogue discussed the need to take the "old, raddled cur" out and shoot him, it looked a bit odd to see her hop up and start offstage on her own when that line was said....And as to the "Pie" cue, she started "whispering" instead of speaking. So sometimes the audience caught it, sometimes not.

At one point in that production, the main character was sitting on the edge of the bed, dog beside him, and he was typing a story. Talking to himself/the dog, he takes the page out of the typewriter, reads it, shows it to the dog, crumples it up and throws it away. Well, one night he held the page over in front of Daisy, she looked at it, then looked right away to the side. The audience roared with laughter. From then on, whenever the character showed her the paper and asked, "Whaddaya think?" she'd do the same thing and get the same reaction.

Needless to say, BCs are smart enough to learn even what we don't realize we're teaching.

Incidentally, to get her to "whisper" was quite easy: Sometimes the "speak" didn't come out loud and I'd just say, "whisper" in a whisper and she caught on to the difference fairly quickly.

 

Nancy in Michigan USA

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Val et al: My first Border Collie (obedience, etc.) knew "speak" and "whisper". We had a hand signal for "speak". Old Daisy was in a couple professional theater productions in Detroit: "Of Mice and Men" where she had to limp and look very old; and "Learn to Fall" where she had to enter and exit on cue, jump up on the bed, etc. AND bark whenever the word "pie" came up in the dialogue.

It went pretty well, with the main character giving her the "speak" hand signal initially, but as the shows run drew on, she took to improvising: In "Of Mice and Men" she recognized the line preceding her exit and started to anticipate it. Since the dialogue discussed the need to take the "old, raddled cur" out and shoot him, it looked a bit odd to see her hop up and start offstage on her own when that line was said....And as to the "Pie" cue, she started "whispering" instead of speaking. So sometimes the audience caught it, sometimes not.

At one point in that production, the main character was sitting on the edge of the bed, dog beside him, and he was typing a story. Talking to himself/the dog, he takes the page out of the typewriter, reads it, shows it to the dog, crumples it up and throws it away. Well, one night he held the page over in front of Daisy, she looked at it, then looked right away to the side. The audience roared with laughter. From then on, whenever the character showed her the paper and asked, "Whaddaya think?" she'd do the same thing and get the same reaction.

Needless to say, BCs are smart enough to learn even what we don't realize we're teaching.

Incidentally, to get her to "whisper" was quite easy: Sometimes the "speak" didn't come out loud and I'd just say, "whisper" in a whisper and she caught on to the difference fairly quickly.

 

Nancy in Michigan USA

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Our BC, Zoe, barks when anyone enters the yard. We are OK with that because it warns us of visitors and also we have trained her that her job is to protect the house and yard.

 

On urinating-we crated our BC when she was small and then worked with her to teach her to hold it until the morning when we let her out at a set time. Worked great. We used the same technique on our older dog and that worked also.

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