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Peeing on himself is getting old...fast.

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Also please don't take me as being too thick headed to take your advice on things or angry about what you have to say. It just bothers me you people seem to have the mentality of "oh well the dog don't mesh give him away". "Dog doesn't herd with the right confidence, give him away". No giving away is not a good answer to give a new dog owner, it isn't one way to make friends.

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Having had a dog that would pee in fear if my gentlest daughter even so much as looked at him (he arrived like that at 8 months) I have to agree that it sounds as if this isn't the right home for this pup.

 

He needs patience and understanding plus a lot of time, not confrontation.

 

If you can't give him that, help him find someone who can.

 

And I would go further - before getting another dog please try to understand that your relationship should be a partnership and it will flourish if you see the world from your dog's pov. Even the hardest seeming dog doesn't need to be afraid of you.

 

Thank you for your honest answer and one that reaffirmed me and maybe others here that it's not just me having a problem with a dog that isn't scared OF me but of random times.

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The reason you are receiving the responses you are getting is because (to the majority of experienced border collie owners responding here, based on what you've told us), you appear to be misinterpreting the signals your dog is sending you and perhaps unwilling or unable to alter your expectations of what you should have to do to change his behavior. Perhaps you should seek a qualified trainer who can actually see what is happening and watch you interacting with your dog.

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Glad you read everything. Also glad you didnt fuss at him for peeing....keep it up! However, being afraid of you at all times is not what *I* meant. Only in the situations you described. Fear doesn't have to be all inclusive to be there in 1 area.

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I would not assume that he does not like to take commands due to some inherent stubbornness, though. My guess is that commands cause him some anxiety. This could be because he is unsure of himself, unclear on the command, afraid of displeasing you or some other reason. I am not suggesting that he is necessarily terrified of you. I am suggesting that, because he is a timid dog, delivery should be tailored to his quirkiness. I have a dog like this. It is not a Border Collie, and I did not have him as a puppy, but he is very timid--came to me that way. I've had others in the past. I deal with him in a very different way than I do with my Aussie/Border Collie cross. The latter shows no timidity when a correction is necessary.

 

 

ETA: I just read your post again. I missed that you have already identified that commands scare him. I think that is great that you've been able to see this.

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The reason you are receiving the responses you are getting is because (to the majority of experienced border collie owners responding here, based on what you've told us), you appear to be misinterpreting the signals your dog is sending you. If you do not want to listen to us, perhaps you should seek a qualified trainer who can actually see what is happening and watch you interacting with your dog.

I do want to listen Laurae, but I won't take the advice of just giving my dog away. The first couple of times he did it, yeah I was mad and brought it up in a post in a different thread. Now I made a new thread, venting my frustrations(but changed my actions with him and anger not directed towards him after getting advice that he can't control pee). Obviously you can't tell a dog " oh hey don't pee" but obviously "no" to let him know that it is not good to pee does not work so I was asking for further suggestions. The dog isn't being asked to do much when he does it, just a sit or lay down. A dog his age should have no problem doing this as you would know. The problem is the action itself is not right with me never mind the floor cleaning and dog washing. I'm just trying to understand what to do to instill confidence in this little guy. Because we bond fine but then he is scared.

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I do want to listen Laurae, but I won't take the advice of just giving my dog away. The first couple of times he did it, yeah I was mad and brought it up in a post in a different thread. Now I made a new thread, venting my frustrations(but changed my actions with him and anger not directed towards him after getting advice that he can't control pee). Obviously you can't tell a dog " oh hey don't pee" but obviously "no" to let him know that it is not good to pee does not work so I was asking for further suggestions. The dog isn't being asked to do much when he does it, just a sit or lay down. A dog his age should have no problem doing this as you would know. The problem is the action itself is not right with me never mind the floor cleaning and dog washing. I'm just trying to understand what to do to instill confidence in this little guy. Because we bond fine but then he is scared.

 

But he can't help being timid, and if that is his basic temperament you will have to change your basic approach in how you interact with him. To me, you seem to be caught up in what you think he "should" be doing or not doing instead of meeting him where he is and finding ways to help him work though his fears without triggering them further. I think it is great that you want to keep him, as long as you can commit to changing your own expectations about interacting with him so that you are helping him build confidence, rather than getting frustrated with his fear. There is a "Shy K9" Yahoo list that is full of people used to dealing with the special issues involved with timid dogs and who can provide lots of advice on creative ways to build a dog's confidence. That might be a helpful resource for you.

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USAF, I think the best advice for you is a couple sessions with a good trainer. What you are describing reads to me as a pup who is scared of you IN THIS SITUATION, not globally. Whatever it is that you are doing, it is frightening him. When you use a harsher tone, and it's up to the dog to determine whether or not a given tone frightens him, then he loses it.

 

He's asking you the best way he knows to back off. You're interpreting that in a way that makes him even more frightened. It's a nasty cycle, and all the great advice you have been given here is nowhere near as helpful as an in-person assessment with a good trainer. And by good, I mean specifically not a 'human is alpha at all times no matter what'. Snarling at you from a pup, whom you describe as getting along with you most of the time, Does Not Mean He Is Stubborn, or defiant. It means he is scared, terrified even. Please understand this. What is reasonable to you is terrifying to your pup.

 

I applaud you for wanting to work with your dog and make it better. At this point, I feel that realistically your only chance of keeping this dog and becoming happy, the two of you, is a good trainer. You're in North Carolina, I'm sure that some members who live in your area can recommend such a trainer for you.

 

Thanks for hanging in and not giving up. Many people would just drop this boy off at a shelter, (or worse) and go on their merry way. Please, please, look into getting a couple sessions with a trainer.

 

Ruth, who is on her 4th border collie and still learns a lot from each one

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But he can't help being timid, and if that is his basic temperament you will have to change your basic approach in how you interact with him. To me, you seem to be caught up in what you think he "should" be doing or not doing instead of meeting him where he is and finding ways to help him work though his fears without triggering them further. I think it is great that you want to keep him, as long as you can commit to changing your own expectations about interacting with him so that you are helping him build confidence, rather than getting frustrated with his fear. There is a "Shy K9" Yahoo list that is full of people used to dealing with the special issues involved with timid dogs and who can provide lots of advice on creative ways to build a dog's confidence. That might be a helpful resource for you.

Ok I'll look into it, I also talked to a co-worker who has a 3 yr old bc female and asked him for some advice. He just told me to ignore it and clean it up, and increase the treats he gets for peeing outside(which I already do and pet and say good boy) so not too much changing there other than ignoring it.

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It seems that if he is having issues with you giving him his commands of "sit" and "down" maybe your inflection is scaring him. Why not try to do it in a way as to make it a game for him? I am only suggesting this cause I am wondering if it would be possible to help him this way. A quieter voice with a softer inflection (as if you where talking to a younger child, not a baby) would help him. Use a ball or even a tug toy to help him with his "down". Like others have said about a kiddie pool. Let him play in it and he will rinse himself off as he plays. Hope that this helps in some way.

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USAF BC says:

Alright I've read EVERYONE's post. Like I said, I do not tolerate a dog snarling..I won't. It also means I'm not giving up on this dog so rehoming or returning is not an option for me. The dog has been babied to the max with treats when acting good etc. This is my first BC but not my first dog.

 

Ok, not your first dog, but your first Border Collie. I think that you must have had good luck with your earlier dogs, so you are assuming that however you dealt with them should work for this dog. He's a dog, right? Yes and no... He likes playing ball, just like your other dogs. He is affectionate, just like your other dogs. But he's responding differently when you give him commands - especially in certain situations, like when you are leashing him or getting ready to go outside.

 

Here's where this dog is different: Did you ever know someone that you were genuinely fond of, but found them to be scary in certain situations? Your dog plays with you and cuddles with you because you are what his options are if he wants play or affection. That doesn't mean that some things you do - or the way you do them cannot frighten him. As he looks to you for the play and affection that he needs/wants, so he is desperate to prove to you that he wants to do what you want him to. But somehow he is getting the idea that you are not happy, or that you are angry with him in certain situations. So the inevitable happens - submissive urination. And then you really are not happy with him. And guess what? More submissive urination.

 

I have identified him being scared but for what reason? I came home today took him out etc then I got on the floor with him asked him to lay down and he put his head on me and relaxed etc. The dog is not scared of me! He seems to be scared of taking commands that's it hands down. He does not like to be told what to do. So to go on...we were fine, played ball etc. Went to take him out and told him to sit at the front door(like I always do). He got into the corner kind of as I'm putting on his leash and he peed some on the shoe mat...I did not yell or do anything to him. I just took him out and that's that. Pee'd, pooped, we come back in. Told him to sit again, this time he laid down...What did he do, pee'd himself some. This time I told him nothing other than to go to his crate and he went. Shut the door and that's that. The dog is a puppy I understand, but he's not afraid of me, he comes to me when scared of strangers and when I'm at the computer doing things he'll come up and he won't come in my lap until told so and I pet him etc. There is way more behind this than just "oh he's scared" "you're being too hard on him". The dog is taken care of VERY well, 5 different kinds of treats for rewards, good food, a bunch of toys. Comes up stairs and sleeps with us some nights etc. The only thing I said I wouldn't tolerate was him biting my wife one like he got me. I'm willing to work with him because I can control him if he gets out of hand. But I asked for alternative ways to let him know something is not ok and all I got was give the dog away, give me a break.

 

Read the above paragraph again and then think about what I said. Let me ask. Does the pup do submissive urination with your wife? Does she interact with the pup the same way you do?

 

*Also I've seen other posts from frustrated BC pup owners through search in similar situations either aggression or fear and they got no where near the negative responses I've gotten it seems I'm a target because I refuse to tolerate snarling*

 

First, there have been several people - myself included - who have suggested a trainer or a puppy class. This is seriously meant. You say that you do the same thing over and over. Hey, it worked with your other dog, right? But I have to ask, how is that working for you now? Evidently it isn't working very well. And here's the clincher. The pup is getting worse. You are starting to see snapping and growling.

 

People keep telling you to consider rehoming the pup because you don't seem to be willing to alter your behavior to get him to alter his. This is not about assigning blame - it's about doing what is necessary to solve the problem. If you are committed to solving the problem, that's good! But you seem to think that the pup is the one that must change. Please consider a good trainer. The pup can't change what or who he is, and you are not happy with him because of these behaviors, which you do not understand. You do not want to admit to "failure" or "defeat." You may love the puppy, but in your current frame of mind, that will make it hard for you to accept that he has fear of you in any context. You have a choice before you: you can get someone knowledgeable to work with you and the pup to show you what is going wrong, you can keep on the way you are until a disaster happens, or you can place the pup with someone who understands the sort of pup he is, and start over with a "tougher" pup or dog that will respond to the training methods you have used in the past.

 

As for making friends. There are lots of people here who can help and befriend you. They have already demonstrated this by taking the time to reiterate what you so obviously are having a hard time hearing.

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Also please don't take me as being too thick headed to take your advice on things or angry about what you have to say. It just bothers me you people seem to have the mentality of "oh well the dog don't mesh give him away". "Dog doesn't herd with the right confidence, give him away". No giving away is not a good answer to give a new dog owner, it isn't one way to make friends.

 

 

I understand that the suggestion to re-home is alarming to you, but many people (including myself) knows what happens when a dogs who has reached the point of growling and snarling to communicate because its all he has left...this dog will actually bite someone. If that happens you may face much harder choices than considering re-homing him. The consequences for that can include injury to your family and maybe his death.

 

Not being a good match for a difficult dog doesn't mean you are a bad dog owner, it means that you and teh dog may not be right for each other. Doing whats best for the dog makes you a great dog owner, even if its the hardest choice to make.

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This (my bold):

People keep telling you to consider rehoming the pup because you don't seem to be willing to alter your behavior to get him to alter his. This is not about assigning blame - it's about doing what is necessary to solve the problem.

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Ok I'll look into it, I also talked to a co-worker who has a 3 yr old bc female and asked him for some advice. He just told me to ignore it and clean it up, and increase the treats he gets for peeing outside(which I already do and pet and say good boy) so not too much changing there other than ignoring it.

Try plain old white vinegar to clean it up. It gets rid of the smell and hasn't damaged any of my flooring (not to say it won't, but the pet carpet stuff left a lovely blue spot on my tan carpet).

 

Does he dribble at all in any other circumstance? Al has trouble holding his at times (he's almost 9 months). He was neutered at 6 weeks old and I suspect plays a part in developing control of the appropriate muscle.

 

I do feel you need to seek the help of an excellent trainer as his issue is related to your delivery of the command (probably in a way you haven't even realized)... This babe is scared - if only when you give commands, fear is still fear and has no place in a dog/handler relationship, imo.

 

Rebecca

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Ok I'll look into it, I also talked to a co-worker who has a 3 yr old bc female and asked him for some advice. He just told me to ignore it and clean it up, and increase the treats he gets for peeing outside(which I already do and pet and say good boy) so not too much changing there other than ignoring it.

 

I think ignoring it is a critical component. Sometimes a puppy that is submissive and perhaps on the timid side, but not overly timid, will submissive pee upon greeting its owner when the owner has been away. In this scenario, the owner often unwittingly perpetuates it by greeting the pup in a happy, upbeat but overly frenetic manner. Once the owner is instructed to ignore the pup at first, then greet the pup calmly, the issue usually resolves itself.

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Ok I'll look into it, I also talked to a co-worker who has a 3 yr old bc female and asked him for some advice. He just told me to ignore it and clean it up, and increase the treats he gets for peeing outside(which I already do and pet and say good boy) so not too much changing there other than ignoring it.

This advice is excellent. The behavior is worse when you are negative, given time with no reinforcements - either positive or negative will allow him to learn. That's what we mean, lighten up, clean it up and move on. He can't help it and the no makes him worse. It will go away with time and age.

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Try giving him good cookies, before he pee's, before you go to put the lead on. IOW positively redirect him and see if that helps. You need to be sure to cookie *before* he hits fear mode. String cheese is excellent!

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A couple of things come to mind...

 

If one of the triggers for your pup peeing submissively is putting the leash on, then don't take it off. Let him drag it around the house, so going out the door doesn't involve putting on the leash. Don't fuss at him for mouthing the lead. Or, if you prefer, let him drag 3 feet of clothesline and snap his regular lead on once you're outside.

 

Try sitting down on the floor with him with a handful of treats and a tennis ball. Do this away from the door - in another room. Touch his collar and then roll the ball. Pitch your voice a bit higher than usual. "Where's the ball? Go get it! Good boy! When he comes back with the ball treat and repeat. Do this until he anticipates the collar-touch with happiness. If he looks trepidant, roll the ball and enthusiastically invite him to go get it to "reset" him. Lots of treats, lots of praise. BE HAPPY. Slowly graduate to unsnapping the lead and snapping it back on.

 

After you have got to a consistent no-stress response to snapping and unsnapping the lead, try doing it in different locations inside. Go near the door. Roll the ball a few times and walk away to a less "charged" spot. Put the lead on, hold the ball where he can see it. "Wanna play?! Where's the ball?" Open the door with your other hand, go out.

 

To get you through his adjustment period, you might consider continence "pants" for him. No pee on the floor, but more importantly you can't see if he's squirting, and so you won't unconsciously alter your tone or demeanor. Phase out the britches when he stops the rolling submissive behavior. Whatever happens, don't be discouraged or grumpy if he pees! This will set you both back to square one. Remember, he won't instantly stop peeing. Be patient.

 

ETA - Don't wash the pee off him in the usual place. Take a bucket and a sponge and go outside. Sponge him off with plain water. Act like it's your favorite thing in the world. Make sure he doesn't feel like it's a punishment. When you're done, go play for a few minutes.

 

Find an agility club near you. Guaranteed to have lots of other Border Collie owners. They can share their stories with you and you can see what best motivates and excites your own pup. I suspect you will meet others who have been through what you are experiencing.

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Another personal story for you about our first border collie: He came to us as an adult, and within a few weeks he started passive urination when my husband raised his voice, then he started doing it with me and I am not a voice raiser, there was limited Internet then and we where clueless and we lived in the vicious circle of pee get yelled at pee some more, evantually we got the advice ignore it. So we did and it took for ever ( years but remember he was an adult) but finally the act went away never to come back.

 

I will also add working with a trainer will be really helpful, please make sure it is not someone who uses shock collars and follows the Ceasar Milan philosophy of dogs. If you don't want to go to a trainer, spend some time learning about how clicker training works and making yourself fun for a dog. Obedience/Shutzhund trainer Michael Ellis has a great foundation DVD that shows how you can build a strong foundation he does not use a clicker but uses his voice to the same result.

 

A book that I found really helped me understand dogs better is "The Other End of The Leash" by Patricia McConnell, who is an animal behaviorist who also has sheep and border collies.

 

It looks like you have figured out what causes the peeing, which is using commands. So another thought is retrain the basic commands he already has using new words, maybe the words have become associated with being scared. One of our dogs had a horrible recall when we got him we changed it to a new command "here" and made here fun as opposed to come which was a chore. As you rebuild your relationship with him try teaching him some silly stuff that does not matter so he learns that commands can be pure fun, with no expectations.

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I just think the corrections need to be changed... as well as ignoring the peeing.. like one of my BC'S is super sensitive so a firm well intentioned no will set her into panic mode. All I need to do is whisper a "...noo...." or "...hey...." and i mean WHISPER and she gladly backs off. BC's are meant to be responsive and dont need a heavy hand when it comes to training usually. Also have u tried taking the dog to training classes or better yet herding to build confidence and relationship? :)

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A couple of things come to mind...

 

I LOOVED those suggestions you made Geonni!

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You have received some really great advice here. I agree with finding a trainer that is local, quickly. A good resource is http://www.apdt.com/petowners/ts/default.aspx You can look up trainers in your area. I would talk with a few, discuss their training methods, and see if any of them near you have experience with BCs.

 

Also, have you considered your body posture when these things happen? If you are standing up and leaning over top of him when giving commands and snapping on the leash this could be triggering the submissive urination and growling. He may think you are trying to dominate him and it scares him. Try squatting and coming down to his level.

 

I think someone else mentioned it, but you might also consider the tone of your voice. If your voice is deep it might automatically seem aggressive or dominant to the pup. Try using a softer tone or even whispering.

 

I think it commendable that you want to work with your pup. I can tell that you care about him very much. I think having a qualified trainer coming in and observing your interactions with the pup will really help and be able to set you on the right track.

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Whether you think he *should* or *should not* be fearful is not relevant. He IS fearful. Submissive peeing is a clear sign of that. My male border collie does this too, much less now that's he's older. He comes from very reputable lines, and I've talked to his breeder about this who told me that his sire and grandsire also did this but grew out of it. However you need to accept that he may never grow out of this. These dogs are very sensitive, and they have an incredible desire to please. Sometimes this leads to an anxiety response to "simple" commands because they so desperately want to please. This is the conclusion I came to with my boy. He hasn't submissive peed for me in years, but occasionally will for one of my roommates who he likes very much and is not inherently fearful of. He is fearful of being wrong. You need to take the pressure off of this poor puppy, or put him in a home who understands that dogs are not robots and have feelings and desires very much the same as we do. My boy got better, but that had a lot to do with not reacting at all when he did this, and also explaining (over and over) to other people to not react either. I also immediately take the pressure off him. Dogs can't talk to us, but they can communicate. Listen to your dog.

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A lot of my border collie puppies peed submissively when they were younger. I just always ignored it because they can't help it. And they all grew out of it just fine.

 

Zeke is still really submissive when I go to put his leash on. Ok if I come from the left. Rolls over if I trie from the right. But he doesn't pee anymore.

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Aww what happened to the OP? I want updates!!! We're here to help so please don't be offended! :)

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