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Training my pup right??

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Hi everyone! Thanks for adding me to the forum. I'm so excited to be here :D I've been quietly stalking all the posts and have learned so much!

 

Bit of background, I've always loved dogs and grew up with dogs, but I've never really had a border collie and the other dogs we had (black labs) were not well trained... We did have a Border Collie/Australian Shepherd mix when I was a kid who was such a good dog. We didn't train him, though, just adopted him already trained. Easy going for us :lol:

 

Anyway, my husband and I decided to add a little border collie to our home after a lot of research and consideration. My dream is to have a dog I can let walk off leash anywhere we go. (Obviously I'll keep him on lead near roads and in places where it's mandatory, but that's my dream). I heavily considered if I felt we could give a border collie the attention and exercise he needed, and decided in the end we could. My husband and I both love to hike, I love to run, and we both love going for walks daily. We brought home our puppy, Dallas, when he was 9 weeks old. He is currently 14 weeks.

 

Things have been going considerably well! He's mostly house trained. The accidents he has (rarely) are always my fault, usually because I didn't get him out quick enough when he's told me he needs to go. He knows sit, down, up, come, stay, "Go find Abraham!" (my husband), "Do you want to come?" (when he's allowed to follow me outside of his designated area), and he's learning paw, leave it, walk between my legs ("through"), and wait. We also will play "find the food" and hide and seek. This week I've been able to start taking him to the park so we can practice his obedience training in a new, rather distracting area.

 

Recently we've started working on walking on the lead. He can be a right terror sometimes, and I'm concerned maybe I'm not doing this right. The main problem is as we are walking he attacks my shoelaces. When we're in the front room and he attacks feet or bites, we stop playing with him and put him in a short time out. It helps a lot. Obviously when we're walking I can't do that. What I've been doing is stopping, making him go into a sit, and then we continue. Sometimes I think he does this on purpose so he can stop and sniff. Any advice?? I've started taking kibble with me and giving him kibble anytime he walks beside me or looks at me. It mostly works, but he sometimes will still go for my shoelaces.

 

The second thing I'm concerned about is my schedule for him. Luckily I work from home so it's easy to get a schedule going. Right now this is what we do:


7am to 9am - Wake up, go outside for a wee, obedience training, breakfast, play, walk

9am to 11am - In the crate for a nap/rest

11am to 1pm - Go outside for a wee, obedience training, play, lunch, free time, walk

1pm to 4pm - In the crate for a nap.rest

4pm to 7pm - Go outside for a wee, obedience training, play dinner, short walk, free time

7pm to 9pm - In the crate for a nap/rest

9pm to 10pm - Outside for a wee, free time

10pm - Bed

 

I've really only started this schedule this week. Prior to I tried letting him drop to rest on his own, but he's one of those pups who doesn't know when to quit. If he could, he would go 24/7. He also gets super grouchy if he doesn't get naps, so I learned he definitely has to be put in the crate to get his chill time or he just won't rest and becomes a nightmare. Does this schedule look ok? Am I putting him in the crate too much? If I give him treats, he's happy to go into his crate when I say. I'm trying to give him plenty of opportunity for exercise without hurting him before he's fully grown and also plenty of opportunity to exercise his brain while also making sure he gets his rest. Our walks usually range from 10 minutes to 40 minutes, depending on him. Obedience training, each session is probably about 5 minutes, sometimes longer sometimes shorter. When we play, I'll play with him for probably 30 minutes and then leave him to play on his own.

 

I do have a couple of questions. (Sorry, this is turning into a long post!)

1) I've seen people mention an off switch. How do you teach your dog to have an off switch?? I'd love to not have to put him in the crate to teach him to chill, but if that's the way to do it, I'll keep on going :)

 

2) How do you teach a dog to occupy himself? Those times in the schedule where I let Dallas play by himself, he'll do things to get attention like grab our feet, chew on the furniture, etc. Sometimes he's really good and chews on his chew toys, but most of the time he tries to get our attention. Am I possibly giving him too much attention?

 

3) Last question(s)! What age do you start giving your border collie a job, and how do you designate to him that this is his job? I'd love to teach him to put his toys away and have that as his job. I'm sure I'll think of other jobs I'd love him to have, too, but that's my main one.

 

Pictures because he's cute! Thanks so much for your help. I love this site!

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Well we just got our little BC Gina, see above about 3 weeks ago and she is coming up on her 11th week birthday.

 

Not even close to expert, but like you we have already raised a lab from a little pup, so we know about the chewing, biting and for our lab.... digging was her big thing.

 

Sounds like your on more or less the same schedule we are except not so much crate time, more porch time. She does have a LOT of toys to keep busy with but still finds time to chew something new. We have our back porch more or less puppy proofed, and it does have tile floors and now has curtains tied up for some reason? Gina does have a short attention span so ball and Frisbee playtime is not long, but hoping as she gets older that will change. When she is getting wild and crazy she gets a time out on a short lease tied to a none moveable object, non-chewable as well! Sometimes since we have a nice fenced in yard that so far is escape proof she gets some outside time. She is tagged and has her ID on her collar.

 

We have noticed also when she is hungry or tired she gets cranky like yours, kind of like the grandkids! So we have bumped up feeding times and nap times.

 

One book I can recommend is "Border Collie Smart Owners Guide" by Wendy Bedwell-Wilson.

 

One I can not recommend is one found online, sold on a fabulous website and costing only $24.99 to Download. A waste of time and money.

 

There are a lot of books and I am sure the folks on here will suggest more. This website and Forum is a God sent for new Border Collie owners!

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Congratulations on your new (incredibly cute) BC puppy!

 

The first thing to remember is that Dallas is a puppy, and not to expect too much too quickly. Consistency will get you results in the end. It is important to stop behaviours that could become obsessive before they end up that way. Interruption and redirection will work if used consistently over time.

 

As Dallas grows up he will reach the adolescent "my brains fell out and I forgot everything I learned" stage. Patience and consistency will see you through.

 

Recall needs to be absolutely reliable before you do off leash. This may take a long time - one of mine was probably over 3 years before he had anything I considered reliable. Long leads will be a vital necessity.

 

An off switch is essentially teaching your dog to be self sufficient and not desire constant stimulation and attention. Crate time will teach this. I don't think your crate time is unreasonable. Also, as Dallas ages, this will develop.

 

As for giving him a job, look into clicker training/positive reinforcement and shaping. If putting his toys away is your aim, start by rewarding when he looks at his toy, then when he sniffs it, then when he picks it up, then when he moves it, then when he moves it in the right direction. Click or say "YES" and reward. He will start offering behaviours until he works out what you want. This will really work his brain (which will tire him out) and build a basis for any trick training, obedience work, agility/flyball/parkour/dockdiving/nosework/doggie freestyle etc you decide to work on in the future.

 

I am not a wonderful trainer, but hope this helps. I am happy to be corrected by others.

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Thanks for the advice, y'all! I really appreciate it.

 

 

She does have a LOT of toys to keep busy with but still finds time to chew something new. We have our back porch more or less puppy proofed, and it does have tile floors and now has curtains tied up for some reason?

 

Same over here, BillG. Our curtains are up, too :D Dallas thought it would be a great idea to try playing tug with them. I'll check out that border collie book as well. Thanks so much! Good luck with your little Gina as well. She sounds like a firecracker :)

 

 

As Dallas grows up he will reach the adolescent "my brains fell out and I forgot everything I learned" stage. Patience and consistency will see you through.

 

I have to admit, Lawgirl, I'm dreading the adolescence phase. How long does it typically last, would you say? I know it probably varies from dog to dog, though.

 

 

As for giving him a job, look into clicker training/positive reinforcement and shaping. If putting his toys away is your aim, start by rewarding when he looks at his toy, then when he sniffs it, then when he picks it up, then when he moves it, then when he moves it in the right direction. Click or say "YES" and reward. He will start offering behaviours until he works out what you want. This will really work his brain (which will tire him out) and build a basis for any trick training, obedience work, agility/flyball/parkour/dockdiving/nosework/doggie freestyle etc you decide to work on in the future.

 

This is perfect, thanks! I am doing clicker training (sorry, forgot to mention), so I'll start doing this with him. I also just bought a book "101 Dog Tricks" or something like that. That has lots of helpful things in there, too, and I'm really excited to get cracking on those. I think we'll work on perfecting what we have going until we start something new, though.

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The Clinker we purchased I think it was PetSafe Click-R had not only a handy finger strap but a very good instruction booklet.

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For some reason I can post from my IPhone but not edit, and now just trying to Edit off the laptop or in this case Delete this post.... its seems to be impossible? I am on a Lot of Forums and no issues.

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A dog's adolescent phase can start at any time, and last as long as it lasts. Sorry, I know that is not helpful, but you will recognise it when it starts.

 

My best guess would be between about 6-8 months to start, and I would consider they regain their brains around 18 months to two years. At least, that is when I consider my BCs became adult.

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I'm not aware of any way to delete a post once it's been sent. AFAIK, the best you can do is to edit the content of a post out, perhaps leaving a note that it was in error or reconsidered.

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You cannot totally delete your own post. This restriction dates from the time an OP deleted her initial post, which caused a 10+ page thread to be lost along with all the valuable information that members had spent much time and effort posting. People begged for me to get it back, but it was gone beyond recovery. Hence the current limitation.

 

You can edit your own post, however. And you can copy and paste.

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Our 8.5 month Border Collie is a dream come true.

Clicker training....

Susan Garret...

Enjoy the ride

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All I can really add is to remember this: every pup takes as long as they take to grow up. So, plan to deal with puppyhood for at least a full year, if not more.

I have never attempted to schedule a puppy, they just take whatever time they take, sleep when they need to sleep and eat and potty as required. I don't like to watch the clock. But whatever works for you. :)

But one thing I would suggest, if you don't have one already, is getting an x-pen. If you don't have a kennel or fenced yard, that is a good way to teach him to occupy himself. You will wonder how you ever lived without one! :rolleyes: The x-pen gives him room to play, (put toys and chewies in with him) but you don't have to watch him every second. I find an x-pen a great way to teach a pup that much-vaunted "off switch," as you can leave them to their own devices but they can't get in too much trouble - and they can tip over for a nap in there without your having to put them in a crate. You can still do work or chores at home without having to crate or watch him. That will solve a great deal of his seeming demanding-ness or neediness.

Also, as he gets bigger and if you decide to give him some free time in the house, consider getting some baby gates to shut him out of rooms or areas you don't want him to get into. But do look into an x-pen. As he gets bigger, you can configure two to hook together.


One last thing I would caution about though, is the off-leash thing. I don't know if you are an urban or country dweller, but the only time I let my dogs off leash outside the home is while hiking or in an open field or pasture with no roads and no livestock. No amount of training can override the impulse of a young dog that spooks up a rabbit or suddenly spots a passing bicycle. Save the off-leash time for only the very safest of places. And work up to it slowly, once you do start taking him out in the world. When he is finally old enough to go jogging, I would not let him off leash at all but keep him close. Kurgo makes a belt that goes around your waist and has a clip to hook a leash onto.

As for the wildness while walking on leash, that's pretty much normal puppy behavior. I'd say just continue what you're doing and be patient. He currently has the attention span of a gnat and pretty much everything is awesome and exciting. :P If you have any wellies or boots that lack leashes, that might be worth a try.

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Thanks for the suggestions! I am definitely looking into an x pen now. I feel so bad making him sit in his crate just because I need to get work done. I hate doing the schedule as well, so maybe having an x pen will teach him when to nap. I'm only doing the schedule because he just doesn't seem to know when to nap and gets so grouchy! Silly pup :rolleyes:

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I absolutely agree with the crate and x-pen advice.

I think having both crate and x-pen is the best idea. X-pen teaches the pup to entertain himself with appropriate toys, and this is a good lesson going forward into his adulthood.

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