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Lenie

Four month old border collie - some questions!

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Hi all, I've followed this board for awhile now, but recently joined hoping to get advice on my crazy little girl! I've worked at several kennels and worked with quite a few border collies which made me love the breed. So when I decided to get a puppy, it was an easy choice to get one for myself. I got her when she was six weeks old and she is now four months old. She comes from a strong working line and she has a lot of drive.

I'm having a couple problems with her and I was hoping to get some tips!

I've been taking her with me when I go for my runs on a track. I chose this location because I'm the only one there and it's fenced in so she can run free or take a break rather than run with me the whole time. However, she is terrible about biting my ankles, cutting in front of me, and growling; trying to herd me. Everyone keeps telling me that I can't train her out of this because she's a border collie and it's what they do, but I suspect most border collie owners have found a way to teach them to not do this! Any suggestions?

Secondly, her potty training has been going better. But she has a tendency to pee outside and then when I take her back inside, if I put her in the crate (she doesn't do this when she is loose in the house), she will pee again, usually only a tiny amount. I clean that up and then five minutes later she does it again. I was thinking maybe she does it because she knows I'll take her out of the crate to clean it up. I could be wrong on that though! I work from home so she doesn't spend much time in the crate. She has also just started pooping in her crate. I will take her outside to her potty spot, she won't go, I'll take her back inside, she starts turning around in her crate so I'll grab her again to go outside, she refuses to poop, and then when I put her back in her crate and turn my back she poops in there.

Thirdly, she has gone through a puppy obedience class. She knows sit, lie down, stay, wait, and come. She used to be great with all of them, but lately she has been ignoring the commands. She is also dodging me when I try to pick her up to take her inside, put the leash on her, etc. Is she just going through her teenage years? ;) 

She's such a smart, sweet girl and I know she will grow into a great dog. I just have to survive her puppyhood and stay on top of her training! Any tips or ideas you can give me would be greatly appreciated! I tried to upload a picture of her, but they show upside down for some reason!

Thanks again!

 

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Hi Lenie, welcome to the Boards!

I just want to say at the outset that whatever anyone may say about your situation, please take it in the spirit it is intended, which is wanting the best for you and your dog.  Some posters come on here and get offended by the exchange of opinions and leave forever.  You may have seen some such threads.  Not everyone on these boards agree about everything, other than that BCs are the most amazing and wonderful dogs.  We will try to help you as best we can.

My first thought with the running is that I am a little concerned about running with such a young pup.  It is much better not to do runs (especially on an unforgiving surface such as a track).  I do see that she is free to stop, which is good, but I am still a little concerned.

I suspect the problem with the running is that she has not been taught how to behave when you run, so she is reverting to her instinctual response.  You do not mention how she is walking on the lead.  Has she been taught where and how she should be walking on the lead? (There are LOTS of posts on here about how to teach loose lead walking)  Once she understands where and what she should be doing while you are walking, then she can learn what to do and not do while running on a lead (just a little at a time while young).  Once she knows what to do when running on a lead, then she can learn what to do when running off lead.

I would stop running with her until you have been through the possibly long process of teaching her what her job is when you run, i.e. to run beside you.

It is also possible that the sight of you running is overly stimulating for such a young puppy.

I am not sure what is going on with the crate/toilet training.  My best guess would be to get her checked out for a UTI, which can cause overly frequent urination.  If you are right and she has learned a way to manipulate you into letting her out of the crate, and is using it, the only thing I can think of is to stop giving her what she wants, so that she realises it is not working.  Be prepared for an extinction burst, where she exaggerates a behaviour because she thinks "This used to work, maybe I need to do it more to get the same result".

I am not any sort of expert here, and hopefully someone else will have some more advice for you.

BCs are very smart, but this means they can learn exactly what you did not want them to learn, so you have to work harder to make them stop. An example: one of my boys is a fraidy dog, and so I worked for about 15 minutes before dog class one day using the "watching" command when he started to bark at another dog.  This was a signal for him to sit down and look at my face for a treat.  The next week at class, he started to bark at a dog that was 20 feet away, then sat and looked up at my face expectantly.  I had accidentally taught him to bark at a dog to receive a treat.  Lesson - the connections your dog makes may not be the one you expect.

It is possible that your dog is not yet adolescent, but may be going through a fear period.  It can absolutely be adolescence, where her brain has fallen out when it comes to what you have taught her. Or a combination of them both.  Go back to basics, positively reward wanted behaviour, rinse and repeat as many times as needed.

By the way, there was a recent discussion on  a post about nipping at heels and whether this was actually herding behaviour or just bad behaviour which many dogs of many breeds can use.  My personal opinion is that it is not herding behaviour but bad behaviour, as I have had lapdogs bite at my heels.  In either case, it is unwanted behaviour and needs to be prevented.

I am now very curious about your puppy and dying to meet her.  I hope you can figure out the photo issue.

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9 hours ago, Lenie said:

I've been taking her with me when I go for my runs on a track. I chose this location because I'm the only one there and it's fenced in so she can run free or take a break rather than run with me the whole time. However, she is terrible about biting my ankles, cutting in front of me, and growling; trying to herd me. Everyone keeps telling me that I can't train her out of this because she's a border collie and it's what they do, but I suspect most border collie owners have found a way to teach them to not do this! Any suggestions?

Our puppy is approaching six months. The time goes so fast and until I saw your post I'd forgotten he had ever nipped at our feet and ankles. He seemed to think it was some sort of game to try and catch our feet so we stopped it being fun by standing still. Sometimes that was enough and he'd find something else to play with, other times he was too hyped up and would try again if we moved so we'd pick him up and take him back inside. We'd also have a toy close to hand so if he started showing interest in our feet/ankles then we could distract him. We noticed that he'd do it worse when he was tired. This was all in our garden where our purpose was to be outside and have fun rather than to run. In the early days he also did it towards the end of our walks, I took this as his way of telling me that he was tired so would carry him the last little bit and not go so far the next day.

Now that we go places where we might want to run around a bit (to play, not serious running) or where other people might be running we've had to work on him not getting too excited and giving chase or trying to 'catch' the running persons ankles. We've been practicing a down-stay. Initially at home but now out and about too. Basically, we ask him to go down and he is supposed to stay there until we release him. Initially it was 3 seconds and we'd have to stay still, then we built it up to being able to walk in a circle around him, and now we ask him down and dance around crazily past him waving our arms and going out of his sight and then appearing again and he is very good at laying there watching. Going down has become a behaviour that he offers if he sees someone running towards us now, but it seems to have the added effect that he doesn't get so excited if we run. He runs and enjoys it and may sometimes cross paths but doesn't grab ankles. 

Sorry this was so long, and possibly not very well explained. I just thought if I explained what we did you might find something in there that you could adapt to your situation.

 

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9 hours ago, Lenie said:

Secondly, her potty training has been going better. But she has a tendency to pee outside and then when I take her back inside, if I put her in the crate (she doesn't do this when she is loose in the house), she will pee again, usually only a tiny amount. I clean that up and then five minutes later she does it again. I was thinking maybe she does it because she knows I'll take her out of the crate to clean it up. I could be wrong on that though! I work from home so she doesn't spend much time in the crate. She has also just started pooping in her crate. I will take her outside to her potty spot, she won't go, I'll take her back inside, she starts turning around in her crate so I'll grab her again to go outside, she refuses to poop, and then when I put her back in her crate and turn my back she poops in there.

I would second querying UTI. Do you have a puppy mat in her crate? I think they can encourage a puppy to pee and poop. Maybe she thinks she's meant to use the crate as a toilet hence waiting until she's in there. I don't have any ideas other than if you want to keep using the crate make sure to give it a good clean so it doesn't smell like a potty spot and maybe try moving to somewhere else, like to the place she'll sleep or eat when she's loose in the house.

9 hours ago, Lenie said:

Thirdly, she has gone through a puppy obedience class. She knows sit, lie down, stay, wait, and come. She used to be great with all of them, but lately she has been ignoring the commands. She is also dodging me when I try to pick her up to take her inside, put the leash on her, etc. Is she just going through her teenage years? ;) 

In my experience you have to carry on training these. Her knowing them is not enough, to solidify the behaviour you have to regularly train them and when they are good in one place you then take her to a different place and train them again. And again.

She doesn't want to go back inside or on the leash as it ends her fun. Can you make going back inside or on the leash more fun? Our puppy didn't want to get back in the car because it meant the walk was over. Now, in the car at the end of a walk is the nicest treat he gets all day and when we get to the end of the walk he is very happy to get in the car. He also went through a stage of not wanting to come inside after being in the garden, so he got extra special cuddles and belly rubs after he'd been outside. Now if I call him in it doesn't mean the end of playtime, it means the beginning of personal attention. Try not to end good things, try to offer better things instead.

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6 hours ago, Lawgirl said:

BCs are very smart, but this means they can learn exactly what you did not want them to learn, so you have to work harder to make them stop. An example: one of my boys is a fraidy dog, and so I worked for about 15 minutes before dog class one day using the "watching" command when he started to bark at another dog.  This was a signal for him to sit down and look at my face for a treat.  The next week at class, he started to bark at a dog that was 20 feet away, then sat and looked up at my face expectantly.  I had accidentally taught him to bark at a dog to receive a treat.  Lesson - the connections your dog makes may not be the one you expect.

Made me LOL. I know I've made similar mistakes and then had to 'undo' them, laughing with you, not at you!

Ruth & GIbbs

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^^ I did the same thing. Tansy learned to jump up on people not for their attention but to get a treat. :rolleyes:

Welcome to the Boards, Lenie.

If you can find it, there was a recent discussion about pups tackling feet. Whoever told you it's a border collie thing and it can't be corrected is full of BS. People fail to realize that all border collie (or herding breed) behaviors are actually dog behaviors, just perhaps intensified. So yeah, do the leash work, stop when she's reacting to movement by removing the movement, praise for good behavior. Doubtful you're going to get any meaningful running in while you're working on this. You'll have to do that at an other time without her for now.

I second the advice to wait till she's older for that much running. It can cause skeletal problems while her body's still growing.

And also that her being over tired may be contributing to this.

I also second making sure she doesn't have a UTI or other health problem. Is it possible you're not giving her enough time outside to eliminate? She may be getting distracted by the change of location so that when you come back in to less interesting surroundings she remembers she has to go. I'd also ask how big the crate is. Dogs usually don't like to soil where they sleep, but if the crate's large enough that she can pee or poop in it then move away to lie down in a clean spot it may be too large. Better to use a smaller crate that just has enough room for her to lie down comfortably or to block off a larger one so she doesn't have access to the whole area.

Re: the training, are you still practicing a little bit every day? If not, she probably just hasn't really learned them reliably yet. It's understandable that she doesn't enjoy coming in from outside. It's much more interesting out there. You might want to let her drag a leash and then practice come and release. IOW, you ask her to come to you and give lots of praise and a treat when she does. Then you release her to go play some more. Then, when it's time to go in, you grab the leash without calling her to you and lead her back into the house. You can also practice clipping on the leash and taking it off again to let her play. She's come to associate both clipping on the leash or coming when called with an end to the fun she's having. She's going to have to unlearn that before you'll be able to make any progress with a recall.

One last suggestion . . . maybe another class or 2 with her. She needs to engage that brilliant brain and you need to learn a few more strategies for working with her disengagement and to be consistent with her until she's really learned these behaviors until they're well established. It's rarely 6 or 8 weeks and done with any dog, and definitely not with a border collie. ;)

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I agree about the nipping/herding thing. When our pup wants to play he might try and nip to get our attention but this is very rare now and he gets a quick no from us which would be reinforced with a time out in his kennel if he persisted. I think all breeds of pup are very capable of being bossy like this  

Actually, when we take him out to the yard to herd his balls this is the time when he DOESN’T nip! When he’s in sheepdog mode he lies down and watches intently and he certainly grips his soccer balls but he stays well away from my feet - he just watches me intently for commands. 

So yes - what Gentle Lake says :)

We focused more time on playing and training basic commands in different situations for his early months rather than taking him out running or walking. When we do walk we try hard to focus on trails when he can tire himself just sniffing away to his hearts content haha!

He’s nearly five months old now and can cope with 30-40 minutes on the trail at a leisurely pace plus plenty of playtime in the yard. However - and back to your point - just because we think they will take a break when they are tired, they won’t if we are still moving! I know that when our pup is tuckered out he’ll rest for ages if I rest but if I get up to go out he’ll come and partner me with whatever i’m Doing so if I think he’d be better resting in that situation then I pop him in the kennel. The biggest mistakes we made in the early weeks was letting him get over stimulated because people who don’t know the breed kept saying we needed to tire him out. Once we helped him get the rest he needed he calmed down a lot. 

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12 hours ago, Lawgirl said:

Hi Lenie, welcome to the Boards!

I just want to say at the outset that whatever anyone may say about your situation, please take it in the spirit it is intended, which is wanting the best for you and your dog.  Some posters come on here and get offended by the exchange of opinions and leave forever.  You may have seen some such threads.  Not everyone on these boards agree about everything, other than that BCs are the most amazing and wonderful dogs.  We will try to help you as best we can.

My first thought with the running is that I am a little concerned about running with such a young pup.  It is much better not to do runs (especially on an unforgiving surface such as a track).  I do see that she is free to stop, which is good, but I am still a little concerned.

I suspect the problem with the running is that she has not been taught how to behave when you run, so she is reverting to her instinctual response.  You do not mention how she is walking on the lead.  Has she been taught where and how she should be walking on the lead? (There are LOTS of posts on here about how to teach loose lead walking)  Once she understands where and what she should be doing while you are walking, then she can learn what to do and not do while running on a lead (just a little at a time while young).  Once she knows what to do when running on a lead, then she can learn what to do when running off lead.

I would stop running with her until you have been through the possibly long process of teaching her what her job is when you run, i.e. to run beside you.

It is also possible that the sight of you running is overly stimulating for such a young puppy.

I am not sure what is going on with the crate/toilet training.  My best guess would be to get her checked out for a UTI, which can cause overly frequent urination.  If you are right and she has learned a way to manipulate you into letting her out of the crate, and is using it, the only thing I can think of is to stop giving her what she wants, so that she realises it is not working.  Be prepared for an extinction burst, where she exaggerates a behaviour because she thinks "This used to work, maybe I need to do it more to get the same result".

I am not any sort of expert here, and hopefully someone else will have some more advice for you.

BCs are very smart, but this means they can learn exactly what you did not want them to learn, so you have to work harder to make them stop. An example: one of my boys is a fraidy dog, and so I worked for about 15 minutes before dog class one day using the "watching" command when he started to bark at another dog.  This was a signal for him to sit down and look at my face for a treat.  The next week at class, he started to bark at a dog that was 20 feet away, then sat and looked up at my face expectantly.  I had accidentally taught him to bark at a dog to receive a treat.  Lesson - the connections your dog makes may not be the one you expect.

It is possible that your dog is not yet adolescent, but may be going through a fear period.  It can absolutely be adolescence, where her brain has fallen out when it comes to what you have taught her. Or a combination of them both.  Go back to basics, positively reward wanted behaviour, rinse and repeat as many times as needed.

By the way, there was a recent discussion on  a post about nipping at heels and whether this was actually herding behaviour or just bad behaviour which many dogs of many breeds can use.  My personal opinion is that it is not herding behaviour but bad behaviour, as I have had lapdogs bite at my heels.  In either case, it is unwanted behaviour and needs to be prevented.

I am now very curious about your puppy and dying to meet her.  I hope you can figure out the photo issue.

Thanks so much for the advice! You are probably right about the running. I thought it would be okay since she could stop when she wanted to and she often goes off to sniff things before checking back with me, but I'll probably hold off on letting her go with me until she is older. Loose leash walking is something we are working on. I have a large backyard that is fenced in so she is usually off leash unless we are out. She is a very skittish dog so we've been working on meeting people, going new places, and getting lots of treats and praise. I haven't been as focused on proper leash walking because she is distracted and anxious when we are out. I need to practice with her in the backyard and work on her leash manners. I really have been slacking in that area.

The UTI was my first thought, but the vet said she's fine. I'm hesitant to ignore the peeing in the crate though because then she walks through it, gets it on her, and then she has to have a bath. 

I had to laugh at your story! They certainly keep us busy!

Thanks again for your advice! I'll look up those threads on loose leash walking and heel nipping, work harder on the leash training, skip taking her for runs until she's older, and go back to basics with the training. 

I did figure out the picture problem! Meet Lottie: 

fullsizeoutput_7ac.thumb.jpeg.5347130db84a703735de5350772740d7.jpeg

 

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9 hours ago, jami74 said:

Our puppy is approaching six months. The time goes so fast and until I saw your post I'd forgotten he had ever nipped at our feet and ankles. He seemed to think it was some sort of game to try and catch our feet so we stopped it being fun by standing still. Sometimes that was enough and he'd find something else to play with, other times he was too hyped up and would try again if we moved so we'd pick him up and take him back inside. We'd also have a toy close to hand so if he started showing interest in our feet/ankles then we could distract him. We noticed that he'd do it worse when he was tired. This was all in our garden where our purpose was to be outside and have fun rather than to run. In the early days he also did it towards the end of our walks, I took this as his way of telling me that he was tired so would carry him the last little bit and not go so far the next day.

Now that we go places where we might want to run around a bit (to play, not serious running) or where other people might be running we've had to work on him not getting too excited and giving chase or trying to 'catch' the running persons ankles. We've been practicing a down-stay. Initially at home but now out and about too. Basically, we ask him to go down and he is supposed to stay there until we release him. Initially it was 3 seconds and we'd have to stay still, then we built it up to being able to walk in a circle around him, and now we ask him down and dance around crazily past him waving our arms and going out of his sight and then appearing again and he is very good at laying there watching. Going down has become a behaviour that he offers if he sees someone running towards us now, but it seems to have the added effect that he doesn't get so excited if we run. He runs and enjoys it and may sometimes cross paths but doesn't grab ankles. 

Sorry this was so long, and possibly not very well explained. I just thought if I explained what we did you might find something in there that you could adapt to your situation.

 

This helps! Thank you! I'll try some of your suggestions. I think it would help her a lot to be taught to wait and ignore what is happening around her. She tends to be pretty anxious when out in public and that might help her focus on me instead of the new environment and people that makes her nervous.

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9 hours ago, jami74 said:

I would second querying UTI. Do you have a puppy mat in her crate? I think they can encourage a puppy to pee and poop. Maybe she thinks she's meant to use the crate as a toilet hence waiting until she's in there. I don't have any ideas other than if you want to keep using the crate make sure to give it a good clean so it doesn't smell like a potty spot and maybe try moving to somewhere else, like to the place she'll sleep or eat when she's loose in the house.

In my experience you have to carry on training these. Her knowing them is not enough, to solidify the behaviour you have to regularly train them and when they are good in one place you then take her to a different place and train them again. And again.

She doesn't want to go back inside or on the leash as it ends her fun. Can you make going back inside or on the leash more fun? Our puppy didn't want to get back in the car because it meant the walk was over. Now, in the car at the end of a walk is the nicest treat he gets all day and when we get to the end of the walk he is very happy to get in the car. He also went through a stage of not wanting to come inside after being in the garden, so he got extra special cuddles and belly rubs after he'd been outside. Now if I call him in it doesn't mean the end of playtime, it means the beginning of personal attention. Try not to end good things, try to offer better things instead.

I use a blanket in her crate and it gets washed frequently. I've tried a couple cleaning products that say they work on getting the smell out so I hope she isn't thinking that. I will try moving her crate to a different location. That's a good idea! The vet said she doesn't have a UTI so I'm really not sure what the deal is.

I like the idea of offering something even better to convince her it's fun to go back inside. She used to not have a problem going back inside but she was also having a hard time settling down when we were in the house so I took up her toys and only left her chews down. I hoped to teach her outside was play time and inside was quiet time, but I may have taught her that inside isn't fun! I may have to put her toys back down. We spend a great deal of the day outside so I thought she would easily settle down and nap when we are inside. If only I could read her mind and know what she is thinking!

Thank you! 

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6 hours ago, GentleLake said:

^^ I did the same thing. Tansy learned to jump up on people not for their attention but to get a treat. :rolleyes:

Welcome to the Boards, Lenie.

If you can find it, there was a recent discussion about pups tackling feet. Whoever told you it's a border collie thing and it can't be corrected is full of BS. People fail to realize that all border collie (or herding breed) behaviors are actually dog behaviors, just perhaps intensified. So yeah, do the leash work, stop when she's reacting to movement by removing the movement, praise for good behavior. Doubtful you're going to get any meaningful running in while you're working on this. You'll have to do that at an other time without her for now.

I second the advice to wait till she's older for that much running. It can cause skeletal problems while her body's still growing.

And also that her being over tired may be contributing to this.

I also second making sure she doesn't have a UTI or other health problem. Is it possible you're not giving her enough time outside to eliminate? She may be getting distracted by the change of location so that when you come back in to less interesting surroundings she remembers she has to go. I'd also ask how big the crate is. Dogs usually don't like to soil where they sleep, but if the crate's large enough that she can pee or poop in it then move away to lie down in a clean spot it may be too large. Better to use a smaller crate that just has enough room for her to lie down comfortably or to block off a larger one so she doesn't have access to the whole area.

Re: the training, are you still practicing a little bit every day? If not, she probably just hasn't really learned them reliably yet. It's understandable that she doesn't enjoy coming in from outside. It's much more interesting out there. You might want to let her drag a leash and then practice come and release. IOW, you ask her to come to you and give lots of praise and a treat when she does. Then you release her to go play some more. Then, when it's time to go in, you grab the leash without calling her to you and lead her back into the house. You can also practice clipping on the leash and taking it off again to let her play. She's come to associate both clipping on the leash or coming when called with an end to the fun she's having. She's going to have to unlearn that before you'll be able to make any progress with a recall.

One last suggestion . . . maybe another class or 2 with her. She needs to engage that brilliant brain and you need to learn a few more strategies for working with her disengagement and to be consistent with her until she's really learned these behaviors until they're well established. It's rarely 6 or 8 weeks and done with any dog, and definitely not with a border collie. ;)

Yes, I'll definitely check out that thread... I'll also hold off on the running. She has been checked and she doesn't have a UTI. I'm sure she has enough time, but you may be right about her getting distracted. She will usually pee no problem. I have a blocked off area where I put her first thing and she pees before she gets to go out of the small area and play. But even if she has peed outside, if she is in the crate after that she is peeing again. Usually just a dime sized amount. And then a couple minutes later it happens again. 

Her crate may have been too big when she first started this, but it isn't now that she has grown. I wouldn't feel comfortable putting the divider in now because the width and length are getting to be almost too small for her. I was just thinking that I probably need to buy her a bigger crate.

Practicing putting the leash on and coming before letting her play again is a really good idea. I'll add that to my list of trainings to do with her! 

I do plan on more classes with her, but her first class was taught by a rather young woman and while I'm sure she is well trained in how to teach her classes, I was hoping to find someone with more experience. I'm in northwest Alabama and recently found Huntsville Obedience Training Club. I don't know anyone who has taken there dog there however so I'm not sure if they would be better. I also wanted to get her back to being reliable on the commands that she does know before I start in another class, but we may both need a class now!

I would like to start her in agility when she is older. I think she would be very good at it and help give her something to do. I'm not experienced with livestock or teaching a dog to herd so that's probably not the best option for me, but I need something to keep her busy and agility would be fun. I just have to wait until she's developed and can handle the physical stress.

Thank you so much for the advice! I really appreciate everyone who has responded!

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2 hours ago, ShellyF said:

I agree about the nipping/herding thing. When our pup wants to play he might try and nip to get our attention but this is very rare now and he gets a quick no from us which would be reinforced with a time out in his kennel if he persisted. I think all breeds of pup are very capable of being bossy like this  

Actually, when we take him out to the yard to herd his balls this is the time when he DOESN’T nip! When he’s in sheepdog mode he lies down and watches intently and he certainly grips his soccer balls but he stays well away from my feet - he just watches me intently for commands. 

So yes - what Gentle Lake says :)

We focused more time on playing and training basic commands in different situations for his early months rather than taking him out running or walking. When we do walk we try hard to focus on trails when he can tire himself just sniffing away to his hearts content haha!

He’s nearly five months old now and can cope with 30-40 minutes on the trail at a leisurely pace plus plenty of playtime in the yard. However - and back to your point - just because we think they will take a break when they are tired, they won’t if we are still moving! I know that when our pup is tuckered out he’ll rest for ages if I rest but if I get up to go out he’ll come and partner me with whatever i’m Doing so if I think he’d be better resting in that situation then I pop him in the kennel. The biggest mistakes we made in the early weeks was letting him get over stimulated because people who don’t know the breed kept saying we needed to tire him out. Once we helped him get the rest he needed he calmed down a lot. 

What are the best ways that you've found to keep him active but not overstimulated? That's something I'm struggling with. She has SO much energy and at first I thought I had to tire her out but that backfired because she just turned wild. She often won't settle down and sleep unless she is in the crate. I have a trail nearby that I can try. I'm sure it has many interesting smells for her and that may do the trick. How much exercise do you give your pup daily?

Thanks!

 

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Our pup needs sleep in his kennel. Even when he appears to be resting outside of the kennel he usually needs to be in his kennel so he doesn’t get stimulated when he’s tired. On the most typical day he has 2 x 25 Min walks in a trail - nice and gentle. We messed up today and took him out for one walk comprising 40 mins - 10 mins rest - 40 mins back. We miss calculated the distance. He seemed to handle it really well but has been super cranky for the rest of the day. 

Other activities - two or three 5-10 Min play sessions in the yard. Two or three 5-10 fun training sessions (like basic commands with treats and also search out hidden treats). 

We take him to our boat where he doesn’t have to do anything but just sitting on the boat watching the world go by really tires him out. 

Hope this helps :)

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1 hour ago, Lenie said:

What are the best ways that you've found to keep him active but not overstimulated? That's something I'm struggling with. She has SO much energy and at first I thought I had to tire her out but that backfired because she just turned wild. She often won't settle down and sleep unless she is in the crate. I have a trail nearby that I can try. I'm sure it has many interesting smells for her and that may do the trick. How much exercise do you give your pup daily?

Thanks!

 

If you are worried about active but not overstimulated, try working your gorgeous puppy's mind rather than her body.  Engage that big brain by trick training, or nose work. Short sessions only, as puppies do have a limited attention span. Or, since you are planning to try agility, Google agility foundations and start your agility training with the basics, rear end awareness, building drive, focus and bonding.  You can't do the jumping, weaving etc for a long time yet, but if you build rock solid foundations, everything else becomes much easier.

I also found as puppies my dogs would get quite tired out by a car drive with a window down (a bit) so that their nose would work overtime with all the new scents.

So happy that you worked out the photo issue, your puppy is stunning.  I love tricolours!

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Hi! I have a baby too, she’s five months :DKeep with it on obedience, she’ll get there. Sometimes we have tantrums/ pity parties and act like she’s forgotten everything she’s ever learned, other times she gives me a requested behavior on a dime. I’ve been told to keep working through it, and you may need to digress a bit and reward her for smaller victories. When all this is going on, she’ll still listen to the men of the house, which is more than a little annoying. Just two days ago she “forgot” sit and down, but today she’s flipping her hind end around to heel on a dime. 

The potty thing. Up until about a month ago, we figured out Indy needed to potty 2-3 times before she emptied her bladder. We did a few things: taught her a “go potty” cue, and taught her to ring a bell to go outside. Once she learned go potty, we would cue her to go more than once before coming in. It’s hard to stand still long enough to fully empty your bladder when you’re a baby BC! The bell cut down on accidents exponentially. 

Agree with the others that she’s probably too fired up with the motion of you running at such a young age and just wants to play along. Leash train first and it’ll work better!

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Lots of good advice here already. I only have one thought, and forgive me if someone else already mentioned it; I have not read every word of the thread.

Do you feed her in her crate? Perhaps if you do that, it will make it clear to her that crate is not the place to potty. I also agree that she may simply need to potty three times to get it all done, and if so this is something she will probably grow out of in time. For now give her lots of time to do her thing. A walk works well for this, of course, but you may not have time for that many walks.

Welcome to the BC Boards, and I hope you and your extremely cute puppy benefit from being here. I know I sure have.

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Feeding in her crate was the solution for my BC, Runa.  She was an adult rescue and while I was told she was housebroken, that couldn't have been further from the truth.  She pooped and peed in the crate, till I started feeding her in the crate.  The accidents stopped immediately. 

Lottie is beautiful and looks scary smart.

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Hello hello!!! Few things you mention about your little lady I'll just briefly post now but will elaborate and post a few links when I can.

The running and nipping at your feet and ankles / getting up ahead is typical behaviour of a sheepdog I'm afraid. Whoever said this couldn't be trained out of her is entirely right too but it's not all doom and gloom!

http://www.bordercollierescue.org/advice/bcr_leaflets/behaviour.html

http://www.bordercollierescue.org/advice/bcr_leaflets/Instincts.html

She will have heightened senses and sudden movements and loud noise will trigger her into a “Holy beejeeeezz!!” response and chase.  Whilst she's young and until she's been trained and specifically learned to control that response, she will chase and nip you when you're running, others out and about that may be running, cycling, horse riding, kids on bikes or scooters – one of mine chased literally anything that moved she was nearly killed one day going after an empty crisp packet and very nearly ended her days underneath a tractor.

That instinct is in little Lottie and will be her entire life but it's not a bad thing or necessarily something to worry about. You can work with it, manage and tweak it with simple things that just switch her entire focus and attention to you.

Re: peeing in her crate. Does she alert you to having pee on her bed as in whine or seem distressed / do a lot of shifting and moving like she's bothered about it or do you see her pee so just go clean it back up straight away?  UTI and other stuff ruled out and aside, I'm wondering whether she's a crafty sod and knows it's the easiest way to get your attention.   Eldest did it with my husband around the same age who would not accept she was actually taking the proverbial at all.

Caught her actually pretending to pee and belly-laughed because she looked so gutted I'd seen her and the game was up. 

This however...:D

Quote

She knows sit, lie down, stay, wait, and come. She used to be great with all of them, but lately she has been ignoring the commands. She is also dodging me when I try to pick her up to take her inside, put the leash on her, etc. Is she just going through her teenage years?

Actually laughed aloud because oh God... I've been right where you are now.  She knows the basic obedience and the sit / lie / stay / wait / come / spin 360 through the shopping centre she knows all that stuff and she's sooooo over that.

What I did was take mine for a little kick-about playing football.   Can do it inside the house if you have space but give it a boot, let her chase it then in a light friendly sort of voice, give her a simple “Sit” or Lie” see what she does.  If she responds in heartbeat you might have just found a solution to several problems so give her lots of praise and “Yeeeeeeeeeeee good girl!!” give it another boot but don't put any pressure on or play too long at first.  If she doesn't respond at all don't do anything else.

BC's tend to get bored and switch off if they're doing the same things over and over.  Mine looked mind-numbingly, soul crushingly bored whenever the kids would ask her to give a paw – then the other – now both paws yay good girl!! and I had to remind them not to keep asking the same stuff over and over they were boring the life out of me never mind the dogs.  Do need to be challenged, given new tasks and things to keep their brains on the go but in a different way where a response get a reward, you'd be amazed at how much they do remember.

So in a nutshell little Lottie is a very smart, very bright and very beautiful little sheepdog.  Congratulations your life is now officially a casserole of nonsense!  :D

Puddi suddenly remembering she knows lie down / stop / is seen here when we were playing with a football.

 https://youtu.be/vgdHnfMsm1g

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14 hours ago, Parly said:

BC's tend to get bored and switch off if they're doing the same things over and over.  

They do? :)  My BC has an "off switch" but I'm the only one who will engage it.

 

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15 hours ago, Parly said:

The running and nipping at your feet and ankles / getting up ahead is typical behaviour of a sheepdog I'm afraid. Whoever said this couldn't be trained out of her is entirely right

Actually, forgive me for contradicting you, but this is not correct at all. This behavior is found in many types of dogs, both purebred and mixes, and is simply bad behavior often exhibited by puppies. It can certainly be trained out of any dog, and probably more easily with a border collie than with most other dogs simply because they are biddable and learn fast. This behavior should not be encouraged or permitted. 

I also note that one of the links you provide states the following:  All blood lines of Border Collies originate from working stock.
Even with careful, responsible, selective breeding it will take many, many generations for this instinct to be bred out.

 Parley, this statement is anathema to the people of this forum, and is precisely the opposite of the philosophy and knowledge of the people here. We are adamantly opposed to the "breeding out" of the carefully nurtured instincts of the working border collie. A truly responsible breeder of border collies is doing the opposite: only selecting for skill in stockwork. Please read the "Read This First" for more information about this. 

Here is another quote from that same site which has no basis whatever in fact:   

The Border Collie has the worst record of all the breeds for attacking people. 

This is not true. I have not read the entire site but would not recommend taking anything they say as truth if they are making such statements as that.

 

 

 

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What D'Elle said.

Anyone breeding working border collies knows that the herding instinct is genetically very fragile and can begin to be diluted in only a very few generations. Those of us who've been around long enough to see how quickly the KC bred dogs and then the ACK dogs bred for conformation are all too well acquainted with the effect.

I'm curious whether the UK border collie rescue was founded by KC minded folks rather than people from working border collie world for them to be spreading that kind of nonsense. The things you've linked to, Parly, certainly have the aura of the kinds of messages we hear from ACK people here who've had to water down their sheepdog trail requirements to the point that just about any dog of any breed could be trained to perform them. Certainly no ACK bred dogs that I'm aware of have been able to successfully compete in open sheepdog trials here, even fairly less competitive regional ones.

So, yeah, I'd take all that with a very large chunk of rock salt.

As an aside, I haven't seen bite statistic records for the UK, but here the number one ranked dog for bites is the Lab.

 

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^^^^ All of what Gentle Lake & D'Elle said. And I'd specifically add that a border collie is a DOG, not a demon that needs to be kept constantly busy.

I've got my 4th bc. Three of them were working bred. NONE of them have been monsters of energy & drive. Yes, they have a need for focused activity, and they also have a need for down-time & quiet, consistency and some sort of routine. Hmmmm ~ sounds a lot like ME.

I admit, when I had my first 3 (got one a year until I reached my limit) I felt a bit overmatched at times. That was more due to my inexperience than to the dogs being overdemanding and hyperactive.

I will also say that a border collie is not for a novice owner NOR for someone who doesn't like doing stuff with their dog. And you can say that for a lot of breeds.

I will have a border collie in my life until I totter or dive into my grave. Wouldn't be saying that if these dogs didn't have an off switch.

Ruth & Gibbs

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I think we do our dogs a disservice when we treat them differently as pups than we do as adults.  Yes there are definitely developmental stages that need to be kept in mind. Pups have a short attention span, training should be short multiple sessions etc.  But I think we should expect manners and good behavior from day 1.  If in kindergarten your teacher let you hit other kids then first grade the rules changed it would be confusing.  You wouldn't know what to do.

Dogs are far more receptive to new things and changes in environment when they know they have a stable, consistent person they trust to look to help them process the world.

If we as their people allow them to bite and nip us then get upset when they do that to another person it makes no sense to them.  If we allow one behavior then ask for something different another time they get confused.  If we determine acceptable behavior and interaction from day 1 dogs usually accept that.  I think many do not have high enough expectations of their dogs.  Few things I am strict - do it now - but coming when called ranks up there.  If she is avoiding 'capture' put a long lightweight line on her so you can stress she needs to recall when asked.  Don't allow bad habits to start.  If she runs or darts off and you follow -  she just invented an age old game of chase where she is in control.

As a pup all she will need most likely is an AH to interrupt the behavior and redirected.  Now some are more focused and determined than others so what you do to stop the behavior is different with every dog.  Understand that yes it is movement that is exciting and kicks in the chase behavior.  Just watch pups chase birds or butterflies or each other. If nothing is moving games are rather quiet but as soon as something moves game on.  Nipping, biting are unacceptable - period.  I would not avoid it by not running i would fix it by correcting her and teaching her what you want her to do but I would limit this to backyard type games rather than a track at her age.  I would teach her leash manners now, if she never is allowed to pull on the leash then she will never do it.  Usually, by the time my pups head home at 8 weeks they have been on a leash a few times and learned to walk rather well.  Then they just need reminded every so often as they mature.

The potty thing - I teach my dogs to go out and potty then play time.  I would walk her on a leash and keep walking till she goes then praise and play.  I would also walk her again before coming inside after play time.  Pups honestly get distracted and "forget' they have to go till things are quiet again.

She sounds fabulous.  Enjoy her.  She will tell you what she needs.  Treat her like the smart girl she is and you will have years of adventures together.

Having rules and asking for manners is setting your dog up for success for the rest of her life.

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Woo I didn't' even see all these posts until just now :o need to go back read them rest and then come back

Just to touch on a few things whilst I am here though.

This behaviour is found in many types of dogs, both pure-bred and mixes, and is simply bad behaviour often exhibited by puppies.

You're right that many dogs in fact pretty much any dog will chase and nip and get overexcited Puppies are a pain in the arse actually.

It can certainly be trained out probably more easily with a border collie than with most other dogs simply because they are biddable and learn fast.

You surprise me here because it suggests you think chasing and herding even in BC's and sheepdogs is still a learned behaviour that they can be trained out of them? Is that what you meant I'm a bit baffled

Just to clarify when it's specifically strong in BC's and dogs suited more towards being a worker it an instinctive behaviour - not a learned one.   They don't learn it they are born with it built in and that means you can't get it back out.  You can train them to learn how to better control it, develop better ability so they can manage it even better and generally do things  do reduce the response to stuff that triggers them so they're not just "HOLY SHIT CAR TYRES WWAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!" but you'll never switch  off the thing that triggers it. 

Similarly if a BC doesn't have that natural instinct or interest for work you can't force what isn't there either - hence why we took Fleet.
 

All blood lines of Border Collies originate from working stock. Even with careful, responsible, selective breeding it will take many, many generations for this instinct to be bred out.

Parley, this statement is anathema to the people of this forum, and is precisely the opposite of the philosophy and knowledge of the people here. We are adamantly opposed to the "breeding out" of the carefully nurtured instincts of the working border collie. A truly responsible breeder of border collies is doing the opposite: only selecting for skill in stockwork. Please read the "Read This First" for more information about this.

You really didn't look at anything on the website did you?! :blink:

I won't get into who BCR are it's all on the website but just to be clear - they don't mean they actually want to try and get this out of them. It's more a cautionary word of warning as in “As a rule collies are likely to do because that's what we want from them as workers and actually bred into them. Even if we wanted to stop all this it would take as long to stop as it did to start so if you buy one of these as puppies, expect to end up with a full grown sheepdog sat in your living room and not a nice family pet. That's not what they were bred for and that's not where we want them to be.  Go get a nice dumb golden retriever if you want a cuddly family pet this breed is not for you”

The Border Collie has the worst record of all the breeds for attacking people.

This is not true. I have not read the entire site but would not recommend taking anything they say as truth if they are making such statements as that.

I don't mean to really take the piss but I read it like that and got a giggle on.  Dunno it just sounded "Well I don't know what makes them say this and I haven't looked and read why they say this but it's not true at all and I know this because of reasons.

Border collies / crosses are up top of the lists in terms of bites though. The world assumes it's the big bully breeds which they are top for fatal attacks.

Collies don't do as much damage or case severe bites to make the headlines I guess.  They are the top of the list for breeds responsible for bites in children under the age of 12yrs though :(

There's other replies I need to read and will come back later when I've finished some work I'm doing.

In the meantime I'll leave you with this just so you know we at BCR are the good guys honest :D

Tia  (given a new name with her new home) broke my heart seeing her spinning and crying and whining because she did't want to keep spinning but couldn't help it cos it's all she has done for two years. She got a happy ending though but this is why I hate humans.  We're vile really.

OK gotta go but I'll be back shortly to take a beating if that's what's gonna happen - catch you later :)

 

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