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ShellyF

Catching him in the act!

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Our five month pickle is getting very well behaved and his manners are pretty good. But like all puppies I guess he wants to play at the most inappropriate times and often forgets his manners. 

His favourite - familiar with many of you I am sure - is the fly by. Approach at speed, nudge and hope you’ll chase him. This is easy to ignore but when he decides to grab a piece of clothing or his teeth touch our legs (even if very gently) then that enters our zero tolerance level. 

A grab on clothes is easier in some respects as it gives me time to grab him and pop him in his crate for a time out but the ‘teeth on leg’ is too fast for us to catch him. There’s no pressure in this play bite and we know it’s a game but we don’t think it should be allowed  

We try and avoid chasing him and normally my husband and I try to quickiy (and without anger) work in tandem to catch him on his next fly by so we can give him a time out. But the reality is that we don’t make a good job of this. 

We do have the alternative of completely ignoring him but our concern is that he won’t get the message that a nip as he flies by is not acceptable. 

He does this at most about once a day. 

Opinions please :) 

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I think you are quite lucky compared with some horror stories I have read and heard. I am on my third Border Collie and my latest is a 3 year old rescue that seems to treated very well. I am taking her to agility and she is very good considering she has never done it before. Every evening she gets a toy out of her toy-box and has a wiz around the living room when I am trying to watch a recorded favourite programme. I play with her and launch the toy around the room for about 10 mins then she settles. Change to fly by by blackmail to another game and reward Pickle, she/he will get the message. Some of these wonderful dogs take up to 4 four years to mature. Your dog does not sound dangerous, it is herding. Keep an open mind and be positive, not negative. Your dog is asking for guidance on how to behave not criticism. I wish you well.   

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Leave a leash attached to his collar and let him drag it. It will be much easier to grab the leash in that moment that it will be to catch the pup.

Another thought would be to nip these in house zoomies in the bud altogether before they reach this intensity. There's nothing wrong in a pup's learning where it is and is not appropriate for that kind of nonsense. In my house, inside is indefinitely inappropriate and the puppy's caught, put in a crate and ignored for a few minutes before being released and then taken outside to play.

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I second the suggestion of using a leash or light cord attached to the collar, making it much easier to grab the puppy on the fly. Even better,  training in an "off switch" so the pup knows that there is time to be rowdy and time to settle. In my home, rowdy time doesn't happen unless I am actively playing with the dog. Any other time, the dog needs to settle down and be calm, or will be put into the crate for a time out. Making this distinction that play is only when initiated by you will give you control over this kind of thing. A few short play sessions with the puppy each day, if your schedule allows it, will reinforce this training. Now we play! Now you settle down. I would also keep the playing under some control and avoid letting the puppy get overstimulated.

Just a note on the first response you got: I do not think you were being the least bit critical of your puppy, or negative, so don't worry about that. JMO. And, the behavior has nothing to do with herding. It is highly typical puppy behavior that I have seen in puppies from bulldogs to pit bulls to poodles to labradors and more.  It's not herding, it's just puppy craziness and zoomies. Nothing bad, but needs to be curbed so you don't end up with an adult dog who thinks such things are OK. 

Let us know how it is going. :-)

 

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Thanks for the replies everyone and much appreciated. 

I should clarify these are not zoomies but a fly by to instigate play. I take on board everyone’s suggestions. 

Oddly enough he settles pretty well but this last week he’s been very unsettled by hubby and me standing at the sink doing dishes (dishwasher broke). I think he thinks we are having some kind of game that he wants to be a part of lol!

 Will try the leash idea :)

 

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6 hours ago, Irish Collie said:

Some of these wonderful dogs take up to 4 four years to mature. Your dog does not sound dangerous, it is herding.

Border collies are actually a pretty early maturing breed. I know the dogs I've had may only be a pretty small sample, but between them and others I've known, I've never known a border collie to take 4 years to mature. A lab or golden, yes, but not a border collie. Wiston Cap won his first international supreme championship (sheepdog trial, not conformation) at less than 2 years old. An immature dog couldn't have done that.

And what Pickle is doing isn't herding. It's juvenile predatory play behavior shared by all canids, both domestic and wild. Young mammalian predators of all species hone their hunting skills through play as youngsters.

Perpetuating these inaccurate and illogical myths about border collies isn't doing anyone any good, and certainly not the dogs themselves.

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On 9/23/2018 at 1:31 PM, GentleLake said:

Perpetuating these inaccurate and illogical myths about border collies isn't doing anyone any good, and certainly not the dogs themselves.

^^^This.

I also have never known a border collie who took four years to mature. Goldens, definitely. But not border collies.

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Roxanne noted: "Wiston Cap won his first international supreme championship (sheepdog trial, not conformation) at less than 2 years old. An immature dog couldn't have done that. "

 

Cap was the exception that tests the rule. Scottish Mantra: "A dog is ready for a (an open) sheepdog trial when it has as many years under it as legs."

 

Donald

 

 

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True, Donald. And I probably should have mentioned this exception to the rule.

But we're talking about a level of training here in addition to general maturity. I may be mistaken, of course, but I still think it speaks to border collies being a pretty early maturing breed.

Or would you disagree that they tend to mature behaviorally sooner than many other types of dog that exhibit very juvenile behavior until they're 4 or so years old?

Mine definitely have not. Or maybe they've all been exceptions to the rule?

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Donald and GentleLake: I'm not even a novice when it comes to working sheep dogs. What little I know from observation and reading is telling me that working sheep is a skill set that takes a long, long time to 'get' fully. Perhaps in non-working terms/needs, a dog can be considered an adult at age 2 or so. But for dependability and stock handling skills, a border collie needs to be 4 years old, perhaps because it takes that long to learn those very complex skills. 'Reading' stock alone seems to me to be incredibly complex, as there are so many variables.

thoughts?

Ruth & Gibbs

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I agree, Ruth.

Again, though, that kind of complex trained behavior isn't what I was referring to regarding the OP's situation with her puppy Pickle, but rather to ShellyF's saying that border collies are a slow maturing breed, I assume meaning in general, not specific to advanced sheepdog training. And I just don't believe that's true based on my observations of a lot of border collies in various settings (IOW, not simply trained working livestock/trial dogs) compared to many other breeds. For example, I've run across a wide variety of dogs in my therapy work over the past 10+ years and in a very brief stint of training for competitive obedience many years prior to that and in volunteering with rescue. Still pretty limited overall, but none of the really immaturely behaving dogs I've met at 3 or 4 years old were border collies, who were in my experience out of that stage by the time they were 2, maybe 2 1/2 years old.

I'm not going to belabor the point. People will believe what they will believe.

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It wasn’t me that said they were a slow maturing breed haha! I don’t the answer to that one either way!

i should also clarify, my pup is Merlin but he IS a pickle! My bad typing has clearly confused the issue. Sorry peeps!

 

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