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Our boy is nine months now, you have my sympathies. I have certainly felt like you have a few times. Things that have helped with us have been using stuffed Kongs for meals as he's often more settled after he's had a good chew and eaten. Our boy is very high energy but certainly I'm finding nine months easier than five months.

Someone posted this link and I looked at it when mine was about the same age as yours. Although it caused a bit of controversy with the more experienced members here I tried it and it was really surprised at the results. While I never followed through with it properly, if our boy is being particularly restless I can pop his lead on and he'll lie down and go to sleep. http://sanityshome.blogspot.com/2010/01/sit-on-dog-aka-long-down.html

Other people will come along with better advice. I just wanted to reassure you that it won't be like this forever.

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Oh, gosh I feel you. My boy is around 2 now we think and is exactly the same and I'm always on the edge of a breakdown. But I want to reassure you that it doesn't mean you'll be in the same position as me - we adopted out boy at 1/1.5 years old completely untrained and quite wild, so you still have those youthful puppy years to turn it around :) hopefully! I'll be interested to see what advice you get back!

 

Good luck!

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I also sympathise and also felt the same. Our puppy is nearly 8 months old and can honestly say I did wonder what we had taken on. There is myself, husband and 2 adult sons living in our house and often it was left to me to look after him as the others would leave as he was too much to handle and just seemed to get more and more excited. He did start to settle around 5 months old. When I knew he was tired I ignored him so he soon got the message that the only other thing to do was sleep. Chewing on nylabones as well as stuffed kongs have helped. When I walk him I meet people who have owned border collies, they always say the first 6 months are the hardest.

Good luck.

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My girl is 8 months and I know just how you feel. One thing that helped me was to keep a schedule and have scheduled nap time in the crate. Another thing I did at one point was to only play outside and I took up all the toys inside except for quiet chews. I reinforced the idea of inside being a place to be calm by rewarding quiet behavior and never allowing anyone to encourage her in excitable behavior while indoors.

(As I type this, my girl is bringing me a ball that I toss across the room for her. We've been doing this for the last half hour and she will do it until I stop.)

Now, we are able to keep toys in the house and do some play. She definitely would not be considered a calm dog, but she is nothing like when she was five months old. One thing I've noticed is if we are home alone she will take a nap outside her crate when she is tired. However, if my fiancé is home, she will not stop. I suspect she views him as more of a playmate since that's all he does with her and she can't lie down while there is hope of playtime. Are any of your family members encouraging the nonstop activity? 

It will get easier! And in my opinion, you get to enjoy them much more when they are older. Puppies are adorable, but they are a lot of work. Hang in there!

(My girl is now on the couch beside me, putting her head in my lap. When she was five months old, I would have told you that would never happen. ;) )

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6 hours ago, Smalahundur said:

Use a crate when you see he's tired "but chooses otherwise". Don't give him a choice.

Yes, definitely this. Not doing this is most likely contributing to your problem because he's not learning how to handle being over tired on his own. Just like human toddlers who get wound up and cranky when they don't get their naps, puppies often don't know how to do this on their own.

1 hour ago, Lenie said:

Another thing I did at one point was to only play outside and I took up all the toys inside except for quiet chews. I reinforced the idea of inside being a place to be calm by rewarding quiet behavior and never allowing anyone to encourage her in excitable behavior while indoors.

This is also a good plan. You also mention that you can't relax around him and I'm quite sure he senses this and it's probably also contributing to his behavior. One of the first things I'd be doing is stepping back and finding some ways to relieve my own stress. Pop him in the crate when he's tired and take that time to plan some strategies for working with him.

I don't see any mention of any kind of training among the things you mention that you do with him. Not only is training crucial to growing a well behaved, mannerly dog, it's also a great way to exercise his brain in a way that can tire him out as much or even more than physical activity.  If you're not already doing it I would very definitely recommend interspersing several short training sessions throughout the day. Start with the basics or if he already knows them then teach him tricks.

I'd also recommend enrolling him in a positive reinforcement training class. Not only will it be engaging (and tiring!) for him, the instructor should have some good suggestions for you and you'll learn ways to manage and redirect his energy better.

Wishing you the best.

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I read some great advice on here when our pup was young which is to train for the level of activity that you can cope with. 

Our guy gets plenty of fresh air and training and play and as he got older we extended his walks and introduced running.  But the rest of the time he has to amuse himself quietly or rest. Any sign of crankiness and it’s into his crate - or if he can’t settle. He’s 8 months now and will now rest when we do for the most part.

 But there are only two of us.  Over the holidays there were two more adults in the house and lots of comings and goings and the crate was definitely getting utilised more as well as training the humans to ‘ignore him’ for his own sake! 

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When my girl was that age I was at wits end thinking we weren't going to make it. But over time she settled into her environment and at 2 yrs she is a sweetheart now. Sure she still has her high energy moments, but nothing near how she was at 4-6 months. You have a ways to go yet, and each dog is different, but time is your friend. I gave her lots of love, which she frequently resisted. So I gave her treats when she was most affectionate and laying calmly in my lap. It took some time but she has gradually gotten to the point where she lays in my lap every night. And all I have to do is pick up a bag of treats and she jumps right into my lap and lays calmly. 

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It really does seem like most things are a slow and gradual process with border collies though, as the experienced folks here have told me. So be patient and know that changes won't happen overnight, but one day you'll suddenly realize that things have gotten better, as long as you are consistent and persistent in your behavior and responses. 

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