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Zola's mom

18week old pup issues

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Hi everyone! 

This is my first post on this forum but I've been leaning lots on here for 10 weeks now. :)

Zola is half BC, half GSD. She looks a lot like a german shepherd, but seems to act mostly like the border collie (for example, the first (resolved) issue I had with her was her running around me or friends in a circle and nipping; she needs at least triple the amount of exercise recommended for her age since she was 8 weeks old, she is a master at fetch already, I have trouble with the off switch often, etc. Most of how she is is very "border collie like"). 

We spent last night at a friend's for Easter diner and slept there; as a result, now that we are home after last night + a day of off leash walking in the rain, she isn sleeping soundly next to me as I am typing those words. She woke up for a little growl when the food I ordered came at the door, looked at said food for a few minutes to make sure nothing in there was for her, and went back to sleep. 

I absolutely love her tonight!

She is usually a lot more difficult. 

I study and work from home, spending most of my days with her. She sleeps amazing in her crate and wakes up when I get up, around 10am. She's pretty hyper in the mornings but I'm ok with it. I like going for a long walk, playing fetch in the park, finding trails to explore, training her, etc; I pretty much "give her" my mornings until 2pm when she calms down on her own, naps etc while I "go to school" (in my living room). I have eyes on her at all times, and she absolutely understands "no"; she knows what she can, or can't do, and throughout the day if she tries something she's not aloud, as soon as she hears "no" she stops and gets a toy. 

The problem I have is evenings. She'll get up around 5 or 6pm, devil suit on. Almost always looks for something she shouldn't be doing as soon as she starts waking up (like getting something out of the recycling bin, chewing on the sofa, digging into the couch, the bed, blankets, or outside when she gets out. I have a very good clear 'NO" which I know she understands, but at night, she stops listening, for some reason. She knows she's not aloud to do specific things, and night time seems to make her want to do those things even more. 

She usually calms down at 9pm but it can sometimes last until 10, 11pm. There have been times when I looked at her go and wondered if I should take her to the emergency vet because it seemed overly abnormal. She is teething which is obviously bothering her but she will go from frantically chewing on a toy or bone I'm holding, to trying to eat my office chair, I say no, she jumps on the couch and starts digging, I say no she runs to my bedroom, jumps on my bed, throws the pillows everywhere and rubs on the blankets. I put her down from the bed, she runs to the back door, gets in the yard, starts digging like a maniac. And she's not listening at all when she starts digging. The only thing I tried that will make her stop is if I exit the yard to the street without her - she goes to the gate and waits there. The second I return, she runs to her hole and digs more. I take her out of the hole, wash her paws, bring her back inside, she runs to the couch to dig, runs to the bedroom, etc etc. I don't think it's attention seeking, as she never looks to see if I'm watching, it's like she gets in her little destroy bubble and nothing will take her out of it. It's definitely not because I don't give her enough exercise time, some of the worst evenings were after a really nice long walk including off leash running around. I tried time outs, she freaks out, barks etc (I have people living downstairs so I don't want to make too much noise after 9-10pm) .. 

She is on the elimination diet for allergies (long story for next time but itchiness is no longer a problem) so all I can give her to chew are vegetables. She likes carrots and that will give me a break, but shreds them in a million pieces within 10 minutes and goes to the next thing to destroy. She loves the kong, but will throw it around and empty it fast, or if I put harder treats in it she'll eventually give up, and return to destroying other things. She LOVES playing with ice, but that too, will only excite her more and get her amped up for the next thing. One thing that will calm her down is lying her down in front of me with treats, and asking her to 'look" at me (into my eyes) for 5 seconds to get a treat. She is super cute. After 10 minutes of that (and I can see in her eyes that she is exhausted), I show her her blanket, lie her down, and she seems to want to lie there, but after 2-3 minutes she almost always returns to chewing frantically on a chair, couch, etc. / destroy mode as I call it. 

Is it just a phase? What should I do? WHEN will it stop? (and apparently she's not even in the teenage years yet??)

 

---

The other issue I have with her is she is ressource guarding me from other dogs. I have zero problems with other humans, probably because I have a lot of close friends in my life and she's seen me hugging people countless times .. or food or treats or toys. But she whines like she's being tortured if I give any attention whatsoever to another dog, and if I pet another dog or try to give another dog a treat, she lunges at it in an aggressive way. She only does this with me; she respects that other people pet her and other dogs, even my best friend who she's spent days with, can play and hug another dog in front of her and she's ok. I've started avoiding having contact with other dogs if she is close to me, as I'm scared to make it worse by doing the wrong thing and I am terrified she will get attacked by a bigger dog she is trying to push away. Here and there if we encounter a friendly dog I'll make sure I am holding her collar, then pet the other dog at arms distance .. I think she knows I am holding her in those situation and can't do anything, so she won't be aggressive then, but will whine. I've been saying "no" calmly, then petting her when she stops (but since I only have two arms, she usually just stops when I stop petting the dog so I might be reinforcing her behaviour. Any ideas on what I should be doing to fix that (and can I fix it?) I started working with a dog behaviourist that asked me to hold her on a leash at all times in or outside of the house, and be her ressource guarder for an entire two weeks - keep all of her toys hidden and play with one at a time only, always holding the toy, even if it's a ball; hold her chews while she teethes, her water bowl when she drinks, hand feed her, etc. never let her off leash. I tried for two days but she went crazy (she needs to run around).. and I can't do that, the 10-20 min breaks I get here and there of her playing with her toys are NEEDED. Thoughts? 

 

Thanks!

 

 

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She's beautiful! I had the opposite cross, my dog looked like a (big) border collie but seemed to have less of the border collie traits.

57 minutes ago, Zola's mom said:

she needs at least triple the amount of exercise recommended for her age since she was 8 weeks old .... I have trouble with the off switch often, 

Don't do it! I know it's tempting but do not give her triple the amount of exercise recommended.

59 minutes ago, Zola's mom said:

It's definitely not because I don't give her enough exercise time, some of the worst evenings were after a really nice long walk including off leash running around.

Yep! The more running around exercise you give them, the crazier they go.

1 hour ago, Zola's mom said:

The problem I have is evenings. She'll get up around 5 or 6pm, devil suit on.

Our boy was the same. It has got better. I think evenings very gradually started to get easier from about six months. He is a year now and while he can be a bit 'restless' in the evenings (especially on days he's had more exercise than usual) our evenings are so much easier.

I learnt that more physical exercise did not make things better. Less crazy free running does make things better. Now our walks are more on leash walking around sniffing and doing tricks and if I let him off it will be for a few minutes to fetch or find a toy I've hidden and then he goes back on. I don't let him run himself into a hyper frenzy any more in the hope he'll be easier at home.

This article explains a bit about the problems of too much fetch, especially the veterinary behaviourist bit at the bottom:

https://bharcsblog.wordpress.com/2019/04/14/whats-all-the-fuss-about-fetch/?fbclid=IwAR1xAn5aU5BpL6n4KU0VeqCpAPZ6eUj_Y4Pp1K9jYfYPpLUhfLT2_oW_Fm0

 

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There is nothing abnormal about this behavior whatever, and it is normal for any breed or cross breed. She is only a baby, and just keep this in mind. You would not be surprised if a 2.5 to 3 year old human child ran wild and got into things you don't want her to...it is the same thing.

I don't think you mention a crate. (I read your post fast, don't have much time). If you don't have one, get one immediately and when she gets wound up the way you describe pop her into the crate for a while to settle down. Do NOT do this with a punishing attitude, be nice about it. Don't over-use the word 'No", and never use her name in conjunction with the word No or any other negative vocalization. Be patient with her, but don't allow her to run you ragged. When she gets over-excited, just say "uh-oh! Time for a time out (or for a nap)" and pick her up and put her into the crate. She may make a fuss....let her. Eventually she will settle down and probably take a little nap. this is how you teach the "off switch". After a while once she is quiet, or when she wakes up, let her out with no excitement at all, and go back to your day. When she winds up again, pop her back into the crate. You may have to do this many times a day or evening. She's smart, but she is only a baby. 

Make sure you don't give her three times the exercise, or you will create a dog who demands three times the exercise. You control how much, what type, and when. 

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No nothing abnormal here. Our boy now Harry 11 months is like someone flicked a switch in the evening. He has only recently been sleeping well in the day, but unfortunately he only sleeps from 10 pm to 4.30/5 am. The reasoning behind the 5 minutes exercise per month is that their joints are not fully grown until they are adults, so you have to be careful not to do too much jumping and no stairs.

I avoid petting other dogs and just let Harry and the other dogs play together.

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Thanks for your replys. 

 

3 hours ago, D'Elle said:

I don't think you mention a crate. (I read your post fast, don't have much time). If you don't have one, get one immediately and when she gets wound up the way you describe pop her into the crate for a while to settle down. Do NOT do this with a punishing attitude, be nice about it. Don't over-use the word 'No", and never use her name in conjunction with the word No or any other negative vocalization. Be patient with her, but don't allow her to run you ragged. When she gets over-excited, just say "uh-oh! Time for a time out (or for a nap)" and pick her up and put her into the crate. She may make a fuss....let her. Eventually she will settle down and probably take a little nap. this is how you teach the "off switch". After a while once she is quiet, or when she wakes up, let her out with no excitement at all, and go back to your day. When she winds up again, pop her back into the crate. You may have to do this many times a day or evening. She's smart, but she is only a baby. 

 

She does have a crate, but I only use it for sleep / if I go somewhere in the day time. I'm actually scared to disturb the people below me, but they keep apologizing for their 17 month old kid that cries a lot (indeed) so I guess I can give it a try. She does great in it. I will try that, thanks. 

I got her to have a buddy to accompany me on multi day hikes and paddleboarding trips, so I'm ready to get her a lot of the exercise. At the moment I don't have her running, but when she is old enough she will come on jogs with me daily, when we are not hiking. I understand the idea about giving her less exercise so she is less crazy, but will that make her become a lazy dog?

Also we had one camping trip so far, 3 nights, we were static in one spot but she was off leash the whole time, exploring around, chasing birds, digging in creeks, going in the lake, learned the ropes of paddleboarding and keeping her balance, slept in a tent for the first time (in her crate), and when we got back home, she was the NICEST dog, super calm, and so connected to me, for 2-3 days. Which is why I'm under the impression that the more she spends energy, the nicer she will get ... 

The article about fetch was very interesting and definitely concerning. I don't play it for very long because of her growth plates but definitely good to know that it isn't the best game for her to play throughout for life, physically and mentally. 

 

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21 hours ago, Zola's mom said:

The article about fetch was very interesting and definitely concerning. I don't play it for very long because of her growth plates but definitely good to know that it isn't the best game for her to play throughout for life, physically and mentally.

Well, there may be different schools of thought about this. I have had fetching dogs who were able to continue to play up until their very last few weeks or days of life. While I can see that it could strain muscles, and a warm-up of some sort is definitely a good idea, I am skeptical about their statement that it is not a good idea at all. Kept to a reasonable level and time, and not started too young, it doesn't seem like such a bad idea to me. The performing frisbee dogs who do three or four demanding shows a day....yes, that's too much. 10 or 15 minutes of fetch in the back yard or park....not really likely to be detrimental. And the bit about it not being good for them mentally....meh, I don't agree. doing what you love always feeds the spirit whether you are a dog or a person.

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