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HangingTree

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Everything posted by HangingTree

  1. Thank you! Suppose I find the behaviour puzzling, and was curious about the potential cause. But of course you are right in finding a way to address it is the main concern. I have been using a CD of scary sounds (fireworks and gunshots in particular) to help with preparing for New Year's, and that has worked beautifully. But I started doing that since he was about 3 months. I am considering recording the sounds from the kitchen when we take out the trash (without barking sounds present) and have that on repeat (starting at low volume) to do the same thing. Just wanted some other input, as I'm very scared of just making it worse..
  2. Hello! I'm having a weird thing show up in my 1 year old border collie, and I was wondering if anyone had any input. It has been going on for a few months now, and doesn't seem to be improving.. Whenever he hears the trash bags being handled, he (if he is free in the house) runs forth and back between the garbage can and the door to the outside. He whines in a very high pitched, loud and long manner that in the house we refer to as "screaming", since it is so different from his usual whining. When he is in his crate when we start handling the bags/taking it out, he will start barking relentlessly (even if he is in a different room) until there are no more bag noises.. Any advice on what this behaviour comes from? Or how to make it stop? Having him bark so furiously for minutes at a time while taking out the trash has got to be bothering the neighbors living upstairs. Apart from this, he is a wonderful dog in almost every way (although still an adolescent ;), apart from his fascination with cars (which has gotten better). He gets three walks a day, trick training and obedience training regularly, and doesn't have a problem relaxing and winding down in the house. Would love any helpful feedback! ❤️
  3. I'm so sorry for the late reply, things have been really busy here on my end.. But thank you so much for sharing! I'm glad your boy is doing better. These dogs certainly can prove challenging - even if they are so worth it! The trigger stacking theory is very interesting! He used to become more and more stressed the more cars that passed, but It was the first car of the day that passed, so I don't think that was the issue this time. We were however very close to the car. The road we were on is the road from our house, and there is no sidewalk. It is a bit tricky terrain as well, which makes it difficult to move further from the road until we get a bit further away from the house unfortunately. Will have to find a solution for this. As for the sitting down with him, it is what our trainer told me to do. But maybe standing would be better.. I don't usually have to restrain him, and I keep a hand on his collar rather than on the leash. He does wear a harness as well most of the time, but it is well fitted and I haven't noticed him seeming upset or in pain while wearing it. I suppose it is possible though! And no, I am the only person who walks him, so for the "over the road" I really am clueless.. It is the strangest behavior I have seen in any of my dogs. He hasn't shown this behavior since I stopped saying those specific words though, so tweaking seemed to solve that issue. I just hope it isn't the sign of an underlying problem.
  4. Hello I am having some negative and unsettling experiences with my 6 months old (neutered) BC male, and I was hoping you guys might have some insight.. This is my second BC, a spirited male from strong herding lines. He’s mostly very well behaved and very sweet. Obedient, a quick learner and has great focus during training. So far we have mostly been doing obedience and some scent work. I got him at 8 weeks, and he learned quickly that play biting had to be gentle, and the play biting on people was phased out entirely somewhere between 1-2 months ago. He still gets to play and bite on appropriate things, but doesn’t mouth me (or other humans) anymore. The main issue that we have been working on is that he has a strong urge to chase cars. I have gotten help from a professional dog trainer, and he has been getting so much better. It is all positive, training focus and contact with toys and treats. I have been sitting down with him, holding him gently and praising and rewarding when he looks at me instead of the passing cars, while gently holding him back/preventing him from running after the cars. He used to bark and lunge at the cars, ignoring everything else around him, but now he is so much calmer and usually sits calmly and looks at me again a few seconds after the car has passed (or doesn’t even look at them if I have a toy out). He has improved so much, however today a car was passing on a road we have walked quite a lot on (and we have had many cars pass us here). And so I was sitting with him, just petting him a little and kept a hand on his collar just in case as the car passed. But suddenly he started pulling, growled, started pulling towards the car and bit my arm when I held him back. Not just a nip, but a proper bite. He’s never bit me this hard before ever, his teeth broke the skin even through a thick woolen sweater. My arm is swollen and turning blue. I was caught entirely off guard, and for the first time he has actually scared me a little. I am quite shaken, and even though he is still just a puppy, I worry something might be wrong. About 6 weeks ago, I discovered a very odd behavior in him as well. Everytime we cross a road, I would have him sit next to me, tell him “over the road” before we cross the road. It was never a problem, and I cannot recall any situations where he seemed scared or agitated while doing this. But one day it was like something just clicked.. I was walking him and I had him sit before a crossing and when I said “over the road” he just started screaming. It sounded like I was torturing him. And then he started growling and lunged at my legs. I had never seen him behave like that (it didn’t seem like playing at all). And since then, any time I say “over the road”, no matter where we are, he would freak out entirely - growling, screaming and attacking me. Whether we were by the road, in the garden, in the kitchen or the bedroom.. Even if I said it quietly and calmly, while petting him or when he was relaxing. So my trainer told me to just not say those words again, and just drop it. And he hasn’t had any episodes like that again since. Crossing the road was also not a problem at all as long as I didn’t utter those words. I just find the behavior to be very strange, and paired with what happened today, I find myself a bit concerned for his mental state.. I suppose I’m just hoping someone can tell me that this is all normal puppy stuff and that it will pass, and maybe hear from someone who has seen similar behaviors in their dogs who can reassure me a little? I apologize for the long and messy post, but I could really use some help. I offer up this photo of the cute lil goblin in exchange for advice
  5. Thank you so much everyone! It's nice to hear that it ending isn't a foreign concept, haha! I guess I am adapting to it as it almost seems strange thinking that he might one day not constantly search for things to chew I will try to turn up the volume a little, and I will try your other suggested method as well! But it's nice to hear that I'm not doing everything wrong, so I guess I will just have to be patient about this issue and focus on enjoying the puppy stage as long as I can! Thank you for good advice!
  6. Hello! So my sweet puppy, Draco, is now six months old and has lots of energy! We have a ton of fun with obedience and tracking and it's been almost two months since he had an accident in the house. So generally things are going well, however he really loves to chew.. I realize that this is perfectly normal, and he is supervised 100% of the time when he is out of the crate, so I haven't had anything destroyed yet. When he starts chewing something he's not supposed to I tell him "no" and he immediately stops and looks at me. I give him something appropriate for him to chew on (he always has chew toys with different textures available), but no matter how many times I redirect his chewing, he keeps going back to chewing the 'forbidden' things a while later. I'm not sure if he forgets that he's not supposed to, or if he just can't help himself.. It's really all kinds of things.. Blankets and pillows (big favorite, he can't even have a bed in his crate), wooden walls and floors, bed frame, rugs, window stills, my clothes, bottles.. You name it. It's not too much trouble though as he stops quite fast and the few times he is relentless I just pop him in the crate with a chew toy for a few minutes, so it's not a massive problem or anything, but I'm curious about how long this stage usually lasts? Our trainer says he will outgrow it, but I know things like things sometimes vary with different breeds, so I figure I could ask here So when did your Border Collies stop chewing anything they could get their teeth on? How much do they chew as adults? And here.. I'm too proud of my handsome boy to not show him off a little bit when I have the chance
  7. Thank you guys! It's nice to hear that his personality will stay the same regardless! I do wish for his focus to be on (and for his priority to be) me, but I'm worried that he won't be as lively, playful and eager to work if he is neutered.. Some people (especially in my country where neutering is looked down upon by a lot of people) really think neutering makes the dog unable to reach it's full potential, and that it will be calmer than if it was intact.
  8. Thank you so much for your replies! I'm struggling quite a lot here with the decision making.. I've heard that neutered dogs tend to be energetic and just aren't as good when it comes to tracking and obedience (don't know if they meant it about herding as well)
  9. Thank you so much guys! I do train him a lot, and really hope that it won't be an issue. The vet I go to is rather liberal (as a lot of people in my country are pro neutering) and will neuter dogs even if not they're not technically supposed to (most vets will in fact). So there would be a possibility to neuter him, but it's not technically legal, hehe.
  10. Hello! I recently wrote a post asking for advice on handling an intact male. However, I have no idea what the difference are in terms of the dog's working ability.. In your opinion, is there a difference? Is one 'better' at working(herding, tracking, search, whatnot), or does neutering not make a difference in the working abilities? Do either have more or less spunk/energy? Bravery?
  11. Hii! So my lovely Draco is 22 weeks old now, and adolescence is approaching. I have never had a male dog before, and so I'm a bit worried about how to address the typical problems (marking, humping etc) that sometimes approaches during these times with an intact male dog. I'm not sure how this forum feels about neutering, but generally people online seem to recommend it. However, as Draco and I live in Norway, it is not legal to neuter unless it's to counter a health issue. So yeah.. I'd just really like some advice on how to handle problems that could arise, so that I'm not left clueless should he develop some of them. He's being supervised constantly when free in the house and we have lots of small training lessons throughout the day (he's doing really good!)
  12. Thank you so much guys! I think I will try to get a hold of a leash made of chain, so that I can keep him tethered to me without having to worry about him chewing the leash.. That really would help a lot I think. Sadly he doesn't seem to find kongs that interesting yet, even though I've tried stuffing them with different kinds of things. He enjoys them in the crate, but outside of it he prefers running around and chewing other things.. And since I will try not to give him attention when he misbehaves, should I just wait out the scratching and chewing? Because I think he finds that very rewarding too, ehe.. I expected a lot of chewing so I have removed a lot of my things obviously, but it's astonishing how he'll even attempt to chew the floor, doors and even the couch! I think I may have to get more creative with the treats too.. He'll take them, but I haven't really found anything that is more satisfactory than for example smells.. I've tried using things like ham and hot dogs too (since they smell a lot), but especially new smells are much more interesting to him than any kind of food I've been able to find. I'm glad to hear that he's a bit young to understand this! A lot of people seem to be shouting at me that settling down should have been taught to him from the day he could walk, especially since he's almost doomed to become hyperactive and crazy (since he's a BC and all..) So I actually felt a bit like I was catching up on teaching this I guess it's worth noting that these people don't own BCs themselves..
  13. So I have a 15 weeks old puppy from working lines, and I'm a first time BC owner. I've been reading quite a lot about teaching the puppy to settle, and I understand that it's very important to start teaching this early. So far I've been rewarding random calm behaviors with treats, and I've done a couple of things that have been recommended to me; sitting down on the couch and asking for the puppy to lie down at my feet and reward him for staying there, and holding him in my arms until he's calm then releasing him. However I'm having some questions that I've been unable to get an answer to.. Because when I'm trying to teach him to settle by my feet, he keeps getting up. I'll ask for a down with hand signal, but use the settle cue instead when he lies down. If I ignore this (waiting for him to lie back down so that I can reward him), he will start scratching the floor, chewing at the couch (and floor) and biting my feet.. And I'm just not sure how I should respond here.. I've also been considering to try keeping a leash in the living room, and tie him to it when he's all hyper, and release him when he calms down. The problem is the same here.. He chews on the floor, leash, door.. Anything he can get a hold of! I understand this is perfectly normal puppy behavior, but if anyone could give me some advice on how to handle this, I would love it! He's usually calms down very quickly in his crate, so it's not that he's physically unable too! (I feel I should add that I do want an active working dog, and he does get exercise and play before I work on settling him. My goal is that he will learn when it is expected of him to be calm, as I can't have him going all turbo inside the house all the time, hehe )
  14. So far I've tried turkey and liver treats, liver pate and I've tried giving him peanut butter, be he doesn't seem to like it (not that he wanted to taste it in the first place). I did give him a slice of cheese, which he ate, but didn't seem too excited. I'll keep trying different things, and hopefully he'll be a bit more food motivated when he's settled down here a bit For now it doesn't seem like freezing it is a good idea, as he'll only bother with the kong for about 20 seconds as it is, hehe. But I'll try freezing if I should run into the problem of him finishing it too fast! Thank you!
  15. Thank you! Those are very helpful tips! :-) He does seem more content with the crate now, and will take treats now (phew!), but the kong is still not too interesting yet. He slept in the crate, but woke me up 3 times to go out to pee. I don't think I'll be needing those alarms, I barely managed to get any sleep at all, and woke up at any sound he made. Today he has actually lied down into the crate to chew his toys.. :-) I'm going to start only feeding him in his crate, but moving a stool to the grass toilet didn't do any good at all.. He walked all over it and it got really messy, yuck..
  16. Thank you so much guys! This is really helpful He did play quite a bit with a blanket we had in the car, so I'm definitely not using a blanket in there. At least not in the beginning.. He's very happy and energetic (not surprising I suppose!) but he doesn't seem to be very food motivated at all.. He wouldn't take any food or treats on our way home (four hours), but he has started to eat a bit now after we've come home. I tried stuffing a kong with treats, kibble and a liver stew-thing that is popular to use in my country (dogs and cats love it), and though he'll chew a bit on it, he gets tired of it very quickly, and it certainly isn't motivating enough for him to stay in the crate.. I'm worried about closing the door, as I don't want him to have bad experiences with the crate, yet I'm not sure how to make him like the crate without the kong... Maybe he'll be more motivated tomorrow (I'm sure he's very confused right now) and currently he's sleeping in the corner opposite the crate inside his exercise pen. Have any of you any suggestions about how to make him like the crate without using food? I had to remove the toilet with grass, as he started using that as a bed, and otherwise chewed on the grass.. Any ideas on how I can make him think of the crate as bed, and the grass as toilet, or should I just try to place something else in the litter pan maybe? I'm sorry for all the questions, but I'm very worried I'll do something wrong, which I'm sure I will, but I hope to make as few as possible..
  17. I'll definitely keep an alarm then.. I honestly don't know if I will wake up, so I think it's best if I do! If I experience being woken up by the puppy, then I could start taking it a bit easier on the alarm. I'm going to try to enjoy my last night of sleep as much as I can.. I was a bit worried that the wired crate might not provide enough den-feeling, could it be an idea to put a blanket over it? And I might have to travel a bit in the future, so I think it's a good idea to get an airline crate eventually. It will definitely feel more secure to have an airline crate in the car than a wired one. I'll see how he does with his x-pen, and then make the decision about where to keep him when I'm away. I do like the idea that he gets to make some decisions on his own, but it won't be worth it if he'll be endangering himself or his surroundings.. Thank you for all of your advice! They've definitely been appreciated!
  18. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with me! I really appreciate it! I guess I will just have to see how big he gets, and maybe the crate we have now is enough. But I was considering getting an airline crate eventually anyway, so I guess I'll just have to wait and see. It's great to know about the x-pen! Then I may have to consider using the crate more than I intended, but I guess I have to see what he's like during the first week and adjust things a bit (or a lot!), I'm sure there'll be quite a lot of surprises waiting for me. I'll just have to watch him like a hawk, learn his habits and I'll try to take him out after feeding, drinking, waking, playing and training, like you said! I'm sure I have some tiring months ahead! Since I can be a heavy sleeper, I've been a bit worried that I won't hear his whining/crying when he has to go, but maybe it's a lot louder than I thought. I guess I could try not setting an alarm, and if he soils the bed, I know I'll need to. I'm so worried I'll do something wrong, but I suppose that is normal..
  19. Thank you so much! I've been lurking around on this forum for a while now, and I'm happy to have found a forum with so much information about border collies :-) My crate is only 30" big, so I guess I might have to get him a new one eventually. Luckily this cage is one that we used for our previous dogs, so it isn't new! And yes, he will only be crated for a couple of hours at the time, but in the beginning I plan to take him outside every hour. During the night I'm planning to get up every 3 hours to take him outside, at least in the beginning. I have the crate in an x-pen along with some toys, a toilet (litter pan with grass) and his water and food bowls. So he'll be crated during the night, and I'm planning to let him use mostly his x-pen during the day when I can't watch him. When I'm away or working, I plan to let him use his x-pen and then come home to spend time with him during my lunch breaks. I might be able to bring him with me to work a couple of times a week as well. I have easter holiday now, so I can spend a lot of time with him during the next week and a half. And after that there will be a couple of people who'll come in to check that he's doing alright and take him outside while I'm away, but that's about it. I've tried to make up my mind about whether or not to have blankets inside the crate.. People seem to have different opinions about it, so for now I just thought I would try with blankets, and then remove it if he soils them. Does this sound okay, or what do you think?
  20. Hi! So I'm picking up my first border collie tomorrow (he'll be almost 8 weeks old), and I have a large crate for him that will (hopefully) fit him when he's fully grown. However, I have a divider so that I can make the crate smaller, so I'm wondering how small I should make the crate so that it will fit an 8 week old puppy? I know that they're supposed to be able to stand, sit, lie down and turn around inside the crate, but I'm still a bit worried I'll get it wrong, hehe :-) Maybe I'm over thinking it, and that it'll be quite obvious when we've tested a bit, I guess I'm just anxious to get everything ready before he gets here..
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