These boards have been a wealth of information, but I feel I've reached a point where I need more in depth help. I apologize for the length, I just want to be through.
I adopted Rhett from a rescue when he was about 3-4 months old. He is now 6-7 months old. His first few months here he was a joy, real good puppy, everything I wanted in a bc, slept throughout the night, and had an off-switch. Not just a puppy "konk-out after playing" switch, but an actual "okay, nothing interesting is going on, I'm gonna lay here until something cool happens".
A little over a month ago, he's become, for lack of better words, a bit infuriating.
He gets about 30 min- 1 hr. of mental stimulation, through training, mental puzzle toys and treat dispensers, and through me asking him to do and bring me things "where's your ___, bring me your ___". He gets around an hour of physical work, through our walk and playing in the backyard, and doing some very basic agility foundation work. I am home 24/7. He's never starved of attention. He gets mandatory crate time for about 4 hours so that if I ever had to leave the house he wouldn't be shocked by the sudden change.
Now, after a walk, he lays down and relaxes for 30 minutes, then he's up pacing. We tell him to go settle, he does, then is back up. We do this several times, then pull out the leash and tether him next to us. He chews on it, we tell him no and re-direct him to something more appropriate, he doesn't want that. Continue chewing on leash. I've changed his leash to an old chain leash I have, he chews on that. When he finally does settle (it can take a very long time), we use to try to give him small treats, but then he would just lose his marbles and do everything in his power to earn more. So we began softly praising him, but even this gets him pacing again.
He loves being pet and cuddled, however over the past month he's began throwing "tantrums" when not getting constant attention. I'll initiate a play/petting session, they'll last anywhere from a few minutes to 20 depending on what kind of mood I'm in, then I'll tell him "good boy" and it will end. If I go to sit on the couch, he will sit there in front of me, just staring, waiting for more. I ignore- he begins mouthing the couch. I tell him no, re-direct him to a toy/antler/bone whatever is near, he doesn't want that, or he'll grab it and try to push it on me, I ignore again. More couch grabbing, or begin barking. Usually around now I walk away and ignore, but it doesn't help.
He loves his antler and toys, but doesn't seem happy chewing them by himself. He's constantly trying to get someone to join in on the fun with him, even though we've never encouraged the behavior.
I don't think I've ever seen him really relax and be happy with just chewing a bone next to me after taking part in our daily routine. For the past month I've been trying to tell him to settle, leashing him next to me, praising him when he's being quiet and chewing on something appropriate, but it doesn't seem to have helped any. It just seems to kind of aggravate the problem.
He also never really seems to sleep anymore. He barks randomly throughout the night in his crate in an attempt to wake us up to play. We originally let him out once or twice on a strictly business potty trip, but it was clear he only wanted to play. Since then we don't let him out. But he still continues a month later...
I've owned a border collie before, she was very much a joy, and I enjoyed the fact that the breed wants to be an integral member of the family. However, I am not a 24 hour play dispenser, which it seems Rhett thinks I am and I cannot shake him of it. Is there something I'm missing? Do I have a dog on my hands that needs way more mental and physical stimulation? Or is this something that eventually as he becomes an adult he will get his switch back?
I'm scared that I'm not giving him enough, and that's why he's begun acting like this. He's also become a bit of an annoyance to my family, and I'm afraid that maybe we are not the right fit for him. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.