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urge to herd

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  1. From out of left field ~ try singing an upbeat song. Singing is great for the human body, you breathe more deeply and (IMO, I have no science to back this part up) I think the vibrations that singing creates everywhere in your body are wonderful. You don't need to sing at top volume, possibly humming might be enough. I submit this idea because singing makes me feel calmer and more alert all at the same time. I'll hum or sing when I'm anxious and it frequently calms me down. My Gibbs is fairly chill, so I can't experiment on him. If you try it, I'd love to hear the results. Ruth & Gibbs
  2. Ask your vet if he will prescribe Clomicalm for your boy. It's an anti-anxiety drug rather than an anti-depressant. Clomicalm worked very well for one of my dogs. Ruth & Gibbs
  3. What Flora said ^^^^ It doesn't seem like you've taught him to relax. If you're doing things with him every single minute, which is the impression I get from your post then the next step is to teach him to chill. Send him into his crate while you're there. A lot of adult dogs sleep 10-12 hrs a day. He may be a little young for that, but he can learn to chill while you're there as well as while you're out. What anti-anxiety med did your vet put him on? Would you say it's helped or not? Ruth & Gibbs
  4. You currently have a 2 yr old bc ~ am I understanding correctly? I've had experience taking in another adult bc, have never had a puppy. I can tell you that introducing another adult was challenging for me. I don't remember details as the last time I did that was 10 years ago, but we did have some challenges. Resident bc was not all that happy to have another dog in the house, even though she had lived with 2 other dogs for most of her life with us. I'm sure someone else with more experience and a better memory will be able to weigh in soon. Ruth & Gibbs
  5. About the CBD treats ~ there's not any info I can find about research into use of CBD oil for dogs that I can find. I wouldn't chance it. Ah HA! I got my vet to give me some doggy prozac for Shoshone, didn't do a thing for her. She was having issues with the other critters in the house. Asked the vet if there was anything else he could suggest. He gave me some clomiprimine, (clomicalm is the trade name) and it worked like gangbusters. She was a different dog within a couple days. I had a friend at the time who has Tourette's Syndrome, which means she made sounds and movements all the time. Shoshone was terrified of her. Well, my friend dropped by unexpectedly about a week after we'd started Shonie on Clomicalm. Friend came in, got down on the floor to play with the dogs, I left the room for a minute . . . when I came back Shonie was ON MY FRIEND'S LAP! Friend was petting her, and cooing to her and Shonie loved it. Friend and I were both pleasantly shocked. We kept Shonie on that med until she passed away. She was happier, calmer and all around easier to live with. Ruth & Gibbs
  6. For a toy that he can't just dump out, try an IQ Treat Ball, you can see what they look like on Amazon. The ball is rigid plastic, it has one hole for kibble to fall out of. You unscrew the two parts, drop in some kibble or hard treats of any kind, screw the 2 parts back together and drop it on the floor. My Gibbs gets half of each meal in some kind of thingy that makes him work at least a little. Don't fall for the advertising ~ 'Hours of fun for your dog!' All of my dogs have gotten the food out of the whateveritis in under 4 minutes. You're doing great! Ruth & Gibbs
  7. Gentle Lake ~ thanks for this reminder And lastly, don't forget to quietly praise and reward the unasked for moments of cam and quit when your dog decided to settle on his own. Sorry I forgot to include it ~ in my experience this is very, very helpful. Ruth & Gibbs
  8. Janna, thanks for the further info. Another suggestion ~ if he's fearful of noises, teach him 'look at me'. Start by just teaching him 'look at me'. He looks at you, you toss him a treat so that he has to move a few steps to get it. Get that one down. When he's solid on the 'look at me', add in a noise that will startle him but not scare him, if you can. Create the noise and as soon as he turns his head to investigate cue 'Look at me'. When he looks at you, toss treat. Repeat, with very slowly escalating noises. You might want to use really great treats that you only use for 'look at me'. Tiny cheese cubes, hot dog slices, etc. And you may already know this, but several brief training sessions throughout the day are better than 2 or 3 longer ones. Keep him guessing. When you've got the 'look at me' down well you can start using it when he gets scared by a noise. Oh, and if you have fireworks in the neighborhood at 4th of July, New Year's Eve, etc, ask your vet for a few tranquilizer pills. He might be able sleep through all the commotion. I feel for you. My 2nd bc had been badly treated/neglected for a couple years before she came to us. On top of that, she'd been with another dog in that awful situation and of course they'd bonded. When Shoshone came to us she had a lot to learn ~ housebreaking, humans constantly around her, and the loss of her close friend, who had gone to another adopter. I had a lot to learn, too, she needed to be managed/treated much differently than any of my previous dogs. I had to learn new techniques for working with her. Best of luck with your boy! Please let us know how you get on. Ruth & Gibbs
  9. Border collies crave mental activity with their humans. They've been bred for a long time to work as part of a team. Physical exercise is not enough ~ they need to work those brains. If you haven't taught him the basics, such as ~ come, lie down, sit, sit/stay, heel, etc start there. If those cues are already 'installed' and reliable, find a book of dog tricks and start working on those. One at a time. I think there's a book called '101 Tricks to Teach Your Dog'. It can be a lot of fun for humans and dogs both. If there is some one in your area teaching nose work skills take some classes. A good nose work session can tire a dog out mentally. To me it doesn't sound like you're doing that. Do several short training sessions throughout the day. If you're not home to train him do a quick session in the morning and a couple quick sessions in the evening. Teaching fetch ~ make it very clear from the beginning that the game ends when The Human decides it ends, not when the dog decides. If you encourage/allow your dog to become a fetch addict, you'll have a very difficult time if he becomes injured or ill, or if there's weather so harsh that fetch is not an option. I learned this one the hard way. I'll say it again ~ border collies crave mental activity with humans. They're bred for this kind of activity. You have to fill that need. Good luck! Please let us know how you get on with your boy. These dogs are awesome companions, but it takes work to meet their mental/physical needs. Ruth & Gibbs ETA ~ What Mana19 says about training to see the crate as a 'happy place' is crucial as well. If all this advice seems overwhelming, go at it bit by bit. I'd start with a little trick training and some 'enhancement' in his crate. Also, I've got my 4th border collie right now. I learned what I shared above through reading posts on these boards by people with far more experience than mine. Current bc benefits enormously from that received wisdom.
  10. Glad she's healthy, adadrian. You've got some fun and adventure ahead of you both! Ruth & Gibbs
  11. Geonni I'm sad to read that Sugarfoot has passed, my thoughts and my heart are with you. It's truly the only thing I don't like about dogs, they don't live long enough. Ruth & Gibbs
  12. Seeing the vet sounds like a good thing. I had a bc, Shoshone, who was, well, quirky and definitely had some behavioral issues, especially around our cats. Talked the vet into giving her prozac, it didn't do anything. I asked him if there was any other medication to try and he suggested clomipramine which I think is an anti-anxiety med. It worked for her very nicely. That's another avenue to explore if you like. Best of luck, I hope everything goes well from here on out. Ruth & Gibbs
  13. He is so CUTE! Two bits of advice: let your family know your plans and your reasoning with Bailey before you get there and make sure you take a couple of Bailey's beds with you, so that he has something familiar in this new and intriguing place. Have a GREAT time! Ruth & Gibbs
  14. Make sure your doors are closed tightly when you go out without him. When you do go out with him have him on leash All The Time. If there's a doggy door, put a solid cover over it for now. PUT A LEASH ON HIM BEFORE YOU OPEN THE DOOR. If he's not going with you, put him in a crate or a room with the door closed, so that he can't slip out. I wouldn't ever let him run loose except in a contained area that you know is tight. You do need to find some specialized help for him. I know this is frightening for you. And putting him down is not necessary if you're willing to a) keep him safely contained and b) work with a specialist on his behavior. It's hard to think of it this way, but try ~ would you rather spend money/effort on training him to accept restraint and being confined or spend money on a lawyer if he bites again and someone takes you to court? You don't say if you own the property where you live. You could be risking a lot. Please don't give up on him until you've tried everything. He might be confused and unhappy at first with the changes, but it's his best chance at staying alive. Ruth & Gibbs
  15. Wouldn't quite call him velcro, but Gibbs likes to rest where he can see me. And he will wake from a sound sleep if I even tiptoe across the carpeted floor. BC radar, I guess. Ruth & Gibbs
  16. Beautiful! Ruth & Gibbs
  17. ^^^ Agree with checking for diabetes. Except for the one I lost to bone cancer at around age 8 my dogs were up for any adventure. Around 8 - 10 yrs they 'd quit playing fetch a bit earlier. Current dog will be 13 in a month and he's definitely slowed down. Ruth & Gibbs
  18. I just did a search for 'crate rest tricks for dogs'. You'll have to search a few sites to pick out some tricks that will work for you and your boy but it will help to have some different ways to interact with him other than feeding/sympathizing etc. If he's not used to a crate yet then start working on that. Some bc are water lovers. Ask your vet if you'll be able to take him swimming at some point before full recovery. I know this is difficult, best of luck to you and your boy! Ruth & Gibbs
  19. ^^^^ What Michael Parkey said. I've got my 4th bc now and they have run the spectrum in sociability. One loved everyone, one was shy but warmed up nicely and really liked kids, one had been badly treated and she remained stand-offish around people she didn't know. My current guy is careful around new adults, and I just have a feeling he wouldn't do well with kids in general. The suggestion of taking her to an adoption event is excellent. And in your shoes, I'd be okay with a kid friendly bc mix. Good luck! Let us know how it goes. Ruth & Gibbs
  20. ^^^ Two of mine, including the current beast, came with the hobbit feet. I trim it during the winter just to make cleaning paws easier. Not a big deal. Ruth & Gibbs
  21. I've ordered the Duralactin and Cosequin, arriving by the weekend hopefully. I'm thinking it will be 3-4 weeks before I see a difference. Will keep you updated and thanks for the info! Ruth & Gibbs
  22. I too wouldn't medicate a dog, (or a human for that matter) until all other options have been explored, sorry I didn't make that clear. I've had useless conversations aplenty with people who would not even consider against anti-depressants/anti anxiety agents. For anything ever. I know from personal experience that medication can do much more harm than good if not prescribed and used appropriately. Once a medication such as those mentioned above is prescribed and is shown to be effective, it's usually given for life. Expense can be another issue, but as I recall the clomicalm that Shonie was on was inexpensive. Best of luck as you move forward with him! R&G
  23. "It sounds like a confident dog will be confident regardless of exposure or training tho so this is something that will get better with training but it is also who he is." Not necessarily. If he's more confident within a couple months, he might blossom into a new dog. You won't know until you get there. R&G
  24. My Gibbs is a 'washout' from working. He's also the offspring of high-winning working parents and spent his first year, (after being weaned) with Bill Berhow in TX, who does a lot of training of working dogs. He got sold on as a working dog to some friends of mine in CA. I got him because he wasn't really showing any interest in sheep. They kept him till they found a good home for him, which turned out to be me. What Journey says is absolutely right on. You may be able to help him be a calmer dog and a good pet, but I doubt he has working in his future. And FWIW Gibbs had to be housetrained. He was well-treated, but as a working dog prospect, not a pet, so he had some new stuff to learn. IF he continues to be 'squirrely' please consider using a medication for him. Give him at least a month to settle. If he's not calmer then talk to your vet. I had to be talk my vet into doing a trial run of the clomicalm, generic name clomiprimine. Even HE saw the difference in Shonie when I took her in a couple months later for something or other. She became much calmer, friendlier to people in general, and a lot easier to live with. Please let us know how you get on. R&G
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