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  1. Hi all! I'm hoping for some general advice from BC experts on helping us do right by our puppy Bailey (currently 5.5 months) and raise him to be a very good boy! I'm a first-time dog owner, whereas my partner grew up with BCs - but Bailey is our first puppy. I'll admit it was a shock to the system and a steep learning curve, but we're getting the hang of it now! Unfortunately with the pandemic we've only managed to go to a couple of puppy classes so we've been watching youtube videos/following advice online, but we don't know if we're doing it right or if there are things we're missing or doing to cause bad habits! I thought it might be helpful to post our daily routine below in case there are any glaring mistakes we're making - any advice really would be greatly appreciated! I'll apologise in advance for the long post...! We've definitely had our ups and downs but feel like we're through the worst of it now! It's still a work in progress, and reading the forums on this group has been amazing, but there are some specific essential things we're having real difficulties with and would love some help: Recall - I know he's only 5.5 months old, but he is terrible! We think this is largely our fault for giving him too much freedom too young - we let him go off lead at the park from ~12 weeks old until these last couple of weeks where he's back on his training lead. Our reasoning was that with the pandemic we had no opportunities for him to meet other dogs (we've been in lockdown for most of our time with him, so no-one can come round etc) so for the sake of socialisation we let him run around and play with some dogs we see at the park daily. It's great because now they are like his pack and he loves it and is super friendly and sociable with people and dogs, but perhaps too friendly as he is very easily excited and distracted and now won't (can't?) listen to us. His recall at home is great but with other people/dogs it's impossible - he has absolutely no interest in treats no matter how high value, nothing is better than charging about with another dog. We've been practising on an extendable/training lead while on walks and he's pretty good, but we feel like we should be doing more as other puppies around his age that we've met are miles better. Will he get better with age or what else can we do? Cars - He's ok around our cul de sac, but on any busier road he pulls and lunges at cars. We think it's a fear response trying to chase them away, or maybe herding? Either way, it's dangerous for both him and us and has to stop, but we're unsure how. We're working on exposure, making him sit, wait and watch with lots of praise/reward, but it doesn't seem to be improving, and might even be getting worse What can we do? Exercise - are we doing too much? We've heard the whole 5 minutes per month of life but that seemed ridiculous to us with such a high energy puppy - we would have lost our minds with him! We try and stick to only 30 mins of high intensity/running once a day, but are more relaxed for gentler on lead walks. But I'm worried that we're damaging his growing joints - how would we know? Should we be sticking to a max of 30 mins twice a day (even on lead)? We love our little dude to pieces and he's so funny, we just want to do right by him and raise a good, happy & safe pup! When he's older we want to do some agility or flyball etc (not competitively, just for enjoyment), but for now we just want to make sure he's happy and healthy, while also maintaining a lifestyle that we can manage! Thanks so much in advance! ------------------- General routine 7-7.30am - Bailey gets (us) up, cuddle, toilet 7.30-8.10am - Playtime at the park chasing a ball/running round with his doggy pals (~30 mins running) Focus on socialisation Previously off-lead, now back on a training lead as recall is impossible and he's turned us trying to get him into a game 8.15-9am - breakfast (puzzle toy), toilet, settle 9am-1pm - settle time while we work Usually crated ~9-11am, then toilet break, then settle in the room with us Usually a 5-10 min play/training session during this stint 1-1.45pm - lunchtime walk (~45 min walk) On lead, stretch of legs/sniffing 1.45-2pm - lunch (puzzle toy), toilet, settle 2-4pm - crate settle time while we work 4-5.30pm - Bailey is a pest time Theoretically this would still be settle time, but he kicks up a fuss being crated after 4pm. He may chill a bit in the room with us, but usually wants to play Self-entertainment with toys, kongs, chew, lickimat etc 5.30-6pm - Energy release (excited play time/attention from us) 6-6.30pm - Dinner (puzzle toy) 6.30-8.30pm - Focus on Bailey time Playtime with us, training time (obedience or scent games) Evening neighbourhood walk on lead (~30 mins) Lickimat or chew to help him settle (/distract him while we cook/eat) 8.30pm-bedtime - settle time No more play with us (self play is fine), cuddles, chews or lickimat Falls asleep on the sofa with us until being crated for overnight Weekends follow a similar pattern, with a slower start from us and trips in the car for nicer/longer walks.
  2. Hi all I'm new here, but have been reading through a lot of this forum. I guess, the main thing I need to know is if there are any "quick fixes" for bc's? I mean, any specifics I can do to get good results quickly.... Let me back up and give some background. My bc mix, Brick, was a craigslist puppy. Met him, he played nicely with the kids (9&3) right off the bat and claimed him. (I knew nothing about border collies at the time. Wrong of me, I know. I was "licking a wound" getting a dog and didn't take the time/effort into going about things properly. Lessons learned). The original owner was going to keep him for the six weeks between my finding him and us moving to the family farm from our apartment. A week and a half in I got a call saying that he had been hit by a car and his leg was injured. When I asked when they were taking them to the vet I was told they would not and that I needed to pick him up asap. I picked him up immediately. He was not putting any weight on the leg, even though he was in good spirits. Got him into the vet the next day- two breaks in the leg. Missed the growth plate, barely. The vet made it very clear (ortho surgeon confirmed) that the injury was not due to a car and I could consider him a rescue from an abuser. She also mentioned his anxiety level (and the fact that he had already attached to me) being something that was going to be a challenge. It has been. I had to move to the farm ahead of my family, with Brick, due to the apartment landlord not giving any leniency given the circumstances. Being a "family" farm, that meant all the work for getting the place ready to live in, was on me (something i was not expecting. Wouldn't have gotten any dog, at that point, had i known.). Its initial state of being has lead to potty training issues with Brick. The previous tenant had let cats and dogs use the whole house as potty grounds. I had to pull all the carpet out (I sealed the floors for health matters). I do wonder, inspite of sealing, if this play any part in potty-training trouble. Another factor is that we live with my father-in-law who has some sort of small mix dog that has never been potty trained. He constantly marks corners and anything left on the floor. My fil has made it where if I complain about his dog, ask him to clean up after him, etc., he threatens all animals being gotten rid of... He also has no "animal behavior" sense, so to speak. When his other male dog was still alive, he would freak out on Brick when Brick would sniff/lick at his dog's genitals after urinating, calling him a "sicko" and "perv". I explained to him why dogs do that, but he isn't the kind of person to listen to reason. Also, Brick will be calm as can be, even sleeping on the floor, and the moment my fil comes home, Brick goes crazy. It's like he senses my fil's energy (high and not always positive) and runs with it. I can't change my fil, so trying to train Brick to sit/stay whenever he comes, instead. (Not sure if that's the right thing to do!) Basically, between my lack of training him with everything else on the plate (that I did not expect to have to take care of when looking at getting a dog) and the issues with other animals and people in the home, i'm in a tight spot. My fil and husband are at their limits with Brick and threaten weekly to make me rehome him. I can't honestly say he's a bad dog. The separation anxiety (extreme salivating, diarrhea, crying, pupil diallation, metal crate destruction, etc) is a huge challenge. Although, I am a stay at home mom and only gone a few hours one or two nights a week, if I'm not home, he causes trouble. I can be home for several days in a row with no bathroom incidents, leave Brick at the house for an hour with my hubby and kids and he will defecate indoors. He likes his crate, so long as the door is open and he can see you. He sleeps in it at night and goes in on his own accord or with a "go to bed". I did read the post about Patricia McConnell's book, I'll Be Home Soon!. I've read that and intend to crate train as she directs. He is a car chaser. I know. Bad. My solution was to not let him outside off lead. My thinking was that we needed to allow enough time to go by, without him having the opportunity to chase, to allow him out of the habit. We live in the country. We get a car ever 2-4 hours, maybe. No consistency. Not sure how to "train" with that being the case. Brick never left our property prior to lead restriction and never "ran off" (other than when after a car). Since restriction, if he "gets out" off lead, he bolts and there's no getting him back. (for some reason I knew this would happen, but just hoped it wouldn't. not sure why I thought that, but here we are). I think the main challenge I'm running into is Brick's personality. He's smart. Definitely meets the bc standard there, but he's got a lazy streak in him like i've never seen (we think he's mixed with basset hound based on dwarfism in legs, huge paws, floppy ears and temperament). He lays down to eat, refuses to do more than 2 or 3 chases of a ball for fetch, and once his tongue can't reach the contents inside a kong he's done with it. The one time my husband took him on a run he laid down in the middle of the road and wouldn't budge until he was good and ready. (hubby came home saying, "never again".) This makes keeping his attention on anything positive (like described in the book) a challenge. It makes training sessions challenging (trying to end on a good note is baffling!). It makes exercising his energy out of him a challenge. Just need some direction on dealing with this, in general. I know I need to be more consistent with training. Fixing me and how I'm handling him is the main thing. I get that. I'm willing. I just don't know how, especially with this lazy streak attached. It's not been all for loss. He's great with the sit command. He came with resource aggression and that was the first thing I tackled, involving both my kids. My 3 yr old son can walk up to him and take any toy/treat from Brick without any sign of aggression from him at all. He used to plow the kids over going down the stairs. He now sits at the top and waits for their release once they are at the bottom. He is not allowed in or out of the house/car until we are through and he is called. He is not allowed out of the door on his own without a sit/release (prior to lease restriction and still). He goes to bed when told (usually). He, now, gets off the bed when told. He still jumps up, which I'm not a fan of, but at least he gets down right away now, once told. I used to have to shove him off with the command, in order for him to budge. My heart was Brick's from day one. With the rough start and challenges ever since, my husband does not care for him one bit. I have never rehomed a pet for any reason other than necessity and have no desire to do so now. Sorry for such long post. Just wanted to "get it all out there." Any and all advice, positive criticism, etc., very welcome. Pics from when we first met him (5 months old we think)
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