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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. Hello everyone :~) My wife and I got a new border collie puppy called Nala a week and a half ago (pic below!) and have found lots of really amazing help on this forum - thank you all for asking and answering questions, it's been amazing to see that other people are experiencing similar challenges haha! We do have some of our own little questions, mostly I guess related to what our expectations can be of a puppy that's 9 weeks old. Any words of advice and help are massively appreciated. In the last few days we've started understanding Nala's needs more accurately and we're definitely much better at telling when she needs to rest, when she needs to go potty etc. After seeing advice in another thread we've started developing a rhythm to her day too (wake up -> potty + sniffies outside -> breakfast inside, calming down -> morning is for resting etc. - very much inspired by this thread), which has been amazing. She feels much more settled and happy with us, even after just a few days of doing this. The first question we have for you all is related to her crate and sleeping. At this point basically all of her resting is enforced in a covered crate; without it, she just won't settle at all (too much FOMO if she can see us, even if we're both just working on our computers). Is this normal for her age? Do we just need to keep this rhythm up for a few weeks and will she pick up on it and instinctively rest at these times when she gets a little bit bigger? Question number two is related to her crate placement. Is it ideal to place the crate inside the x-pen and enforce closed crate time only when she can't deal with being in the x-pen alone? She's really quite jumpy and loud if left alone in her x-pen but settles quite quickly inside her covered crate, so we've removed the x-pen from the equation altogether, but we're reconsidering - we don't really like the idea that she's either in a covered crate or free to move around the whole flat and the x-pen is a natural solution, we just don't know where to best place it. (Side note: we're doing lots of crate training and she eats two of her meals in there every day too, so she's getting lots of positive vibes in that space, even though it's still not a place she'll go to hang out on her own - maybe we need to do something similar for the x-pen?) And our last question - how do we combine potty training and x-pen/crate time at this age? We live in an apartment so we have some puppy pads that she's gotten quite good at using (there are some slip-ups of course), but we also try to take her out around 5-10mins after most naps/meals/play sessions and reward any outside peeing with nice treats. Is that just a question of her learning to hold it in for a little longer as she grows up and not something we need to worry about combining/being worried if an accident happens when she's in her x-pen? Sorry if these are super niche questions or things that are obvious to some of you - we're still very much figuring it out :~) Thanks in advance for any help! Adam & Adela (& Nala)
  3. Hello everyone! I'm excited to join the forum! I've been following (silently stalking?) since last August when my BC came home, and it's been so wonderful to find answers and advice unique to these crazies. If you experts and more experienced owners would, I would love your opinions or advice on the following: 1) Does anyone run with their collies? I'm a marathon runner and my plan was to have Zucchini run with me when she grew up. She's over a year old now, and I've been taking her on short little one or two mile runs once or twice a week. She walks about 2 miles every day, gets about 20-25 minutes of fetch or playing with a doggo friend each morning, goes to one obedience class and one agility class once a week, and goes hiking on the weekends. She doesn't lack for fitness. So far, though, she seems not too interested in running- she'll jog along at around a 12 minute mile. She doesn't need to do my faster runs with me but it'd be great if she would trot or lope some 9 minute miles. I think she'd be happier on trails, so I might try that. Anyone else have this problem? I don't want to force her to do something she has no interest in, particularly if it could harm her. We don't do anything outside more than walking if the temp is above 75. 2) My bf and I are considering getting a second dog next year when Zucchini is two. We are thinking a male Aussie as opposed to a second BC. My concern is will two bcs feed on each other's intensity? Zuc is pretty dominant, easily offended by other dog's manners, and resource guards toys (I'm working on it to the best of my ability without having a second dog to work with). But she also is about as typical bc as you can get, I think. I've taken her to get a herding test and a one-day herding clinic and she has 'strong' eye and really good focus on the sheep. We live in a two bedroom apartment with no yard in Philly. Would a second bc potentially result in interpersonal problems between them as opposed to a slightly less focused and intense breed? Or perhaps she'd be happier with no 'sibling' at all? Thank you all!! Picture for fun.
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