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Hi - new Border Collie pup owner, here

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So....I'm gonna repost. I'm looking for other puppy owners to share with. Tips, suggestions, ideas, etc. I love this little girl and wanna be the best mom ever.


Here's what I posted ( a couple of edits, though):


Hi everyone,


I've been lurking on the boards for a few weeks, now. You all have beautiful babies! And, you all have excellent advice - I'm a big fan of diverse viewpoints - and there's plenty of that here.


First, a bit of background. I'm an internet content director for a local news station and work a lot------------ blink.gif waiting for onslaught, heh (I do make a lot of time for her, I promise). But, in my defense, I had the job before the sweetest puppy in the world adopted me. I live in Oklahoma, so BC--or australian (not 100% sure which) stock dogs are quite common. She wandered up to my house one day and my housemate, after beginning to leave for work, came back in the house and told me there was a dog outside. Now, she's not afraid of dogs, but I think she was pondering what to do. So, I came out and had a look at her. She had a flea collar on (way too tight btw) and was super well behaved. She sat on the porch, and when invited in, wouldn't come inside.


I asked my housemate (who has a dog of her own-not to mention me and my cat) if I could keep her. She said yes. So, I waited about a week and a half. Called the pound and gave them my number in case anyone had been looking for a lost BC pup and I also looked for signs around the neighborhood. Nothing. So, week two, I called her mine...named her Sophie...and got her shots. Turns out, a neighborhood kid owned her first and his mother made him give her away because (as a puppy dry.gif ) they gave her away because she chewed through the AC cord. What happened after that, I can't tell you. But, now, this brilliant pup is mine-all mine! wub.gif


She's working on five months and, aside from normal puppy silliness, is a great dog. She already knew how to sit. Now, after a month, she sits, lays down, stays (mostly), knows her right from her left (in front and side by side--and actually aims to put her paw in my hand), walks (mostly rolleyes.gif ) beautifully on a leash, and had her first proud momma walk recently---leash free in heel position for almost the entire walk with a stop sit (?? on terms), and crawls (we're now working on spins and roll over). I got an agility starter kit and she wove through the poles on the second try - slowly with a lure, but she got all the way through and also through the tunnel, yay.


Now, for the issues :rolleyes: :


* She's overly anxious with visitors, I've tried the "tree" tip but it doesn't seem to work with new strangers.

* She doesn't retrieve, but - perhaps - she "touches" (?). For instance, if I throw a ball she'll run to it, touch it with her nose and run back to me. Also, she'll run loop the loops around me, hilariously without tripping me - she has to be the fastest dog I've ever seen! She'll cut me off at the pass without me breaking stride and run around the rear and back before I can blink.

  • Oh, dear and the snapping--I've taken as much advice as possible on this one--she only seems to nip when playing...but, boy am I bruised up. She does stop when I freeze and ignore, but I worry anyway.

Anyway, I love her to pieces, she has a four week puppy obedience course, the last of which end this month. And, I'll be purchasing a starter agility kit to start the fun part of puppy obedience/agility combined - no jumps, I promise. She's so smart and so full of energy that I don't want to short change her. I want to stimulate her as much as I can physically and intellectually - I don't want to disappoint her. I have fun with her and I want her to have fun with me.


Any advice y'all can give is appreciated!

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It sounds to me that your already doing a pretty good job with her. Have you ever owned a BC before? What do you mean by anxious? Some of them are really hyper around new people. That's probably the "everyone's my best buddy" puppy in her.


That's probably because she hasn't gotten fetch down pat yet. She's probably just having fun chaseing it and then coming back to you for more fun :rolleyes:


I would really try to nip the nipping in the bud as much as you can. That's kind of a BC thing and it can get worse. When she does it, do your freeze thing or if your playing stop the game of ball/frisbee and say "no nipping" and walk away. Then after she comes back to you start playing again. It will take lots of time and lots and lots of times doing it but she'll get better. Even Black Jack will nip at me once in a great while when I'm running with him. But he knows it's not ok to do it all the time.


Your really doing a good job with her so far though. And it's nice to see someone so worried about doing everything for the dog. Pictures are welcome too :D

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Thanks Wyo,


I've never owned a BC before and only know what I've read from these boards and a few other places. In fact, I haven't had a dog for more than 10 years - only cats.


She's certainly giving me some much needed exercise, too. What I'm learning about the weaving, with her, though is that she gets bored with it quickly. I haven't found her special thing yet....the thing that motivates her to complete the task. I'll tell you, she's fully capable. But, I'm trying to wean her off immediate treat gratification.


The nipping (boy am I bruised) problem, though... I think her previous owners may have encouraged the puppy gnawing, so it's proving difficult to have her stop associating biting with playing. This girl can show some teeth! A big toothy happy grin from her can look a little intimidating if you don't know her. In case you're wondering, she doesn't follow the "grin" with a bite, but certainly when she's getting her tummy rubbed. Typically, she's a lover, I think just tons of energy. I keep giving the loud "ow" and "no", but have been sort of unsuccessful, so far - she'll stop but then do it again. I'll give it time of course.


thanks for responding... keep 'em coming. I haven't had an opportunity to take many pics of her, but here's the one I have so far...using my cell. I took three more, but will probably have to edit. I have a sneaking suspicion that I'll need a digital cam and/or a video camera soon.


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She sure is a nice looking pup. I can't believe they let her go.

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Puppies will be puppies and they will chew, nip, chew some more, jump, scratch, poop, and chew more. But it's all worth it right? Just think when you can look at your nice, quite, well behaved, young BC and think "wow, she's come so far" It is worth it!! Believe me.

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Sophie is about two weeks older than the Kaylee that runs my life. I haven't had a dog in a long time, either, and although I've had BC mixes before, like you, this is my first purebred. At least both parents were BC, but there's no pedigree. I rehomed her from a family met through craigslist, who were finding that she was too much for them, and for their Golden Retriever.


Are you crate-training? This has saved my life, made it possible to be pretty comfortable with a pup this age. I do use it for occasional time-outs, but she sleeps in it with the door open, too: it's bed. Although I love to snuggle with her, she's not allowed on our bed, because I'm not going to share with a hot, sprawling, hairy, gassy adult dog some day. DH is enough of that!


Kaylee's issues are:

-that she's overly friendly/submissive with strangers, wiggling, peeing and jumping, by turns.

-She's way smart too, and is now ignoring her good puppy basic training, on purpose, now, to see if she can get away with it.

-Nipping/snapping/mouthing: it's all about the mouth, isn't it? I'm struggling with this,too. There are new teeth coming: I think it's going to get worse before it gets better.


Yeah, they need to do something: train, do tricks, walk. fetch, harass the cat, whatever, all the time. BUSY little dogs. I have learned to pick TOUGH chew toys, as she will shred things with a will. See if Sophie likes ice cubes: Kaylee adores them!

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Hi Beki,


I can't even be sure she's purebred (i never saw her parents) but she certainly looks and behaves that way. The vet and puppy trainer both agree - so that's what we're going with :rolleyes: there's no doubt in my mind.


No crate training...I didn't know what her life was like before me, but I don't think I could bring myself to do it anyway. When I got her, though, I didn't want to get too attached in case her former owner claimed her. So, she slept on the floor. Now, she naps with me when I'm awake and on my bed and she cuddles with me right when I'm starting to stir in the morning (until I get out of bed), but otherwise does her real sleeping on the floor.


Sophie is uber friendly with strangers too....boy is it a struggle to keep her in a sit stay...and only down for one sec before she's back to sit so she can observe the people walking by.


What I really need to work on next is sit stay and down stay.


She's finally starting to come, when called, though.

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We are working on down stay and retrieving this week. You know what's made a big difference? Today, we have discovered the almighty hot dog! This is a Major Breakthrough! Maybe this will inspire Sophie with her weaving!


No fancy puppy treat out of a bag compares with the cheapo chicken hotdogs I picked up this afternoon. I split one and chopped it into fairly small bits, and boy, is she learning fast now! "Oh, YES, I'll hold a down stay outside while you walk out of sight! Oh, YES, I will fetch AND relinquish the flying squirrel toy (although I have to break it's back a few times first...)" She has been super-cooperative ever since: I am the Queen of Hotdogs, and I can do no wrong!


The crate has to be taught as a good thing, not a jail. Then it becomes a safe place, a den where nobody will bother her. Kaylee came to me crate-trained, and she will sleep in hers all night, and with the door open, so it's not like she dreads it. We also have a crate in the car, and she knows the command "Load up!" and jumps right in. I have no qualms about leaving her in her crate in the car (in cool weather with ventilation of course) for a couple of hours so we can go out to dinner or a movie. She chews on something, or naps, and gets walks in new places as incentive to be patient. At least I know that she won't have shredded the car when we come back! When she outgrows that crate, I'm planning to graduate her to a seat harness. Then she might be able to shred the car: we'll see what works then.


Your Sophie's eyepatch reminds me of Petey, the bullterrier (?) in the old Little Rascals films: very cute! Just a reminder, this Wednesday is National Talk Like a Pirate Day, ahaaar!

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Oh, believe you me do I indeed know about the frankfurter! Whoever thought of that was a genius! When I first started puppy obedience, by her second lesson and my healthy snack reward, my coach said something along the lines of.....well, these snacks are okay, I'm sure she's thinking...well, i could eat those if that's what I have. But, she told me, they're not the S*/@&. The treats have to be desirable....BOY OH BOY was she right!


I pick up hot dogs in bundles of four packs and slice 'em into dime thick/sized rounds and sometimes break them into bits in my pocket to make them last longer. She loves them.


She's been getting better about not destroying everything...and you're right about Petey....I love her patch too...what a charmer my girl is. In fact, I was watching video of katsdogs Dazzle and Sophie reminds me of that dog but white. Same expressions, movements...almost everything.


I'm looking into getting a car (haven't owned one in years- and let an old jeep cherokee type truck slip through my fingers), so that I can let Sophie spread out in the car on a ride. She's pretty well behaved in the car.

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yippeeeeeeeeeeeeee. we had our first twist left and right and first signs of logic. On the logic, she realised her confusion for L and R in side by side was treats. I was asking for the left while holding treats in the right....so.....she was asking for the right and reluctantly waving the left after............ROTFL :rolleyes: !


she stayed in the house (sit and down) after about 5 yards and ran when i called...not to mention left and right twists.




and she's even taller with more fur since yesterday..............is that possible?!

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You know, Billie, since she's responding so well, with Sophie's eyepatch, you could teach her some kind of 'pirate' trick! What could it be... "How does a pirate's dog walk, Sophie?" and teach her to walk around three-legged... Or teach her to shake her fur when you say "Shiver me timbers!" or some silliness. "Sophie wanna cracker?" Oh, stop me.


My DH loves pirates, so I hear this stuff once in a while.

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:rolleyes: the pirate thing would be so funny! I think I'm gonna post a list of tricks where I can see them and cross them off as I go. Not just tricks, of course, but obedience with the tricks as the gauge...then, I'll be able to track her progress on paper, too and be reminded of all the great ideas everyone gives me.


I love these boards, everyone has been so helpful.

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