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I need help. I have a 7 month old female border collie that we found abandoned in our neighborhood. I also have a 6 year old blue heeler mix. Harley (the puppy) is super active. She gets two long walks (45 minutes) each day (long stretches off leash so she runs and swims alot), several hours a week at the dog park and play time almost every day with two younger neighbor dogs. We have done basic obedience and a beginner agility class. But she rarely is still! If I don't provide toys she gets into something she shouldn't. She loves bully sticks and rawhides but how many each day and not get big as a house? Also I fill her Kong but that doesn't last too long. She loves to rip up stuffed toys, but, again, even though I buy them at the dollar store they don't last long and then she is looking for something else. She has no interest in nylabones - what else is there to keep this dog busy! I am exhausted trying to entertain her. I adopted the blue heeler as an adult and she has plenty of energy when I want her to but can couch potato just fine. I have raised goldens from puppyhood but they never had this much energy.

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Guest SweetJordan

It sounds like you need to provide more mental activity for her on a daily basis. BCs are much happier when they get a lot of mental exercise and that is what really wears them out. If her exercise is all physical w/o any mental exercise you are going to have a very hard time wearing her out. But w/ that being said she is a young BC and therefore she is going to have a ton of energy. However, many of us will tell you that our BCs do have an off-switch.

 

I don't feed rawhides to my dogs. One thing that I provide my dogs w/ is marrow bones. It keeps them busy for a long time and they can't actually eat it. Though you may have to be careful if she chews very hard. I know some people who have had dogs break their teeth on them, though others fed them w/o a problem. I do really like Kongs though I have found as you have that they don't last a very long time. They do last longer, however, if you freeze something in them such as PB or broth.

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Welcome to the world of Border Collies. Here is my mantra for the board, walks don't exercise a Border Collie. It just warms them up for play time. Get some tennis balls and start working on your throwing arm. Make the dog run. While playing fetch, start with the obedience training. She should stay on a throw, stop on command, heal with the ball. I play frisbee a lot but you should probably wait a few more months. However, you can do the same things I do. Use several balls and teach her to fetch the one you want returned. This means teaching her hand signals. Teach her to fetch the right ball or left. Use your imagination.

 

These dogs are not couch potatoes. And at 7 months, they are evil chewing machines and will eat everything in the house unless watched carefully. Just like you would not leave a one year old unattended, you have another year to go until you can trust her not to entertain herself by eating your carpet.

 

If you go to youtube you can find thousands of Border Collie videos. You might want to start out with the agility videos. It may give you lots of ideas on what to do for the mental stimulation that is needed. A bored Border Collie will be your worst nightmare. That is why they end up in pounds and rescues or abandoned in your neighborhood. However, they are the best dang dogs in the whole wide world. :rolleyes:

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I agree with Jordan on many points. In particular the mental activity is key with a Border. However, at 7 months you are going to have a hard time wearing them out regardless. Even when you do get them worn out its off for an hour nap and then back to square one. This will improve when she gets older and the "off switch" comes about.

 

My suggestion is to involve yourself in something like frisbee training. This way you are killing two birds with one stone and getting a super trained dog at the same time. Agility is great but its much more labor and monitarily intensive getting all of the stuff to do it with. It also looks tacky in the yard if you dont have a very large property. For the cost of a few discs every so often and a little sandpaper to smooth the edges you have the perfect tool. Im waiting for the weather to break to start Koda in Frisbee. My last Border was a monster until he got older.

 

For now its a tennis ball and then an easy transition since he has the fetch game and catching them thrown directly to him. Just dont put them in a position where they are doing large jumps at her age. By this I mean things like vaults and platform jumps (back jumps) as this can really hurt their hips as they are not developed completely. For that she needs to be about 1 year at the absolute earliest. Another thing is to feed them premium dog food. If you can find it at a Walmart or the like its not premium enough - no food at Walmart (Iams or otherwise) is good regardless. I use Eagle Brand Organic for now. It is a fantastic food for a great cost. The differences are minimal for food twice the price. Also, glucosamine is recommended. Ask your vet what dose is right for her weight just make sure you tell them if the food you give them also contains it.

 

Another idea that may help is the frozen Kong suggestion that Jordan mentioned. I do this when I have to go to work and the pup must be in his crate. I have found that peanut butter frozen overnight works wonders and takes them a long time to work out.

 

Good luck and lets see some pictures of that pup of yours :rolleyes:

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I mentioned tennis balls because it is still a little early for frisbee. At this point you want to keep the high jumping to a minimum. By playing frisbee, this is tough to do. Your dog is capable of snatching a frisbee out of the air that is 6 or 7 feet off the ground. This is rough on young dogs.

 

If you do start playing frisbee, I love the Kong frisbees. They are made of rubber and will last several months. They are easy on the mouth. That is why I prefer them. The dollar frisbees that you see for sale are junk for dogs. You will find this out if you try to use them.

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Guest SweetJordan

Agree w/ the others on Frisbee(even though as mentioned it's too early for this). Frisbee does wonders for Riley and it's her fav. activity unless she sees sheep. In fact I got up the other morning and let the dogs out to potty. When they came back in I decided that I was going to go back to sleep for another 20 min or so. Riley didn't really understand why I would do that after we got up. So she dropped her indoor Frisbee on my head. I didn't respond so she did it a second and third time, and I ignored her. Then she hit me w/ her paw(perhaps to see if I was still alive). So I just pulled the covers over my head and she decided to wait it out.

Oh and w/ Ruger's Dad on walking. I don't care how far I walked Riley it wouldn't do a thing for her. She goes biking instead. When your pup is a bit older you may want to try that instead of walks.

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I have raised goldens from puppyhood but they never had this much energy.

 

As previously noted, welcome to the world of Border Collies. Annie is going on 4 years old, and still has not slowed down. We are not enthusiasts of tennis balls, our concern being that the silica content can cause undue wear on a dog's teeth. Instead, we buy those inflated rubber squeaky balls, and throw them in the back yard using a lacrosse stick; this provides lots of distance, which gives Annie long runs to retrieve and return the ball. As already noted, an activity that challenges a dog mentally is also good; this could include herding, agility, frisbee training, SAR, etc. (Our vet is not an enthusiast of flyball, having seen too many injuries resulting from the sport.)

 

With respect to the "frozen Kong" idea, we soak Annie's dry kibble in a low-sodium chicken broth and water mixture, partially fill the Kong with the mixture, then freeze it. This maintians the challenge without involving fattening treats.

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The others have great ideas, and, she's not too young to start learning settle. Start with a down/stay, gradually extend the down/stay in length. This is a good one to start when she's already tired and ready to nap for a bit. Work on the settle or down stay as much as obedience or anything else. Think of it as installing an off switch.

 

What you're doing is teaching the beginnings of self control and it will serve you and your new pup well.

 

Please heed everyone's advice about jumping. If you really want to work on frisbee, you can always roll it along the ground. Another great thing is a somewhat deflated basketball or soccer ball. My guys loved that when they were younger.

 

Thanks for saving this girl, I bet you'll have lots of fun with her. Classes in obedience, agility, etc are also a lot of fun.

 

Ruth n the BC3

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Guest SweetJordan
With respect to the "frozen Kong" idea, we soak Annie's dry kibble in a low-sodium chicken broth and water mixture, partially fill the Kong with the mixture, then freeze it. This maintians the challenge without involving fattening treats.

That's a good idea, but it only works if you fed kibble which I don't. But if the OP does that's a good option. Plus you have the pup working for her food.

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Aaaahhh! A new BC owner! LOL My Misty is also 7mos. old. I agree, physical exercise is great, but she's missing her mental exercise. Teach her little tricks, give paw, roll over, come, stay, etc. Work on those. Also, I read in another forum, to play hide and seek. Misty's been playing frisbee since she was about 4-5 months old. We got the softest frisbee, and we just tossed it to her. We didn't have her jumping for them, just kind of threw them to her and she would catch it. She loves this!!! Also, I had read on another forum. To get a couple of toys together. A ball, a stuffie, her kong, and then do so mind stimulation and see if you can get her to pick the item you call for. Example: Where's the ball? See if she can give you the ball. Where's your stuffie? etc. I have yet to try this, since my cat seems to give Misty a lot of stimulation to wear her out (besides our walks), lol! Good Luck!

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Guest SweetJordan
Since you have two dogs, why not teach them to play with a tug toy together? My neighbors' two do that, though being a one-dog human, I don't know how you would go about teaching them.

I've found that the dogs naturally do this and isn't something that you need to teach. At least in my experience.

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Thanks to all for the suggestions! I started to put 1/2 her meal in the Kong (kibble and canned) and freeze it overnight or all day. It takes her a good 30 minutes to eat it all that way. Great Idea! My older dog, Indy, tries to play Tug of War but she intimidates Harley with that STARE and Harley doesn't hold on too long! She will play with me, though (guess my eyes aren't so spooky). I do work on training a couple times per day - down, sit, roll over and a couple fun things (if I point my finger at her and say "Bang" she rolls on her back). We taught her to speak but then all she did was bark at obedience and agility classes trying to get treats faster so we have quit "speak" and are working on "quiet". She is very smart and fun but I need to get over the guilt when I tell her to settle so I can watch TV or iron! I am enjoying these boards and all the posts - thanks for the help.

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