Jump to content
BC Boards

Shall she stay or go?

Recommended Posts

I really don't know what to do. I have had our BC for three weeks tomorrow, and she is just ruining our shoes and boots that stay on garage shelves in the garage, where she sleeps. Admittidley we have too many shoes so can't fit them all indoors ( my fetish of collecting shoes), but she still shouldn't chew them.

She is an outside ex young farm dog, but because of the heat I invited her in, only for her to pee on greeting me, so out she went.

You all say how intelligent BC's are, but I'm sure not my one. I have her on a chocker to walk her but she doesn't get it, and she walks in front of me tripping me up.

If she will stop this then I would love to keep her, but right now I am not so sure. Also I fear that she isn't being kept active enough. I work in the mornings, and she is an outside dog so apart from odd visits she is alone most the time.

What do you think????? :rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 78
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Well, I just don't know where to start!


Are you using a crate? If you are not using a crate, you might consider that for her to sleep in. Then she will not be able to destroy anything. She is probably bored and lonely out there. Actually... if you crate-train her, she could be in the house with you. If you are watching her, you can distract her with toys. Hopefully she does have toys of her own out in the garage? If not, you may want to try some Kongs or other similar things to keep her busy and away from your shoes.


Does she spend time in the house with you? Do you do any training with her? By training, I mean fun things, not limited to trying to get her to understand the leash walking stuff. Agility, tricks, basic obedience, etc.? She may be lonely and frustrated by herself.


How much do you like this dog? If you don't want the dog, then perhaps she would be better off in a different home. If you really love her and want to keep her, you will find a way to get her the exercise and training that she needs. She won't learn to walk nicely on leash with no help from you, and she won't learn about the shoes and stuff on her own either.


You might consider taking a basic obedience class, too--then you have a support group! And there is bound to be someone in the class with a dog who gets into more mischief than your own. Always a nice boost once a week to hear about someone else's difficulties. :D


Border collies, along with many other breeds of dogs, are very smart and will learn what you teach them. What she is learning now is that when she is in the garage, she can find stuff to chew on. :rolleyes: If you don't want her to learn that, you need to prevent her chewing on the shoes. :D


If you want to learn more about the how of training a border collie, try a search of these boards. Many questions about inappropriate chewing and leash training have come up, with lots of good suggestions that do work (but you have to keep up doing them--don't just do it once for 3 minutes and expect a miracle ).


Other folks will be along soon with better suggestions than mine, I'm sure.


Allie + Tess & Kipp

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey another Idaho person Hiya!


From what I've picked up, BC's can be destructive if they arent getting enough exercise. I know if Rivendell is bored she'll chew on stuff. BC's really thrive on interaction. Do you spend much time with her?


Is this dog trained at all? It sounds like someone needs to take time to really work with this girl. Was the pee like a submissive pee, or was it more like I gotta go, so I'll just go here? If the dog has never been in a house (you said she was a farm dog) maybe it doesnt understand the concept of goin outside yet? Im sure someone will correct me if Im wrong.


I wish you lots of luck though. And, I do think if you dont have the time to invest, and honestly didnt sound like you wanted to (sorry if Im wrong and assuming that)then you should rehome this girl.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll be perfectly blunt: I don't think this dog is a good fit for you.


A dog left outside and alone is bored! Any dog, but particularly a BC, craves your attention. They're pack animals: they need pack mates (i.e. other dogs or human family). She needs companionship and training, not to be shucked off to the backyard and garage. Of course she's going to chew your shoes. She's lonely and bored! Under-exercised and under-stimulated. Border collies need something to do, or they will be destructive (this is true of most dogs anyway).


You were given some good advice in this thread:



Did you try any of these things?


If she's an ex farm dog, maybe she's not housetrained, hence the peeing. Did you try to housetrain her? Does she have a crate? How long did you make an effort before she was sent outside?


Honestly, IMO, unless you have a change of heart and attitude, the kinder thing to do for this dog is to rehome her.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That you work in the mornings is not an issue. That you take time to get her exercise: physical and mental when you get home IS. You can not consider her an 'outside' dog and therefore capable of exercising enough.


That she peed upon greeting you, is an indication of a submissive or unsocialized training requirement. This takes months to sometimes more than a year to train out of a dog. Meg is six months old and we still see a little wetness left on greeting people other than ourselves.


That you want her to not to chew your shoes is not an issue, that you get the shoes in the garage out of her reach IS.


That you want her to learn to walk on a lead at your side is not an issue, that you train her to do so properly IS. This sounds like you will need some help from a trainer for BOTH of you.


You've had her three weeks and you're expecting her to be trained. This takes months!!! And that is for a dog that is part of the household, not the 'outdoors' or 'garage'.



If you got your BC from a rescue, I am surprised that they did not work with you to discover the fit of this breed to your expectations. If you got your BC from elsewhere then you have significant bit of soul searching and reading and talking to do.


Your dog's intelligence is not the question, but your lack of information is. If you love your dog and want to learn then stick with us and we call can help you through. If you don't have the inclination or concern then we can help you place her.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At the risk of sounding a little bit harsh, sounds like there needs to be ALOT more work with this dog on your part if you want to keep her. Dogs don't just know human rules, even if they are as smart as a BC. It is our job as pet owners to teach them how to fit into our lives.


Dogs do not know what is an appropriate chew toy unless they are taught. It will take time and energy to redirect her chewing and curb that issue. If left to their own devices (sleeping in the garage alone, bored) they will find something to entertain them. In this case it is your shoes. Border collies need mental and phyiscal stimulation. Without it they can be very destructive due to being bored.


As for the walking, again it takes time to teach any dog to walk appropriately on a lead. A under stimulated dog will be very excited to go on a walk and will naturally pull. Again phyiscal and mental exercise before attempting to teach her to walk on a lead might help. An obedience class would also help with the issues you are having.


With time, patience, and dedication these are pretty easily resolved issues. But you have to want to work on them and be willing to invest the time to do so. That is your call.


Another important thing is integrating your BC into the family. BCs want nothing more than to be a active part of the pack. Most BCs do not do well as outdoor dogs because they really long to be with the family as much as possible.


As for the peeing upon greeting, this is most likely a sign of submissive behavior. She may be nervous having only been in your home for 3 weeks and not getting to come in often. Given time to build her confidence and get used to her surroundings she would likely get over this.


IMO, the way things are currently going, I do not think this is the best situation for her. However, if you are willing to change things it could work. It will not be easy and will be some work. At this point it is up to what you are willing to give it.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

The big question isn't what we think but what you want? Do you want a dog in your life?


Leave alone the fact that a BC is a high energy interactive dog, any dog you bring into your life must have appropriate interaction and socialization, and it really sounds like you've done neither with this one.


Then if you decide you do want a dog, do you want this one?


I think once you've answered these questions, to yourself, honestly and openly, it'll be much easier to help you if you decide that you do want to keep the dog.


Eating shoes and not being house broken are so none issues, irritating as they may be. They can't distinguish between what is appropriate and what isn't, if you don't teach them...and sometimes that still doesn't work given that my one year old pup greeted me this morning with my favorite bra...or what's left of it. But it was my fault.


Also, chewing shoes and not being housebroken have nothing to do with a dogs IQ if you've not done much with it to begin with.


As for the choker, she probably shouldn't be on one, but it really just sounds like she has so much pent up energy from not getting enough mental and physcial stimulation, that when she does get out with you, she's on high charge. But again, that's not her fault at this point.


So, think about what you really want, in the end that's the only way you can make a good decision for her. I don't mean to sound harsh towards you or to not give you tools or advice, but at this point, you're willing to give her up over shoes, so you need to think about what's important to you.


There is no sin in realizing that a dog is not right for you, it would be worse to keep her and not teach her how to be a good dog.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yikes. Well also at the risk of sounding harsh, did you do any research or have you had a puppy before ( I gather not, as you seemed suprised at your pups behavior) Doesn't matter if it's a Border Collie or a poodle, puppies chew, bite, poop,pee, and on occasion puke on your floor or bed...it's what puppies do . I think you should evaluate whether a puppy/dog is for you or not, or at the least re-think your expectations. And as someone else posted, no harm in saying you made a mistake, and trying to re-home the pup. Good luck whatever your decision.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I too agree with what has been said. It really depends on how much you love her, and you're the only one who knows that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I noticed that you posted about this in the companionship forum. A couple people answered but you never posted back.


Here again is my reply:


A few secrets I have learned(And I'm raising two of the little boogers at the same time and just loving it!!...lol)


1)Get a crate and crate train-it's a lifesaver!! Just don't abuse it...


2)Get your dog on a schedule(the same thing the same time everyday!)This also makes them feel more secure as they learnto know what to expect.


3)Daily excercise,excercise,excercise

(can't stress that enough!


4)Train your dog. My hubby's pup and mine, have their own toy box and know for the most part that everything else is off-limits. Plus these dogs love thinking excercises!


5)Get your dog on a good quality food. Bad foods can make your border, hyper, nervous-etc.(One of mine has horrid allergies- we are on the third kind of food..lol.).


If I have left anything else out, the others can fill me in. Good luck!


PS You can always redirect that herding instinct into something else...say soccer..lol. I did. I use a soccer ball or a basket ball.




Whenever a dog is stressed he/she may chew. It is one way they work out their stress. Now about the peeing. If it is subbmissive, whatever you do- don't spank her - it will make it worse..


as for her cutting you off when you walk her. One of my pups does this too. I think it is their way of herding you..?




Why are you isolating your dog in you4 garage? Dogs are pack animals that crave companionship. Not isolation. This in itself will cause behaviour problems- epsecially chewing!


If none of these suggestions appeals to you, then I hate to say it, but there are rescues that would most likely be willing to take her off your hands. It might be best for the both of you. And from what it sounds like, especially for her!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Everyone has given you great advice here. I second what everyone has said.


Border Collies take a bit of work and creativity to keep fulfilled and happy. If you really want to make it work, you need to make a commmitment to do what it takes. If you don't, then finding a new home for this dog might be the better way to go.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good grief. I'm hoping there's a lot more to this story than meets the eye from the OP. It sounds as if you took the dog in, did no training, and expected her to understand all the new rules automatically and without any instruction. Perhaps that's not true and you've been training daily with her, though that's not at all evident from the post; but if you haven't, your expectations are beyond unrealistic. ALL DOGS HAVE TO BE TRAINED. Period. NO dog is born knowing all the rules automatically. Nor is any person, BTW, and we like to think of ourselves as being uniquely intelligent amongst the animal kingdom.


Reverse the positions here. Let's say we took you away from your home, your family, your familliar surroundings, and your job and we put you into a wolf pack. You don't speak wolf, and they don't speak English. Your old skills are mainly useless, and your new job requires skills that you can't even identify, because no one will tell you what the new skills even ARE, let alone teach them to you. AND, just to make it more interesting, your life depends on you mastering the new skills. Do you think you might feel stressed? Do you think that being stressed might increase the liklihood that you'd have trouble picking up all the rules and learning how to correctly apply them? Do you think that the awareness that the boss wolf might decide, say, to kill and eat you might make you a bit nervous and possibly submissive in its presence (and do you think you might try to appease it &/or possibly feel an urge to wet your pants out of fear and stress)? Do you think you, with your large and adaptable human brain, opposable thumb, and all the other advantages of being human, would be able to figure out how to live appropriately with them in three weeks? No? Then why do you expect a dog (even a BC) to be able to figure out everything YOU want in three weeks? Where's the reasonableness and common sense?


It sounds from your original post like you're being very unfair to this dog. I very much hope that's a mistaken impression based on incomplete information, and if so by all means correct us. But if you have done little or nothing to help this poor creature adapt to her marked change in circumstances, and are as impatient with her and uninterested in her as it sounds from your post, I'd say she has shown significantly more than you have in the way of restraint, forgiveness, self-control and willingness. I'm suprised she wants anything to do with you, to be frank. If I treated my dogs like that they'd be hurt, bewildered, frightened, anxious, severely stressed, and deeply mistrustful, and I would have earned every ounce of it.


Sorry to be blunt (you did ask what we think), but what *I* think is that you need to take a serious look at why you have ANY dog, why you have THIS dog in particular, and whether or not it would be fair to keep her. Not everyone is cut out to have dogs, and of those who are, not everyone is cut out to have BCs. If you aren't willing to put in the time with this (or any) dog you should not have this (or any) dog. If that's the case, do her a gigantic favor and place her with someone who DOES want her and IS willing to put in the time. If, instead, what's really going on is that you have unrealistic expectations based on ignorance of either what having a dog is about or what having a BC is about - well, that can be remedied, and sticking around here is a good place to start. But YOU have to put in the time to remedy it. Don't expect your BC to do it. They ARE smart (and I'd venture to guess yours is a lot smarter than you give her credit for), but they can't do it for you. Dog ownership is a partnership and a responsibility, and you have to hold up your end.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with everything already said, so I won't say it again. But I do agree with all of the other posts 100%.


If you love her and want to keep her, she will need some training to be a great dog. If you love her but can't find the time to be with her - it might be better for HER in the long run if she was somewhere else.


How old is she?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please do this young BC a favour, and find a good rescue to take her. From what you have posted, your expectations of her are way too high, and she deserves a chance to be with someone who knows what she can do.

I am, by no stretch of the imagination, any kind of expert, but I do know that there are many people on this board, who are more than willing to help, IF, you're willing to make the commitment. I know, because they have been very helpful to me as I work with my fear-aggressive BC, Cricket. I work full-time, commute, and when I'm home I make sure to spend at least a couple of hours with my dogs. Dogs are a huge commitment, and a dog like Sophie, such as you've described, needs someone who is willing to spend time training her.

Like it was pointed out....there's no shame in acknowledging that this particular dog, isn't for you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember from an earlier post that your BC came from a farm where no one had time for her, so I'm thinking the main problem is she just doesn't know much yet.


In the old country, BCs pretty much spent 24/7 with their shepherds. They are incredibly smart, but like most things in life, you get out of them what you put in. We all think BCs are geniuses because they give a bigger return for the time spent than other breeds. But you still have to put in the time.


I only spend an hour a day (a half hour in the morning and again at night) giving Violet my full undivided attention. But she accompanies me everywhere but church and work, so she has the opportunity to pick up a lot of things on the fly. BCs are pretty good at figuring out what you want if they spend enough time around you, and if you seize those "teachable moments" when they happen.


But if you can't integrate your BC into your life more fully than she is now - maybe you could start by putting her in a crate at the foot of your bed and letting her sleep in there? - then try this board:



I don't know anything about them - just googled their address. Or I'm sure someone on this board could help you find a rescue near you.


As others have said, there's no shame in putting her with a rescue (not a kill shelter, but a rescue). One man's poison is another's meat, after all - Violet probably drove her first owner's crazy, but I think she's the best thing since draught beer!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow! Thank you all for your honest opinions, which I really am appreciative off.

I got my BC on impulse, but she is very loved by myself and our children. I am very patient with her, just thought that at two years old she would behave abit better, being past puppy stage. I am reading books, web sites, and watching videos. I appreciate her getting used to us and I think we are all getting used to each other. I am never cruel to her whether physical or other. I take her out every morning at a regular time. Then again with the kids, or we all just play with her in our big yard, then I take her out again in the evening with the other dog, BC races about and the nr16 yr old stays close to my side, they get on well together too. I have had my other dog, (GS) since she was 6 weeks old and she and I are inseperable, I am a good dog person. Sophie gets lots of interaction with us, she isn't left alone like I think you may be thinking.

I asked your opinion, and I got it, but please don't think me as being so bad, I just need some help. I have thought about giving her up so she will have more activity but think about her feelings too, poor thing going from pillow to post. I really want to stick with her, please be more gentle with me in helping her.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dog Lady, it is not my place to judge or criticize; so I will do neither. It sounds as if you love this dog. And it is astonishing what love, combined with patience, can accomplish. The decision is up to you; in my own case, I have never given up on a dog. So my vote would be the dog stays, if you are willing to put in the time, effort, and study of everything that can assist you in retraining your BC. You might also consider dog training classes to assist you in the effort. The best of luck to you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok I admit when I got Bialey (at the age of 3ish from a rescue) I had a really hard time. We cosidered taking him back to the shelter after three months. I feel awful for even thinking it now. He hadnt settled in... but it was just that, he frequently had accindents and chewed things when alone. He just needed time, it took him about 4 months to settle in properly and even then he didnt bond with us, like he has now, until I let him sleep in our room with us. I know his chewing when we first got him wasnt boredom as I spent all my time with him then, I cant now though. I think he was just trying to comfort himself. i may be wrong though. It took a lot of patience on my part and lecturing hubby to be more patient (that was the main issue) and things got 50 time better again when I found this website. the advice gven here has been invaluable to me and Bailey. He is far from a perfect dog and has some issues but nothing I cant live with, I wouldnt be without him now!

I think its still early days, three weeks isnt very long to sttle into a new home with a new family, give her time, patience and love... it'll pay off in the end.

Good luck



PS.. being well behaved doesnt come with age in dogs, it comes with training. Bailey had no previous training that we could tell so we had to start from scratch too, so I can sympathize. Just keep anything chewable in a seperate room or outta reach

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just my 2 cents worth - 2 yo bc's for the most part are still in the puppy/teenage mind set -they tend to mature slowly (due to those brilliant minds). You have an older trained dog and may have forgotten what a young dog is like and how long it took for your first dog to be housebroken, trained, etc. (I know what that's like, I have had 2 young dogs in the last 2 years after losing older pets). If you have the resources (physical and mental) to devote to her, she'll ultimately likely be a great addition to your family. If you don't have the resources (or patience) rehoming her now through a rescue is a great option for both of you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First, IMO, you have to decide if you want the dog. IF you want the dog, you will get plenty of help with each issue you have and it will work out. I guess the reason so many people seemed a bit harsh with you was your opening statement. Not saying it was your intention, but it seemed like you were saying, hey, give me a miracle or I am getting rid of the dog! Like I said, it is just how it seemed. Keeping her will benefit her and you if there is dedication and a desire. She will know if you don't have commitment to her.


As far as her peeing, it is like they said, a submisive thing. It is not something that you can just say no, and she stops. Sending her out as soon as she does it, only re-inforces her lack of confidence. She, for one, doesn't even know what she did wrong, just that you think she did! You have to reconcile yourself to the fact that, for a while, you will have piddles on your floor. Building her confidence in you and the family and her place in it will eventually lessen the occorence of it. People here may have more intense ways to accomplish this. It is not the worst thing! Believe me!

As far as chewing your shoes, until she learns, which you can use old shoes you don't care about, keep the good ones put away. How many can you wear at one time!? LOL She will eventually figure out shoes are a no no. It will take time. For one, you need to catch her in the actual act of chewing one. If you show her a chewed shoe and scold her, she will never associate her chewing it to you scolding her. All she knows is, you are holding a shoe and scolding. With no clue why. It's like if you went to someones house and you didn't speak each others language. While there, you helped yourself to candy on the table. When your host returned, she started carring on in her language. You wouldn't have a clue what the prob was. Was the candy poison? Was it special? Did she just think you rude? Was she saving it? Were they just for looks? You would be so confused and upset, what would you do? See what I mean? Same with the dog. She doesn't understand yet. Give her the time to learn. Age means nothing without training. I know. My brother has a 2+ yr. old boxer that is just as obnoxious as when she was a pup! I.E. still destroys the house if left inside alone. Yet, I have left my dogs alone for three days (we have a doggie door) with no destruction! It is just training.


If you want to keep the dog, you will get plenty of help and advise.


Good luck to you!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...