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Want to "nip" it in the bud


sixx
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Cedar loves to nip Seek, constantly. She is always heading her off, nipping her ankles, and won't let her play with any toys. So, I've been "splitting" the two when I see the look/stance from Cedar, as well as click and treat when she doesn't chase Seek. I repeat, this is a constant on going going on (tongue twister) :D I've also tried redirecting to toys, but she doesn't really care about them at that exact moment. They have play time together, and separate as well as training together and separate. We also go on walks daily, 2 or so miles, play at the park and at home and have lots of different training avenues. Boredom doesn't exist in my house.

 

So far the techniques I am using are working some, but not as well as I would like. I just want to make sure she doesn't create a habit out of this. She also barked and lunged at a car the other day. I see her noticing cars a lot lately. She really gets excited about movement... I've had a car chaser before, no fun!

 

I've dealt with this in the past with an adult dog and he simply loved the ball so much it was easy to redirect him.

 

Any suggestions? Anyone else ever dealt with this in a puppy? Would love some help :)

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I would definitely nip it ASAP. The older she gets the harder it will be to control.

 

I would probably use a calm "lie down" to end the action then redirect to something else (like a toy). I think you do agility?? You have probably seen the dogs at ringside that are "killing" their tuggies instead of barking & lunging at dogs on the course. That kind of thing will help her direct her focus to a toy instead of her sister. If you do not have a good lie down yet then now is a good time to teach it :) I'd keep her on a long line & body block her (like you would when training on stock) & enforce the down. Try & stay calm- no shouting or anything. Just keep blocking until you get the down. After you get the down, redirect to the toy so the down is not really a punishment; just a break in activity that is then rewarded with a toy.

 

Working through this will be a great tool to help her learn the self control that every Border Collie needs to get through this life.

 

HTH,

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I would start by using the Board search engine and hunting for "nipping." You can limit the search for titles only, if you prefer. Lots of the longtime Board members have weighed in on this topic many times.

 

 

Thanks for the suggestion. I originally did the nipping search before asking, however it came up with a bunch of posts on nipping at people, kids, etc. I looked as much as I could for constantly nipping another dog. Unfortunately I didn't have lots of time to search, so I thought I would ask. I will try again....

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I would definitely nip it ASAP. The older she gets the harder it will be to control.

 

I would probably use a calm "lie down" to end the action then redirect to something else (like a toy). I think you do agility?? You have probably seen the dogs at ringside that are "killing" their tuggies instead of barking & lunging at dogs on the course. That kind of thing will help her direct her focus to a toy instead of her sister. If you do not have a good lie down yet then now is a good time to teach it :) I'd keep her on a long line & body block her (like you would when training on stock) & enforce the down. Try & stay calm- no shouting or anything. Just keep blocking until you get the down. After you get the down, redirect to the toy so the down is not really a punishment; just a break in activity that is then rewarded with a toy.

 

Working through this will be a great tool to help her learn the self control that every Border Collie needs to get through this life.

 

HTH,

 

Thanks! I will try the long line with a down. Her downs are great, just not as great with distraction <_< So I will work on this too.

 

Yes, I do agility. A tug is my savior ;)

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A long line and lie down is definitely something I've used, though I've never dealt with such a strongly fixated behavior as you are describing. I've also used time-outs (negative punishment) where I will briefly put a dog in a crate, tied up or in a down stay if he has that much control for persistantly naughty behavior. The closest I can come to your situation with my dogs is Quinn used to try to steal the other dogs' toys outside or would stare at them so that they felt threatened. If he couldn't pull it together (lie down and play with his own toy or go off to mosey around the yard), then I'd put him in the garage for a few minutes. Quinn hates to be isolated/not part of the fun almost more than anything so he was usually very reformed when he was allowed back out.

 

It is really important to be on top of this sort thing and as proactive as possible. And it is excellent that you're stepping in when you see a certain look or stance that you know will lead to the behavior. Border Collies can defintely fly under the radar with their quiet, at times "sneaky" manner, at least my sneaky Border Collie can fly under my easily distracted radar. For that reason, if I have a problem behavior that I need to stay on top of and can't give it enough of my attention, I will try to prevent the dog from being able to practice the behavior, which in your scenario may mean only one dog is out at a time.

 

I do have a question. You wrote "Boredom doesn't exist in my house." Does Cedar have some down time in her busy schedule? I'm a huge believer in my dogs being able to settle, self-entertain (in non destructive ways! :lol: ) and quietly hang out with or without me around. I think that ability to just mellow out is important to a dog's mental health. I know it is crucial for my own. :D

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A long line and lie down is definitely something I've used, though I've never dealt with such a strongly fixated behavior as you are describing. I've also used time-outs (negative punishment) where I will briefly put a dog in a crate, tied up or in a down stay if he has that much control for persistantly naughty behavior. The closest I can come to your situation with my dogs is Quinn used to try to steal the other dogs' toys outside or would stare at them so that they felt threatened. If he couldn't pull it together (lie down and play with his own toy or go off to mosey around the yard), then I'd put him in the garage for a few minutes. Quinn hates to be isolated/not part of the fun almost more than anything so he was usually very reformed when he was allowed back out.

 

It is really important to be on top of this sort thing and as proactive as possible. And it is excellent that you're stepping in when you see a certain look or stance that you know will lead to the behavior. Border Collies can defintely fly under the radar with their quiet, at times "sneaky" manner, at least my sneaky Border Collie can fly under my easily distracted radar. For that reason, if I have a problem behavior that I need to stay on top of and can't give it enough of my attention, I will try to prevent the dog from being able to practice the behavior, which in your scenario may mean only one dog is out at a time.

 

I do have a question. You wrote "Boredom doesn't exist in my house." Does Cedar have some down time in her busy schedule? I'm a huge believer in my dogs being able to settle, self-entertain (in non destructive ways! :lol: ) and quietly hang out with or without me around. I think that ability to just mellow out is important to a dog's mental health. I know it is crucial for my own. :D

 

Thanks for the suggestion! I am going to get a long line. I have tied her up before, but then she just howls and goes nuts. So I started putting her in the car, away from us and the excitement. I can see her staring wishing she was a part of the fun, definitely punishment.

 

I started using the eye last night, not sure if that's negative or not, but it worked. Anytime she would get ready to stalk, nip, etc, I would look look at her like it was unacceptable and she would immediately go into a sit and I would reward her good behavior. I didn't intimidate her though or burn a hole through her face, just gave her a look of disappointment. She really wants to please and this made her "listen."

 

When I stated that we don't have boredom, I simply meant that we have good mental/physical stimulation, enough to make the pups feel good and not bored. :D We do have down time. Cedar gets crated regularly daily. Plus then I can do some housework. :P We also snuggle and watch movies together. I also make sure to give them some good stuff to chew on while being calm. I just got some cranberry bones by Zukes. The dogs love them! They also get Moozles, bully sticks, salmon strips and halibut. No, my dogs aren't spoiled. :P;)

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I started using the eye last night, not sure if that's negative or not, but it worked. Anytime she would get ready to stalk, nip, etc, I would look look at her like it was unacceptable and she would immediately go into a sit and I would reward her good behavior. I didn't intimidate her though or burn a hole through her face, just gave her a look of disappointment. She really wants to please and this made her "listen."

 

Well, if "the eye" makes her stop the behavior, then in behavioral terms It is punishment. I've been known to give my dogs a look, snap my fingers or point my finger at them. That kind of communication comes in handy when you're on the phone. :lol:

 

Have you read Susan Garrett's Shaping Success? I used that as Quinn's puppy rearing manual. There is lots of emphasis on training self-control in very positive, motivating ways. I don't know Cedar's age or circumstances, but I remember when Quinn was young and impetuous enough that he nearly came through my dining room window when I sent him into the house. They do mature, learn and gain the ability to harness all that enthusiasm, thank goodness. :)

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Have you read Susan Garrett's Shaping Success? I used that as Quinn's puppy rearing manual. There is lots of emphasis on training self-control in very positive, motivating ways. I don't know Cedar's age or circumstances, but I remember when Quinn was young and impetuous enough that he nearly came through my dining room window when I sent him into the house. They do mature, learn and gain the ability to harness all that enthusiasm, thank goodness. :)

 

Definitely got that book. I haven't read it, got it a few weeks ago and am finishing up another few books. I was wondering if it would help me out. I will start it tonight. :) Thanks!

Cedar is 3.5 months old. She is amazing and so much fun. Super goofy and loving (always loves when I first wake up in the morning... she can't believe it!!!) and always making strange noises. I am in love with her. :wub:

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Cedar is 3.5 months old. She is amazing and so much fun. Super goofy and loving (always loves when I first wake up in the morning... she can't believe it!!!) and always making strange noises. I am in love with her. :wub:

 

Oh, I didn't realize she was such a baby! At that age, I'd go easy on the punishment/time out unless all else fails and concentrate on the rewards and preventing the behavior. She is adorable. I can see why you are crazy about her! You are way ahead of where I was with Quinn at that age as far as being in love. He was the most challenging puppy I ever owned until he turned about 6 months old. Then he was the best puppy ever and I was his willing slave. But at Cedar's age, it was like a Coyote had come to live with us. :lol:

 

Enjoy your baby girl!!!

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Does Seek ever correct Cedar for this behavior? If she does, do you yell at her because you don't want her to "hurt the puppy?"

 

I'm guilty of this. I bring obnoxious puppies into the house and then yell at Luke for defending himself because I worry about him (@ 80 lbs) hurting the little dog. What ends up happening is that the puppy winds up being totally horrible to Luke and he just lays there and takes it. I've learned to trust him now and let him make necessary corrections.

 

Our older dogs are often the best teachers for young puppies...

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Our older dogs are often the best teachers for young puppies...

 

Excellent point but it also largely depends on the dog. My Sheltie is a puppy raiser extraordinaire, providing very effective, fair and safe corrections to pups of all sizes and ages (she still corrects my two goofy boys as needed). Quinn is a saint with small puppies, incredibly gentle, never correcting, then when they hit 3 or 4 months, he has almost no tolerance and I need to run interference or he will correct them much too harshly. The Lhasa is somewhere in between. Neither as wise as the Sheltie or as potentially harmful as Quinn with the older pups. He is crabby but rarely makes any kind of lasting impression on puppies.

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Oh, I didn't realize she was such a baby! At that age, I'd go easy on the punishment/time out unless all else fails and concentrate on the rewards and preventing the behavior. She is adorable. I can see why you are crazy about her! You are way ahead of where I was with Quinn at that age as far as being in love. He was the most challenging puppy I ever owned until he turned about 6 months old. Then he was the best puppy ever and I was his willing slave. But at Cedar's age, it was like a Coyote had come to live with us. :lol:

 

Enjoy your baby girl!!!

 

Oh my, let me tell you!! :lol: She is sooooo wild, and the most challenging pup ever. She always questions everything and tests limits constantly. It's no walk in the park. BUT, she is so loving and when it's good it's real good. That makes up for the ugly times. Then again, she's a puppy, so it's all understood and I am her teacher, so I can't get mad at her for not knowing.

 

Good advice on the punishment/time out. Her time outs are between 5 and 20 minutes total. It depends on how out of control she is. Once in a great while she will completely freak out and get the puppy zoomies. She turns into a race car and the house is her track. My positive reinforcement book says to go ahead and let her do it and get the energy out. Since it's once in a blue moon I let her... not sure if I should. However when she starts nipping everything in sight, and I do mean everything, and her eyes are crossed and tripled, then she gets some calm down time. I really don't allow that kind of behavior in my house. I guess I'm just going off my book on how best to raise a puppy. Any thought on that? This is my first baby puppy.

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Does Seek ever correct Cedar for this behavior? If she does, do you yell at her because you don't want her to "hurt the puppy?"

 

I'm guilty of this. I bring obnoxious puppies into the house and then yell at Luke for defending himself because I worry about him (@ 80 lbs) hurting the little dog. What ends up happening is that the puppy winds up being totally horrible to Luke and he just lays there and takes it. I've learned to trust him now and let him make necessary corrections.

 

Our older dogs are often the best teachers for young puppies...

 

 

I would never punish or correct Seek for correcting Cedar. This is the best way Cedar will learn. However, Seek doesn't tell Cedar off. Seek is one of those intense border collies who is completely focused. When I have her ball or frisbee, a tornado could come by and Seek wouldn't notice and would still be focused on the ball. So, when we have our play time together now, I try to focus on them playing tug or some other interactive game, instead of ball/frisbee.

 

The last two trips to the park were amazing! Cedar wants sooo badly to please, she will look at me when Seek runs to get the ball. She is learning to focus on what fun I have for her and not stalking Seek. She gets loads of cheese for hanging out with mommy :P

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Oh my, let me tell you!! :lol: She is sooooo wild, and the most challenging pup ever. She always questions everything and tests limits constantly. It's no walk in the park. BUT, she is so loving and when it's good it's real good. That makes up for the ugly times.

 

Ah, there is the difference. Quinn was way too busy to be affectionate when he was Cedar's age. I remember being surprised when he was 6 months old and came up to me to offer me a hug and seek some pats. And that was pretty much all it took for me to become a goner. :lol:

 

Once in a great while she will completely freak out and get the puppy zoomies. She turns into a race car and the house is her track. My positive reinforcement book says to go ahead and let her do it and get the energy out. Since it's once in a blue moon I let her... not sure if I should. However when she starts nipping everything in sight, and I do mean everything, and her eyes are crossed and tripled, then she gets some calm down time. I really don't allow that kind of behavior in my house. I guess I'm just going off my book on how best to raise a puppy. Any thought on that? This is my first baby puppy.

 

Hmm. I do think there are times when a puppy is over-tired and needs not so much a time out as enforced quiet time (crate) so they can nap and rest. As far as racing around the house, there are people who would say it shouldn't be allowed and I can see their point. Generally, I tried to take Quinn out to run off energy when he got like that. But I would be dishonest to say I didn't at times allow him to run laps through the house, banking off the walls and sofa and slamming into my comfy chair so hard it tipped over. In fact, he would still do that but my house was repainted last year and I decided the laps needed to stop before he ruined my walls (he really does bank along a couple of them). So those bursts of energy in the house are way down mainly due to my new rule rather than any maturity that comes from being 5 1/2.

 

So, hypocrisy aside, I would say that if you can train her to stop and settle on command, if you are ok with her running in side, that is your call. I don't regret allowing Quinn his running laps. It didn't turn him into an uncontrollable monster at my house or when we visited. Just figure out what you find acceptable, make your rules clear and try to enforce them consistently. :)

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Update:

 

Cedar finally controls herself with herding Seek. She will look at me instead. She's doing great!!

 

Also, just a funny note on how clever she is...

Cedar likes to chew on shoes. She knows she's not supposed to. I will remind her that they aren't her toys. She gets really annoyed about it. So she will be oh so sneaky in her shoe chewing. She will lay down with a treat, such as a moozle, and slowly make her way over to the shoes until her treat is right on top of them, then she will chew the shoes. She is such a trickster, like a raven :P

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