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New member--trying to figure out if I have a border collie

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Hi everyone,


I am new to this site. I got a puppy from a rescue 2 months ago when she was 8 weeks old. We were told she was probably a german shepherd/lab mix, but as I am getting to know her, I think she's probably more german shepherd/ border collie. She is such a sweet girl, but has more energy than any puppy I have ever known. She also gets really nippy when she is nervous or overexcited (which is often!) I was reading the section about border collie characteristics about BC's thinking anything could be a grizzly bear and I had to laugh because it described my Sadie perfectly. I have lots of questions but wanted to post some pictures first to see if you even think she has border collie in her.

At 15 weeks, she weighed 20 lbs--big for a BC I think, but I know she's not purebred.








Thanks for any input!



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Puppies get nippy when they get over stimulated and over tired. Are you using a crate? When she gets nippy, it's time for crate rest or a long, quiet walk. Whatever the mix, you probably have a really smart dog, so you could start naming everything you do with her and naming all her toys as well. Adorable. All the best.

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Thanks for the replies. I guess it doesn't really matter what she is, but I have been trying hard to understand where she's coming from so I can train appropriately. We do use a crate at night, when we are not home with her, and for longer rests during the day. The trainer at her puppy class suggested using time outs in a small puppy-proofed bathroom when she gets nippy. She's even learned the word time-out and if she's not too far gone, will stop just by hearing "time out". We go on at least two long walks a day and throw the ball or a frisbee. I keep training treats on me at all times to entice her into a sit or down to calm her down when I see her losing control. I do not allow kids I don't know to pet her and will no longer allow kids I do know to be around her without an adult. Although she's pretty good with off-leash walks, I've been keeping her on a 6 or 15-foot lead for all walks to make sure I always have control. I plan to get some more mentally challenging toys soon and begin teaching some tricks in addition to basic commands. I like the idea of naming her toys:)


Any other ideas to teach impulse control would be greatly appreciated. She is smart and giving me a run for my money!

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Mental stimulation will tire her quicker than physical activity. Time out is great when she gets too wound up. We use the crate for that with our 18 week old boy. They really need to learn to 'turn it off'. It takes time and consistency, but when they realize that play stops if they get too crazy, they can figure out how to turn it off. Games, obedience, learning tricks -things that make them think are good. Might try adding random sits and downs to the walk - nothing that would stress joints or anything - but just mixing up the pace a bit so she has to think.

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Omigosh, Sadie is absolutely darling! You are right to wonder about her breed; I do think it affects training. She looks to me like she could be part border collie, but it's sure hard to tell with puppies. But you've already concluded that she's bright and energetic, so you have to assume she is being trained every minute she's awake, whether you're officially doing so or not! :lol:

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Such a cute pup! I don't see the lab in her. Might well be GSD/BC, in which case be prepared for a smart dog!


Impulse control: start with not letting the pup out of the crate until you say "release". Don't let the pup out of a door until it sits in front of it, you open the door, then you say "release". This easily segues to a "stay" command. Don't forget to praise for "good stay" - don't let the pup get fooled into thinking it's only rewarded for the "release" (= training is over) part. It helps you praise the pup for what it's doing right, WHEN it's doing it correctly, not for "releasing".


I'd also train that "sit" means "sit until released", just as "down" means "down until released". This starts to introduce some impulse control into everyday life.


In general, with puppies, I follow a "NILIF" philosophy ("nothing in life is free"). You want your dinner, fine, offer me a behavior, and stick with it while I lower your food dish.


Later, when she's older, you can start to add distractions (toss a ball while she's in a "stay"), as well as distance. That will test her impulse control. Best to start with "wait" sorts of commands while you're close at hand to reinforce, though.

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