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I just do not understand....

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Hey y'all,

I am not sure I will be able to describe exactly what is going on but I will try my best and hopefully go from there. First off I left Yankee in the care of my sister for two weeks while I was away. Before I left be was being a bit stubborn with most things, testing boundaries and being just a jerk. Although he adores my sister and her dog (they live with us), it is quite obvious that he can and will manipulate her without her realizing it. So I gave a very basic routine of basic obedience with a bit of the fun stuff for them to do several times a day as well as walks and playing with her dog. They also had down time and each got one on one time during the day. Anyway while I was away he refused food for several days. Anyway he overall did not take it very well, he has been excessively clingy and pushy. So there are several things I came back to that I have no idea how to approach.


1. Car! Inside the house any car or loud noise has him pacing and looking worried. He will then try and throw himself into your arms or go hide in his kennel or my closet. However outside he go all super focus mode and stalks them the same he would sheep or anything else he has ever tried to herd. When he is in this mode I can get him to sit or down but he will not look at me or look away from the car. How do you get to the next step with leaving cars alone? Also up until now he was never noise sensitive to anything except fireworks. We live next to base and jets overfly the house daily, he use to not even bat an eyelash at them. Why is every loud noise suddenly scary?


2. I am not entirely sure how to explain it, but he randomly becomes scared at times when I cannot figure out the cause. Again his first reaction is to try and jump into my arms or lap and be very pushy about being held or petted. When this happens his tail he very low (not completely tucked but just about), he looks worried and his breathing is usually heavier. Also normally when he invites himself up and is corrected he gets right down, when he is scared he will push himself into you making it harder to get him down(I didn't realize the first few times what was going on).


3. He doesn't want to be outside without me out there with him, even if the other dog is outside. While I was away he had several accidents because she assumed he would go outside if he needed to go (sliding door was open on a few of these times). Also our neighbor behind us is very friendly with the dogs and they greet him very happily through the fence when he is outside. This is our only neighbor that would be able to even be get near them. He hasn't had an accident since I have been home, but I also have been cautious and escorting him on potty trips.


4. He is very slow to react to anything said if a toy is involved. This can range from him straight up ignoring the command, to waiting a few minutes and the very slow motion doing what was asked of him. We do not have this problem with treats just toys. It is almost like he can only focus on the toy, laser beam eyes. I have been either waiting him out or walking away from him when this happens. When he does do something, even if it is slow motion I reward him and make a big deal about it. Doesn't seem to have changed it, am I approaching this wrong?


5. If the other dog is outside playing fetch, he will not settle! He whines, barks, pretty much throws a temper tantrum. Today I leashed him to me so he couldn't pace around all worked up. If he goes in timeout like this he will continue said tantrum in his kennel until they are inside. Keeping him leashed to me however sort of forces him to settle. Is this a good approach to the issue?


Pretty sure all of these developed right before or while I was away. Also he has never really gone through a fear stage and so far it has been only w slightly bumpy almost year together. He is currently about 11 months old, he eats Orijen All Life Stages, about 45 pounds and 23 inches tall.


Any input would be greatly appreciated, thank you.

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Sounds like your dog is going through BC-Obsessive Compulsive phases on cars, toys, etc. Leslie McDeavitt's Control Unleashed Puppy book has the clearest explanation on how to handle reactivity to a number of issues, and might be very helpful to the car, toy and general motion-sensitivities. You might also want to heavily reward your dog for being quiet while you train another dog or play fetch rather than putting him away for being obnoxious.


Pairing food with loud noises may help: there are apparently some studies that show that adrenaline (?sp) levels go down when eating, and lowering adrenaline may reduce his flight into your arms over time. If he's willing to eat, I'd alternate hand-feeding with throwing a treat for him to find.

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I sure hope this is just a fear period.

He certainly has me worried. Hopefully everything can be sorted out before deployment or it could be a rough one.


Thank you for the book recommendation I will look into getting a copy. He is not interested in treats or playing fetch inside with me when they are outside. He also is not interested food when a car passes the house or something loud goes off.


I am hoping with me being back and getting back to herding, agility class and some good beach runs will help him settle a bit. I am hoping it is just a boredom thing but we will see. We spent a few hours at the beach today Playing fetch, sprints and basic commands. Came home and he tossed another tennis ball at me....


Again thank you for the book recommendation.

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"I am hoping with me being back and getting back to herding, agility class and some good beach runs will help him settle a bit. I am hoping it is just a boredom thing but we will see. We spent a few hours at the beach today Playing fetch, sprints and basic commands. Came home and he tossed another tennis ball at me.... "


Just guessing here, but with my second border collie I made the mistake of thinking he had to be constantly stimulated, in part because of all the kennel club people that had a *gasp* you must be crazy to get a BC reaction, they need to run for hours a day, etc, and it did not go well. Be careful about creating a triathlon athlete, if you condition them all this exercise they will come to truly need it. Border collies need much more mental stimulation than physical, and at only 11 months old that sounds like A LOT of physical stimulation you are doing with him. I took it much easier with my current BC, and he has a nice off switch and mostly naps during the day unless we're doing something. Just my opinion and it's hard to say over the internet, but it kind of sounds like you're creating an adrenaline junkie....

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Thank you for the insight :) he normally has a very good off switch in the house. If we are not doing something he is usually laying around or sleeping. We have baby gates since the two dogs can get a bit rowdy so even though my sister will let him out while I am at work, it isn't always go go go all day long.


Our agility class is foundations so the majority of it is contacts and keeping him focused on me while waiting our turn. Herding is one day a week for 30 minutes. Herding seems the most tiring to him, our instructor has mentioned it is very mentally taxing on them when they are young.


For beach runs, these are off leash (unless he is being a jerk) and he spends the majority of the time Splashing in the waves waiting for my slow butt :) I guess we may do more in a week then many other people but we both enjoy it all and although we do plenty of mental stimulation on its own I always try and add a bit in when doing physical stuff as well. We also have down days where not a lot gets done, I like relaxing just as much as anyone else every once in awhile.


Just thought I would also mention that everything seems to have gone back to normal. He is his calm self inside the house again for the most part. Instead of pacing he just goes and looks out the window now then lays down. The only thing that still seems to be Persistent is him having a tantrum when the other dog goes outside without him.


Thank you again!

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