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Ok, I need drastic help! I have a female BC who I trained and is amazing, she is the envy of our friends, she is just over 2 and not desexed. We have since added to our family with a male BC (Jin) who is now six months old and will be a big dog as he is already bigger than our female.

 

Our problem is this, this dog is totally different and not interested in anything we try to involve it in, we walk both off the leash twice a day where there is huge running space and the female loves to chase the rugby ball which I kick until she's puffed, the male takes the path of least resistance always, will sit still in one spot in our yard during the day, will walk slowly beside us on walks and will sit still when we get to park and watch our female exercise, Jin won't chase the ball, won't run unless he has to and generally seems lazy.... Until we aren't around or looking (nighttime etc) he seems to save all his energy to destroy everything he can and we can never catch him in the act. Jin digs, rips, chews, scratches and squashes anything that Jin can. This is driving me into a slow rage as I can never discipline in the act.

 

I've resorted to keeping him on a chain as it's getting costly repairing all the unnecessary destruction. I feel I have a purebred dud.. Hes never short of exercise opportunities, food or toys yet his mission is to get on my nerves, also it poos at least 4 times as much as our female, and everywhere, seems like I feed it 1kg and it poos out 2kg??? The shovel is getting a fair workout.

 

Please help, my wife just says "he's just a puppy" but that's not the issue in my eyes.

 

Many thanks

Gareth

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Actually, that is the issue. Maybe you can train your eyes to see it differently. It's not personal--he's a baby in a nearly grown dog's body. He's not your female--every one of our dogs is motivated by something different; has different strengths and challenges--is indeed an individual.

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Just one quick thought: when you say he destroys everything while you are not looking, is that mainly inside the house? If so, I would be crating him when you can't watch him like an eagle. Yes, crating the whole night and at periods during the day.

 

Have to go and do chores.

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Maybe it's just me, but I find the fact that you refer to your male PUPPY as an "it" a little disturbing. That suggests to me that you have no connection to him. Your wife is right; he is just a puppy, and males tend to mature more slowly than females.

 

Chaining him isn't the answer. The fact that he's active/destructive when left alone at night tells me that he has energy and wants activity but somehow doesn't understand that he should be doing things with his humans. That's what makes me wonder why he's seemingly shut down in your presence.

 

Has he been to the vet for a complete checkup?

 

We don't have a complete picture, obviously, but instead of comparing him to your female, perhaps you should see him as an individual with his own personality and learning style. It would probably be helpful to him if you (or your wife, if he finds you too intimidating--how is he around her, by the way?) spent one-on-one time with him. You might find that he will come out of his "lazy" shell when he's not feeling "dominated" (that is, when all her activity isn't overwhelming him) by your other dog.

 

J.

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Thanks for the quick answers, firstly I've had and trained a few dogs and never had an issue like this, if indeed your right and this dog is motivated by destroying things in secret then I'll be motivated to move him along to another home.

 

This is outside, they are both outside dogs and are rarely let in and only for short periods, I can't see myself sitting in the dark by the window all night, I also have a 2 year old so sleep is already sparse . Just writing all this I'm realising the issue is I cant catch him and therefore discipline him, I've stomped out all bad habits with other dogs this way but this dog is so sneaky and elusive!

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Agree with crating when you can't supervise and realizing he is still very much a puppy. Are you spending time with him one on one? Have you been training obedience and tricks or taken him to some sort of class?

 

Every dog is different. Some are sweet compliant puppies. Others are busy and naughty. I couldn't turn my back on my Border Collie pup for the first six months, he was so into mischief. You don't want to allow him to practice unwanted self-reinforcing behavior over and over. That is where supervision and management come in.

 

The other part of the equation is training and relationship building. I am concerned not just by how frustrated and angry you sound, but by how often you refer to this puppy as "it." Puppies are a ton of work to help them become the fantastic companions we seek. Your boy isn't going to be the dog you want on his own. Please take a deep breath (I often do a fair amount of deep breathing with my puppies <G>), be patient with your puppy and look for ways to have fun with him, including training in a fun, motivating way. You need to connect with him in a positive way. Work to make yourself someone your puppy wants to be with. Look for what he does enjoy doing and do more of that with him.

 

One last thought, his low energy and not wanting to play sounds very unusual. Have you discussed this with the vet?

 

ETA: Just read your second post. If he is spending a lot of time not being with you, it does sound like some positive relationship building is needed. Again I understand you are frustrated but I am concerned by the comment about "stomping" bad habits. Your puppy needs kindness, structure, training and time. Please look at reinforcing ways to train what you expect and improve your relationship with him.

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You should definitely rehome him, and maybe your other dog too. Border Collies are sensitive dogs that need people who want to be their partners, not their harsh masters. Your dog can't relate to you at all and obviously you can't relate to him.

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Ok, I think thats a little picky, one grammatical oversight in a post largely referring to the dog as he/the male is quite presumptuous and not correct in painting me as a non caring owner, this puppy gets more attention than our female by both myself and wife, it's obedient in all other aspects walking sitting staying going etc, it just refuses to burn energy through outlets we offer to him, he's also largely not intimidated by anything and is borderline arrogant if we are going to put in human terms, he's only intimidated by me if I need him to be.

He's all checked, jabbed etc up to code, I haven't yet addressed this with the vet as I don't see the need to pay someone just yet for advice I can get here.

Refining the issue, it's the energy outlet and interests I want addressed, these dogs live like kings therefore their welfare is off the table with all respect,

 

Cheers

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Ok, thanks for everyone that helped, I have seemed to attract misguided preloaded answers from over active minds. I suggest you rethink your opinions Gideon's girl, no offense but you are insultingly off target and your opinions are not calculated or useful to me here. I request advice from people who have interesting ideas to help not someone keen to label anyone evil. My dogs do relate to us as masters and are respected as part of our family, the only thing they don't relate to is you, nor do I, I could guess what type of owner you are but this is not the place.

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If he isn't interested in running and chasing the ball, can you find another activity he does enjoy? If he likes to shred things, bring a puzzle toy stuffed with food (a Kong, an Everlasting treat ball, etc). He is still "participating" in exercise time, even if it's just lying down and working on getting the food or treats out. Feed him his meals out of Kongs.

 

Once you've gotten engagement with the Kong or similar toy with food in it, try tossing it before he settles down to chew.

 

Take a soft toy, like a braided rope or fleece, and see if he likes to tug. Or attach it to a string and see if he wants to chase it.

 

You're going to have to get a little creative and decide how HE wants to play. Once you find what motivates him, you can start having fun together.

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I figure I may need to take Jin out without our female, maybe he is getting intimidated by her, I will try taking him for walks without her for a bit so he may feel he's getting 100% of my attention not 50/50. Thanks good advice I'll post how it goes.

 

Also I was using the saying "stomping out bad habits" not to be taken literally, I almost went with " squashing bad habits" this also is not literal, I don't squash anything other than the couch and I only stomp on the dance floor..

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Ok, I think thats a little picky, one grammatical oversight in a post largely referring to the dog as he/the male is quite presumptuous and not correct in painting me as a non caring owner,

 

 

Well, it is one repeated grammatical oversight that you continue to make. I was not saying you are uncaring at all. Obviously you care or you would not be asking for ideas. My concern is anger and frustration should not be part of training and relationship building.

 

it's obedient in all other aspects walking sitting staying going etc, it just refuses to burn energy through outlets we offer to him, he's also largely not intimidated by anything and is borderline arrogant if we are going to put in human terms, he's only intimidated by me if I need him to be.

 

It is a puppy. He is just a young animal. When does he need to be intimidated? If he is refusing to play, then it is because he doesn't find the activity rewarding. Not all dogs enjoy doing the same things. It is up to you to figure out what is fun for him. Please don't be offended, but if you are very angry or frustrated with him at times, he may not want to engage in those activities for fear of upsetting you. He may think you don't want him to engage because of times he has irritated you or earned a correction in the past. Dogs can't always figure out what it is that has us upset and may generalize. So he could think he is keeping out of trouble when he refuses to play. If you are irritated watching him not burn energy, he may think it is safer not to play. This is why I say anger can't be part of training and it doesn't help dogs bond to us. We can't intimidate our dogs into playing. We need to be fun and engaging. I would be reluctant to play with someone who I thought was likely to get angry at me. Wouldn't you?

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Thanks, also I've caught him a few times being dominant at food times etc and while playing with the female and a stern voice and finger straightens the situation out, that is what I mean by necessary intimidation, reminding him he's not the boss in a firm and fair way. Please remember I am an experienced owner and am posting because I'm actively seeking positive improvement, these dogs are semi rural not city dogs so they mingle with various livestock also.

 

Please don't post anyone that's focused on anything other than positive suggestions on ways to spur his interests, I will not acknowledge mindless attempts at wrongly labelling me somehow. Sorry for being firm but I'm not wasting more time on non dog related nonsense, cheers

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Btw this is my first ever post anywhere on any forum, I've never used one and I'm extending outward to others who may have useful experience because I'm interested and determined to improve the situation, but some of you are the reason I may never use one again, honestly I thought this would be more like a non face to face community and instead it's a free for all.

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I just watched a video of a woman who is training a competition "heel" command on her deaf Akita. The dog is low energy, generally slow moving and hard to motivate.

 

She is training with food, which she tosses to get some drive and momentum going, and that's working nicely. But as a jackpot, she actually gave the dog a magazine to shred. You could see the instant delight in the dog's face that she had PERMISSION to tear some paper up to her heart's content.

 

Sometimes, you have to go with what works. As a jackpot, I occasionally give my BC a soft toy that I KNOW he will destroy in 0.2 seconds. He doesn't ingest any pieces, just eviscerates until it is nothing but "skin" and piles of fluff. But it's one of his greatest joys, and it is something that we do apart from the other dogs. Rather than tell him off for his destructive tendencies, I found a way to channel it.

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Please don't post anyone that's focused on anything other than positive suggestions on ways to spur his interests, I will not acknowledge mindless attempts at wrongly labelling me somehow. Sorry for being firm but I'm not wasting more time on non dog related nonsense, cheers

 

Um, not quite sure what you are meaning here...

 

Back when I competed in agility, one of the most helpful suggestions (for agility and training in general) I heard was in response to someone complaining about her dog sniffing around rather than doing agility. The instructor's response was "You need to be more interesting than dirt." Sometimes, we need to come up with new ways of interacting with our dogs to get the behaviors we want. I get frustrated with my dogs too, but that is always my cue I need to take a break and if I am frequently frustrated, I know I need to do something different to change the frustrating behaviors.

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Thanks, also I've caught him a few times being dominant at food times etc and while playing with the female and a stern voice and finger straightens the situation out, that is what I mean by necessary intimidation, reminding him he's not the boss in a firm and fair way.

This is interesting. There may be a correlation between your "straightening the situation out" and the pup not wanting to play since when he does play - and in your eyes it is inappropriate play, and maybe a bit too forceful play - you correct him. Maybe he is a VERY sensitive dog and will shut down when corrected too strongly. Each dog is an individual and even if 999 other dogs will respond to a certain level of correction as expected, there will be that one dog for which the level of correction is too strong - so they may avoid, shut down, or whatever. As others have said, this dog appears not to be the run-of-the-mill dog and you will have to be observant and try to tailor your training, corrections, play techniques, etc. to him.

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Your dog needs one on one training. It sounds like he's super sensitive and a bit confused by the signals you're sending. Don't think the worst (trying to dominate, needs to be caught in the act and corrected, etc) think that he's a pup that needs guidance, fairness, and outlet for his energy (what do you do to try and engage him??) and proactive steps from YOU to prevent the behavior you don't want.

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Hey supershaven-- the cool thing about many online communities, including this one, is that they aren't all that different from real life communities. Some of us have been posting here for over a decade and we return because we enjoy the topics, helping each other out and just general fellowship. If you treat us like part of a service encounter, we're likely to respond in kind (or most likely, not respond at all).

In order to understand you better--what positive suggestions have you taken from the various ones offered here? Puppies are frustrating--in my experience males far more so than females. We've pretty much disliked every male pup we've raised from about 6-18 mos. largely for the kinds of reasons that you're feeling frustrated about. Just like human babies, dogs need time to mature. So, are you willing to try and change how you approach your little princeling? Maybe take his behavior as part of being young and not specifically defiant, "sneaky," or "borderline arrogant?"

Walking him alone is a great step. Then you can start to figure out what motivates him to do what you are looking for. In our pack, we've found we have some dogs who like fetch, some who don't , some who will only play if they're alone with you, one who will only play is she thinks you're not looking. Some are motivated by food; some aren't. One will do anything for a tug. One craves praise. So, we work with what motivates them to want to work with us.

 

Obviously whatever you're doing now isn't getting the results you want.

Your job is to figure out what might motivate him in this specific case since Jin can't tell you other than through his behavior. As you mention in a couple of posts, figuring that out might also include "moving him along to another home."

ETA: Watch him for what makes him really happy when he is with you and what he likes to do with you. When he's being "lazy," what does his body look like? What are his ears and tail doing?

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Well, isn't this the interesting topic?

 

As for using "it" to refer to the pup, I have to ask, Supershaven, if English may not be your first language and if that may have something to do with your use of "it" to refer to the pup. Even here in the US, though, some non-dog people will refer to dogs with the gender neutral pronoun, but most of us who are dog people do use gender specific pronouns.

 

As to the initial reception, people here do tend to be quite outspoken when they read something they don't like. For the most part I like that, but it can be very unsettling for someone new to the Boards to encounter in their very first experience here. I've been guilty of it at times, too, but I hope not to someone new to this community.

 

Now, to address your concerns. I don't think it's so much about the pup being male or not as it is about the individual dog's temperament. Most of my males have actually been easier than my females.

 

As others have said, I'd try to step back and consider your interactions with your pup. It may well be that he's easily intimidated and reacting to things that your girl easily takes in stride. Most of us who have had multiple border collies -- all at once or over time -- have had to adjust our interactions with our dogs according to their individual natures. That's how we get the best out of them.

 

You've gotten some good advice about working with him apart from your other dog. That's always good advice for a puppy anyways. I wonder, too, if Jin's a dog who needs more mental stimulation than physical. Many border collies do. You might want to try adding some basic obedience training and even training for tricks. That often tires a dog out just as much as physical exercise, and border collies seem to need this mental stimulation more than many other kinds of dog.

 

I'd also ditch any notions of dominance, discipline, and projecting human emotions like arrogance onto your pup. Do some research on positive reinforcement techniques (lots of info to be found in the archives here and on the internet), including redirection rather than discipline or punishment. Dog in general and border collies in particular respond better to these methods than old-school intimidation based approaches.

 

Last but not least, for now, know that dogs who are chained often become aggressive. If you have to confine him outside, it might be better to build a pen for him than to chain him.

 

Gotta run now, but I'm sure there'll be more opportunities to chat about this.

 

Best wishes.

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“Our problem is this, this dog is totally different and not interested in anything we try to involve it in, we walk both off the leash twice a day

…won't run unless he has to and generally seems lazy.... Until we aren't around or looking (nighttime etc) he seems to save all his energy to destroy everything he can and we can never catch him in the act. Jin digs, rips, chews, scratches and squashes anything that Jin can. This is driving me into a slow rage as I can never discipline in the act.

I've resorted to keeping him on a chain as it's getting costly repairing all the unnecessary destruction. I feel I have a purebred dud.. He’s never short of exercise opportunities, food or toys yet his mission is to get on my nerves, also it poos at least 4 times as much as our female, and everywhere, seems like I feed it 1kg and it poos out 2kg??? The shovel is getting a fair workout.”


Please help, my wife just says "he's just a puppy" but that's not the issue in my eyes.

 

OK. Look at the stuff I have bolded.

 

This is a lot of very negative feeling being expressed by you about your pup. (And he is a pup) This is why the very doggy folk here may seem to come off cranky and/or judgmental.

 

He is a different dog, so yes, he will be different from your female. You may prefer the female’s character and personality, but that doesn’t make Jin’s character and personality wrong, bad or inferior. It’s just different.

 

You didn’t say where you got him, or at what age. His early life may be a factor here.

 

If I were you I would try to do different things than what you normally do with your female. Low-key things. Just walk with him, instead of trying to get him involved in kick-ball. Teach him simple tricks like shaking hands, and rolling over. Praise and use food rewards for this.

 

You seem to have gotten off on the wrong foot with this guy. Deep breath – try to think of him as the second greatest dog on earth – not as an uncooperative nuisance. As others have said, he may be very sensitive. This doesn’t mean he will be that way forever, IF you work on building his confidence. He needs you in his corner to blossom. If you are not, he will retreat further into his own corner.

 

Listen to your pup. If you are still and receptive he will tell you what he needs. If you give him what he needs, I guarantee he will come to meet you, learn to trust you and work to please you.

 

As for the destructive behavior, I think crating when you can’t watch him is a good idea. And do give him things that are legal to destroy – praise him for doing so. Make it easy for him to do the right thing and hard to do the wrong thing.

 

It’s really up to you. Jin is a puppy. He needs love and guidance now more than discipline. Puppies can be exasperating. And I too have found it true that the males mature more slowly. Be patient.

 

Belly rubs, quiet walks, perhaps a puppy training class to get him into different situations. But most important, try to see Jin without comparing him with your other dog. You might find that his differences are a plus.

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You've been given some great advice and I'll probably end up repeating a lot of it but just wanted to add my voice to the mix. A six month old puppy that shows no interest in playing does sound like a dog who is shut down. It's time to work on your bond with Jin. Manners, obedience, etc. should take a back seat to building a strong, healthy relationship with him. Not to say that these things can't all be done in tandem, but prioritize the bond!!

 

I love the idea of spending more one on one time with him. Figure out what motivates him. Maybe it's a game of tug or a hearty game of chase (although I'd encourage him to chase you, not vice versa, until he seems more comfortable playing with you). Perhaps your guy is a scent tracker at heart; hide and scatter some treats around and let him put his nose to work. Perhaps he's a dog who just loves training and learning new commands. And, who knows, maybe he will really love playing ball when it's just the two of you. Whatever it is that makes Jin perk up, use it to your advantage to build a relationship with him based on something that's positive, fun and rewarding for both of you.

 

As for giving him a physical outlet, I'm wondering if you could use training sessions to get him moving? Have you and your wife started working on recall training with him yet? If so, when you are walking together and he's off leash you could just walk a short distance apart and alternate calling him to each of you. Make it very rewarding when he comes (treats, praise or a favorite toy) and he'll pick up the pace and run back and forth between the two of you. As he gets better about the recall you can keep increasing the distance between the two of you... that should get his blood pumping. :) You could also teach him to "target" (touch with his nose) something from a distance. I like to use plastic tops like you'd find on a butter container. You have to start close, maybe even holding the top, but as Jin figures out that you want him to touch it with his nose, you can begin to add distance. I like to tape a few to my fence in different locations and then send my dog with "Go target" (pointing at the one I want him to go touch). He loves this game and I'll send him running all over the yard.

 

What I'm getting at in a long winded way is this: if Jin is motivated by training, try to find creative ways to implement some physical activity into training time... it'll wear out his body and his brain!

 

Most importantly, take a deep breathe and let go of the frustration! It's time for a fresh start and a clean slate with Jin. Best of luck to both of you and please keep us updated on your progress together!

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It does sound like your puppy may be shut down around you. Consider that rather than his trying to annoy you and not being interested in what you do, that he is unsure of how to act around you. The more annoyed/angry you are with him, the more he will shut down around you.

 

There is also the reality that some dogs have personalities that don't mesh with certain owners. You might both be happier if you separated. Theres nothing bad or shameful in re-homing a dog that doesn't work out.

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