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Biting, Chewing, Whining/Crying

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Ok, I'm sure it's been discussed several times in the past but I couldn't find everything I need an answer to on past discussions. We finally got our first border collie puppy. He is 8 weeks old.


How do you stop the whining in the crate? When I have trained puppies in the past I have said NO loudly or shook a can of coins or some loud noise and they stopped instantly. I have talked with you guys before about this and you have stated that with a border collie I may ruin him and make him afraid for the rest of his life. Do I just ignore him when we are trying to sleep and just let him out periodiocally? sometimes its just to be with us and not to go potty.


Biting and the chewing go together: How do we get him to stop chewing things or biting us when we are playing? He wants to chew everything and often times when we are playing he may try to bite us as well. With my past puppies a loud NO or HEY or something loud would stop them immediately slapping a newspaper against my hand and saying NO always worked as well. But once again I don't want to "ruin" the sensitive border collie.


Any advice from all of you experienced border collie lovers would be greatly appreciated!!!!


We think this puppy is awesome! We have only had him since Saturday (3days only)

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Yes bc can be noise sensitive but I would not change the noise level in the house to accommodate the pup. He needs to get used to Normal Life. As far as correction they do not have to scary or loud. Bc are thinkers, they reason if given the opportunity so you need to also. Redirecting his behavior will work great at this young age. They dont stay with one thing for long so simply give him something acceptable to do - in and out of his crate. Would not be surprised if he will pee every 30 to 40 min while awake at this age. Yep that LOTS of trips outside, then as soon as he wakes, after he eats and as soon as he drinks. Most puppies like squeeky toys, nylabones - the gumabones are softer for pups and will not break teeth. I do not get any rope toys or toys will small parts, bigger is better.

Your corrections do not have to loud, they can be Firm without being loud. They should not startle the pup but you do to teach him to ignore you either. Each one is different and you have to judge their reaction. Be ready to back up whatever you ask. If it is no for chewing on the couch and he does not stop go over and give him something he is allowed to chew on, if you are asking him to come then go get him if he does not come. Follow through to teach him to pay attention to what you are saying. Make it enjoyable when he chooses the right thing. Can be a treat, a pet, play time, voice your pleasure so he knows. In the same why he will learn by your voice when you are not pleased. Use Tone of voice, it is harder for most men to listen to themselves and hear what they sound like but it will make a HUGE difference in your relationship with him.


It may take him a bit to get used to being alone in a crate and not having his littermates. I always have a crate in my bedroom for them at night. He may wake up and I always take them out if they cry, you want him letting you know so you need to bite the bullet and go out with him. During the night they go out then back in the crate and I go back to bed. I do have a quiet toy in there for them if they wake and want something to so.

I think the biggest correction I use besides the voice is a squirt bottle of water. Chewing on the couch gets a squirt if I have corrected multiple times and given them an alternative and they keep going back.

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imagine you're a tiny child used to living with your mother and siblings then suddenly you are whisked away from them and dumped in a strange place with scary people who are angry with you and you don't understand why.


Then revise your expectations of your very new pup.


It's good that you are asking advice.

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You've had this wee baby for only 3 days? For what it's worth, here are my thoughts on the deal.

At 8 weeks, just expect to go short of sleep for a little while. It's a baby and it's lost every comfort it ever knew. Just put him in his crate at night, give him a yummy treat, maybe leave him with a few bites of kibble and a couple toys, and leave him alone. He'll get over it. But yes, he probably will wake up in the middle of the night needing to potty for a week or so. Deal with it. ;)

As for chewing - it's what puppies do. Period. He's going to chew for the next several months. You're not going to stop that. Don't even try. The fix for that is just keep toys in front of him. When we have a puppy in the house, we look like we live with a manic two-year-old that has a weird fixation with rope toys, chew toys, hoof chewies and balls. Every time your puppy latches onto something he shouldn't have, just remove it with a firm, "Ah! No." and shove the correct item into his mouth. A toy box will be your friend. Have lots of toys so you can rotate them around and keep them "new."

Any time you can't watch him, put him in an x-pen. Make that his safe area. Fill it with toys and old towels and let him make all the mess he wants in there. Again, it's what puppies do. You'll have a clean house again in a few months.

Let him be a puppy. Don't try to correct every little thing. Redirection is your friend. Don't try to stop the chewing, just point it at chewable things. After all he's going to be teething up a storm, pretty soon. If he bites when playing, at this stage, it's best just to give him the end of a rope toy or knotted sock to save your fingers. He doesn't have bite inhibition just yet, because he's too small.

As he gets older, then you can start "yelping" in a high, sharp voice every time he makes contact with your hands or arms, and stand up to totally withdraw yourself. Make the fun end, look reproachful, and then resume with a toy that is okay to bite and chew.

Lastly, if he starts having attacks of the crazy zoomies, again, that's just normal and usually means he's on the brink of tipping over for a nap. If he gets too wound up, do what you would with a toddler: put him in his crate or ex-pen and let him fuss or mug his toys until he falls asleep.

Be patient! You'll survive all this and so will he. :)

By the way, you can post photos here. Just sayin'. ;)

~ Gloria

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I had really good success focusing in what I wanted and praising/rewarding that rather than correcting what I didn't want.


Baby puppies needs LOTS of down time. My rule of thumb was an hour out doing stuff/an hour in the crate for a nap. Over tired puppies get crazy so when my boy started to get crazy then I'd take it as a cue that he needed a nap.


I also taught "bring" from the get go. If my pup grabbed something that I didn't want him to have then I'd grab something appropriate and act like it was the best.thing.ever. He'd quickly come investigate and I'd trade him. No chasing him to get anything (which turns into a game for them) , he'd happily bring whatever to to me within just a couple weeks.

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8 weeks? Bwhahahahahahahaha! I've got this with a 9 mo old puppy. (Except for the crate racket - she's quiet in the crate for all night, and when I go out.)


What Gloria said, in spades. Grin and bear it. Work hard and have fun. You'll get through it and you'll come out at the other end with a dog that the uninitiated will say, "Wow, you have the coolest dog! I thought Border Collies were all crazy!"

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  • 2 weeks later...

Tess was the mouthiest pup i ever had. She had teeth all over and loved to rip and thorn things appart. She was a real whirlwind. I was expecting it so it wasn't a problem.

Then at 5.5 mo she had to have surgery for congenital chataracts and several weeks followed when she had to be basically always calm, no running, jumping, shaking her head, lots of crate time, leash walks only. She came out of it still full of beans but MUCH calmer, like she had to mature forcefully. I would never force a dog that young to be calm if it wasn't for health reasons but it did seem to teach her a lot of self control around the house.

She's 2 yo now and you just don't notice she's there when nothing's going on. But she's always ready to do anything. She'll get up, shake and say, We're going to do stuff? Yey! Lets GO!

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Gloria has a wonderful response.


Here is another awesome essay on the topic of raising puppies. As Denise states at the end of the article, this one is the first in a series of techniques to get through puppyhood. Well worth the read.


I hope the OP is still around and reading.



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