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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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Since he's only been home for 3 days, how long are you crating him for at a time? You may need more time building up the good associations with the crate- feed him in the crate, give him some tasty treats for being in the crate (with the door open), and generally make the crate a super-fun, happy place before you start closing the door and trying some short periods of time in there. Once you've worked up to some time in the crate, if there is still whining, just waiting it out and ignoring the whining/crying, and letting him out once it stops.


Puppies play and explore with their mouths, slapping a newspaper against your hand to scare them for doing a totally normal thing seems kind of harsh to me. Try to always have a toy or something appropriate for him to chew on handy and redirect him when he's chewing on things that are inappropriate, and if he's biting you during play, you can stop the game/playing and only resume once the mouthing has stopped. Finding some puppy socialization time will be good too so he can learn from other puppies about how much is too much when he's playing.


And of course- show us some puppy pictures!

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I have success crating pups in the bedroom. I can hear them if they wake up in the night. In that case, we go right out (pup carried so no chance of accident on the floor), use my potty command as pup goes, praise after, then carried and popped right back in the crate. Grit my teeth and prepare for some whining or shrieking until pup goes back to sleep. I've always had good luck with an article of clothing that smells like me in the crate with the pup, plus an appropriate chew toy for the pup's size and age.


Puppies are like kids--any attention is better than no attention. I would not use startling to quiet a pup, you just have to ignore it (the only exception to this is waking up and making noise in the night--that's the cue to leap out of bed and take puppy out). All other times, pup is ignored when noisy in the crate. He may scream a while, but eventually he'll quit. As soon as he's quiet (assuming you're around), you can take him out (and immediately outside). With my most recent pup, I was lucky that the woman who works at the farm would take him out of his outdoor kennel in midafternoon and pop him in a crate in the house. Since no one but the other dogs and cats were at home, he could scream all he wanted and not really disturb anyone. ;) When I got home from work, he was quiet and I could let him right out of the crate. So he learned pretty quickly that NO ONE was responding to the shrieking and so what was the point?


Border collies are smart. He'll learn that if he makes noise and you react, even if it's shaking a can or whatever, then he's gotten your attention. And that's the opposite of what you want. And I do agree that since these dogs can have noise sensitivity I'd hesitate to use scary noises to stop something like whining in the crate.


That said, for situations other than making noise in the crate, I will clap my hands to get a pup's attention. I reserve that for when the pup is so intent on doing something it shouldn't do (chewing the furniture, for example) that I can't get his attention with just my voice to get him to stop. So the clap works as an interrupter, but I immediately follow it up with a distractor (something that is appropriate to chew). At this point I also introduce a correction word because I will transition from constantly handing the pup something else to put its mouth on to just using the correction word to stop the unwanted behavior but allow the pup to choose the next thing it wants to do.



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How long is he in the crate? Do you put him in the crate when he is already excited? Do not give attention when the puppy cries. It just encourages them. As for the biting, that is a bit tougher. All puppies are different. My golden was horrible and she grew out of it. It will take some trial and error like giving a chew toy when he bites

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I am not one to completely ignore a whining dog at night. I usually have the crate by the bed and if there is a chance the puppy needs to potty its outside and straight back in. Otherwise I use a gentle 'quiet' or 'it's ok' and put my hand by the crate so the puppy can smell me then it's back to sleep. Lyka and Lily were both crate trained in a week this way.


With the mouthing a sharp 'yelp' and then ignoring the dog for a minute helps or if it is during play replace your body part with an appropriate toy and remove yourself if you get nipped. That will teach that biting you results in loss of all things fun.


For chewing I find watching the dog closely and saying 'no' firmly when they chew a bad object and replace it with a good chew toy followed by praising when they chew on their things.

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