Jump to content
BC Boards

Pup who loves to jump

Recommended Posts

Meg will be 4 months old this week. We're blessed with 5 acres of forested hillside on 30 acres of salmon stream habitat across from Federal Forest and protected watershed land and close to the Cascades National Park.


I've been taking long walks with her and we play off leash retreive (she's picking up stray softballs, 3" branches etc.. and dragging them to me as a 'gift'....). I let her run off leash on the 30 acres to get her the exercise she needs. She's wickedly fast and perfers to fly then trot just about anywhere and turns on a dime.


Since she was 8 weeks old its been clear that Meg is a climber and a jumper. I do what I can to keep her from either. Its like trying to restrain a steam engine with a bicycle brake pad.


Even in the house she will go out of her way to jump to an ottoman, hit the chair seat with one bound, graze the top of the easy chair and jump to the ground whenever she thinks she can. I can't get her to take the last 4-7 steps of any stair case one step at a time. She will use any excuse to find a climbing path even if there is absolutely no reason to do it. Thank goodness she hasn't figured out how to catch anything airborne in mid air. She always waits till it hits the ground.


I am having a difficult time getting this wonderful pup the exercise she needs while keeping her from damaging herse;f. Lately she's been bringing her outside toys inside with her and piling them near the door. When there is a lull in the day grabs one and brings it to me. I ignore her for a moment, and then find an excuse to have her come outside with me and then play with her.


What does one do with this kind of precocious talent?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is she injuring herself by her antics or are you worried that she will at some point? I've never been successful keeping any of my puppies from jumping on and off the furniture and tearing around, much less the Border Collie. My biggest concern with Quinn is when he does stuff like jump up on 32 inch tables. In those cases, I'm usually able to grab him before he jumps down but I did miss a couple of times. I feel the important thing is not to require the puppy to jump or run, but let him choose. Within reason, of course. I've been working to impress upon Quinn that tables are off limits.


My understanding is that injuries and overuse are more likely when puppies are asked to run more than they would choose (taking them along on jogs for instance) or to jump them repetitively. So while I haven't asked Quinn to do any more than hop through the tire jump set on the ground, I don't worry too much about the way he races around and jumps on and off furniture. Accidents can happen, I know. I guess we need to weigh the risks and then make our decision for what we see as our dog's best interests.


At 8 months, Quinn is now able to catch things airborne, so I try to keep throws low. I do what I can to keep him from doing the riskiest behaviors like jumping down from 32 inches or leaping into the air to catch a Frisbee. I also keep a close eye on him when we play fetch. If he starts getting clumsy, I end the game because I feel he's starting to tire and his reflexes are showing that. This is always way before Quinn, a typically driven BC, would choose to stop playing. Otherwise during his play times, I let him run, frolic and play for the most part as much as he wants. Early on, I worked with him to learn how to relax and kick back -- installing that famed "off switch" that BC owners like to talk about. Very important

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our dog is 10 months now so I let her get away with a little more jumping now. When she was 4 months old if you'd throw her ball across the living room instead of running around the couch she finally decided it was way quicker to jump on the cushions and then jump OVER the couch. Now she likes to jump on your lap, bounce off and do a flyball-like swimmer's kick off the armrest on the couch. I'm starting to worry more for the armrest than for the dog :eek:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At that age all dogs think that they can fly! :rolleyes:

I am not kidding.


They would jump off the Grand Canyon if you let them, they don't yet know their limits.


It is important to try your best to prevent jumping (even over the couch! :D ) until at least a year. Not because they could break a leg, (even though they could) but you don't want any joint problems. Those silly plates don't close until much later. Letting a dog (most of all a BC) play until they think they are done usually ends up with problem. Dogs just don't know when to stop - most of all puppies. If you let two dogs play together as long as they want - they will end up limping or worse.


I don't mean to sound at all harsh but this is very important - if you want your dog to be able to walk at age 8. Even if the dog CAN do that does not mean they SHOULD. So things like catching Frisbees (jumping to get them), agility, ect. should not be done on purpose (or not) until at least 12 months.


Now onto your question: Doing more mental stuff and more running/fetching/walking should help your pup be a little calmer in the house - where there is stuff to skydive off of. Dazzle was the same way - leaping off the back of the couch and whatnot!! :D So I think that your pup still needs to figure out how to be calm in the house, and that isn't easy for these pups! It will take some training on your part but try keep an eye on her and if she gets to wound up - leash her, let her calm down a bit, and then maybe take her for a walk/run. Crating will help with the "calm in the house" training. Keeping a puppy calm, like you said, is not easy, but we have to try!


Also, when the pup is playing outside, stop the playing just before she gets tired, that way she will never get board with it and ALWAYS look forward to it!


So more mental, and even a bit more physical stuff, plus some crate time and leash time (in the house) will help with being calmer in the house. Just keep at it, you are doing good so far!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You might also want to be careful about having dogs retrieve branches or sticks. I've had two friends that almost lost their dogs to accidents with sticks. One the stick went up through the dog's throat. The other dog impaled her chest on the stick when it bounced & she punctured her lung. Both were able to get immediate veterinary care and lived, but that's not always possible on walks in the woods.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Meg sounds like a real livewire - and lots of fun. I certainly agree with the tiring her out through a bit more mental exercise - scent games, bits of training, tricks etc. - low pressure, but they'll help to keep her calm.


One of the important lessons a Border Collie (or any dog for that matter) needs to learn is that it has an off switch, and it's a good thing to use it. I've pretty much managed that with my two - now just 4, except for Fergus in the presence of agility equipment. We were working hard on that tonight, and I think I'm finally starting to get somewhere!


One of the things it would begood to teach Meg at this point, especially if you plan to do agility in her future, is to go right down to the bottom of the stairs every time. I would do this when she's in a calm mood, and lure her if necessary - with food in your hand - or place small treats on each step. A good thing to do is to ask for a sit at the bottom of the stairs, and jackpot that if you get it, and then release her with something like 'OK' or 'let's go'. The mental discipline she'll need to impose on herself to do this will be quite tiring for her - or should be!


A thought about having her run free (your place sounds like paradise for dogs BTW) is that you need to be taking advantage of her puppyhood to be training her recall. Lots of call ins to you - reward and party when she gets there - maybe with a tuggy toy or something - then release her. Rinse and repeat. She should be really good now, but in a couple of months, she's likely to start testing the boundaries and the rules, so you want to be ready for that. If she starts not coming back to you, she will probably need to go on a light long line for a while, while you remind her just who calls the shots!


Enjoy those puppy times. Lucky Meg.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Is she injuring herself by her antics or are you worried that she will at some point? "


She bangs into things with fair regularity, walls, patio doors, ladders (owwwwie)trees. Falls into holes, misjudges the slope of hills, jumps from 7 feet after climbing up ANYTHING she can.


This is all wonderful advice...in line with what I'm attempting day to day but I see the emphasis. Working on recall despite distractions, and taking steps one by one, and perhaps stopping dead in her tracks seem like good working efforts for us.


Meg doesn't have an off switch, she does have the 10pm or anytime she needs a nap psycho switch. Those are the times we let her out and stand at the picture windows across the back of the house and watch her blue streak back and forth, back and forth, back and forth..........


As to the sticks, we've been pulling wood out of her mouth for two months and she's usually good about it(except for the bottom rung of my favorite chair) until some log looks like a good gift to bring home to mum. The last one was 5ft long and 2 3/4 inches around. I can't get her to drop it until she gets to me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The entry way to the puppy space at Meg's daycare is a double gated space with 7or so feet between the gates. its a 6" step up with about 42" high gates.


My husband called me today to tell me that Meg does indeed enjoy day care. He carries her in, and put her on the ground to open the gate today, because the owner had a great dane in tow.

Meg, took a few steps and vaulted without touching the gates over one, step step then the other to get to her puppy friends.


I can't wait until her little body catches up with her dreams.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Meg's mum:

Meg doesn't have an off switch, she does have the 10pm or anytime she needs a nap psycho switch. Those are the times we let her out and stand at the picture windows across the back of the house and watch her blue streak back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.........

Quinn is only my first BC, but I don't think most of them come with the off switch actually installed. When Quinn was little, I'd often put him on my lap in the evenings to brush him. He usually fell asleep, so I started putting him on my lap even when I wasn't going to brush him if he couldn't settle into a fairly calm activity and I felt he had been given enough exercise and stimulation that day. He'd fall asleep then as well.


That's the main way I was able to install Quinn's off switch. Probably it's a little different for each dog. Since I work, he also spent a good amount of time in his crate during the day so he had that time to learn to sleep or chew quietly on a toy. I gave him as structured a day as possible with rest time, activities (walks, training, visits, games) and free time. That seemed to make things easier.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...