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I have a 4 month old female BC puppy. I take her to doggy daycare 2 days a week and she loves it. The place is divided between small and big dogs. Since she's a puppy, she was in the small dog area. They told me yesterday that she's been nipping the heels of the small poodles and they can't handle it so they moved her to the big dog area to see how she did. They said she's super confident with them and had a great time but is still nipping. They're main concern is her nipping a bigger dog and it corrects her too harshly and ruins her confidence of big dogs. She doesn't nip my ankles but I also don't run around creating the opportunity for her to do so. She does nip my boyfriends ankles when he's just walking normally. How do I correct this if she doesn't really do it to me?

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Dog daycare is terrible for this sort of thing. The bottom line is, border collies like to control movement. Given the opportunity, they will practice this on other dogs. Heel nipping is probably the least problematic of it, but they'll also stalk, 'eye', body slam, and try to get in front of other dogs to stop them. All of this has potential to be a major problem for other dogs.


And the only solution to it is to not allow it to be practiced. Which means every time it happens it needs to be interrupted and redirected. Most daycares do not have the ability to do that. Which means the dog gets to practice it more, do it more, and it becomes more engrained. Even if none of THOSE dogs take objection to it from a youngish puppy, sooner or later some dog is going to be made miserable or react to the adult dog doing it.

And running children, running adults, running cats and running dogs are parts of life. It's going to happen. She's going to see it. She's going to have to NOT respond to it by nipping, chasing, stalking, or eyeing.

 

To whit: You may well need to get her out of day care, call her off your boyfriend every time she nips at his ankles, redirect her onto something acceptable and generally never, ever, 'let it slide'. You see the behavior, call her off and redirect. EVERY TIME. HE can redirect her, of course. If neither of you can do that, crate her or tether her to you or otherwise prevent her from doing it.

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They are very good about interrupting her and redirecting. They're used to border collies doing this, but just concerned since she's small and a puppy. It's hard bc she's a puppy and has minimal impulse control in such high stimulating places. When she does it to my boyfriend, 'calling her off' doesn't really work. She does it once or twice and by the time we call her off she's already done so we basically miss the opportunity to catch the behavior in the moment.

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I recommend getting her out of the day care. Daycare is generally a bad idea for a young puppy such as this, because it is a prime place for your dog to learn all manner of behaviors you don't want, and you are not there to see it happening or to correct it. I would never put such a young dog into day care.

 

Calling her off the nipping of feet at home will work if you go about it the right way. Be diligent, and observant, and keep your eye on her. The moment that she starts getting even close to heels, redirect her. If she gets in a nip, immediately make a sharp yelping sound as if she hurt you, and then pick her up, or take her by the collar, without further comment and put her into a room or her crate and leave her there for a time out for five minutes. Most dogs, especially border collies, want to be with their people, and to remove her from the human beings is an effective correction.

 

If you leave her in daycare with big dogs, sooner or later one of them is going to take a bite out of her for her bad manners. And I doubt that the daycare personnel can be diligent enough to catch her every single time that she does this, which is what is required in order to correct it.

 


Welcome to the BC Boards, by the way. Stick around. Lots of good information here.

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There is also the fact that daycares, by virtue of being a bunch of dogs playing together, ENCOURAGE this stuff. They're exciting! They have dogs playing with dogs! A lot!

Things that aren't great for puppies in general and BC puppies in particular: Over-arousal, over-stimulation, and getting used to constant excitement and activity.


It's twice a week. That's better than daily but also probably means it is utterly unnecessary.


Your goal, when it comes to your pup and other dogs, should not be 'to have dog friends' or 'likes to play with other dogs a lot'. Your goal should basically just be 'keeps her head around them'. Not loses her mind because they're scary, no, but also not 'every dog is a potential playmate/thing to chase'.

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They do catch it every time as there are multiple people in the play area with the dogs. My question was how to help her stop it on my end. I only see my boyfriend on the weekend and since she doesn't nip at me it's hard to correct a behavior I rarely see happen. I'd rather not take her out of day care because it's hard to fulfill her exercise needs when I can't run her yet bc she's too young. My plan was to have her in daycare until she's old enough where I can exercise her myself. Is taking her out of daycare really the ONLY option?

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My border collie mix is a constant nipper at running dogs. My golden retriever puts up with it but that doesn't mean all dogs will. I have to control his interaction with other dogs. He has yet to nip my brothers dog when we visit, thank God.

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What exercises do you recommend for a puppy? My previous border collies loved the chuck it and very long walks but I can't do that with the puppy yet. The vet said 20 minute walks max, I play with her with her toys and I do active mental work like training to go to place, target, jump over 2 inch high hurdles. It just doesn't seem to be enough with her puppy energy.

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What exercises do you recommend for a puppy? My previous border collies loved the chuck it and very long walks but I can't do that with the puppy yet. The vet said 20 minute walks max, I play with her with her toys and I do active mental work like training to go to place, target, jump over 2 inch high hurdles. It just doesn't seem to be enough with her puppy energy.

 

She may just need to learn to calm down and chill. Some walks, some chasing a rolled ball and some training should do her. No, it won't make her physically exhausted, but that's not really the goal, anyway. Provide appropriate exercise and help her learn how to behave when she's NOT entertained or so tired she can't move. It's a good skill to have. You can probably add some tug to the mix, though.

 

Honestly my 2 year old BC gets agility practice once a week, occasionally hiking, longer weekend outings and maybe a combined hour of training and exercise most weekdays, and some free play with the other dogs. She spends most of the rest of her time asleep on the couch. She didn't take long to learn to do one of two things indoors, while I'm busy and working: Watch TV and drowse or chew an appropriate chew toy.

 

It DID take until she was about 6 months old to learn to chill out, but it was definitely a *taught* skill for her. If I tried to exercise into being calm, I'd have been doing nothing but throwing a ball or hiking for 22.5 hours a day.

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She's pretty good at relaxing on her own for how old she is. On the weekdays she's not at daycare, she's crated 3-4 hours at a time and I come home at lunch for an hour. In the evenings, I take her to different places to walk her and expose her to new things. My issue is the mornings after she's had a day at home, she has so much energy I hate putting her back in the crate for another day in there. Do you think that putting her in her crate anyways would help her learn even more to relax on her own?

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She's pretty good at relaxing on her own for how old she is. On the weekdays she's not at daycare, she's crated 3-4 hours at a time and I come home at lunch for an hour. In the evenings, I take her to different places to walk her and expose her to new things. My issue is the mornings after she's had a day at home, she has so much energy I hate putting her back in the crate for another day in there. Do you think that putting her in her crate anyways would help her learn even more to relax on her own?

Yes. Get up 30 minutes earlier for work, take her for a 15 minute stroll/walk, spend 3 minutes on training and pop her back in her crate with a stuffed frozen Kong. She will be just fine. As already mentioned, teaching her to settle inside when nothing is happening is a good skill.

 

What did people do before daycare was invented? I sincerely think because dog daycare's are all over the place now, people get stuck thinking their dog needs to be there. I would think spending that money on a dog walker who comes in part way through the day to let her out and walk her would be a better use of money.

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I have an hour with her already in the morning and take her for a 20 minute walk, a little play, training and stuffed kong and I leave. Literally what you said is what I've been doing. I'm able to come home at lunch for an hour so no need for a dog walker. I did the daycare initially for socialization since I got her so young and it's helped a lot for bite inhibition. She seemed to like it so much I didn't want to just stop cold turkey so maybe I'll wean her off and transition her to being at home every day while I work. That was the original plan anyways, just wanted to wait until she was 6 months old. How old can she be until I can leave her for a full 8 hours? She's been able to go through the night without pottying since she was 7 weeks old.

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They do catch it every time as there are multiple people in the play area with the dogs. My question was how to help her stop it on my end. I only see my boyfriend on the weekend and since she doesn't nip at me it's hard to correct a behavior I rarely see happen. I'd rather not take her out of day care because it's hard to fulfill her exercise needs when I can't run her yet bc she's too young. My plan was to have her in daycare until she's old enough where I can exercise her myself. Is taking her out of daycare really the ONLY option?

 

 

The fact they're catching it means she's still doing it. The behavior isn't going away. And who can blame her? It's FUN at doggy daycare and nipping is part of play, to her. But they are right that some dogs won't correct her fairly or kindly.

 

As Waffles said, doggy daycare is a recent invention. For all the bazillions of years before that, dogs did without. If your pup is engaging in undesirable behaviors, it's not the job of the daycare staff to train your puppy. Catching her at those behaviors is well and good, but it's not ending the behaviors. Most of all, it's not changing her mind about those behaviors.

 

You have to bear in mind that controlling movement and reacting to movement is hard-wired into a border collie's DNA. It's what they do. So it's really not fair to a 4 month old pup to put them in a high-energy, high excitement environment and somehow expect them not to react to it - unless you are right there with them to teach them alternate behaviors.

 

I would also say to take her out of doggie daycare at least for a while. Maybe when she's older, a year or so, you could take her back. But she's very young and at an age where pups are experimenting, exploring, pushing boundaries, teething and using their mouths for everything. Also remember that pups can go into a "fear period" between about 5 to 7 months, so if another dog turns on her for nipping and scares her badly enough, it could cause other problems.

 

She needs time with you, now, and time to learn to just chill and think, rather than react and wind herself up. It's a big old world out there and you are her best source for learning how to cope with it. The staff at doggie daycare shouldn't be expected to do much more than referee their guests.

 

Best of luck,

 

~ Gloria

 

 

 

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Wolves for a bazillion years did without doggy daycare. Border collies have been around for only a couple hundred years and way less than that as purely a pet. I don't think doggy daycare should be viewed as bad in anyway, that's completely unfair to its whole purpose. Ive had nothing but positive experiences with it, it's helped with her socialization of other dogs and people, being away from me and bite inhibition. The nipping at other dogs just started, they told me immediately and I came here for answers immediately. If it's been going on for only a short while, are they really failing at correcting her? How long is it supposed to take a puppy to learn that nipping isn't okay? Immediately? It's unfortunate that most people here view doggy daycare as negative when it's supposed to be a tool to help you and your dog. I guess I came here to find help, not for people to just say 'don't take her there anymore' with vertualy no follow up or alternatives. That's not very helpful.

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The alternative is you keep your dog home and/or hire a dog walker.


Look, doggy day care as a principal - somewhere for people to take their dogs when they're working super long hours as a once in a while thing, is fine.


The problem is, it's essentially a dog park, only with a lower people ratio to number of dogs.


It isn't helpful for training the dog. It isn't helpful for socialization. It would be like sending your three year old to a birthday party twice a week (or in cases 5 times a week) to run wild with other kids for hours on end while parents stood around and, yeah, took care of the worst problems and hopefully made sure no one was seriously injured or killed.

 

Oh, and since you're claiming socialization: Also hoping they learn good manners and how to be good people from running wild with other 3 year olds and minimal adult supervision.

 

It's FUN, it can be HELPFUL (for the human) on a very occasional basis, but it's not teaching your dog to chill out, it isn't actually socializing your dog (tip: Socialization means exposure to things, not teaching the dog that the things (people, dogs places) are a party. It means the dog is chill and considers stuff non-threatening.

 

Daycare DOES keep dogs in an aroused or over aroused state for HOURS (also? Nipping and chasing are over-arousal symptoms, quite often), and it is absolutely over-exercising dogs, building stamina and adrenaline junkies.

 

It's not great. I'm sorry you like it, but the solution whether you go to daycare as you go forward or not is still 'interrupt, redirect, manage to prevent the dog practicing the behavior so it doesn't become ingrained habit and she doesn't get her face torn off when her puppy license expires or she tries it on the wrong dog, and ends up with a lifelong fear or hatred of dogs or reactivity issue as a result of this 'great socialization'.'

 

How you manage that when she's out of your home for entire days and in the presence of a bunch of other dogs 'free playing' for 8 or so hours at a time, I dunno! But that's your solution!

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Even if the daycare staff are alerting you to this behavior, and interrupting it as often as possible, you don't know for sure that they're interrupting immediately, every time, and I'd guess that the staff:dog ratio isn't conducive to them being able to do that. You need to be working through this with your dog. She doesn't have 1:1 attention at daycare to interrupt her when she's starting to get overstimulated before she's nipping at other dogs. Even if they're interrupting her, what are they doing next? How are they encouraging her to calm herself down? Or are they just interrupting and then letting her go back to play?

Socialization isn't just exposure to new things- it's exposure + positive experiences. A dog that is that overstimulated isn't having a really positive experience. The group I train with runs "Puppy Club" once a week- off leash socialization for puppies 6 mos or younger. They play, get some exposure to new and interesting objects, and we sit around and talk puppy problems when puppies need a break from play. It generally lasts 45 minutes, with breaks, and around that point puppies are overstimulated and it isn't "good" play anymore. I can't imagine a 4 month old puppy being able to do a day of daycare and not losing their brain.

 

I would instead look for a puppy kindergarten class or something that has a little bit of play/socialization and also obedience work, and work with your puppy on impulse control things like staying, leave it, etc. and use these to help her maintain her brain around overstimulating things. As she's heading towards your boyfriend's ankles, interrupt her and give her something else to do. You can also have her drag a leash in the house so she's easier to interrupt and redirect when he's around.

 

The digs on doggy daycare here aren't to say you're not doing your best as a dog owner, just a different way of looking at the daycare experience for dogs. I think daycare is really oversold for its benefits of socialization, when small, better monitored interactions would probably serve more dogs much better. I've found the people here to be excellent resources, and know the quirks of raising border collies incredibly well. I do hope you take some of this advice in the spirit it was given- to help you eliminate this behavior from your puppy. Best of luck, and we all love puppy pictures!

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I worked at a grooming shop and dog daycare for 10 years. I worked with many other ladies who came from other daycares. They are not what people think they are. In 10 years I watched dogs come in as pups and eventually saw the end of their lives. I knew many from pup to senior/end of life. Not one of the regulars was better behaved or better trained, socialized because of us. In fact many were eventually kicked out after being there every week for years as their behavior got worse.

 

I never understood why people were so willing to let someone else care for their dog so much of the time each week. We had dogs come 2-5 days every week for many years.

 

It's great you have had a good experience and most owners don't realize what actually goes on at them. Even the best staffed ones. It's always better to raise the dog yourself and if you need every once in a while, daycare can be used and be a good thing. No one at a daycare will explain these behind the scenes things to you. It's why so many places keep dogs that are not behaviorally ok to be there-they want the money. We had dogs we wished the owners would not bring. Their behavior was not bad enough to kick them out but was enough of a problem that no one including the dog was benefiting. I never liked when people brought young pups in. They all said the same thing about socializing. But a younger pup in with 15-25 large rowdy dogs did not benefit that puppy. I always tried to tell owners to take structured classes or even go to the dog park so you can be there to see their behavior. There was a reason almost none of us took advantage of the free daycare and brought our own dogs to work.

 

I say this stuff to help you not to make you feel bad. There are daycares everywhere in my area. Owners can't possibly understand what it is really like at them until you work at one. I can remember countless puppies coming at young ages and by the time they were 1 years old we kicked them out. It's a high pace environment by default. Dogs in general don't need to be amped up like that all day. I hope you take this in a helpful way. We all want what is best for your pup. :)

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The dog to human ratio is 10:2. They interrupt her, remove her, work with her to calm down and only let her back when she has. The dogs do get breaks separately and there are numerous times when the dogs nap all at the same time. She is in a puppy obedience class and is doing extremely well. I feel completely judged about this and don't feel like this group is very supportive. The advice might be right, but the delivery isn't. There are other threads on this forum that praise daycare so it's very confusing.

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Hi, I did the same thing with my dog Spillo.

I took him at daycare when he was a puppy and continued till he was about 2 years old. all I can tell you is: I would not do it again. I also wanted to have him socialized and have him the opportunity to burn some energy, but even if he was doing ok when he was a puppy, he was not calm there, and when the herding instinct showed up, he started to circle the dogs continuously or fixating on a single one stalking the dog the entire day. he was not aggressive there, but he was not socializing with the other dogs, he was trying to control them all day long. my guess is: this is what your puppy is trying to do, and it will go worst with time.

this is my experience of course, and I personally do not advice to bring a BC at daycare. I do personally know the daycare owner, and she agreed with me. I prefer to pay for a mid-day walk instead.

 

Luana

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You say that the puppy is nipping at dogs' heels while in daycare. You say that she does not do this at home, so you are unable to address the behavior.

 

So, I think that you have 3 choices

 

1) Go to daycare with the puppy and correct the behavior at that time

2) Remove the puppy from daycare so she can't engage in the behavior to begin with

3) Borrow some dogs and recreate the situation outside of daycare (but my guess is that the behavior adjustment will not carry over to daycare)

 

I would not expect or even want the daycare to "train" my dog for me. If I were the owner of these other dogs, I would not be happy about a bad actor annoying my dog all day.

 

Keep in mind that nipping at heels is very self reinforcing behavior and the more your dog engages in this behavior, the more ingrained it will become and the harder it will be to correct.

 

Keep in mind that there is a very real possibility that one of the harassed daycare dogs will eventually hammer your puppy and it is possible that you will wind up with a hurt or fearful puppy.

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I am sorry you feel our delivery is wrong. We all mean well. Things can always sound harsher on the internet vs in person. The boards are not governed by a cohesive group that all know each other in real life so of course there will be people posting on other threads praising daycare. We all have our differing opinions and can express them here hopefully without much judgment. If our advice does not sit well with you, that is okay. We all want what is best for our dogs and we are only giving our personal experiences as well. It sounds like the situation you describe your puppy in, does not see healthy in the long run to continue on with daycare.

 

It sounds like you have plenty of time in the day to spend with a 4 month old pup and should be investing the time/money into more structured activities like a puppy obedience class (they get play time there as well). Or set up play dates with other well behaved dogs that you know from the neighborhood, friends, or family. I know people that all meet at local dog parks at off hours so their dogs that they know get along can all play together.

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I've never heard daycare being praised by most people here.

 

Raising a BC puppy is all about being proactive. It's hard to be proactive in a daycare environment even with the best staff.

 

Is there any way that you can arrange socialization sessions with a couple dogs from the day care?

 

Also, trick training is awesome for puppies. It works their brain without overworking their body. That might be a good option for you.

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I'm sorry you have not liked the advice you have been given but it has been given by people with experience in raising pups, working with rescue/shelter dogs, and a variety of situations involving Border Collies, which are a pretty unique breed. So, please don't shoot the messenger but rather listen to the message with an open mind and give it the thought it deserves. These people have taken time and effort to give you their best advice based on what they understand your problem and questions to be.

 

Daycare has never been promoted (in general) on these boards, not to my noticing, but rather the one-on-one interaction of pup/dog and handler, which you seem to be doing well. As pointed out, mental stimulation is as important, or more important, than physical exercise.

 

It is your pup's nature, as a Border Collie in a very stimulating environment, to act the way she's doing. If that situation continues, the behavior problem will not improve and/or another dog will get annoyed enough that it will either reprimand her so she sits back and thinks, "Oh, no, I guess I'd better not do that," or it might hurt her if she doesn't get the message.

 

Instead of daycare, how about a good puppy or family dog class where you and she can participate in training and socialization, in a controlled environment, and meet other people and their dogs with similar goals to yours? Most people here have not used a dog daycare (and some have, both successfully and otherwise) but their dogs are well-socialized within the limits of the dogs' individual temperaments and personalities (since some dogs, by nature, are more social and others a less so).

 

Best wishes in finding an answer that works for you.

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