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New puppy owner - lots of questions!

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Hello!


I'm a newbie! A first time poster, and soon to be first time Border Collie owner (and am very, very excited)!

I have found so much valuable information on these forums, but have a few questions myself too! So I apologise for the long post in advance!

I am well aware of the mental stimulation and exercise needs for a border collie, and am looking very forward to this aspect and bringing into both our lives smile.png

1. I will be bringing my male border collie home at the end of April, and he will be 14 weeks old.
(We were going to be bringing him home at 11 weeks but due to unforeseen circumstances we cannot bring him home for the extra couple of weeks and the breeder is happy to have him with her until then. I thought this was better than brining him home earlier and then leaving him during this crucial period. The breeder said she will start on basic commands, some loose leash training and socialisation) I just want to know people's thoughts on getting a puppy at this age. I am just wondering whether I'll be able to provide him with enough socialisation once I get him? How much is too much (is this such a thing) as I don't want to overwhelm him?

I have a week off after I bring him home, which I will spend bonding, socialising and developing training habits.

 

I have booked in to start basic obedience training the weekend after we bring him home.


After this I will be returning to work 4 days a week (I will be able to take him to work atleast 1 or 2 days a week ... possibly more during the first couple of weeks)... and have planned a weekday schedule to follow when I cannot be with him at home. I just want to get some opinions and thoughts...

6:00am - 7:30am: Exercise and play with dog. (I will start with 20 minute walks while he is still young, and lengthen the walking time as he gets older - is this too much while he is still a pup? Will spend the remaining time trick training, providing mental stimulation and playing.)
8:00am: Feed dog and leave for work. Provide Kongs and other safe play toys to help keep him entertained while we're at work.
5:00pm: Arrive home and take dog for another 20 minute walk/free run on the beach.
5:30 - 6:45pm: Trick training, mental stimulation and puzzle work
7:00pm: Feed dog
7:30pm onwards: Dog will join us inside for the remainder of the evening.

What are people's thoughts on the above? I hope you don't mind me asking the questions, just want the best for my pup once we bring him into our family!

Thank you smile.png

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I think that's a great start, but I would cut the walks to 15 minutes. Would it be a possibility to have someone (friend, neighbor, etc.) take him potty during the day for the first few weeks? That's my only suggestion. So excited to see pictures and congrats on the new pup!

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I think that's a great start, but I would cut the walks to 15 minutes. Would it be a possibility to have someone (friend, neighbor, etc.) take him potty during the day for the first few weeks? That's my only suggestion. So excited to see pictures and congrats on the new pup!

Thanks Laura!

 

I can probably get someone to pop round to get him to potty while I'm not there.. thanks for the tip!

 

Still working out whether to set up a pen indoors or outdoors while I am at work. I have a very secure yard which is mainly grass and a decking.. so nothing dangerous or naughty he can get into.

 

I'll get a photo up asap, and thank you :)

I am very excited!

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I would feed the pup when I would still have a good hour or more to spend with him so he has plenty time to potty outside before being inside/crated/ kenneled for several hours. My pups hate to have to potty inside their kennel even a 10x10 kennel so I really try not to make that necessary.

 

I think it will depend on his personality if a puppy class that soon after his life changes is a good thing or not. If he is super outgoing and loves to explore and investigate new things then might be fine. If it takes him a bit to settle in, more shy, concerned pup then might wait a bit.

 

I don't worry about formal 'training' I just incorporate them into my life teaching as we go. Makes it enjoyable for both of us.

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You don't need to work with them for very long, a few short minutes to start while they are learning whats expected of them. Spend time hanging with your pup, playing with them or just teaching them to hang out and watch tv, its all important stuff. Don't fall into the trap that because your pup is a border collie it needs loads of exercise and loads of stimulation, best advice I read when I got my first border collie was you get the dog you created.

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All good advice above.

 

At such a young age, getting someone to come in at midday to let him out would be a great idea. You may not have to do this for more than a month or two. Depends on pup. They grow up so fast.

 

I am very nervous about leaving a dog outside unless it is in a very secure kennel. Lots of things can happen - dog digging under fence or climbing fence (depending on fence), getting bored and finding something mischievous to do (digging? eating the fence? or ???), dognappers, barking and annoying neighbors, fence running with neighbor's dog(s) if there is one and so on.

 

I agree about feeding pup and then allowing enough time to take him outside so he can eliminate before going into crate.

 

I also agree about not having to rush him into a formal class. If he enjoys it, fine. If he is a bit shy, it might be a better idea to wait a few weeks. My last pup started puppy class at about 12 weeks of age, and he was happy to work with me (with a lot of play time), but he was a little shy and not interested in interacting with other puppies during the few minutes of 'socialization' each week. [The trainer was very careful not to push the pups to meet any dog they didn't want to meet.] By the end of the 8 weeks, he was fine with playing with some of the other pups.

 

Congrats on your new pup. Looking forward to pics.

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I think that's a great start, but I would cut the walks to 15 minutes. Would it be a possibility to have someone (friend, neighbor, etc.) take him potty during the day for the first few weeks? That's my only suggestion. So excited to see pictures and congrats on the new pup!

And here he is....

 

My new little fella!

 

post-19909-0-51498400-1492045617_thumb.png

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All good advice above.

 

At such a young age, getting someone to come in at midday to let him out would be a great idea. You may not have to do this for more than a month or two. Depends on pup. They grow up so fast.

 

I am very nervous about leaving a dog outside unless it is in a very secure kennel. Lots of things can happen - dog digging under fence or climbing fence (depending on fence), getting bored and finding something mischievous to do (digging? eating the fence? or ???), dognappers, barking and annoying neighbors, fence running with neighbor's dog(s) if there is one and so on.

 

I agree about feeding pup and then allowing enough time to take him outside so he can eliminate before going into crate.

 

I also agree about not having to rush him into a formal class. If he enjoys it, fine. If he is a bit shy, it might be a better idea to wait a few weeks. My last pup started puppy class at about 12 weeks of age, and he was happy to work with me (with a lot of play time), but he was a little shy and not interested in interacting with other puppies during the few minutes of 'socialization' each week. [The trainer was very careful not to push the pups to meet any dog they didn't want to meet.] By the end of the 8 weeks, he was fine with playing with some of the other pups.

 

Congrats on your new pup. Looking forward to pics.

 

Thank you GCV

 

I was thinking of putting a pen in the backyard, so he can have access to the backyard (but not too much!)

It's a very secure yard with a tall colorbond fence (so I know he won't be able to jump it, or eat it!!) But am still thinking over this, so all advice is very welcomed!

 

That's good to know about the formal class - I was just concerned about getting him socialised before he's 16 weeks old... because he'll be nearly 14 weeks when I get him and I have read that this is very important. :)

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Hello!

 

I'm a newbie! A first time poster, and soon to be first time Border Collie owner (and am very, very excited)!

 

I have found so much valuable information on these forums, but have a few questions myself too! So I apologise for the long post in advance!

 

I am well aware of the mental stimulation and exercise needs for a border collie, and am looking very forward to this aspect and bringing into both our lives smile.png

 

1. I will be bringing my male border collie home at the end of April, and he will be 14 weeks old.

(We were going to be bringing him home at 11 weeks but due to unforeseen circumstances we cannot bring him home for the extra couple of weeks and the breeder is happy to have him with her until then. I thought this was better than brining him home earlier and then leaving him during this crucial period. The breeder said she will start on basic commands, some loose leash training and socialisation) I just want to know people's thoughts on getting a puppy at this age. I am just wondering whether I'll be able to provide him with enough socialisation once I get him? How much is too much (is this such a thing) as I don't want to overwhelm him?

 

I have a week off after I bring him home, which I will spend bonding, socialising and developing training habits.

 

I have booked in to start basic obedience training the weekend after we bring him home.

 

After this I will be returning to work 4 days a week (I will be able to take him to work atleast 1 or 2 days a week ... possibly more during the first couple of weeks)... and have planned a weekday schedule to follow when I cannot be with him at home. I just want to get some opinions and thoughts...

 

6:00am - 7:30am: Exercise and play with dog. (I will start with 20 minute walks while he is still young, and lengthen the walking time as he gets older - is this too much while he is still a pup? Will spend the remaining time trick training, providing mental stimulation and playing.)

8:00am: Feed dog and leave for work. Provide Kongs and other safe play toys to help keep him entertained while we're at work.

5:00pm: Arrive home and take dog for another 20 minute walk/free run on the beach.

5:30 - 6:45pm: Trick training, mental stimulation and puzzle work

7:00pm: Feed dog

7:30pm onwards: Dog will join us inside for the remainder of the evening.

 

What are people's thoughts on the above? I hope you don't mind me asking the questions, just want the best for my pup once we bring him into our family!

 

Thank you smile.png

 

 

Hi there, welcome aboard! He is a real cutie pie! :wub:

 

As for your questions, frst of all, I'd say sloooooow down. :P The one thing about border collies is that while they do need things to do, you don't want to accidentally teach them to constantly need things to do. I have two 10 week olds and the main thing I'm trying to encourage right now is how to calm down and relax! (Chewy toys are our friends.) :rolleyes:

 

Walks - Let him tell you how long he wants to walk - or if he wants to walk far at all. He's still very young and growing, so if he gets tired and starts to lag, or if you see that he's getting nervous about something or someone along your walk, turn around and head home.

 

Same with your training, be mindful of how much he's really up for. I'd say just do it in lots of short bites, as his attention span won't be super long yet. Don't drill or school on him too much. Just pick a thing, do it for a moment and then let him go play. Sometimes the very best thing you can do is just sit on the floor or out in the yard and let him be a puppy with you. Keep lessons short, light and random.

 

I would be super hesitant to leave him outside alone, even in a fenced yard. I've heard too many horror stories of dogs being stolen by thieves who just climb a fence, or loose dogs digging or breaking into a yard to wreak mayhem. Plus you don't want him to start barking back there while he's alone, if something outside the fence worries or excites him. He's very young and I would personally rather leave him in an x-pen in the house while I was at work.

 

Lastly, I'd also say be cautious with the "socializing." Be careful that you don't accidentally overwhelm him with too many new things or too many new places or people. Border collies can be pretty sensitive and you don't know what might spook or overwhelm him. As I see it, "socializing" isn't necessarily taking a pup everywhere to experience lots of things, it's just helping the pup become comfortable in the world in which he's going to live.

 

In my view, dogs really don't need to meet lots of other dogs and people. They just need to learn to navigate their world confidently and quietly. In England, it seems to me that people really don't pay much attention to other people's dogs and the dogs aren't encouraged to do a lot with each other. They just go about their ways being polite, civilized citizens. :)

 

Best of luck and remember, just relax and take time to enjoy your pup. Everything else will come with time.

 

~ Gloria

 

 

 

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Ditto for those last few things especially that Gloria said.

I think there's a lot of misconceptions about "socializing" puppies (not saying it's you, but many people!).

Sure, they need to learn to navigate the world. But they also need to learn that YOU will protect them from bad things.

That said, I do try to take my young dogs (not that I've had many....) to a variety of places, but especially NOT dog parks, pet stores or very "busy" places. Somewhere on the internet (you can find it!), there's a list of things that are recommended for puppies - something like ten different surfaces to walk on (grass, dirt, gravel, pavement, carpet, tile, rubber mats,etc.), ten different places to do simple things like sit or lie down (obviously a bit later in the training regime!), ten different surfaces to eat from (metal, ceramic, paper, plastic, etc.). Etc. Etc. Etc. It's nice if you can expose the pup - as appropriate, depending on age, temperament, etc. - to different PEOPLE and clothing (men in hats, women in hats, someone walking with a cane, in a wheelchair or using a walker, etc.). For instance: when my pup was about 6 months old (I got her at 5 months, rescue), a man came to do work at my house. She wasn't terribly comfortable with strangers of any gender, but this guy - liked dogs, but not very dog savvy - was wearing a baseball cap, but had his clip-on sunglasses clipped onto the brim of his hat. He leaned over to say hi to the dog (oops), and oh my! She thought he was from outer space! LOL!!

 

Mostly: enjoy the young weeks, they don't last nearly long enough! Have fun, don't expect anything and be surprised when you get something, and take lots of pictures! (Of course, we want to see them here too!)

 

diane

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Like the others have said don't feel that you have to start a class to do proper socialization. Sometimes a puppy class can be the worst place for a young pup to be if it is not a well run class, meeting well behaved adult dogs can be much better. All you need to be doing is getting out and about, nothing forced just exposing your pup to the world and the way he is going to live. My youngster has never been to a formal class, but when he was a puppy he got exposed to lots of things as part of his daily life, as a one year old he is a very social dog. We did go through a period when he was 7/8 months when he decided the world was scary, some of that was a fear period and some was that I had stopped taking him out and about as it was summer and very hot, I made a bit more effort and we got through it.

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Like the others have said don't feel that you have to start a class to do proper socialization. Sometimes a puppy class can be the worst place for a young pup to be if it is not a well run class, meeting well behaved adult dogs can be much better. All you need to be doing is getting out and about, nothing forced just exposing your pup to the world and the way he is going to live. My youngster has never been to a formal class, but when he was a puppy he got exposed to lots of things as part of his daily life, as a one year old he is a very social dog. We did go through a period when he was 7/8 months when he decided the world was scary, some of that was a fear period and some was that I had stopped taking him out and about as it was summer and very hot, I made a bit more effort and we got through it.

 

 

All this. I just realized my pups are now into their 11th week, and they're very different in how they approach new things. (They are unrelated, one by my dog and one from a friend.) I took them to a friend's place yesterday and the little girl was ALL about seeing everything and everyone, even curious about a mama ewe with a new lamb - and she was stomping at her through the fence. My boy, however, was much more cautious and hesitant, preferring to hang back and stick with me.

 

So my point is, don't ask your pup to do too much, too soon, and don't try to expose him to too much. You don't want to overwhelm him or risk frightening him with a bad experience. At 14 weeks they are still prone to "fear periods," so just use caution and really pay attention to your pup's response to things. If he's super outgoing and confident, enjoy. But if you see him worrying or acting scared, be sure to follow your gut and make sure he knows you'll keep him safe. :)

 

 

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Please do not fall into the trap of trying to give a border collie "enough" exercise. There is no such thing and you will just create a dog with an insatiable need to go, go, go, go. It's not that fun.

 

I've seen a lot of ball crazy dogs that were created by their owners' wish to "wear them out;" that never happened. The dogs just developed amazing stamina and a ball obsession.

 

Yes, they do need their exercise, but mental stimulation will probably work better, after a point, to fulfill them.

 

Your puppy is very cute, have fun!

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Adorable puppy!! Enjoy the heck out of every moment. Puppyhood is short and precious. You'll be glad if you spend this time focused on building trusting relationship as a basis for everything else. Once you have that, the rest follows. Happy puppy days!!

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All good advice, above. I want emphatically to encourage you not to leave your pup outside while you are gone, for all the reasons given above, no matter how secure you think the enclosure is. People steal puppies all the time. Some people make a living stealing other people's puppies and then selling them on Craig's List. Many of them call themselves "rescues", but they are known as Dog Flippers. No joke. It just is not safe to leave a dog, especially a cute puppy, outside for hours and also can lead to bad habits, like barking, because you will not be there to redirect it.

 

He's a cute pup. Have fun, and welcome to the BC Boards. I hope you stick around because these folks here are full of excellent advice and there's a great deal of knowledge here that people will generously share with you.

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In addition to D'Elle's reasons for not leaving your dog outside:

 

Other things can happen to your pup. You don't say what your living situation is - city, suburbs, country - but there's a lot that goes on in each of these locales that can 'hurt' a pup. Insects, very loud noises that are scary, eating something that is Not Good For Dogs are only a few.

 

Inside, if he hears a scary noise, he won't be able to dig under or climb over a fence in a panic, for example.

 

You've gotten some great advice - enjoy him!!!

 

Ruth and Gibbs

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I think the reasons given for not leaving him outside are all excellent ones. Another is that when still very small he could become prey for large raptor unless he's in a covered pen.

 

If there are neighborhood kids they could taunt and tease the puppy with potentially negative consequences.

 

Regardless of whether you ultimately decide to leave him inside or out, remember too that dogs are pack animals and crave companionship. I've never thought it wise to leave a young dog alone for hours at a time. Like small human children who are neglected I think it can damage their psyches. At the very least I think you should find someone to come in to interact with the pup at least once a day. Perhaps look into a doggy daycare, though many of them are questionable. Better yet, if you have any friends or family who are at home during the day you might consider seeing if someone would agree to keep him for time while you work.

 

Enjoy your pup and the adventure of raising him. :)

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One more thought after reading all the good advice above, related to exercise.

Yes, they need some physical exercise. But mental work is nearly as "tiring out" to puppies!

You can teach them all sorts of "tricks" (which might come in handy in real life), 2-3 minutes at a time, and their little brains just poop out quickly! Again, there are lots of resources out there, but I taught mine: "gimme paw", touch (hand touch), crawl (limited at younger ages), put pups front feet on my feet with pup between legs and walk, close (come to my right side), side (come to my left side), loose leash walking, go to bed. There are dozens of things safe for young 'uns, that won't take tons of your time, but works that grey matter hard!

 

And yes, he is a cute thing!

diane

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I echo the above advice, but add that mental stimulation does not have to be teaching - when my dogs were little, a drive in the car with a window down brought a variety of sounds and smells which was exhausting for them.

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Thank you every body for all your advice!

6 days until I bring the little guy home, and am so, so excited!

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