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Our 7 month old BC does not like to see me working. While normally a quiet well behaved pup, his response to doing simple chores is out of character.

 

Raking, sweeping, drilling, or moving equipment around elicit aggressive barking and attacks on tools. He can be anywhere in the yard when I use my cordless drill and he will come running/barking to put an end to it. The same with raking or sweeping where he attacks the tool. He will attack the wheels of stationary tools when i move them.

 

Could this be a jealousy/attention issue? A herding instinct coming out?

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I have a dog like that. My theory about my dog, is that it was, "I'm a little scared of it, so I will kill it, or at least bark at it." She got over it eventually, but it was a lot of work.

 

But your dog, being 7 months, may be just going through the "scaredy" period, and it will soon pass, provided you show the dog "it's ok, nothing to worry about, be cool puppy, be cool." It might be good spend time specifically to work on this rather than try to deal with it when you actually want to accomplish something else. Since in the latter case, frustration on your part may make things worse.

 

So you might try taking something with a motor, but fairly quiet (or put it is farther away), turn it on and then get the dog to play with you, something irresistible, like a tug of war or fetch, so that his attention is turned towards playing. Then you can use something louder and/or play closer.

 

Also using tools like hoe or rake just for the purpose of telling the dog 'no' - without anger or anything, but kind of get a bit in his face and say "no!" Leaving off might be rewarded with play too, but timing is important so that it is leaving off and silence that is rewarded, and not stopping to bark.

 

Most important is calm on your part, even laughing at the dog for being an 'eejit.'

 

My dog was very problematic lounging at things, and it took a long time to teach her to stop. But most dogs just ho through a period,basically trying to figure out what's the best way to react tot he world. Now, we recently bought an ATV and I was afraid my dog would be crazy about it, but she just took to it like a natural.

 

So nope, no retirement - quite the contrary - you need to put some work into it :D

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The broom is Peli's nemesis. It must die.

So I don't use it when he is around, and hang it out of reach.

And generally my strategy for dealing with such behaviour is the same as Maja's.

Mine is 4,5 months old, I expect him to grow out of it.

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I send Dixie to "place" on the dog cot while I vacuum. As a puppy she wanting to dart around furniture and air snap at the thing. I taught her a solid place command and she does that while I vacuum. I release her once I am done. Most times now she goes automatically when she sees the vacuum come out. She looks releaved to not have to "get" that darn loud machine.

 

I would recommend teaching "place" (lots of YouTube videos on this) as it is a good impulse control exercise.

 

She also used to do circles around me if I was raking. Funny the first time then it was annoying. She practiced down stays while I slowly pretended to rake- had her down then would just hold the rake still, then slowly move it a few inches going through fake raking motions. Now she knows to automatically give space when the rake is out. If she darts for it, she is given a down command.

 

For such a young puppy, any impulse control exercises you can practice will help with this. In time he should also mature and with practice, stop being a pest. ;)

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Great advice too. This reminded me of my first border collie. She used to run around with me a behave frantically whenever I did chores around animals, and me, being full of theoretical wisdom, I told her nothing, since I judged her excitation to be too high to obey me and I was busy working after all. But one day I lost patience and yelled "lie down!" which she instantly obeyed visibly relieved that her hitherto conniptions "what-do-I-do-what-do-I-do" were finally resolved by a job to do. From then on she was told that her job while I do chores was to lie down, until further notice :). And we all lived happily ever after :lol:

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I agree with what's been said above. Train him to do whatever it is you want him to do BEFORE you get out the drill, etc. Work on that cue/command and that alone for a few days. Restrain him in the house or crate if you need to while you work with those tools that he attacks, but just for a few days.

 

It might take a few days or even a couple weeks of repetition, but you'll like the result.

 

Ruth & Gibbs

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Great advice too. This reminded me of my first border collie. She used to run around with me a behave frantically whenever I did chores around animals, and me, being full of theoretical wisdom, I told her nothing, since I judged her excitation to be too high to obey me and I was busy working after all. But one day I lost patience and yelled "lie down!" which she instantly obeyed visibly relieved that her hitherto conniptions "what-do-I-do-what-do-I-do" were finally resolved by a job to do. From then on she was told that her job while I do chores was to lie down, until further notice :). And we all lived happily ever after :lol:

 

 

Maja, I love that!

And it makes perfect sense, knowing border collies.

The majority of the time, they really like to be told what they are expected to do.

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Thank you all for the feedback. Merlin is very good at self control under most circumstances. I will have to try giving him 'his' part of the task.

Today's chuckle came when he tried to help with the pry bar as I took concrete forms apart. :D

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I am sure with many herding dogs it is movement that sparks interest. What do you when when a pup is first starting training on sheep - get the sheep to move so then the dogs move. I have a pup who is very interested in insects right now. She is 12 weeks old and I noticed her new fascination with flys the other day. If you have an object - rake, broom ect and are moving it all the better. Makes it twice as interesting. Same thing with wheelbarrows and ATVs, bikes...I would think the drill would be about noise more than anything and the pup might be concerned, scared so by acting tough and barking he is hoping it goes away. Pretty common way Border Collies deal with things they are worried about.

 

I remove them, put then in a crate ect if I need to in order to keep everyone safe. If I am able I might tie them close so they can figure out how to relax, nothing is going to hurt them and it is not going away. I can talk to them while I am working keeping an eye on things. I think often we remove them and they do not learn as much as they could. Broom, rake that is safe I will just correct the behaviors I do not not want. If they are barking and jumping on it they would get a verbal AH and I would continue. If they needed more than a small verbal correction to stop and think I would figure out what to do to stop the behavior. Maybe I would need to go to them or stronger verbal correction ect.

 

I want pups to learn there are things that move that they do not chase or play with. I start small and we go up from there. Once I can verbally correct for a broom maybe when I am using the wheelbarrow they go after the tires, I correct that. I would rather they find out that biting tires is not a good idea with getting bumped into by the small thing that than a car, If you correct the little things as pups now, allowing them to think and make the choice they are learning. Most will transfer this lesson to bigger things like the ATV or tractor. I purposefully gets pups used to an ATV and staying out of the way of that - I can correct behaviors that are dangerous since I can see all sides and where the dog is. Never have to deal with interest in cars because they learned objects with tires are to be avoided

 

We are not going to be with our dog watching it every second so I try to have them learn things that will keep them safe, happy, healthy and build our relationship along the way. I believe teaching them obedience and things like place is great but that requires me there and me thinking. I want them to be thinking, using their minds making good choices since I will need that once we are working sheep together. All I will have when they are 200 yds away is a verbal correction so the ground work starts at the house and yard as pups.

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I found a gate that the dog can see through really helped me teach mine to settle when I vacuum. The gate was barrier but not a block so he would still get aroused but not be able to dive in and bite at it (no practicing the wrong response) and it dropped his arousal a bit so he was able to think while still seeing it.

 

Now he puts himself behind a threshold and waits there without being asked.

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