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New guy -- new dog

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This is Kenzie. (that's a hunk of deer hide, I think, in her mouth. Have no clue where she got it)


She's a drop off dog as we call them out here. Basically, people from the small cities around here get tired of a dog, can't afford to feed it, get kicked out of where they were living and the new place doesn't accept dogs etc so they drop them off out in the country. We live across the road from the Nat Forest. I guess they figure people out in the country want all the dogs they can get? Her belly was loaded with seed ticks so I put some Heartz, advantage/frontline type drops on the back of her neck and she's much better now. That and I happened to have sprayed the yard with permethrin just before she showed up.


By the markings we assume at least part BC. She's one hyper puppy unlike anything I've ever seen before. She barks her butt off at my little tractor and tries to bite the tires. Is this herding instinct?


She's very attentive and seems smart which is why we took her in but the hyperness is beyond belief. Try to pet her and she'll jump on you, twist and turn, paw at you and twist and turn until she ends up falling on her back at which point she runs away turns around and comes right back to jump on you. She may also pee herself but not near as bad as if you try to reprimand her.


I've always had medium sized dogs and have gotten most of them at 4 years old or so and I've never trained for anything but decent behavior. No jumping on people, sit, stay, walk on a leash without pulling etc. The breeds I've dealt with are full blooded Chow Chow and a Pit Bull mix. I can see right off that this little thing is going to be totally different. Swatted her on the hip once and that's not going to work. Instantly scared of me for the rest of the day every time I moved my hand/arm. I've read about and understand the positive reinforcement thing but heck, I wasn't even raised that way myself so it doesn't come natural for me. I've got a son that has mild Asperger's/Autism so I've learned quite a bit in that regard. No being tough on him. He's too tender.


With the Chow dog, since it was full blooded and a puppy and my first dog, I bought a book and went by that for training. It said for jumping, gently step on their back toes or grab their front paws and walk towards them which throws them off balance which they don't like so they stop. It worked fine but not on this BCish dog. Too fast for stepping on the toes and touching means play, play, play evidently. I read here to just turn away so I'll do that.


Indigo, the chow, was he best behaved dog most people have ever seen, especially for that breed. Some of that had to do with the fact that I was single and self employed so she was with me 24/7 but I also have always had a way with dogs to an extent. When I'm not on a keyboard, :rolleyes: I'm a man of few words which I think helps.


We had a few dairy goats a few years back and the plan now is to get some meat goats to breed and of course for meat. Even though I planned on keeping this dog almost the moment I saw her due to her attentiveness(which usually means intelligence), I was thrilled to find that it may have some herding instincts. I myself have no clue as to how to herd animals and the dairy goats were so tame and socialized that we could call them. I don't plan on getting that friendly with goats I plan to eat. We're not even fenced in enough for goats yet so it will be a little while. We should at least have a breeding pair or trio this year.


So with the background info, intro done etc, a couple of questions and I realize that every dog's personality is different and that this may not be a true BC or have herding instinct but be that as it may...


Is there anything I can do in the way of training towards herding at this early stage?

I know having a dog mix with the stock as early as possible is recommended but I can't do that right now unless I can talk a neighbor into letting me walk the dog on their property amongst their goats. I don't know them but there's a couple of people with goats around here. I do have a buddy with a few cattle if that would help, even for observation.


Does barking at the tractor and trying to bite the tires possibly have anything to do with herding instincts? (I think I have her pretty much broken of car chasing - just by saying ahh ah, no etc)


Any advice for a super duper hyper puppy? I think some of it has to do with eager to please and learn and wanting to be accepted and/or not wanting to be dumped off again.


I'm thinking about keeping her on a leash and with me pretty much all the time for a little while and having her with me 24/7 to keep her from getting confused trying to please and/or learn from me, my wife and two teens. My son isn't into dogs and my daughter is in the teen attitude stage so the commands aren't commands by any means. No consistency at all. I had some other questions but I think I answered them myself by typing all this out.


Ahh, age. Definitely first set of teeth and the gum space between the teeth is about 1/3 of the teeth size. Any guesses as to age? My guess is a few months at most. Any other indications I can look for?


Upper gums are dark grey. BC thing? Random? Mix breed thing?


Thanks, John

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Welcome aboard! Kenzie is super cute, and you can see the alertness and "Let's go!" in the picture. Border collies looks can vary widely, so it's hard to say for sure what her breed or mix might be.


I'm no training expert, but I'll support the plan that you should just turn your back on her and give her zero attention when she jumps up on you. And try to convince the rest of your family to do the same. I had a foster dog with that issue at age about 1 year, and it worked well to extinguish that annoying behavior. As to stock, I think it would be a better idea if she did *not* mix with stock until you are in a position and she is of an age for real training. Where are you located? It would be great if you could take her to someone who is a reputable border collie trainer to help you get started. This board could help you find someone.


Best wishes for a long and happy partnership with Kenzie!

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Hey welcome!

Kenzie looks beautiful & sassy. I like 'em that way.

I don't have advice, but I reading you've got some good dogging instincts going for you--ie. you are looking at the dog & relizing that even though technique x or y worked out well in the past, it's not right for Kenzie. So trust your instincts.

You might find some very good stuff on youtube, by the sound of it, kikopup, donna hill, & kristen crejesto will have lots of helpful "how to's" for this dog.

ps. she looks a little cattle doggish to me. I always ignore colour & coat when making guesses.

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Welcome aboard! Kenzie is super cute, and you can see the alertness and "Let's go!" in the picture. Border collies looks can vary widely, so it's hard to say for sure what her breed or mix might be.


I'm no training expert, but I'll support the plan that you should just turn your back on her and give her zero attention when she jumps up on you. And try to convince the rest of your family to do the same. I had a foster dog with that issue at age about 1 year, and it worked well to extinguish that annoying behavior. As to stock, I think it would be a better idea if she did *not* mix with stock until you are in a position and she is of an age for real training. Where are you located? It would be great if you could take her to someone who is a reputable border collie trainer to help you get started. This board could help you find someone.


Best wishes for a long and happy partnership with Kenzie!


Oh yeah, she constantly follows and watches. Can tell she wants to learn and/or do things. If I go to the next room, she'll go to the doorway and watch.


I was trying to think last night when posting of what she did that showed intelligence and just thought of it. We've got another dog, the pit bull mix, that can't be trusted to roam free. She'll go up to the neighbors and end up in a fight with another dog. She's not mean, just overbearing when it comes to introductions. Runs up and sniffs so intensely that the other dog freaks out and bites at her, so then it's on. So Mollie is on a leash when we take her out to the pen and bring her back in. After seeing this a few times, Kenzie grabbed the leash that was hanging on the fence of the pen, barked once at Mollie and started heading towards the house. She then realized that Mollie somehow wasn't on the other end of the leash and dropped it on the driveway but she was trying to bring Mollie inside just like we do.


RE; being with stock at an early age; I was thinking along the lines of what I've read about for LGD's. Supposed to be best of the LGD is a pup when placed with the animals they're to guard so that they bond with them. Likewise with any animal you don't want a dog, LGD or otherwise, to chase and maybe kill later -- chickens come to mind. If they're exposed early on, they get used to them before they have the physical ability or adult desire/instinct to do harm.


I've managed to socialize Mollie enough to get along with other dogs even though she hadn't been around any by 4 years old when we got her. Likewise with cats in the house but never could get her to stop chasing chickens. She was on a cable at the time and later fenced in so she never got a hold of one but I don't think it would have been pretty if she had.


So I didn't know if having Kenzie at least meet some goats, while on a leash, might help prevent her from terrorizing them later. I suppose thorough training to heel and come will be the best thing to cover that. Our cats are outdoor cats now and Kenzie won't leave them alone when she gets bored which takes about two minutes. She mostly wants to play I think judging by how she acts. Sooner or later she's apt to get clawed in the nose, hopefully not an eye, and figure out the cats don't play. Again, leash, heel, come training will help. Yesterday she was terrible with the cats and ended up chasing one way into the woods so she's going to have way less free to roam time for a while. She went in the pen with Mollie for the rest of the afternoon. I'm going to put a cable at the shop for when I'm working out there. Also thinking on bringing a cat inside so she can learn to live with it and I can supervise.


Started petting Kenzie under the table last night and that helped, no eye contact, just a hand. I was able to just pet her without her going into turbo mode thinking it was play.


Thanks for the welcome, ShoresDog and Islanddog


I'm in the Ozarks, Missouri

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I don't live in your area, but I would start here:



Go to a trial, talk to people and make a connection with someone who can help you assess/train your girl. Border collies are not LGD's, you will have an active partnership with a border collie while working stock. Completely different than having an LGD bond with their flock and be mostly left to themselves to work.


I would second the suggestion to look on youtube for people like Kikopup and other trainers who have extensive how to/tutorial videos who can help you with training her to be a mannerly pet. I like that you have already learned that she is not like your other dogs. She will respond very well to structure and boundaries in your home as these dogs especially want to have a place in your family and know the rules.

I would also suggest looking up impulse control exercises you can do with her to teach her to control herself (sitting and waiting to be released to her food bowl, waiting to be released to go in/out the door, down/stays, and so on).

If she is really bad about jumping on people, I would have her drag a leash in the house so you can step on that or grab it to help prevent her from initially jumping. Our youngest wore a leash anytime someone was coming over for a few months so I could prevent her from jumping. Then rewarded her with treats/praise when she sat or had "four on the floor". I find it works best to prevent the unwanted behavior as much as you can while rewarding the one you want.


I too always wondered why people think that those with a farm/barn/in the country want all the dogs and cats (not fixed too!) they can get. Our why Miss Kitty who has always lived inside wants to be dumped in someones field to fend for herself outside.

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Welcome to the Boards! First, thank you for rescuing this cute pup. She could be full BC, but from the pic, it looks like there may be something else in there (ACD?). You will know better once she matures - both from physical appearance and behavioral clues.


I second waffles' comments about LGD vs. BC. BCs are not herd/flock protectors in the same way as LGDs. They do not need to bond with the goats/sheep/cattle/ducks or whatever like LGDs. More importantly is good behavior leading to a trusting partnership.


Since she is so young, I would just be teaching her manners and impulse control. The trainers with Youtube videos mentioned above will be very helpful. And as you have already noticed, positive reinforcement training works very well with BCs. I love watching dogs that LOVE working with their handler vs. dogs that are doing it because they have been trained that they HAVE to. There is a wonderful energy in the first, and often a defeatest attitude in the second. Note: be prepared that your well-trained puppy may lose her mind and forget her training when she is a teenager. This can be normal. Just remain consistent in your training and you may have to go back a few steps to easier exercises, but they usually come around.


Biting at tractor tires - NOT herding. BCs are motion-activated, and sometimes their response (particularly for an untrained pup) is inappropriate. Be safe and keep her tied or in the house when using the tractor until she has matured and has more impulse control training.


Since BCs can ramp up the excitement level in a microsecond, I find it very helpful to take advantage of capturing calm behavior when you aren't actively training. For example: when she lies down, reinforce her in a calm voice and add a pet or maybe a treat. If she is sitting calmly waiting for her dinner while you get it ready, tell her 'good girl' calmly and give her a few pieces of kibble. All my dogs have to sit and wait while I put their bowl down, and can not eat until I tell them to. [i don't draw it out. Maybe 10 seconds at the most, usually shorter. I just want to see a small measure of self-control] And if she is as wiggly as you say, just be satisfied with her butt hitting the ground for a microsecond at the beginning. After a week or two, she should be able to sit for a few seconds. And don't expect a 'wait' in the beginning either. You may want to also train that away from something as exciting as a full meal first, and then transfer it to mealtime.


And I agree with keeping her on a long line or leash while you are outside (or whenever you don't want her to get into trouble). IMHO, when a dog self-reinforces on undesired behavior repeatedly, it can be very hard to break the habit. [Ask me how I know - getting a one-year old BC that was allowed to 'fence-run' with the horse next door by the previous owner is proving to be a very long and tedious chore to break - and I have had her for over a year.]


Good Luck! I like your thought process. Keep asking questions.

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Thanks, Some sort of cattle dog was my first thought as we are in cattle country but then my wife came up with BC and the coloring seems right but that doesn't mean much. I doubt someone would give up a full blooded dog of any type but you never know. We'll just call her a farm dog. Covers most of them. She had no collar or tag and I posted in all the local facebook groups with that pic of her as Found Dog. Haven't posted on any local grocery store bulletin boards but I have been watching for Lost Dog posters.


Yup, my wife taught our pit mix to sit and wait for the ok to eat. I'll try that with Kenzie. She's actually calmed down a bit just in the last 24 hours. Been using the leash more and tried tying off the leash for a few minutes this morning while I went around making sure things were put away and covered as it was about to rain. I even was out of eye sight for a couple of minutes and she didn't freak out. Just laid down and waited so yes, I'll be setting up a cable/longline back by the shop so she can be out there with me. She's a quick learner. Just stepped outside for a minute and just held my hand up for Stay. I usually do that along with the verbal command.


Took her for her third car ride this morning. First two times I had to pick her up and put her in the truck. This morning, I opened the door and she jumped right in. She's still apprehensive about it but evidently likes it. She sits in the back seat half the time so she gets the breeze without the scariness of being right next to that open window. Depends on speed and bumpiness.


I'll keep her tied when using my tractor. At least that way, my ears won't hurt from her barking so close by. She's got the high pitched type of bark.. That and I won't have to put my attention into making sure she doesn't get under a tire and I end up running into something because of it. LOL I would never think of having a dog loose while I'm mowing etc. I use the tractor as a carry all with the dirt scoop most of the time.


I'm not too concerned if she is or isn't a herder and when the time comes, I won't try to push her too hard into becoming one. It's easy enough to get goats on a schedule so that they come in everyday. It's in their nature to get to a shelter at dusk. They can also be coaxed in at any time with a sound that they equate with yummies.


Meanwhile, if she might have the knack, it would be nice to know what to do or teach or not do or teach so that I don't screw up that potential ability. We did have one goat before that tended to lose track of the rest of the herd so a herder would come in handy for that I suppose. Come to think of it, I'll be splitting the place up into paddocks so I might need to herd them from one to another. She's going to be a good little dog regardless.

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More than tying her up when you use the tractor, put her in a quiet place where she can't see it and, the less she can hear it, the better - but with a dog's sensitive ears, she will probably still hear it. But don't let her see it - crate her, tie her (with great care so that she can't tangle/strangle herself, or confine her in some safe manner (like a dog-proof room, stall, or kennel).


Thank you for taking her in and for seeking good advice on how to help her grow into a sane, confident, mannerly dog that you and your family will enjoy sharing your lives with, and who will have a happy life, too.

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Welcome, and thanks for taking in this great dog. You have had excellent advice so far.


One thing that is extremely important with all dogs, but even more with border collies due to their intelligence, is consistency. I can see that you know this, but are challenged to provide it when your son and daughter do not comply. Perhaps you can have a family meeting about it, and all agree that certain rules will be followed with regard to the dog and her training? If one person lets her get away with jumping up, for instance, it will be harder to train her not to do that.


Stick around. This forum is full of people with a lot of experience and willingness to help.

Kenzie got lucky, I think, when she ended up with you.

Best of luck!

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Thanks. At this point, Kenzie's with me 24/7 unless I can't take her with me somewhere, then I put her in the pen with our other dog.


She met a cow yesterday and again today and did very well. In this case doing well is to not mess with cows because I don't plan to have any but some of my neighbors have them, including across the road.


Pretty much got her broke of chasing the cats and pretty much just by talking to her. This thing is one smart puppy.

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