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ElizaRose

16 Week Border Collie Jumping, Biting and Growling

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I have a 16 week old male border collie pup who is very smart and usually fairly well behaved (for a puppy) but he has bursts craziness where he jumps on me and bites whatever he can get a hold of. He is drawing blood by latching onto my arms and ripping any clothing he can get his teeth on. This tends to happen mostly when we are walking on the lead but also when we are outside playing. I have been told at his obedience classes to walk away & ignore him when he starts to bite but when we are outside or on a lead I can't get away from him or even turn my back on him because he continues to bite and jump and growl. 

If I have treats in my hand/pocket I can ask him to sit and he will, but only until he eats the treat and then he jumps straight up again biting. 

He gets walks on the lead morning and afternoon, with training time and playing time as well. Most days he isn't home alone all day so I think he is getting a good amount of stimulation and sleep time.

He started out lead training really well with me clicking and treating whenever he was walking nicely beside me. Our walks are getting worse and worse and I am worried that the jumping, biting and growling is becoming a habit. 

I would really appreciate any advise from experienced BC owners/trainers as to how to address these behaviours! I love him to death but the biting is so painful I'm becoming fearful of his outbursts.

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When my dogs try things like this, they don't get ignored-they get in trouble, like picked up by the scruff and speeched and maybe more as needed. 

If you notice these "episodes" happening at certain times(i.e. he's tired, etc.) try to avoid those circumstances until he gets better, but don't let him get away with this.

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I don't think I would make a pattern out of asking him to sit and then rewarding with treats as a way to make him stop this bad behavior. It might be that he's smart enough to know that if he acts this way it will eventually lead to him getting treats. 

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In your situation, there's a good chance I would cease the walks until this is corrected, because unless you can pick up the dog and subdue him and walk home carrying him like that, you are, as you have noticed, in a bit of a pickle.

Work on this only in the back yard. Don't worry about enough exercise while you are doing this. For one thing, the training is more important, for another mental exercise is every bit as important and tiring as physical.

I would keep my eye on the dog constantly. Literally constantly. Learn the body language that leads to the unwanted behavior and you may learn some of the triggers. When the dog starts to jump and bite, he gets taken by the collar, without any harsh body language, and no words at all except an initial No, and he gets put into his crate. All the fun stops. He stays in the crate for 10 minutes, then comes out without comment from you and you go back to the yard. As soon as he starts up, back into the crate.

Because he has been doing this for a while, and it is self-rewarding, it will take a while to extinguish it. But you can do it; just be persistent and never give him an opportunity to continue it.

Best of luck!

 

 

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^^ This. I second everything D'Elle said.

There are also a couple of other threads on the subject either current or just winding down, so you may want to try the search function with keywords like biting, bite or nipping.

And welcome to the Boards!

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Thank you all for your advise!

We have stopped walking, and increased training time in the yard. Every time he bites, he goes in his crate. It seems to be helping, he doesn't get as worked up and excited. This makes it much easier to get his attention when he starts to act up. 

We will revisit short walks up and down the street soon I think, not too far. I will have to read some more threads on leash training!

 

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My older pup did this when she was over-stimulated or over-tired. She wouldn't go down for a nap and i would have to force her. At 16 weeks, theyre like toddlers..sometimes the world can be overwelming and it's alot to take in. As my pup aged, she grew out of it. 

Best advice i was told, is don't play any type of tug with them. It promotes the biting. No wrestling, no playing with them with your hands.

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16 hours ago, ElizaRose said:

We will revisit short walks up and down the street soon I think, not too far. I will have to read some more threads on leash training!

So glad to hear you are having some success. However, please don't go back to walking on a leash outside the yard just yet. Make sure that you have completely extinguished the unwanted behavior before you go out on leash again. Since it is hard to contain the dog on a leash outside the yard, and immediate consequences such as the crate are not available, she will have lots of opportunity to get away with the behavior, and I would bet dollars to donuts that it is the first thing she will do.

Spend weeks in the back yard first. However long it takes before she is really solid and no longer tries  to jump or to bite. If you push things too fast, before the good behavior is ingrained fully, you stand a very good chance of losing a huge amount of the work you have already done. One time of her getting away with it can undo weeks of good work.

And when you are ready to go to the next step, only walk 20 feet or so out the gate at first so that you can easily take her back to the crate when she (inevitably) fails to maintain her good behavior outside the yard.

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This is all really interesting! I am scared of using the crate as a punishment area, because that's where Willow sleeps and I don't want her to associate it with anything negative, but maybe I should just scrap that line of thinking and try it!

Really interesting advice! Thank you.

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Think of it not so much as a punishment but as a time out, IOW a time for her to settle herself down and behave more appropriately. Just like a human youngster, he needs to learn that there are consequences to behaving inappropriately.

If you don't already, you might try feeding him in hos crate for a while to reinforce a positive associate with the crate. And you could also toss a treat or a chewie in the crate with him for his time outs as well. You really aren't trying to punish him during these time outs, just encouraging him to calm down a bit.

So, I guess it's also about your mindset as well. If you don't think of it as a punishment (i.e. making it a negative) it will be less so for him as well.

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I read this thread a few days ago before my acceptance to the boards. I am experiencing the same exact problem as Eliza Rose. My puppy is just 9 weeks last Friday. This is my second BC and never experienced this type of behavior before, at least not to this extreme. After reading the advice a few days ago, we decided to give the "time out" option a try. Instead of using a crate, we use an empty spare room. Like Hevrhi, we don't want to associate any kind of punishment with the crate. She is perfectly crate trained at this point and we don't want any back sliding. The spare room time out seems to be curbing the behavior slowly. Now when she starts to "attack", we threaten her with a verbal time out and she seems to stop and think about the consequences of her actions. We are far from out of the woods, but we're getting there. The bloody marks on our legs, arms and hands are beginning to heal.

We have also increased her training time from 20 minutes twice a day to 30 minutes 3 times a day. At 9 weeks, her attention span seems to be keeping up and it leaves little time for that aggressive behavior.

20180918_173047.thumb.jpg.e8dfc868c76d7062267a6dd6a072aa1f.jpg

 

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hevrhi, I have heard a lot of people say they don't want the dog to think of the crate as a Penalty Box. But it has everything to do with your own attitude and body language when you put the dog into the crate.

I always say, do not say anything to the dog, so you don't risk sounding irritated or angry, since you may be feeling frustrated. Take her gently by the collar, or pick her up, and just say "time out" in a cheerful voice, and put her into the crate. She will not associate it as punishment if YOU don't think of it that way. :-) 

I like to say to the dog "uh-oh", again in a cheerful voice, and then the "time out". In the future, I can say just "uh-oh" and the dog will reconsider what he or she is doing. I also always suggest that you do your best to keep your attitude as if this were simply a normal consequence of how the universe works, like gravity. Do this=this happens. I try to do it as if it really isn't me doing it, but just something that inevitably happens every single time. If you are neutral about it and never show anger, that is how it will come across to the dog as well.

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Thanks to all of your input, we are having great success! 

We do leash training in the backyard morning and night and whenever he jumps up on me he gets a stern "no." If he ignores me I pick him straight up and walk him to his crate where he settles for 5-10 mins. After that we go straight back outside, on the lead again and continue. This week he has hardly acted at all and he seems to be responding to the first "no" command almost every time now - its like he understands what I want.

We also do some other training after we do leash training and I am teaching him "in your crate." So now he happily lays down in his crate because he associates it with getting food (I use most of his meals as training treats). I don't think the timeouts in the crate are affecting how he feels about it at all. 

As he is starting to understand "no" I can control other behaviours such as nibbling my hands and arms while we are sitting on the couch, or stopping him from getting into things he isn't allowed. 

I can tell we have a long way to go before these behaviours are cemented, so still no walking the streets for now, but the progress is definitely there :) He is one very smart puppy.

42568143_473405119810132_6155172624658857984_n.jpg

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44 minutes ago, ElizaRose said:

He is one very smart puppy.

And one very adorable puppy! I love his markings.

Glad you're having such good success. It does work, but it also does take patience and persistence for a puppy to get there . . . and some more so than others for anyone else reading and feeling like it's taking a while. ;)

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19 hours ago, D'Elle said:

hevrhi, I have heard a lot of people say they don't want the dog to think of the crate as a Penalty Box. But it has everything to do with your own attitude and body language when you put the dog into the crate.

I always say, do not say anything to the dog, so you don't risk sounding irritated or angry, since you may be feeling frustrated. Take her gently by the collar, or pick her up, and just say "time out" in a cheerful voice, and put her into the crate. She will not associate it as punishment if YOU don't think of it that way. :-) 

I like to say to the dog "uh-oh", again in a cheerful voice, and then the "time out". In the future, I can say just "uh-oh" and the dog will reconsider what he or she is doing. I also always suggest that you do your best to keep your attitude as if this were simply a normal consequence of how the universe works, like gravity. Do this=this happens. I try to do it as if it really isn't me doing it, but just something that inevitably happens every single time. If you are neutral about it and never show anger, that is how it will come across to the dog as well.

This is brilliant :) Thanks D'Elle! <3 

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