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We’ve had to really reign back any kind of activity for our little guy who is now 14 months. He is only like this when he is over tired and he can’t cope with more than 15-20 minutes of mental or physical activity but is much better when he’s entertained by having something to look at calmly or when exercise is just pootling about calmly at his pace. His ability to deal with things has decreased and neutering made it worse. Someone on this forum suggested that he probably has (and is self managing) Border Collie Collapse and having had every other possible cause eliminated by the vet, that’s what we assume too. 

An ideal day for him is pootling about on our boat, watching the world go by, some splashing in the water and then the drive home. He’s as calm as anything then. But if we tried to do with him what Border Collies are supposed to be able to do, it’s like having a toddler who’s been sleep deprived and is then told it’s time to leave the party! 

I don’t know if it helps but whether our guy or your guy has it or not, knowing that it might be excessive fatigue that they can’t cope with does help understand them better and might be worth trying. Some people advise tiring the heck out of a border and while some dogs may cope it would certainly finish ours off! 

Good luck :) 

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I am sorry if he does have it but on the other hand I do think it helps to know. I have learned to spot the triggers in our guy too. One thing is when he’s not coping and we are out he does this stress eating thing where he will repeatedly dip his head and scoop up gravel or dirt. 

My reaction now I know that means he is struggling is to stop, get him to sit and sit by him while stroking him gently. 

Friends really notice the difference in his abilities. I can remember at six months he would love to do several long runs in the back field but not any more. He looks keen for a bit but then gives up. Even playing tug he quickly gets exhausted. 

The worst things are visitors or wildlife in the yard that he’s not expecting. He gets excited and can’t cope with the adrenaline. We have to take him to his crate to rest. He tries to rugby tackle us on the way but then he sees his crate and rushes in. 

He stays quietly in his crate for 12 hours every night.  

He’s super super affectionate though :) 

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My guy is also super affectionate but hes also always on the go non stop and at the moment seems to be not coping well without physical exercise? How was your guy at 10 months. My boy loves fetch and long walks off lead and hasn't yet shown any wobbles but does self regulate during fetch. 

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Ours would be on the go if we asked him too but then we’d all suffer! 

Frequently we try and increase things and it always ends up with him hardly coping at all. 

If he has zero stress from traffic or strangers he can romp happily with other dogs for 15/20 mins then he will stand aside and be very happy to leave. He definitely has a sweet spot. 

If he overdoes it then he needs us to take him to his crate whereas if he has just the right amount of ‘entertainment’ without too much physical or mental exercise he is quite content. 

It’s taking quite an adjustment of our lives to fit around what he can manage as we got a border collie specifically because we wanted the agility and activity. Yet as our daughter says, he’s the first dog they hadn’t been a rescue and we’ve ended up rescuing a dog that none of us knew needed rescuing! I am sure if someone else had chosen him he would have been in a shelter by now :( 

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He self settles if we manage things. 

Take this evening. He hasn’t done a huge amount today but I was out all morning and even though he’s not left alone he is my boy so he was restless while I was out. 

He was a complete rat bag this afternoon and I had to enforce a little crate rest. This evening after his suppertime nap he was pacing and not settling so I tied him up just out the front to watch the world go by and let him dig under his favourite tree. Now he is back inside after just an hour and has settled - also because I am sewing in another room. It’s like he knows he can go off duty. When two of us are sitting around trying to have a coffee - that’s when he become a tyrant lol! 

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I see as a first time dog owner this is definitely all a lot to take in. We also got a Collie to be active but I respect he has needs and will need to look at maybe seeing if we can get a diagnosis. He has always been huge amounts of work.. More so than I could possibly imagined and more so than all other pup owners. Sigh :(

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Have you already talk to the vet to rule out any medical concerns? 

My girl used to be really mouthy... and nipped a ton as a puppy I redirected her to a toy instead of me. Although we also did agility so leash tugging was also acceptable. Lol

Try to narrow down what is triggering him. Is he over simulated? Is there something unpleasant happening making him put up a fight? Is he just super excited to be going for a walk? You mention he has a low frustration threshold try setting him up for success. Also do you do just fun trick training? It can help build a relationship by teaching you how to read him and also helps him read you better.  


You can also try control unleashed. I really like their methods. On building drive and dealing with issues if they are over simulated. 

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