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13 week old puppy, questions, doubts and tips


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Hello everyone! Lili here :)

We got Niko 2 weeks ago, he is such a lovely boy! Very energetic, super smart and sweet! I have so many questions though.

I have read so many articles about border collies and we scheduled a visit to a training school but it's until mid November. So I was wondering if you guys could help us out in the meantime.

Here is out daily routine:

1. We live in an 2 story apartment, he is with me the whole day (I am unemployed atm) the only times he goes out during the day is to go potty (we make it short because he is still missing his last shot and is in the process of deworming). We also take him out to a park to play ball, he runs lose for about 20-30 minutes, we try to do it everyday.

I do 15 minute command training sessions with him maybe twice a day but I lose his attention so quickly.

Any ideas on how I can get him to focus more? And ideas of more mental exercises? He still has so much energy at night so I figured maybe I should be doing more of those...

I go running everyday but I know I have to wait till he is a year old at least to bring him with me, is this right?

Also everyday he is playing with an older dog (who is up to date with his shots and doesn't hang out with other dogs and is not outside much), about 2 hours per day and I can tell it exhausts Niko so much but he takes a nap and is ready to go again.

2. He never goes one full night without having to go pee, he wakes up at 3am to go, is this normal for his age? He does drink a lot of water, his water bowl is always full, should I be taking it away after certain hour?

3. He doesn't like sleeping on the bed with us for more than a couple hours (which is fine) and then he goes to sleep right by the front door, i think he just gets too warm, so I got him an elevated bed, any thoughts on those? I am following advices from online sites to get him to sleep on it but still no success. He only gets on it to bite on the tubes and then gets off.

4. We bought him so many toys (kong, tug o war rope, balls, squeeky stuff) but he doesn't mind them, he just wants to chew on wood and metal!? He also loves playing with plastic bottles (which we stuffed with rice to make a kind of shaker).

5. I feed him Diamond Puppy (purple bag) dry food (which is what the person we got him from was giving him) I asked the vet and she said as long as it wasn't grain free, it's fine. But does anyone know if it's actually good for him? I give him 1/2 cup 3 times a day.

6. Last thing, he gets so sick while on the back seat of the car, he vomits when we put him there, so for now (while he still fits) i put him on the floor of the passenger's side. He is growing so fast so pretty soon he will have to go in the back, any ideas how to make him feel better there?

Overall, what do you think of this routine? Are we missing something?! Any tips you guys could give us would be so appreciated! I am so determined to make him the best pup he can be and willing to do whatever necessary.

Thanks in advance!

 

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If you find that 15 minute training sessions result in him losing attention, then the sessions are too long.  For a 13 week old puppy, I would let him guide how long he can concentrate, but this will probably be no more than 5 minutes, and may be less.  Try to end as soon as he shows signs of losing attention or becoming overstimulated, and try to end with something he knows, and can do well, so that you can reward generously and end on a high note.  You want him to think training is fun!  You can do multiple short 2 to 5 minute sessions throughout the day, and you can also incorporate training into everyday events, like requiring a sit before feeding, or opening a door, or getting a pat.  Or asking him to lie on a mat and praising/rewarding, then letting him play.

You don't say when you last take him out and when he gets to go out in the morning.  How many hours is that?  At 13 weeks, he is like a toddler.  We don't expect a toddler to stay dry overnight, so why should a puppy have to?  If you want not to have to get up at 3am, take his water away a couple hours before bed, take him out before bedtime and get up early again to toilet, and be prepared that there will probably be some accidents.  You may want to think about crating or confining him somewhere these will be easy to clean.

I find that the best mental exercise for BCs is either teaching them a new trick or getting them to use their nose.  Feeding him a meal, or all meals, using something like a snuffle mat, or a rolled up blanket that he has to push open to find kibble, or a treat toy, gets him to think and use his brain.  Hide and seek toys/treats etc makes him use his brain.  This is as tiring, if not more tiring, than physical exercise at his age. You can exercise with him by walking once his shots are done, but take it at his pace, let him sniff and explore, and for short periods.  Running for extended periods would be better once he is a year old, once his joints and bones are more fully formed, and even then I would ease him into it.  BCs are known for going past the point of hurting themselves.

I would not be too fussed about the elevated bed.  Most of my BCs will move around during the night from place to place, from our bed, to dog bed, to floor, to couch etc.  So long as they sleep where they are comfortable, I do not worry about it.

At 13 weeks, he is probably teething; the chewing will pass, just redirect when you see him chewing something inappropriate.  You could consider buying something like antler/goat horn/cow hoof to chew on, but there can be issues with these.  A frozen raw chicken neck or leg may be better as a chew toy, if you can keep the mess contained.

Can't comment on the dog food, sorry.

As for the car-sickness, I am no real help.  Hopefully someone with experience can chime in with advice.

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On 10/19/2020 at 9:35 AM, Lilo and Niko said:

Hello everyone! Lili here :)

We got Niko 2 weeks ago, he is such a lovely boy! Very energetic, super smart and sweet! I have so many questions though.

I have read so many articles about border collies and we scheduled a visit to a training school but it's until mid November. So I was wondering if you guys could help us out in the meantime.

Here is out daily routine:

1. We live in an 2 story apartment, he is with me the whole day (I am unemployed atm) the only times he goes out during the day is to go potty (we make it short because he is still missing his last shot and is in the process of deworming). We also take him out to a park to play ball, he runs lose for about 20-30 minutes, we try to do it everyday.

I do 15 minute command training sessions with him maybe twice a day but I lose his attention so quickly.

Any ideas on how I can get him to focus more? And ideas of more mental exercises? He still has so much energy at night so I figured maybe I should be doing more of those...

I go running everyday but I know I have to wait till he is a year old at least to bring him with me, is this right?

Also everyday he is playing with an older dog (who is up to date with his shots and doesn't hang out with other dogs and is not outside much), about 2 hours per day and I can tell it exhausts Niko so much but he takes a nap and is ready to go again haha.

2. He never goes one full night without having to go pee, he wakes up at 3am to go, is this normal for his age? He does drink a lot of water, his water bowl is always full, should I be taking it away after certain hour?

3. He doesn't like sleeping on the bed with us for more than a couple hours (which is fine) and then he goes to sleep right by the front door, i think he just gets too warm, so I got him an elevated bed, any thoughts on those? I am following advices from online sites to get him to sleep on it but still no success. He only gets on it to bite on the tubes and then gets off.

4. We bought him so many toys (kong, tug o war rope, balls, squeeky stuff) but he doesn't mind them, he just wants to chew on wood and metal!? He also loves playing with plastic bottles (which we stuffed with rice to make a kind of shaker).

5. I feed him Diamond Puppy (purple bag) dry food (which is what the person we got him from was giving him) I asked the vet and she said as long as it wasn't grain free, it's fine. But does anyone know if it's actually good for him? I give him 1/2 cup 3 times a day.

6. Last thing, he gets so sick while on the back seat of the car, he vomits when we put him there, so for now (while he still fits) i put him on the floor of the passenger's side. He is growing so fast so pretty soon he will have to go in the back, any ideas how to make him feel better there?

Overall, what do you think of this routine? Are we missing something?! Any tips you guys could give us would be so appreciated! I am so determined to make him the best pup he can be and willing to do whatever necessary.

Thanks in advance!

 

Welcome to the forum.

We like to see photos of puppies!

15 minutes is too long for a training session for a puppy. That's the longest I ever work with even my adult dogs at a time. 5 minutes should be tops for your little guy, and even with adult dogs I usually limit it to ten. Even three may be better. A little kid cannot focus for long. And you want to stop when he is still wanting more, not when he is tired of doiong it.

Don't let the older dog exhaust him quite so much. Keep the play sessions shorter.

He cannot expected at his age to go all night without going potty. If he needs to go out, you have to take him out. Just be glad he is potty trained!

Elevated bed....some dogs like them and some don't. If he ends up not ever using it, your local shelter would love to have it donated to them.

He is a puppy and puppies chew. If he chews on things you don't want him to chew on, then prevent his doing that by either watching him like a hawk, or crating him or making the things you want to protect out of his reach. Beware of stuffing plastic bottles with rice. If he chews one open and east the raw rice it can cause serious stomach problems when the rice expanded in him. Rather dangerous, actually. 

 I get my dog food in part guided by the analysis that I find on The Dog Food Advisor online. Currently my dogs are eating Wellness, but I switch around so they get variety, always choosing carefully what I buy and reading the labels. It does matter what is in the food and in what proportions, no matter what your vet says. The Dog Food Advisor is not perfect, but by reading their analysis of foods you will come to understand how to analyze labels on your own which is very helpful in choosing a food.

The car sickness may just go away as he gets older. But if it were my puppy I would probably go through a de-sensitizing protocol with the car,  in case it is caused by nervousness instead of the motion. And until I had that under control I would not drive him anywhere in the car at all.

I hope his running lose is in an enclosed, fenced-in space. If so, wonderful. But if not, I strongly recommend you stop doing that until you have trained a rock-solid recall, which won't be likely to happen until he is at least a year old, more likely two. Running lose without safe confinement is a very good way for a dog to get killed or in some sort of big trouble. Cars, stuff left on the ground, other dogs, other people, the list is endless.

 

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5 hours ago, D'Elle said:

I hope his running lose is in an enclosed, fenced-in space. If so, wonderful. But if not, I strongly recommend you stop doing that until you have trained a rock-solid recall, which won't be likely to happen until he is at least a year old, more likely two. Running lose without safe confinement is a very good way for a dog to get killed or in some sort of big trouble. Cars, stuff left on the ground, other dogs, other people, the list is endless.

 

Sometimes even running around in confinement can be an issue.  When we first got our puppy Oscar, he used to run around in our yard with his brother George.  Then at around 20 weeks old, he mysteriously got sick.   At first a bit of a cough and a fever, but antibiotics did not help, and a day later his hindquarters were paralysed.  The vet was asking about snail bait, or rat poison, but we had nothing like that in our yard.  Fortunately my OH is a keen Simpsons fan, and thought of the episode where Mr Burns is describing how all his family died from green potato poisoning.  We had some potatoes growing wild in a back corner of the garden where a previous owner had had a compost heap, and Oscar used to think they were a rolling chew toy.  And that was the answer; it was solanine (green potato toxin) poisoning, first case my vet had ever seen. Have you ever tried to de-potato a garden? It is not easy.  We collected a big bucket from around a square metre of ground, and still missed some, so they kept sprouting up..  In the end we put a large tarpaulin over the entire area for several years to kill them off.

So checking for poisonous plants is a worthwhile exercise if your dog is a chewer.

Oscar had three days on IV fluids at the vet, and was paralysed for nearly a week, but recovered fully except for a sensitive gut, and went on to title in agility.  Expensive exercise though.

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I also like the information on Dog Food Advisor.  Be aware that there are two "grades" of Diamond dog food.  Diamond Naturals is the better grade, and if memory is correct, it has no corn in it which always gave our dogs problems.  I have been feeding Diamond Naturals for a long time and think it is a very good food at a reasonable price.

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Lawgirl, thanks for this added information, which I had not even thought of. I always check a fence to be sure it cannot be gone under or over or through, but apart from removing things I know are dangerous, I don't think to check for other plants that might be harmful. Will do that from now on.

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