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Indoor activities to substitute for outside play


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Hi everyone!

Lili here! My puppy's name is Niko, he is 14 weeks old.

He is our first border collie so I'm gonna be posting many more questions!

This time it's about indoor activities recommendations.

For now this is the activities we have been doing DAILY with him and it was kind of working.

•20-30 minutes outside playing ball with us.

•About 2 training sessions (1 in the afternoon and 1 at night), each of about 5 minutes

•He plays with his treat puzzle for about 5 minutes.

•One 10 minute walk.

The rest of the day he is sleeping, playing with his toys or doing more fetch with us.

Today we weren't able to go out for his 20 minute play time because of the rain. After 6pm he started getting crazy, we had already done all the activities (i also tossed the ball down the stairs for him to fetch and come back up a couple of times). I know this is for the lack of physical activity, and I hate myself for not taking him out today and with winter coming up I'm afraid there's gonna be way more of these days! So what are some indoor activities i can do to substitute for his activity outside?

When I say he started acting crazy I mean it! He grabs our feet/arms and starts growling and pulling quite hard. He had never done it this bad until today.

IMG_20201025_113636_325.jpg

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  • Lilo and Niko changed the title to Indoor activities to substitute for outside play

Hi there,

One thing to keep in mind is that you really don't want to turn this pup into a dog who has to be entertained all the time. It's easy to do with a border collie puppy. If you do stuff with him all the time he will get sort of addicted to that and will (as you have seen) be a problem if he doesn't get what he is used to. Border collies are high energy dogs, and need attention and play and exercise, but you can over do it.

It sounds to me as if you are probably doing enough with this pup already. If you cannot take him for a walk, then spend that amount of time playing with him or training him to do things, but not more. He needs to learn that there are times to learn, times to walk,  times to play, and times when he has to settle down and be quietly playing with his toys by himself or resting.

Don't permit the bad behavior. If you have played/trained with him enough and it is time to settle down and he won't do it, just say "time out" in a nice cheerful voice and pop him into his crate to chill out.

Also want to mention that throwing the ball down the stairs should wait until he is older, as it could injure him at the age he is now.

Look up tricks you can teach him online. KikoPup is a great place to start...she has a lot of wonderful tricks you can train. Remember that mental stimulation tires the pup out as much as physical activity. But again, be careful not to over do it.

He is, by the way, adorablly cute. 

 

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Cute puppy!  Two suggestions:  Do some nose work with him in the house.  Hide a treat somewhere and tell him to find it.  Start with something very simple and make it more complex as he figures it out.  Mental activity can be as tiring as physical exercise, and a tired puppy is a good puppy.

Get him a tug toy and play tug-o-war.  Don't ever let him use his teeth on you or your clothing.

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1 hour ago, D'Elle said:

Hi there,

One thing to keep in mind is that you really don't want to turn this pup into a dog who has to be entertained all the time. It's easy to do with a border collie puppy. If you do stuff with him all the time he will get sort of addicted to that and will (as you have seen) be a problem if he doesn't get what he is used to. Border collies are high energy dogs, and need attention and play and exercise, but you can over do it.

It sounds to me as if you are probably doing enough with this pup already. If you cannot take him for a walk, then spend that amount of time playing with him or training him to do things, but not more. He needs to learn that there are times to learn, times to walk,  times to play, and times when he has to settle down and be quietly playing with his toys by himself or resting.

Don't permit the bad behavior. If you have played/trained with him enough and it is time to settle down and he won't do it, just say "time out" in a nice cheerful voice and pop him into his crate to chill out.

Also want to mention that throwing the ball down the stairs should wait until he is older, as it could injure him at the age he is now.

Look up tricks you can teach him online. KikoPup is a great place to start...she has a lot of wonderful tricks you can train. Remember that mental stimulation tires the pup out as much as physical activity. But again, be careful not to over do it.

He is, by the way, adorablly cute. 

 

Thank you D'Elle! I was actually afraid that that would be a thing... To get him used to always do something. I will start working on time out with him, my question is, should we put him in the kennel for this? I was told that the kennel should not be used for time out/punishment as it is a place he should like? Is this true? 

I'll also stop with the stairs exercise, i didn't think about it enough and you are right.

I'm now looking up kiko pup!

Thank you so much!!

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1 hour ago, Michael Parkey said:

Cute puppy!  Two suggestions:  Do some nose work with him in the house.  Hide a treat somewhere and tell him to find it.  Start with something very simple and make it more complex as he figures it out.  Mental activity can be as tiring as physical exercise, and a tired puppy is a good puppy.

Get him a tug toy and play tug-o-war.  Don't ever let him use his teeth on you or your clothing.

Thanks Michael! 

I am actually trying to teach him his toys names to eventually hide them for him to find, still no success tho lol.

We have the tug toy, everytime he starts using his teeth on us we grab it (have tried with his other toys too) to divert his attention to it but it's like he doesn't care about them. 

We have already scheduled evaluation classes to eventually start an obedience course, but they are not until next week.

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2 hours ago, Lilo and Niko said:

 my question is, should we put him in the kennel for this? I was told that the kennel should not be used for time out/punishment as it is a place he should like? Is this true? 

I've never raised a pup, but have had to 'contain' a young border collie. Some one here, (I think) suggested that when you interrupted unwanted behavior and put the pup or dog in their kennel, you use a bright and cheery tone. "OH! you must need a nap! There you go!" I've done that and seems to work. "it seems that every time I chew the furniture I go in the crate". These dogs are smart and figure it out.

Ruth & Gibbs

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Mental games:  Hiding treats, hiding toys.  Silly "useless" tricks like "give me your paw", put your front feet on a book/box/platform, put your back feet on same, crawl under my legs while I'm sitting with my knees up, walk by my side (up and down hallway or just across room), back up (gentle on a youngster with this one).  Not sure what your "treat puzzle" is but maybe use that several times a day.  I'll second the recommendation to look up Kikopup - but remember your pup is just a BABY!  Attention span is that of a gnat.  And growing bones, joints, etc.  Have fun!

diane

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21 hours ago, Lilo and Niko said:

Thank you D'Elle! I was actually afraid that that would be a thing... To get him used to always do something. I will start working on time out with him, my question is, should we put him in the kennel for this? I was told that the kennel should not be used for time out/punishment as it is a place he should like? Is this true? 

I'll also stop with the stairs exercise, i didn't think about it enough and you are right.

I'm now looking up kiko pup!

Thank you so much!!

The crate training is all about your attitude. If you think of it as a punishment, your pup will experience it as such. If you have the approach, attitude, body language, and voice of it being just a place where he can rest a little bit before the next fun thing, he will pick up on that. Urge To Herd put it well.

Think in these terms: You are looking after a two year old human being. This kid is very active, but can get over tired and then fusses. You don't punish her for this, you would simply say "time for a nap" and put the kid to bed for a while. This is the way it needs to be done with a dog (of any age).

Couple this with feeding him his meals in his crate, giving him a safe chew toy when he goes in for time out, making sure the blanket(s) in there are nice and soft and clean (that is, unless he chews them up, in which case a soft rubber bottom for the crate),  and so on, will make it a place that is not bad.

Another thing I always work on is a "Place". I like to use a small rug for this. I teach the dog to go to this rug and lie down on it when I say "place" or "go to your place".  This is very useful because once it is well learned you can move the rug around the house, using it for a chill-out place and eventually in the future even take it with you if you go elsewhere, and the dog has a special place where you can ask him to lie down and stay out of the way. I have had more than one dog who did this, and I didn't even have to have the rug eventually; I could just tell the dog that a corner of the room was his Place. Make sure you train this in small steps and don't ask the puppy to stay there for very long. work up slowly to maybe 20 seconds at most until he is older.

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I LOVE 'place'. Somehow I started out using the word 'blanket' and it is honest-to-god one of the best things I've ever trained. I've taken Gibbs on a few road trips. He can be a bit of a nervous nelly at times. I bring his blanket. Then find an out of the way corner for it in the motel room or whatever friend's home I'm at and show him where it is. Works like gang busters.

Ruth & Gibbs

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Assuming you live with a partner or live with family members or roommates, you  might be able to teach him 'go find Bob' or whoever else it is. THEN, that person rewards and makes a fuss. After that's solid, the person he's found gets the cue from 'Bob', 'go find Lili'. Sending him back and forth a few times might be a lot of fun for everyone.

Ruth & Gibbs

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2 hours ago, D'Elle said:

The crate training is all about your attitude. If you think of it as a punishment, your pup will experience it as such. If you have the approach, attitude, body language, and voice of it being just a place where he can rest a little bit before the next fun thing, he will pick up on that. Urge To Herd put it well.

Think in these terms: You are looking after a two year old human being. This kid is very active, but can get over tired and then fusses. You don't punish her for this, you would simply say "time for a nap" and put the kid to bed for a while. This is the way it needs to be done with a dog (of any age).

Couple this with feeding him his meals in his crate, giving him a safe chew toy when he goes in for time out, making sure the blanket(s) in there are nice and soft and clean (that is, unless he chews them up, in which case a soft rubber bottom for the crate),  and so on, will make it a place that is not bad.

Another thing I always work on is a "Place". I like to use a small rug for this. I teach the dog to go to this rug and lie down on it when I say "place" or "go to your place".  This is very useful because once it is well learned you can move the rug around the house, using it for a chill-out place and eventually in the future even take it with you if you go elsewhere, and the dog has a special place where you can ask him to lie down and stay out of the way. I have had more than one dog who did this, and I didn't even have to have the rug eventually; I could just tell the dog that a corner of the room was his Place. Make sure you train this in small steps and don't ask the puppy to stay there for very long. work up slowly to maybe 20 seconds at most until he is older.

Got it! Thank you again, these tips are so useful as always. We already put his food bowl in the kennel, sometimes I play fetch with him and throw the ball in there too, he is starting to like it, I can tell because sometimes he takes his toys in there to play (door is always open unless we put him there) and then naps in there.

The 'place' thing sounds really good! I'll include this in our training.

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29 minutes ago, urge to herd said:

Assuming you live with a partner or live with family members or roommates, you  might be able to teach him 'go find Bob' or whoever else it is. THEN, that person rewards and makes a fuss. After that's solid, the person he's found gets the cue from 'Bob', 'go find Lili'. Sending him back and forth a few times might be a lot of fun for everyone.

Ruth & Gibbs

I love this idea! Thank you!! 

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On 10/29/2020 at 10:33 AM, Lilo and Niko said:

Got it! Thank you again, these tips are so useful as always. We already put his food bowl in the kennel, sometimes I play fetch with him and throw the ball in there too, he is starting to like it, I can tell because sometimes he takes his toys in there to play (door is always open unless we put him there) and then naps in there.

This is Great. You are well on your way, as is he, to good feelings about, and use of, the crate. congratulations!

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 10/27/2020 at 10:30 PM, Lilo and Niko said:

20-30 minutes outside playing ball with us.

I know this isn't what you're asking about but please be careful about playing fetch with a growing pup, especially on stairs, unless you're looking to create ortho issues down the line.

I know you're not, of course. But that kind of all out running and repetitive movement in a dog who's not growing yet can cause physical problems later on. Puppies should be allowed to run and play, but only at their own pace and choosing their own ways of moving around.

Also, as I mentioned in another reply a few minutes ago, be sure to quietly and calmly praise him when he just gets tired and konks out on his own. Most people only interact with their dogs when they're active and just let them be when they're quiet. But they need to learn that down time is a valued behavior as well and the best way to do that is to reinforce it. I start that on day 1 with any new dog or puppy that comes into my home.

Gorgeous puppy!

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On 11/23/2020 at 10:15 PM, puppytoes said:

Border collies don't melt in the rain.

:lol::lol:

So right, that.

I don't think that most dogs mind rain like so many modern humans do. Working dogs of all stripes must be willing to work in less that favorable conditions in order to be useful. Toy dogs can be another story though. :P

 

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Rylie's favorites inside are tug and catching a tossed tennis ball kept low and close within about 3 or 4 feet so safe to play inside. He has a treat puzzle toy but goes through it so fast that I don't use it very often. He also gets a LickiMat from Cleanrun with some of his food or some pumpkin spread in it or a frozen kong with peanut butter. This settles him and gives him something to do for a while. AND as GentleLake said, rain is typically no problem. Rylie doesn't mind it at all and I hike and backpack so I'm used to being out in all kinds of weather. We don't do as much play in the yard when it's raining for fear of slipping and getting hurt but walks are no problem.

Rylie is also just now beginning to love to just snuggle on the couch while I watch tv and he also has a mat for Go to Mat command which he will settle on and play with a toy or chew on a nylabone.

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Put a treat inside a plastic bottle and see if he can get it out. Kick around a cardboard box and get him to attack/ herd it. Get one of those giant tennis balls from Amazon. Put a string onto a stuffed toy, toss it about 10 feet away and pull it back slowly and let him stalk it. All fun for both of you.

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  • 4 weeks later...

You could hide items from him and send him to find them. When he’s a little older, you could teach him something useful, like finding your phone. I taught my dog to find my phone and my two-way radio. (They have lithium batteries, and dogs can smell them.) I put him in the bedroom and tell him to sit. I show him the phone and say “phone” a few times while I let him sniff it. Then, I shut the door and go hide the phone. After a few minutes, I tell him to go “find phone.”  When he finds it, he gives me his alert, and I reward him.

This has come in handy when I have lost my phone or radio. (I’m kind of a blonde.) Once my radio dropped out of my chest-pack during a nighttime Search and Rescue training. After the training, I took Roscoe back to the area and told him to find my phone. He found it and saved me a lot of grief. I would have never been able to find it in the woods in the dark without him. 

There is a downside of teaching him to find my phone. He sometimes “finds” it when I have laid it on an end table even though I haven’t lost it and haven’t asked him to find it. He gives me an alert and expects his reward.  :) I don’t reward him because I didn’t ask him to find it.  But he sure tries hard. He just looks back and forth from me to the phone with such hope in his eyes. It’s really hard to resist. :)

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Take this one with a grain of salt, as my Gibbs just turned 13. Don't know that I do this with a very young dog. 

Gibbs loves it when I get down on the floor and 'wrestle' with him. I shove him around, he skips back from me, then approaches again, then turns his butt towards me, then I grab one of his legs and he has to tug to get away from me, then he approaches again. And on and on. Happy, happy dog.

And I live about an hour north of San Francisco, and Gibbs gets 3 walks a day, as do I ;). It's rainy season here, too, and he hasn't shown any signs of melting at all. When it's NOT raining, I put out some small treats in the back yard for him to find. He loves it and just about taps his invisible wrist watch when he thinks it's time for a game of 'find it'.

Have a good time!

Ruth & Gibbs

 

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