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Zoomies / Witching hour, and daily schedule.

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Greetings Everyone,

I have been doing a lot of reading on the forum, but I cannot seem to find information to help us with our issue.

First, a bit of context. We adopted a female BC a months ago, when she was ready to leave the litter. She is now 3 months old and had her shot (that allows to see other dogs ) last week friday. It is our first dog, and lots of people tell us it was a mistake to take a BC as first dog. But, we really dont care. We just want to do things right by her :)

She has been potty trained after 8 days, listens most of the time to the basic commands (sit, leave it, come), walks without a leash during our walks in the fields, she is just plain awsome. I used tether training, where she was always at my side, which allowed me to stop bad behavior before it happened, and potty train. The vet said i should imediatlly stop doing tether training when she did the shot, last friday. Said it would disturb/mess up our pup. She started doing inside again when I stopped the tether training, as she runs to the door and does her thing there, before we even get up and get there. I know its our fault, if we were more aware, we could prevent it and go outside sooner, this is not the issue, just me ranting at the vet :P

However, our real problem and reason of this post, since day two, we have issues around 6-7PM , when she starts to get over exited, stops listening completly, and the only thing that works, is putting her in her pen, with everything removed except the "safe" chew toys. With that I mean, we even remove her bedding in her crate, otherwise she tries to digg throuh it.

Usually, after 10 minutes, she is calmed down. However, if she leaves the pen, she starts all over again. And this for an hour or two. After that, she is an angel again and she continues the evening with us untill we all go to bed (she goes in her crate, no problem).

That hour of "bad behavior" is really anoying for us and for her, as we are constantly "uh oh"-ing her(put in crate after 2 or 3 uh-oh for 5 minutes). Behavior that will lead to a uh oh, is trying to chew all the things she is not allowed to. Biting (not hard), which she knows she is not allowed to do, and wont do outside of the zoomies. Grabing stuff and running away with it (shoes, etc), which, again, she never do outside of her zoomies.  I know its all playfull behavior, but she doesnt do it outside of those two hours.


We tried to do a lot more exercise (physical and mental), but that only made the behavior worse, reaching 6-7pm.

The vet said something along the lines of "pups will be pups", which of course doesnt help anyone. So, we are hoping you have some good avice to help us with this issue :)

I do believe it is linked with how much daily activity she has/doesnt have, which is my second part of the post.

She has something along the lines of:

- 8: morning walk (15-25 minutes)

- 11 : playing in the garden, alone or with us (10-20m). If weather is bad, we do some playing or trainings inside (5-10m)

- 13:  playing in the garden, alone or with us (10-20m). If weather is bad, we do some playing or trainings inside (5-10m)

- 16: another walk (15-25 minutes)

- 18: playing in the garden, alone or with us (10-20m). If weather is bad, we do some playing or trainings inside (5-10m)

Between those times, she is in her pen with a couple of chew toys, and her crate wide open, while we work untill 16 max.

Between those times, if she is not in her crate, and request to go outside, we let her. She will then usually go in the garden, start acting all.. puppy like, runnng around, and then come back in. We let her do her thing.

During the weekends, we try to keep the same shedule, but she is with us in the living room between her "schedule meetings".

So, how much more should we do, can you sugest some schedule changes for her? Sadly, I cannot ask the vet, since her answers are... Well you know by now :)


Cheers everyone!



Puppy tax:







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I would agree with your vet that "evening " zoomies" are a typical puppy behavior (one you may even end up missing once it's gone). I found that an evening chew helped settle our pup but we didn't give him chews in the crate. Puppies need a lot of sleep, but they don't always think they do. That's why a crate can be so useful because it basically forces them to sleep. If you think your pup is tired during her crazy time, why not leave her in her crate or pen for a nap?  Maybe others can offer more advice but I never put toys or chews in the crate if I expected the pup to sleep.

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What a cutie! 
I hope you didn’t listen to the vet about the tether training. I think it is a great way to prevent potty accidents and bad behaviour. I have seen this as advice on here as well. Not sure how that would mess up your pup... unless you’re being really mean and dragging her around yelling :P 

I’m afraid I don’t have any real advice about the zoomies, it’s been a while since I have had a pup - and most of the training was done by my mum then. But I do remember evenings sometimes being hard, so it is normal puppy behaviour. However only saying “pups will be pups” doesn’t help you to guide your pup to better behaviour!

I agree with puppytoes that she might need a nap. Do I understand correctly that you are saying uh oh three times before you put her in her crate? If so, I would instead put her in the het crate the second she gets overexcited to make it more clear to her.


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First off...what a cutie!! As for the zoomies, Rylie was and still is the exact same way! He is now 6 months old but has done the evening zoomies all along. I discovered by trial and error that he needed to go to bed much earlier than we were taking him to his crate. His last meal is about 5 PM and after a short playtime, he goes out for a potty break and then more playtime inside until about 6. Then we start with some more gentle play or snuggles or light training and by 6:15 or 6:30 he's into his nighttime crate which is in the bedroom. At 10 when I am going to bed, sometimes he whines and gets taken out for a quick potty and then right back into his crate for the night. He usually then sleeps until 4:30 or 5 and we get up for the day. No more zoomies once we started getting him settled much earlier. When he was younger the nighttime potty breaks did come in the middle of the night for a little while but it didn't take long for him to be sleeping through the night.

Before that he would play rough tug or something in the house and get all worked up and into the zoomies and/or biting/mouthing. Early bedtime took care of it!

Oh and while border collies do have more energy than other breeds, we have had 3 golden retrievers, 2 border collies (before Rylie), 2 elkhounds, and a german shepherd and I can honestly say they were all about the same to have in our household as to the ease of them. So I'm glad you went ahead and got the puppy you wanted instead of listening to others. 

Have fun, enjoy your puppy and especially these early puppy days (even though they can be trying at times), and watch her grow and develop into her adulthood. It passes way too fast in spite of the days you feel like she'll never settle!


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Hi and welcome! You don't mention training time in your schedule. One truth is that a tired puppy is a good puppy, and an important thing to remember is that mental exercise is just as important and as tiring as is physical exercise. Make sure you are doing some training sessions (maybe 5 minutes each) throughout the day, whenever you can fit them in. And make sure that one of the training sessions is just prior to the time that she gets zoomies. You may be able to use up a bit of that energy that way, although to tire her out enough to stop the zoomies altogether may not be possible.

You can also try teaching her to fetch. If she knows how to fetch and likes it you can spend  time playing fetch with her after the training session and let her work off some of her energy that way.

It's true that zoomies is typical puppy behavior, and she will grow out of it. But I'd channel that energy into training if it were my puppy. And then, when the zoomies start, I'd either pop her outside (if you have a fenced in and safe yard) or pop her into her crate to settle down. Bad behavior is bad behavior, no matter what time of day it is and zoomie energy doesn't make bad behavior OK. So I'd treat it like any other behavior I didn't want.


Cute puppy! And welcome to the forum. Lots of helpful and knowledgeable people here.

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This is an example of when making the correlation between puppies and kids is apt. (This came up in another thread very recently.) Just like human toddlers, puppies need to sleep more than older children and adults, though they often don't know that and because of their FOMO get overwrought and cranky. Like toddlers they need an earlier bedtime than the adults and older kids in the house. So, yeah, what Maeflower said.

A word of caution about trying to tire puppies (and older dogs) out with vigorous play, especially repetitive play like fetching a ball. You might want to take a look at this article on the subject by a holisitic vet. I've been guilty of endangering my dogs like this in the past, but have definitely made changes since becoming aware of this.

Also be aware that mental stimulation in the form of training and games like hide & seek with ppl or toys, nose work, etc. can be just as tiring for a dog (and a human child!) as physical activity.



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Hello Everyone,

Thank you for all the helpful and kind messages. We took note and decided to be more consistent with the crate/pen when the zoomies start. The first "uh oh" lands her in her pen. If we see she is really tired, we put her in her crate instead. Always with a lot of love, of course :) She loves her crate, and we want to keep it that way :D

We also took note of that article, and will do less fetch kind of games and more mental training and trails/walks.

Yesterday was good, as we put her immediately in her crate (not pen) when she started showing signs of over tiredness.

We will see today if this keeps working :)



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I'm not certain how scientific this is, but with our pup we often look closely at his eyes to try and judge 'true tiredness' vs keenness. 


If the pups eyes are a wee bit red/bloodshot or manic he is possibly overtired/stimulated, if his eyes are clear and inquisitive, body movements smooth, its probably a decent time to train, but I'd agree with others that around 6-7-8 they should be off to bed.

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Hello everyone,

I hope not to jynx it... But after a week, I am here to report that our lil pup is behaving a lot better with more sleep.

When she starts to get over exited around 6-7pm, the bad kind, we simply bring her to her pen, and she will gladly go to sleep in her pen. When it is too much, and it doesnt work (happened twice), we put her in her crate, with a blanket over it so she cannot see us. This will put her to sleep in a couple of minutes too.

So... Yay! Thanks!




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Glad you're getting things under control. It took a few times for us to figure out the zoomies meant bedtime. We have since learned to read Rylie like a book!! Your puppy is gorgeous and the dot on his head reminds me of my first and dearest border collie Fleck. I'll miss him til the day I die but my heart is full of memories and love for the others I have had and have now.

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6 hours ago, drharps said:

My girlfriend likes to call that the spot where the off button is supposed to be, but wasn't properly installed. 

I love it!! Rylie not only got an improperly installed off button but he didn't even get the button! So that explains it!

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