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13 months old neutered need 8 hours supervision


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Hi everybody, 

We homed our lovely boy 2 months ago. He is now 13 month old and requires 8 hours of supervision/day (ie any time he is not crated). Is this normal?

We rehomed him from a previous owner who loved him but couldn’t cope with the demands. He was left in a small utility room with one other dog for 7-8 hours a day, after which he would have garden time+ a walk in the evening (~1.5hrs). He hasn’t met many people or dogs. He is noise sensitive, chases cars, people reactive and dog reactive. Our dog trainer and behaviourist both thinks he will benefit from behaviour drugs( Prozac) which we are due to start him on.

 

He gets 3*30 min walk a day, 3*10 min active play, 2*10min of sit-on-Mat, 2*15 min of relaxation protocol, 2*10 min training, 2*30min enrichment feeding, 1hr of chewing, and the rest filled up by random stuff....

 

Any advice would be great. It’s our first dog and we don’t know how normal this is...

 

thank you

 

 

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Is what normal? That a 13 mo needs supervision, yes. That you have his day so regimented, no.  He's still a pup and from the sounds of it he's had minimal life exposures. Take time to acclimate him to the world, a world he's never seen and world that's been turned upside down by being moved in with you. Let him investigate and learn, on his own pace. Take him places and allow him to sit on the peripheral and learn, see, take in all around him. Take time. I am not and never have been a fan of drugging dogs. Training, consistent training and behavior modification needs to happen first. Take time. Good Luck!

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I agree with Journey, above. It is not a good idea to drug a puppy. He's still learning about the world and to drug him to change his behavior is not a good approach at all. 

Note that until trained, all puppies need supervision. Or, if they cannot be supervised, they need to be in their crate. this dog didn't get the proper puppy training, so you need to train him now, because he doesn't understand yet what is expected of him.

Also, take care not to fill his whole day with activities. If you do, you will train him to expect attention all of the time, and you don't want that. Let him learn to chill out in his crate or by your side. Continue with your training, and use the crate for time-out and naps. And be patient, as this dog clearly was not treated the right way for the first part of his life and now has to learn stuff he should have been taught a year ago.

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What they said. ^^^ Also many border collies are noise sensitive. Heck, many dogs of all breeds are noise sensitive. Unless he's getting very overexcited or fearful about common noises don't worry about it.

If you give him some room to just be a dog, sniff around, take a nap here and there, he might calm down. Definitely take out 3/4 of the activities you've got listed. He's still maturing. Let him go at his own pace.

Training can occur in 2 minute bursts randomly throughout the day. Regimenting training time as you've done is not necessary and not always helpful. For now just keep him away from people he doesn't know and any other dogs. If I personally were in the tight schedule you've got him in, I'd be snappish and growly, too.

IF after giving him a LOT more unstructured time and randomizing his activities he's still aggressive, only then should you try medications. I know from personal experience that unnecessary medication can do a lot of damage. Prozac is a powerful drug, you don't want to be giving it to any animal that doesn't need it.

Ruth & Gibbs

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How much does he sleep? Too little sleep makes for a hyperactive dog.

Intelligent,  active dogs like border collies, need lots of sleep to process all the information and triggers. Way more sleep then you would think. Specially if they have just been rehomed. Young foster dogs in my experience  often do well on 2 hours sleep,  30 to 45 minutes activity, walk, sniffing. And sleep again.  But they won't put themselfs to bed! Does he sleep in a crate? In a covered crate? I would try way more sleep and less activity before meds if it were my dog.

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Thanks everyone for their feedback and please send any other advice!!!

We've tried to give him unstructured time and let him play alone, but when we do he starts to pace, then run and works himself up, starts barking and gets upset, tries to dig at the floor and shake any soft fabric available/chews. He won't choose to relax unless he's made to.

We think he learnt this behaviour when he was locked up all day.

We have the schedule to teach him how to relax and stop him from working himself up.

We've been keeping meeting people and dogs to a minimum, tried non-drug methods (doggy music, Yucalm, Zylkene, Pet Remedy Spray) and he's still unable to relax.

What do your puppies do when you are not interacting with them? We would struggle to keep up with 8hours of undivided attention forever... we also have fallen prey to the routine because we don’t know what to do if not to train/play/feed? I would LOVE to just cuddle him and chill for 30 min but he won’t do it for more than 30 secs.

Im also worried about the drugs/prefer not to use,  but these guys are way more qualified than me so i didn’t push back when they suggested it after seeing videos of him pacing.

 

our inexperience is really showing...

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He's not a puppy. He's a fully grown dog. He's got some social maturing to do, but definitely not a baby. Think of it as remedial training. You need to teach him how to settle himself. Does he like being petted, or having his head or rear end scratched? All of my dogs have loved one or both of those. 

How does he respond to your gentle touch? If he will let you, try stroking him from the base of his skull to the base of his tail, slowly. If he seems to like it, even if only for a second or so, persist. Gently try again. Stop if he gets agitated.

I see he only lets you 'cuddle' for 30 seconds. Try the less restraining activity of simply petting/stroking him. The cuddling might feel confining to him. For what it's worth, NONE of my b. collies have liked cuddling. The most I got was one of them would sleep on my bed with me, and snuggle up to my legs after I was asleep. And your boy might never be a cuddler. I know that lots of b. collies are like mine.

If all your efforts at re-training him do no good, talk with the veterinarian behaviorist about the possibility of having him on an anti-anxiety med. If the medication works you can try tapering off the medication, with the behaviorists approval and see if the changes are sticking.

Also, not all dogs respond to prozac. My girl who came with major issues did not respond to prozac at all. The vet, (and I had to push him for this) put her on an anti-anxiety drug called clomiprimine/clomid here in the US. It took a little while, but worked very well for Shonie.

Last but not least, try only one suggestion at a time and give it a few days. If any of it works, you'll want to know which thingy turned it around for him.

Let us know how you get on.

Ruth & Gibbs

 

 

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What they said, definitely.

But also - perhaps this puppy/dog never learned to play?  If play gets him over-aroused, perhaps not a good idea.  But just some "mental exercises" might help.   Play tug, then learn "give."  Play fetch, then learn "relax" (which might be just a "down").  Etc.  There are lots of gadgets that are mental exercises too, but you can make up some - like balls in muffin tins, with treats underneath.  and definitely, give each thing you try some time to work.  He may be a "dog" by now, but given his history, treat him like a baby puppy.  And bless you for taking him on!

diane

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19 hours ago, Suzie said:

We've tried to give him unstructured time and let him play alone, but when we do he starts to pace, then run and works himself up, starts barking and gets upset, tries to dig at the floor and shake any soft fabric available/chews. He won't choose to relax unless he's made to.

This needs patience.  You have only had this dog for 2 months. Give it time. All the suggestions above can guide what you do when you are interacting with him but crate him when you are not. This alone will probably teach him to chill out in time. But don't think that something isn't working if you have only given it 2 months on a dog who spent most of his young life having to adapt to bad circumstances.

Those adaptations included pacing. He probably couldn't chill out and relax because he was penned in with other dogs who always disturbed him if he tried. He needs to make a major change in how he sees and reacts to the world, and that doesn't happen fast. He's been thoroughly conditioned by his past experience. Sometimes with some dogs, it can take as long to un-condition and learn something new than the period of time the bad experience was. 

I have had many foster dogs. some of them who came from bad places took months to unlearn their adaptive behavior. It is worthwhile just to be patient and not resort to something drastic like medication. I know one dog came to me as a foster who had been put on prozac. He was a miserable guy and I took him off the prozac immediately. Once that medication cleared his system he became a lovely dog who was eager to learn all I had to teach him. Please give this dog time and don't squash his energy with medication. It may calm him down but it in my opinion it won't help him to learn what he has to learn.

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Thank you everybody-this community is amazing. 

D’elle-we crate him when he sleeps PLUS 2 lots of 3.5hours during the day when we work. Are you saying we can crate him more than that?

His crate is in a quiet place out of the way. Should we get another crate in the living room for him to stay in while we work?

Urge to herd- he likes it when I rub his belly or when I nuzzle his neck or his face. But when I stroke him, he runs away. I tried massaging, didn’t work. I also bought the Ttouch book hoping to try that...

We experimented today not paying him attention for 10 minutes, to see what he would do. He ran and barked intermittently, sniffed the floor and panted the whole time.  So we probably won’t do that again.

 

Diane-he gets very worked up with fetch. So we are playing sniffing games, find it, puzzles etc. He gets bored unless you play with him. The frozen Kong, we hold it for him otherwise he would give up.

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"We experimented today not paying him attention for 10 minutes, to see what he would do. He ran and barked intermittently, sniffed the floor and panted the whole time.  So we probably won’t do that again."

You need to let him work out that he'll survive without your constant attention. If you want to take it slower, ignore him for 5 minutes, or two. then build on that, gradually adding length. Running, barking, sniffing and panting for a few minutes are not dreadful things for him to endure. He's being a dog and learning some new skills.

He'll never understand that he's fine not being the center of attention if you don't give him regular 'practice' at not being the center of attention. 

R & G

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Agree with Urge to herd, above. To reply to your question, I don't think a second crate is necessary. And there's no need for him to be around you constantly.

He may become more accepting of physical affection from you or may not. I have had a border collie who had no saturation point on getting cuddles and petting. I have also had one who had very little interest in that. Most of the time if I tried to cuddle him he'd break away from me and look at me a certain way, which I figured basically meant to say: "If you want to show me you love me, throw something!" :D

 

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It's possible that you being upset when he's in 'active mode' is making him more restless. These dogs soooo easily pick up on our energies. If you're calm about the crating, etc, he might pick up on that and settle more easily himself.

What ever you can do to be calm in yourself has a chance of settling every one in your household more easily. Meditate, knit, watch your favorite tv show, read a book, anything that takes your attention off your dog for a few minutes and that YOU find refreshing will do.

Ruth & Gibbs

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