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Hi all!

I'm hoping for some general advice from BC experts on helping us do right by our puppy Bailey (currently 5.5 months) and raise him to be a very good boy! I'm a first-time dog owner, whereas my partner grew up with BCs - but Bailey is our first puppy. I'll admit it was a shock to the system and a steep learning curve, but we're getting the hang of it now! Unfortunately with the pandemic we've only managed to go to a couple of puppy classes so we've been watching youtube videos/following advice online, but we don't know if we're doing it right or if there are things we're missing or doing to cause bad habits! I thought it might be helpful to post our daily routine below in case there are any glaring mistakes we're making - any advice really would be greatly appreciated! I'll apologise in advance for the long post...!

We've definitely had our ups and downs but feel like we're through the worst of it now! It's still a work in progress, and reading the forums on this group has been amazing, but there are some specific essential things we're having real difficulties with and would love some help:

  • Recall - I know he's only 5.5 months old, but he is terrible! We think this is largely our fault for giving him too much freedom too young - we let him go off lead at the park from ~12 weeks old until these last couple of weeks where he's back on his training lead. Our reasoning was that with the pandemic we had no opportunities for him to meet other dogs (we've been in lockdown for most of our time with him, so no-one can come round etc) so for the sake of socialisation we let him run around and play with some dogs we see at the park daily. It's great because now they are like his pack and he loves it and is super friendly and sociable with people and dogs, but perhaps too friendly as he is very easily excited and distracted and now won't (can't?) listen to us. His recall at home is great but with other people/dogs it's impossible - he has absolutely no interest in treats no matter how high value, nothing is better than charging about with another dog. We've been practising on an extendable/training lead while on walks and he's pretty good, but we feel like we should be doing more as other puppies around his age that we've met are miles better. Will he get better with age or what else can we do?
  • Cars - He's ok around our cul de sac, but on any busier road he pulls and lunges at cars. We think it's a fear response trying to chase them away, or maybe herding? Either way, it's dangerous for both him and us and has to stop, but we're unsure how. We're working on exposure, making him sit, wait and watch with lots of praise/reward, but it doesn't seem to be improving, and might even be getting worse :( What can we do?
  • Exercise - are we doing too much? We've heard the whole 5 minutes per month of life but that seemed ridiculous to us with such a high energy puppy - we would have lost our minds with him! We try and stick to only 30 mins of high intensity/running once a day, but are more relaxed for gentler on lead walks. But I'm worried that we're damaging his growing joints - how would we know? Should we be sticking to a max of 30 mins twice a day (even on lead)?

We love our little dude to pieces and he's so funny, we just want to do right by him and raise a good, happy & safe pup! When he's older we want to do some agility or flyball etc (not competitively, just for enjoyment), but for now we just want to make sure he's happy and healthy, while also maintaining a lifestyle that we can manage!

Thanks so much in advance!

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General routine

7-7.30am - Bailey gets (us) up, cuddle, toilet

7.30-8.10am - Playtime at the park chasing a ball/running round with his doggy pals (~30 mins running)

  • Focus on socialisation
  • Previously off-lead, now back on a training lead as recall is impossible and he's turned us trying to get him into a game

8.15-9am - breakfast (puzzle toy), toilet, settle

9am-1pm - settle time while we work

  • Usually crated ~9-11am, then toilet break, then settle in the room with us
  • Usually a 5-10 min play/training session during this stint

1-1.45pm - lunchtime walk (~45 min walk)

  • On lead, stretch of legs/sniffing

1.45-2pm - lunch (puzzle toy), toilet, settle

2-4pm - crate settle time while we work

4-5.30pm - Bailey is a pest time

  • Theoretically this would still be settle time, but he kicks up a fuss being crated after 4pm. He may chill a bit in the room with us, but usually wants to play
    • Self-entertainment with toys, kongs, chew, lickimat etc

5.30-6pm - Energy release (excited play time/attention from us)

6-6.30pm - Dinner (puzzle toy)

6.30-8.30pm - Focus on Bailey time

  • Playtime with us, training time (obedience or scent games)
  • Evening neighbourhood walk on lead (~30 mins)
  • Lickimat or chew to help him settle (/distract him while we cook/eat)

8.30pm-bedtime - settle time

  • No more play with us (self play is fine), cuddles, chews or lickimat
  • Falls asleep on the sofa with us until being crated for overnight

Weekends follow a similar pattern, with a slower start from us and trips in the car for nicer/longer walks.

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With regard to the cars, I have a suggestion for something else you can try. Make cars and traffic boring. Here's what I mean: go to an area that's far enough away from the road where it's not overwhelming for your dog. Have a seat with your dog next to you and just relax and watch traffic roll by. Yawn some times. Make it really boring and relaxed. Don't give treats, don't make it exciting, just suck all the energy out of it. After a few minutes, go on your way. Again, with no energy. Repeat.

Anyway, just an idea. It seemed to work with my guy when he was about 4 months old (he's 7 months now). I did the same thing with geese over the past month or so to good effect.  I wish it would work for us with other dogs, but that's still my boy's weak spot. Good luck!

PS: what a cute dog!!! 

 

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Probably you are giving him too much exercise/attention time. If I am not mistaken, your activity with him adds up to about 5 hours a day, and if that is the case it's way too much. Not that he doesn't like all that and not that he doesn't have the energy for it. But if you always give hours of attention to the puppy you will end up with an adult dog who thinks that he deserves and in fact has to get 5 hours of attention every day and could become a problem dog if he doesn't. 

Never allow him off leash until the recall is completely solid. At his age, it's not likely to be. Usually a puppy takes a year or more to get really solid on the recall. You are expecting too much too early and providing him with opportunities to ignore you, which is only teaching him that coming when you call is optional.  Only add distractions slowly....one dog, not a pack of them, and on leash only. Work there until his recall is solid, then add one more distraction, also on leash. And so on. If you want to let him run and play with the pack, go and get him when you want him, don't try to use the recall.

For cars, use the Look At That game from the book Control Unleashed. There are many discussions of this, and of training recall, on this forum. Search for it and you will find.

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On 2/22/2021 at 3:35 PM, D'Elle said:

Probably you are giving him too much exercise/attention time. If I am not mistaken, your activity with him adds up to about 5 hours a day, and if that is the case it's way too much. Not that he doesn't like all that and not that he doesn't have the energy for it. But if you always give hours of attention to the puppy you will end up with an adult dog who thinks that he deserves and in fact has to get 5 hours of attention every day and could become a problem dog if he doesn't. 

Hi @D'Elle - thank you so much for your extensive feedback (I've seen your replies on various other topics and always find your advice useful!). I'm really interested by this as we've been finding the balance difficult. We feel guilty that we're both working 7-8 hours a day where we can't give him any attention, so we try to make up for it at other times, but from what you're saying, maybe we're now going too far the other way? 

I was surprised when you said we're giving him 5 hours of attention as that sounds like an awful lot when you add it up (and would explain why we are so tired!!). I've thought about it a bit more, and tried to break down our aim for how much time we're actively interacting with him ( rather than when he's being fed/just following us about), and would be interested to know whether you would still think that this is too much? The last thing we want is an overly demanding/problem dog!

  • Morning - 40 mins walk/playtime
  • Lunch - 45-60 mins walk/training
  • Eve - Difficult to say, but probably around ~1.5/1.75 hours total - 45-60 mins of play (in 2 sessions), 15 mins training, 30 mins walk
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On 2/22/2021 at 3:35 PM, D'Elle said:

Usually a puppy takes a year or more to get really solid on the recall. You are expecting too much too early and providing him with opportunities to ignore you, which is only teaching him that coming when you call is optional.

You're completely right. I think we've been fooled into thinking that he is older than he is by how fast he's grown and that he can do the commands at home, as it feels to us that he 'knows' what to do, but you're right, it's completely different with distractions. For us it has been so difficult not having puppy classes to inspire us to keep to a good training routine, so I hope they start again soon. That's great advice about not doing recall at the 'puppy play' time at the park. With the pandemic it has been essential for us to allow him that opportunity to socialise and play with other dogs but I completely agree that we need to accept that is what that time is for and separate the training time completely.
For context, it was our puppy class trainer who told us it was essential to let him off lead from a young age, but it's not working for us so we're keeping him back on his training lead which definitely helps. Then in the meantime we can practice getting his attention back on us and coming back to us while on lead, in steadily increasingly distracting situations :)


Thank you also for the advice about the 'Look at that game', I'll check it out. We've also started doing the 'It's yer choice' game that we've just discovered

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I can only offer our experience as our schedule looked an awful lot like yours does now our first 1.5 months. Reading here, and after having a trainer come work with us and review things, we backed wayyy down, and our girl (5months) is much calmer and well balanced. It wasn't easy the first few days, but instinct about her energy was way off. She can run around and play and train and interact for 2 hours, but she shouldn't, at least not at her age. Starting over, and kind of building 'up' towards an ideal amount of exercise, mental stimulation, rest, and time alone got us to where we could see she was very happy and satisfied. That happened to be way way less than what we were (and you are) currently doing.

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Probably you are giving him too much exercise/attention time. If I am not mistaken, your activity with him adds up to about 5 hours a day, and if that is the case it's way too much.

I as well am curious about this. The legends of BCs are that they need constant stimulation and run run run, so I have been consistently surprised by more experienced peoples advice on here, and how well its worked with our pup.

Can also search on here for 'exercise junkie', which could be what you might be conditioning your dog for. Cute pup!

For reference our 5 months old day:

7-7:30 Wake up, go out for potty, 30 minute walk (sniffies) or 30 minute longline play in the park. 5 mins of random training in there. (If randomly we go to the fenced dogpark, she'll really rev up and run. Thats it for the day after that, she is very happy and tired.)

8 - Basic Obedience 5 minutes. She gets most of her breakfast after in a bowl. 15 minutes of Calmness Protocol.

8:30 - 12 - Xpen if shes chilling/ chewing/ playing - Crate if cranky/ bugging us (nap)

12 - Out into town for lunch/ socialization/ errands (about 30 minutes). Shes more 'along for the ride here'.

1- 4:30 - Xpen if shes chilling/ chewing/ playing - Crate if cranky/ bugging us (nap)

6 ish - Short walk for sniffies

6:30 - 5 min training, Calmness Protocol, Dinner in a Kong (takes her about an hour to finish a frozen kong)

8 - Last water and Potty break, in for a 'nap'

10-11 - Taken out one last time before we go to bed(she needs to be woken up), then shes asleep until about 7 the next morning. 


If you take out the bathroom breaks, that's about 2 - 2.5 hrs of dedicated pup time divided between me and my partner. However we often drop things off the above if she's showing she's tired or something in our day comes up. More or less she is much more comfortable with changes in the days makeup as shes gotten more used to less time from us. As well, in ours we noticed back to back days where she did some high intensity exercise, she was much more restless, so we make sure not to do things like that back to back.  
 

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Recall - I know he's only 5.5 months old, but he is terrible!

Not sure I have seen any example of a dog this young having anything reliably 'down' in context/ real world, I know mine doesn't! I saw a great analogy recently, every time you recall your dog and they come, deposit $1 in an imaginary 'recall' bank account. Every time you recall and they ignore or don't come, withdraw $10. I think this first year is all about loading up the bank account with success as much as possible, even if its mostly in the kitchen and quiet at first. 

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On 2/24/2021 at 10:55 AM, Meghan said:

I've thought about it a bit more, and tried to break down our aim for how much time we're actively interacting with him ( rather than when he's being fed/just following us about),

OK, that adds up to more like 3.25 hours, which is better, but still a lot.  You can do less. I also realize that I added wrong originally and I should have said 4.25, not 5. 

If your trainer in the puppy class told you it was "essential" to let the pup off leash at a very young age, I strongly recommend getting a different trainer.  This one doesn't know enough about dogs or training, either one, to be doing that job well.

Enzhound is accurate in saying that the need for constant stimulation in a border collie is a "legend". It's not at all true. I think the reason that rumor has circulated is because people think that because border collies have so much energy, they have to be doing something all the time, so they try to match that and, as I said earlier, they end up training the dog that he needs that, and when they don't provide it the dog finds other things to do which are usually undesirable.  But that trait has been unwittingly trained into the dog by owners who don't know better.

Remember that border collies have been bred for thousands of generations to herd stock. Those dogs are not stimulated all the time, by any means. Most often, they go out perhaps in the morning to move the sheep, and again in the evening. On a super busy day there may be more work in between. But the majority of the time the dog chills and just hangs out. Any dog that ran around demanding constant stimulation in between work times would quickly be culled from the breeding line. What comes naturally to a border collie is to get good, active and intense exercise and/or stimulation for a fairly short period of time once or twice a day and then to be relaxing the rest of the time. 

Remember also that mental exercise is just as important as physical, and just as tiring. Those 5 minute training sessions that Enzhound is doing during the day are generally better than one 15 minute training session.  It's easy for a young dog to get fed up with the training if it goes on 15 minutes. You want to keep it exciting.

When I train for freestyle, and this is adult dogs, I do 3 to 5 minutes sessions during the day. Sometimes I just run through one or two cues a couple of times while I am fixing coffee in the morning. If I am eating something and they are going to get a bite, I ask for a behavior, just once, before I give it.  If I am busy, then only two of those 3 minute sessions, one morning and one evening. I keep it very exciting with lots of praise and treats, and always leave the dog wanting more so that he or she will be eager for the next session.

It's more important that you be training in the most effective way than that you train for X amount of time. Richard Curtis, world champion freestyle competitor and now judge said in a seminar I took with him that he usually trains his dogs 3 to 5 minutes a day. 

 

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Hi @Enzsound - thank you for sharing your schedule, it's useful to compare! I was wondering, what do you usually do between 4.30-6pm as you have a gap, and that's usually Bailey's pest time! I do think we need to make his bed time earlier again, it used to be 8-8.30pm but it has been getting later. We hoped this would make him sleep in later, but it's not, he's waking up earlier and earlier... he starts barking/yipping at around 6.45am now (may not be early for some, but we're not overjoyed!) and won't stop until we let him out. We don't want to reinforce that behaviour but he's also still young and does need the toilet straight away so we don't want to set him up to fail by leaving him to bark and then he messes in the house. Also, i don't want to annoy our neighbours at that time! What I'm trying to do is play my alarm before i come downstairs and only go into the kitchen when he's quiet. I think I'll also need to try and get up before he starts barking so that he realises he doesn't have to wake us up.

 

Also, re: X-pen & crated naps etc, we used to use both when he was little, but admit that now he spends most of the day on the sofa. Couple of reasons: 1. We want him to be that type of dog when he's older, 2. He settles better/for longer on the sofa - crated we can get ~2 hours from him, but then when he's let out he's very needy and pent up. On the sofa he can snooze for maybe 4 hours. 3. If we leave him crated/xpen for longer he gets barky and disruptive. I completely know that catering to this and letting him out doesn't help, but we both work from home now with the pandemic and have a lot of client meetings etc, and we just can't have him barking like that :( It's far more stressful being in a meeting and waiting for him to wake up and start barking, than letting him snooze on the sofa in the room or potter about.

But my worry is, our we setting ourselves up for more problems now? We have a stairgate so he only has access to 2 main rooms, and he's still crated overnight. He likes his crate and is happy in there for a time, but not all day.

 

We'll definitely look at exercise junkies and at readjusting our schedule!

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12 hours ago, D'Elle said:

If your trainer in the puppy class told you it was "essential" to let the pup off leash at a very young age, I strongly recommend getting a different trainer.  This one doesn't know enough about dogs or training, either one, to be doing that job well.

Couldn't agree with you more! We were really unimpressed with lots of her 'advice' and won't be going back! Hopefully our new puppy classes will start again in the next few weeks, as i feel we really need the extra support as first time owners. 

That's good advice of 2-3 min sessions multiple times a day, and that would also reduce the time he gets our attention. We do also ask for certain commands 'in real life', not in a specific training session, such as wait/crossover at road intersections, wait at the door before we go out for a walk, sit for his food, sit/lie down if we've paused on a walk etc. We've also been advised to practice the 'you don't get something for nothing' protocol and always ask for a command before he gets something he wants.

I am worried that we're setting ourselves up for a difficult/demanding life with him, so i really appreciate the advice to help us adjust things now while he's still young.

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what do you usually do between 4.30-6pm as you have a gap, and that's usually Bailey's pest time!

Sort of the same for us, largely just waiting to start dinner. Dinner is her most time with us with training/ etc, ending in a long Kong, after which she is completely waxed and ready for bed, so its flexible. My partner and I also tend to be the busiest around that time with work/ calls, so sometimes shes out and about exploring her areas, but if she's getting into stuff or causing a ruckus she gets Xpen'd until dinner. If not in crate/ xpen, she doesn't instinctively settle, esp when she knows dinner is next. That's ok she's super young, but we still gotta have some space/ sanity :P. Something to note, when we backed off our schedule, we found every instance where she was being a pest, or zooming, and getting into stuff.. it wasn't pent up energy, she was actually tired and digging deep to stay awake and find the action. 

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 If we leave him crated/xpen for longer he gets barky and disruptive. 

More Xpen time might be healthy for everyone, possibly taking a weekend off from adventures where you can let him go through his grieving stages being able to see you but not be with you, when you don't have meetings that could be disrupted. Boundaries now are healthy, as eventually you may not be around 24/7 and he needs to learn to settle and be comfortable without you. Easier done in stages, than suddenly going back to work and he's alone and panicking. My other thought is, adolescence is around the corner, if your pup adopts some less than ideal behaviors then, introducing boundaries will be harder.
 

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'you don't get something for nothing'

 i haven't heard of the calming protocol, but it sounds like something i should check out asap!

Here is the relaxation protocol. We've been through it 4 times in increasing distractions. We noticed a difference after our first full time through, we'll keep it up because we want her mat trained for longer days when we're out and about. In my eyes I see it as a really good opportunity to show your pup how much you value their calmness. I could see in your schedule, his day is full of amazing fun thrilling things with you, what happens when you can't provide all that? What happens if you are both ill for a few days? If I divide up all the treats and kibble we train with in a day, 70% of it is spent on relaxation protocol, capturing calmness, or rewarding polite behavior. The first month with her it was all tricks and heeling and training, and she was wired all the time. It was my fault!

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We don't want to reinforce that behaviour but he's also still young and does need the toilet straight away so we don't want to set him up to fail by leaving him to bark and then he messes in the house.

Maybe try taking him out in the morning when he wakes because that's valid, but no ceremony or play or deviation from his 'spot', then back inside to crate/ sleep. Start the day when you want to, I'm sure he'll settle in after a few days. Barking to start the day is definitely really rewarding for him right now.

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4 hours ago, Enzsound said:

Something to note, when we backed off our schedule, we found every instance where she was being a pest, or zooming, and getting into stuff.. it wasn't pent up energy, she was actually tired and digging deep to stay awake and find the action. 

It's funny you say this, as last night Bailey wasn't settling as he usually would and was being too much of a pest while we were eating dinner so I popped him in the kitchen for a timeout (with the lights off) intending to let him out when he had calmed down/we'd finished eating, and there wasn't a peep! I had to pop in there to put our dishes away, and he had completely crashed out on the floor and didn't even stir with my coming in and leaving! So definite lesson learnt there!!

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4 hours ago, Enzsound said:

More Xpen time might be healthy for everyone, possibly taking a weekend off from adventures where you can let him go through his grieving stages being able to see you but not be with you, when you don't have meetings that could be disrupted. Boundaries now are healthy, as eventually you may not be around 24/7 and he needs to learn to settle and be comfortable without you. Easier done in stages, than suddenly going back to work and he's alone and panicking. My other thought is, adolescence is around the corner, if your pup adopts some less than ideal behaviors then, introducing boundaries will be harder.

Agreed, I think because we HAVE to be at home 24/7 these days with the pandemic, Bailey hasn't really been introduced to the concept of us not being around, and it's something we need to practice. Definitely something to practice at weekends though (and maybe a lunchbreak if we can give him half an hour of attention, then use the other half hour break we have to do something for us out the house [even if it's just running errands where he can't go). 

Thank you so much for sending me the calming/relaxation protocol! It's really helpful to me to have a structured training plan, and this looks like something I can really follow, and build up in lots of different locations/scenarios. Possibly it's even something we can do in that morning period if we can't get him to settle after waking up, as it's still teaching him that that is quiet/calm time. Or even if I could sit with him downstairs next to his crate with a book and a cuppa initially, so he doesn't feel the need to bark as much, but he's not getting what he wants (ie, come out and play)?

I have some planning to do this weekend I feel!

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7 hours ago, Meghan said:

Also, re: X-pen & crated naps etc, we used to use both when he was little, but admit that now he spends most of the day on the sofa. Couple of reasons: 1. We want him to be that type of dog when he's older, 2. He settles better/for longer on the sofa - crated we can get ~2 hours from him, but then when he's let out he's very needy and pent up. On the sofa he can snooze for maybe 4 hours.

Any time that he is snoozing nicely on the sofa is not time he needs to be crated or in the Xpen. I would reward that calm time on the with letting him just be there. You don't have to use the crate arbitrarily.  After all, the end result you desire is to have a dog who knows how to chill out with you when you cannot be doing something with him.

I am glad you are going to start getting him used to your being gone from the house. I am afraid that many people who got a dog when they were working from home during the pandemic will not realize this, and will just go back to work leaving the dog at home without prior training. They may end up with a problem dog and not know how to handle it properly and the end result for the dog in that case would not be good.

You deserve a lot of credit for asking for advice, and for  your willingness to consider what people here are telling you and learn from it. I think you and Bailey will do fine.

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1 hour ago, D'Elle said:

You deserve a lot of credit for asking for advice, and for  your willingness to consider what people here are telling you and learn from it. I think you and Bailey will do fine.

That's very kind of you to say @D'Elle :) These forums have really helped us both with the actual training and mentally when we've been worried or stressed about what we should be doing due to lack of 'formal' dog training support at this time.

That's also great to know we don't have to give up sofa cuddle time <3 We found without having that at the beginning we struggled to strengthen our bond with him as all his calm cuddly times he was crated, so I'm glad this is still ok! He will be crated/X-pened while we go out, so if we start incorporating that it's a double whammy!


Thanks again for all your help, I'm sure I'll be back again soon for more advice! In the meantime, stay safe and take care :) 

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2 hours ago, D'Elle said:

I am glad you are going to start getting him used to your being gone from the house. I am afraid that many people who got a dog when they were working from home during the pandemic will not realize this, and will just go back to work leaving the dog at home without prior training. They may end up with a problem dog and not know how to handle it properly and the end result for the dog in that case would not be good.

You deserve a lot of credit for asking for advice, and for  your willingness to consider what people here are telling you and learn from it. I think you and Bailey will do fine.

I too have made a point of leaving my guy home regularly. I believe it's healthier for the dog AND the human to get used to alone time. 

And yep, asking for advice and then taking it is sometimes rare, in any arena, not just dogs. Good work!

Ruth & Gibbs

ETA ~ my guy is soooo not into cuddling.  I miss that. 

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On 2/21/2021 at 4:25 PM, albuquerquedan said:

With regard to the cars, I have a suggestion for something else you can try. Make cars and traffic boring. Here's what I mean: go to an area that's far enough away from the road where it's not overwhelming for your dog. Have a seat with your dog next to you and just relax and watch traffic roll by.

 

Hi Meghan! "I'm new here too!". Very early on, we got the same advice as albuquerquedan's above. Currently, at 14 months, I can have Kluane (on leash...) sit calmly by my side on a busy intersection with trucks and buses roaring by... takes a bit of patience to desensitize them. But it is still a work in progress as there are certain engine sounds (mostly anything equivalent to a toned down no-muffler sound) and some sights (bright colored jackets on bikes or motorbikes) that makes her lock her gaze.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi @Enzsound, @Meghan, @D'Elle and others! 

Hope it's okay to revive this thread with some of our own questions about raising a good BC puppy :~) 

This thread is really helpful in realising that we have to cut back on our "active" time with our 2.5month-old pup (eg training, playing) but we're really at a loss how to do this with her. She's obviously super young and we've only had her for over 3 weeks so she needs a lot of our help and attention (esp with peeing), but we'd like to know what are some ways in which we can works towards the schedule below. It seems so far off from how many hours we need to actively tend to our pup haha, but maybe it's just a question of time too. Anyways, our schedule below. 

On 2/25/2021 at 12:55 PM, Enzsound said:

For reference our 5 months old day:

7-7:30 Wake up, go out for potty, 30 minute walk (sniffies) or 30 minute longline play in the park. 5 mins of random training in there. (If randomly we go to the fenced dogpark, she'll really rev up and run. Thats it for the day after that, she is very happy and tired.)

8 - Basic Obedience 5 minutes. She gets most of her breakfast after in a bowl. 15 minutes of Calmness Protocol.

8:30 - 12 - Xpen if shes chilling/ chewing/ playing - Crate if cranky/ bugging us (nap)

12 - Out into town for lunch/ socialization/ errands (about 30 minutes). Shes more 'along for the ride here'.

1- 4:30 - Xpen if shes chilling/ chewing/ playing - Crate if cranky/ bugging us (nap)

6 ish - Short walk for sniffies

6:30 - 5 min training, Calmness Protocol, Dinner in a Kong (takes her about an hour to finish a frozen kong)

8 - Last water and Potty break, in for a 'nap'

10-11 - Taken out one last time before we go to bed(she needs to be woken up), then shes asleep until about 7 the next morning. 

For reference, our average day

6am: wake up (she wakes us up because of potty needs)
7am: she's sleeping again (enforced) after some playing/chewing/chilling (needs to be attended though)
8ish: back up, short walk with sniffles (10-15mins?), breakfast in bowl + training (calmness, basic obedience), chilling, potty
9am: back in the crate for a nap
10: she's up, needs to go potty, we might do a bit of training (10+ mins with breaks), then she's usually in her x-pen or in our living room freely if chilling
11ish: potty, we try to enforce a nap, but she often struggles and whines a lot
11:30-12: depending on if she naps this is her lunchtime, stays with us in the kitchen chewing as we eat, potty
1ish: enforced nap (probably one of her longer naps of the day)
2:30: up, potty. here she usually won't settle and play on her own, so we do some conditioning (harness, vacuum cleaner etc.) and bits of active playing and training
3:30-4ish: she might nap here again, but never for very long because she's getting really hungry
4-5: short walk again (similar route to morning), then dinner at home (usually a combination of some in a bowl, some crate training and a small kong

And around this time is when things get really out of hand :~D 

There's a lot of biting, running, whining, just very restless behaviour. We know she usually needs to poop around this time, but often outside she just gets more hyper and can't calm down to do her business, so things escalate into really destructive episodes. It's quite hard to manage the timings here, and we realise she's sometimes up for the past 2 hours or so and she needs to rest, but she often just won't settle. 

Between 6 and 7 she's usually so tired she'll sleep, but it takes up our whole evening to get her to this stage. After this she'll wake up around 8ish and around 9:30ish for potty and some easy time together while we watch TV or something, and she's also woken up at 11ish for one last potty break. She then sleeps through the night. 

We do know obviously that she's half the age of a 5 month old puppy and the schedule above (and we don't expect her to be there right now), but we'd be really thankful for any advice on where we can already cut back on activities, or how to rearrange our day so that more calmness and alone time is encouraged. 

Thanks a lot! :~) Nala says hi too! 
 

Screenshot 2021-03-22 at 19.02.19 copy.png

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we've only had her for over 3 weeks so she needs a lot of our help and attention (esp with peeing)

Yes, by a sheer factor of how often you need to go out, I would think at that age you gotta do what you gotta do :P

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we'd be really thankful for any advice on where we can already cut back on activities, or how to rearrange our day so that more calmness and alone time is encouraged. 

I don't think it's a BC thing, it's a puppy thing, she doesn't know how/ or want to be calm or alone. Just be consistent and with time it will get easier for everyone. 

Pre pandemic, people got puppies, took a little time off work, changed their schedule up for a few months. You're seeing each and every development and yawn and bark which makes it all seem like so much work. Great thing is you get to build a great bond, but what I needed was a reminder to not set your dog up for failure by conditioning them for a lifestyle you couldn't sustain. 

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