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Hi, I have 2 dogs. A 2 year old labrador and a new addition to the family- Our little BC pup. She's growing up fast and is now 15 weeks old! The problem is, she always seems to be really restless and hyper in the house.

 

I'm doing my best to keep her occupied - plenty of toys, kongs, chews etc. I do short training sessions with her to keep her mentally stimulated etc too... I have been walking her with my Lab, and we go out for about 30 minute walks in the morning, another 30 minutes at lunch time and then about 45 minutes in the evening. Despite this, she still NEVER settles. She comes home, tears around, growling and barking and generally just going over the top..She starts ripping up the carpet, and has already chewed huge chunks of plaster from my walls and ripped up parts of the carpet too!! I end up having to put her in her crate for a few hours as she gets to much and my labrador gets really quite upset by her behaviour, as do I. My labrador is really good and as soon as he comes home from being out, he just goes stright to his bed and goes for a sleep. She just constantly pesters him though. Biting and snarling and growling at him. She will leap on his back and bite his tail, or pull at his hind legs. He's to good to tell her off and just sits there looking upset and looks at me as if to say "please take her away from me"..

 

Is is possible she should be getting walked more and longer? Walking her longer is absolutely no problem, but i have read in lots of places, that to much exercise can damage the joints etc... But all her tearing about and hyper activitie is damaging my brain! lol

 

The only way i can describe her behaviour indoors is hyper and over the top. She growls at EVERYTHING! Toys, teddys, balls and even my labrador when she plays with him. She will hang from his hind legs growling etc.

Is this normal? I'v been really unsure, as my Lab NEVER done any of this stuff when he was a pup - he was quite laid back and very docile.

 

I'd really appreciate any advice. I do know a puppy is hard work, i have been through it all before plenty of times! But iv just never had a BC before, so am not overly sure if this is all normal and i just have to 'ride it out' so to speak.

 

Thanks! x

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I think this is not an issue of not enough exercise, but rather not enough discipline and "obedience" training.

 

At this age, she is very capable of learning not to exhibit some of these behaviours (eat walls, eat the other dog :rolleyes: or growl at things ). It's up to you to teach her that that is not acceptable behaviour. I believe you could get her to exercise for 4 hours (please don't, she's way to young, it's a figure of speach :D ), and then she will indeed be tired, but I assure you as soon as she wakes up, she would go back to growling and chewing and bouncing off the walls.

 

It's not that she doesn't have enough exercise, but that she's not learning the rules of the house. Teach her what she is not supposed to do, and when she stops the bad behaviour, praise her. She will learn then to settle down in the house.

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She sounds an awful lot like Bree when she was a puppy (from you know where). I finally figured out (almost three years later) that what I *should* have done was teach her to settle, and take a nap when she got so wound up like that. I think it's entirely possible that the pup is getting overly stressed, and may need some quiet time as opposed to more exercise. When she gets unbearable (and you're sure you've given her exercise, chewing, and mental stimulation) try the crate and see what happens. If she falls down in an exhausted heap and sleeps.... even if she whines at first... you'll know.

 

PS - I also agree with Anda's mom about remembering to teach the rules with consistency.

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Thank you both. I am doing everything i possibly can for her at the moment. I want her to be a really happy dog! I love walking my dogs and am a very keen hiker and hillwalker, so when she's old enough, i'll be taking her on the hikes me and my Lab currently do! Which i'm sure she will absolutely love and have plenty of energy for! Also, She is enrolled for flyball classes, which obviously she cannot start until she is older, but i cannot wait to take her, i just know she will have a great time :rolleyes:

 

I have been doing tonns of mental exercises with her, but she seems a bit slow at times. Like, if i ask for a "sit", or a "down" she looks at me as if i have idiot written on my head and won't perform the command, despite her knowing it! I'v read that BC's rely a lot on our body language for commands so could this possibly be it? Or is she just being disobedient do you think?

 

Thanks again!! x

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I have been doing tonns of mental exercises with her, but she seems a bit slow at times. Like, if i ask for a "sit", or a "down" she looks at me as if i have idiot written on my head and won't perform the command, despite her knowing it! I'v read that BC's rely a lot on our body language for commands so could this possibly be it? Or is she just being disobedient do you think?

 

At this age if she was oking at me confused, I would assume that she doesn't *really* understand what I'm asking for. I would continue with hand motions combined with verbal commands, in addition to rewards for performing the actions. You can fade the lures or rewards and hand motions when she's more solid on her commands. I doubt she's just being disobedient.

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Thank you both. I am doing everything i possibly can for her at the moment. I want her to be a really happy dog! I love walking my dogs and am a very keen hiker and hillwalker, so when she's old enough, i'll be taking her on the hikes me and my Lab currently do! Which i'm sure she will absolutely love and have plenty of energy for! Also, She is enrolled for flyball classes, which obviously she cannot start until she is older, but i cannot wait to take her, i just know she will have a great time :rolleyes:

 

I have been doing tonns of mental exercises with her, but she seems a bit slow at times. Like, if i ask for a "sit", or a "down" she looks at me as if i have idiot written on my head and won't perform the command, despite her knowing it! I'v read that BC's rely a lot on our body language for commands so could this possibly be it? Or is she just being disobedient do you think?

 

Thanks again!! x

 

 

OK, the part about "flyball" made me want to run away! In my opinion, flyball is nothing but mentally out of control dogs running and jumping! Do you really want to go there then with what you are dealing with now?

 

She isn't slow. You have to remeber that a puppy has the attention span of a gnat! So, if you get 5 minutes all at once you are lucky! Go for the mental games, but make them short and so that she can "win". Use praise and your hands to help her with her "sits and downs and stands" or even a really good cookie to lure the behavior. You can do these games many times a day. Up the ante slowly as she progresses but be fair and try to set her up to win.

 

As for her current behavior, Anda is right. This pup sounds as though she needs some discipline, rules and order to her life. Has she ever heard "no" from you :D

 

While she's eating walls and carpet and Labs you might try "trading" her whatever it may be for a nice stuffed Kong or a different acceptable chew toy. Time outs are not a bad thing, they give the pup time to get itself back under mental control. Mindless zooming and chewing to me sounds like a tired pup having a temper tantrum.

 

Just curious but what are you feeding her?

 

Karen

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I agree with Laura's mom ( :rolleyes: )

 

She's old enough to understand verbal commands. Combine a verbal and hand command, then you can use either or. If she does the command most of the times, then she suddently stops listening, it might be due to her short attention span. Don't get mad, just try again, and add a reward until she gets it that it's always a good thing to listen to commands.

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Puppy Rule #1: A good puppy is a tired puppy. When you say 30-minute walk, does that mean putting you dog on a leash and taking a loop around the neighborhood? That's not exercise for a 5-month old border collie puppy--it's a warm-up and, at best, a way to keep him occupied for half-an-hour. He needs to run--a lot. Not flyball, just run. He's old enough to chase a tennis ball, run after a frisbee rolled along the ground, or just play some hide and seek. The problem here is that you're assuming the exercise needs of an adult lab and a young bc are the same. If you can figure out a way to wear that puppy out, three things will almost certainly happen:

(1) You will have taken some of the pent-up energy out of your pup and he will be in a much better position to sit and focus and listen for a brief training session.

(2) He will settle down better once you come inside.

(3) He will learn, with your help, that outside if for running around and inside if for settling down.

 

For many years I coached kids sports, and every good coach of little kids knows that you make the kids run a few laps around the ball field BEFORE you try to teach them anything. It takes the edge off. The same is true for bc puppies.

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Hi Golden Collie

 

I'd agree with the Anda (aka Ouzo's mom :rolleyes: ) and Laura that teaching your pup to 'settle' will be one of your most important things to teach. It can be in the crate, or on a mat or dog bed. Ask for short periods at first - reward with treat or a game, then gradually lengthen the time. IMHO too many people think a Border Collie has to be on the go 24 hours a day, and try to achieve this, rather than having the pup settle until the humans are ready to do some stuff.

 

I'd agree too that the pup is likely not being disobedient, but rather isn't clear about what's being asked for. Just work in small steps, and be prepared to give up and walk away, and try again later.

 

If you're not using a clicker, you might want to investigate clicker training - a lot of articles out there. It might just help the pup to concentrate a bit, and also be clearer about just exactly what is being taught.

 

Playing tuggy with the pup can be a great way of building up your relationship with the pup, and is a great foundation for various things you'll want to do with the pup later on. The rules are - the tuggy is yours, you start and end the game, and puppy teeth contacting human skin ends the game instantly (but only for a couple of minutes.

 

Are there any good puppy classes near you - going to class and meeting other pups can be quite tiring, and a fun thing to do - as long as the class is well run.

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Puppy Rule #1: A good puppy is a tired puppy. When you say 30-minute walk, does that mean putting you dog on a leash and taking a loop around the neighborhood? That's not exercise for a 5-month old border collie puppy--it's a warm-up and, at best, a way to keep him occupied for half-an-hour. He needs to run--a lot. Not flyball, just run. He's old enough to chase a tennis ball, run after a frisbee rolled along the ground, or just play some hide and seek. The problem here is that you're assuming the exercise needs of an adult lab and a young bc are the same. If you can figure out a way to wear that puppy out, three things will almost certainly happen:

(1) You will have taken some of the pent-up energy out of your pup and he will be in a much better position to sit and focus and listen for a brief training session.

(2) He will settle down better once you come inside.

(3) He will learn, with your help, that outside if for running around and inside if for settling down.

 

For many years I coached kids sports, and every good coach of little kids knows that you make the kids run a few laps around the ball field BEFORE you try to teach them anything. It takes the edge off. The same is true for bc puppies.

 

 

No, i do not walk my puppy on a leash around the block for 30 minutes.

 

I live in the rural countryside, so she is ALWAYS off-leash. The only time she is actually on the lead is when we go to a different place such as to see horses or sheep, to socilise her with these animals and let her know they are not to chase etc. Apart from these occassions, she is always off-leash. She is walked around 6 fields, which takes around 45 minutes, but can take up to an hour if we walk at a slower pace. She is always off-leash in the fields and i always bring a toy out with me too for her. The tennis ball always come out with us, as my labrador loves retrieving, but my BC has absolutely no interest in balls yet. She takes no interest or pleasure in chasing or retrieving one.

 

There are days when i bring her to the beach and we are there for a good 2 hours! She comes home and still does not settle down or looks even remotely tired atall.

 

The problem here is that you're assuming the exercise needs of an adult lab and a young bc are the same.

 

I just walk them together for now, because at 15 weeks old, surely the amount of exercise i'm giving her at such a young age is enough? :/

 

 

I have now been putting her in her crate when we get home from walks, otherwise she refuses to settle on her own accord. As soon as she's in the crate, her head hits her bed and she is out like a light, so its clear she is tired. She just doesn't relise it until she's put in her crate. hehe. Thanks everyone. I'm going to keep going with this method of putting her in her crate more often when she gets that over-tired hyper way. As everytime i do put her there, she will normally have a little cry forst, but will be sleeping within 5 minute of being there, so its quite clear she is tired but just doesn't know it :rolleyes:

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This is an interesting question that I am still trying to figure out. Hoku is our first BC, also, and he is like no other dog I have had, in many ways. Just today we went snow shoeing in 24" of new , rather heavy snow, and he just got more jacked up the longer we went. I can not physically tire that dog out. But yesterday we went up to town (we also live in a rural area where he is off leash for most walks) and practiced good canine behavior up there (just walking down sidewalks, dealing with traffic, people, scary grates in the sidewalk, etc) and he was just so very pooped out that night. Daily exersize is a must, but exercise alone will not do it. Try making part of your walk training time, teach down/stay for a ball throw, work on recall, play hide and seek. You must work her brain, make her practice self control inside and out, make learning fun, but with strong rules. Are you using NILIF? That helps a lot with teaching self control. Teach her how to find her off button (the crate after the walk sounds great) Teach her lots of tricks along with the commands she needs, its fun for both of you, and it keeps her thinking. We are now teaching Hoku to walk up stairs backwards, as an example of silly tricks, but challenging for him, and good back end awareness for future fun things.

 

Hoku will also pester the crap out of other more mellow dogs (his best friend is a female golden that we hike with alot) and we have had to do a lot of work with him to be able to call him off of play with her when she has had enough. An important thing, as some other dogs may not be so polite with him. It is just rude behavior on his part, and he has to learn (and he is :rolleyes: )

 

Hope this helps.

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Kristin's observation about mental effort being very tiring compared to simple physical exercise certainly applies to Daisy. After a herding lesson, she sleeps like a furry LOG in the car on the way home! And she's a dog who could play frisbee or fetch balls on the beach for hours, never seeming to tire.

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