first post - advice needed please!

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Barked: Fri Mar 13, '09 5:58pm PST 
Hey, We have a 17 month old border collie who's a little difficult to say the least!

He has always been hyperactive, (as expected with border collies!) but as a pup he was pretty much perfect, he went to toilet on his mat the first time we introduced him to it! But as he got older he started to go to toilet wherever he wanted to in the house (even after he'd been trained and responded to going outside), chewing on things, jumping up at people and pulling really really badly on his lead.

We eventually managed to control the chewing and as of very recently he has stopped going to toilet inside all together (that was HARD work but we got there smile ) but he is worse than ever on his lead (bunny hopping on his back legs and pulling to the point he cant breathe) and is still jumping at people when they come in the house.

The past few months Ollie has been a nightmare to take on walks, he barks and jumps at anyone he sees, dog or human, and its not even a little bark, its a full on scare the crap outta people bark, and to go with that he also jumps which obviously scares people further.

We are at the point where we cant take him out in public because of the way he is towards people and the way they react. We were recently taking him to the vets and he jumped at a guy who accused him of biting, there was definetely no bite involved, but we cant take the risk of him jumping at people and being reported for Ollie biting someone when he hasnt, or worse still if he actually does. He's not a vicious dog in the slightest, he rolls around on the floor with our 2 and 5 year old nephews and doesnt even raise an eyebrow to them pulling on his ears nevermind showing his teeth. He makes sure hes extra gentle when playing with his toys with the kids, which is why we really cant understand his behaviour when we take him out.

We were reading through training websites and its seems that alot of Ollies other behaviours such as harrassing us for fusses, pushing past us on the stairs etc, show that he thinks hes the dominant one in the household, so we are trying a training programme we found on the internet. It involves keeping him on a lead for two weeks, and him coming wherever we go, so we can regain the dominance and he learns this.

We're coming to the end of the two weeks and at first he was great, a completely different dog, he stopped barking and jumping at people, and when we had visitors to the house they commented on how well behaved he was (first time for everything lol). But the last few days hes been acting up again and it looks as though hes slipping back to his old ways.

Sorry about the long post, I'm just hoping someone can offer us some other advice as to how we can train him. Money's tight so finding a trainer isnt really possible as we wouldnt be able to pay for it. Sooo any advice anyone can offer will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance big grin

Barked: Sat Mar 14, '09 2:51pm PST 
I've had similar problems with my border collie.
First of all, make sure you are exercising him enough. I know that my BC is virtually tireless.
First of all, the problem you are having on the leash needs to be adressed seperately. Border's need discipline and a solid leader, and simply yanking on the leash will not help. You need to chose a program to teach him heeling and stick with it (and trust me, it's a VERY tough process. It took me nearly a year to get mine to walk beside me).

I also had a problem with jumping. When Zeke would jump, I would say "No Jumping!" and pull him off the person, immediately throw him outside (or in a seperate room from the person). When he was settled I would bring him out, and if he did it again, I would repeat the process. However, it did have reprecussions, now my dog won't go outside unless he has to do to the bathroom because he thinks of it as punishment.
Another solution I've read; when the dog jumps up, hold onto their paws firmly, when they pull away keep your grip (but don't hurt them). When they pull away again let go and say "no jumping!". I found this method to be quicker for me.
Overall, if you do notice your dog being overly dominent, you should make an effort to become the "alpha" of the pack... it will make for a healthier relationship for the two of you in the long run smile

helloooo....! - i\'m TALKING to- you!!!!!
Barked: Sun Mar 15, '09 5:20am PST 
read "the loved dog" by tamar geller. i have a border collie puppy and the behaviour you describe sounds exactly like what used to happen with us: he would get boingy on the leash; i'm distracted because i also have a 2yr old walking with us and i'd jerk back to slow him down; he'd then lunge forward as if i said "mush!" and then i'd get mad; i'd said "hey, you! stop it!" and jerk back harder while yelling back over my shoulder for my toddler to get "off the road!".

it would all go downhill from there culminating in saari bawling in the ditch and dandy running around and barking like a lunatic while i consider tying the two of them to a tree before ramming my own head into it.

rule number one in my house: i MUST keep a calm, even-tempered demeanor even if i feel like putting someone through the drywall. dunno if it's breed specific or dandy in particular but he's really really sensitive to raised emotions - anger especially, most particularly anger in men.

now when we walk, i keep a slow pace for my toddler and i keep my leash arm rigid - i don't do that "heel" thing - it's annoying. i don't care where he roams, just keep out from under my feet and follow orders (at which he's getting really good).

what it sounds like is your dog is trying to get ppl to play with him and is getting upset that nobody is complying. try getting him to "do his business" before you go for the walk (so that stress is off) and even get him a bit tired first with a few rounds of fetch or tug (read the book for the rules - it's a pretty specific game).


Ball ball ball- ball ball- ballll!
Barked: Fri Apr 3, '09 6:10pm PST 
Border collies RUN! Exersize him until he is exhausted, then take him for a controlled walk. A tired BC is a great thing! My advice for you is something I had to do. The hardest thing I ever did! Ignore your dog for two weeks. I mean ACT LIKE HE IS NOT THERE. When you walk in the door, even if he jumps on you, dont look at him talk to him NOTHING. Things such as going out to potty. . you say his name with one word and then do it. So, : Baxter. Potty. then put the leash on and walk outside with out any other attention. Remember he is not there. Then two weeks after that, he has to earn your attention. Allways ask him to do something before you even look at him. He can hear you. He will get the point. Other peoples attention is nothing compared to mom and dads!

Christmas Eve- Baby
Barked: Sat Apr 4, '09 9:45am PST 
Within your post, you indicated continued concern and issues with barking at and jumping on people and a specific incident at the vet office, in addition to pulling hard on leash. Further (set up and controlled) exposure to situations & people to improve Ollie's socialization skills is necessary. Border Collies need plenty of exercise, mental stimulation & a job to do, but general basic manners & socialization is key and generally the same for all breeds. You also are working with a 17 mos. old dog vs. a puppy. Border Collies are quick learners......but they are also very sensitive to harsh and unfair corrections, so you want to start your training & relationship off again on the right foot.

I suggest that you post your question in the Behavior & Training section of Dogster and strike up communication with Asher or Mocha Bear (Mokie) and look through their previous posts. Both Asher & Mokie have given great and in detail answers/instructions on loose leash walking, socialization and other issues that will help you and Ollie.

Good luck!

Misty "Moo Cow"
Barked: Wed Apr 15, '09 8:05am PST 
Exercise, Exercise, Exercise! If he's not getting enough, what your explaining could be the outcome. You may think he's getting enough, but if he's misbehaving like this, it may not be for him! I had problems w/ Misty pulling, choking herself and actually hurting her back legs from pulling so much during walks, I got really scared. I was on here, or dog.com, and was taught about a wonderful item..The Gentle Leader, it works like a horses rein, where it doesn't go around their neck, or in their mouth but hooks up behind their ears and goes around their snout. When she would pull, I would say "NO PULL!" and give the leash a gentle tug, and wow! You wouldn't believe the difference! I swear by this, I also found that if I exercise with her in the yard, frisbee play, I can now take her for walks w/out the leader. But this will also help w/ jumping on people and you have to be quick. When you feel him start to do it, pull back, "NO JUMP!" It takes time and patience, but eventually it will pay off! Get a gentle leader and you'll see what I mean, It was a God Send! Good Luck!

P.S. Misty's big, she goes almost 50lbs. so it's not fun having your arms pulled for a 1/2 hr. 45 min. walk! LOL

Christmas Eve- Baby
Barked: Thu Apr 16, '09 12:46pm PST 
Ollie: Gentle Leader or Halti head harnesses, along with the Gentle Leader Easy Walk harness are great products when used correctly. Keep in mind, however, that they are only tools and the dog is not learning an alternative behavior to the pulling and jumping. Unless you teach Ollie that you only go forward when the leash is loose, and no attention is given (humans, toys, treats, etc.) and/or go away when he jumps, he will continue or revert back to the less desirable behavior when the tool is finally removed. Also, any tug on the leash when wearing a head harness must be gentle and to the side, as there is a possibility of neck injury if not done properly.
Shayne CGC,- RL2

Shayne- Disc Doggin in- the 'Burgh!
Barked: Fri Apr 17, '09 9:21pm PST 
I second Jackson's warning about giving ANY type of leash-pop while on a head collar--that is bad news and not using the tool properly.

Exercise is really important--a tired dog is a good dog (as i'm sure you have heard many times before).

It sounds to me a dog who is jsut wanting and needing more attention or a job.

Shayne's job is frisbee...when i'm not working her on disc she is learning countless tricks and working on obedience behaviors using clicker training.

Mental exercise is, i would argue, just as important as phyiscal exercise.

During this past winter, shayne has learned so many new tricks just so i can keep her mentally busy and thus less energetic and needy. We use clicker training as our main method to training and it is a lot of fun for both of us and we've had excellent success both with obedience work and trick training.

Barked: Fri May 22, '09 11:35am PST 
Hi! I'm having the same problem with my 9 mo old dog who I think is part BC, too. What I have been doing is bringing treats on the walk. I have her stop at each corner and sit or lay down or stay. I think this is sort of calming her down and making her aware of my existance on the other end of the leash. Also, when she pulls, I come to a complete stop and we don't continue until she loosens up on the leash. I've also read where if they don't respond to the stop, then stop them and turn around and go in the other direction. I think this tells the dog that you are in charge. I haven't tried this yet because she seems to be responding to the stops. I'm still having trouble with her trying to take off when she sees a bird or squirrel. I guess that's the next phase of our neverending puppy training!
Oliver PAWS

<3s tennis- balls, peanut- butter, & Fling
Barked: Sat Jun 20, '09 2:54pm PST 
All of those are pretty common among Border Collies. My Ollie has had them all. I'll take all of them one at a time.

Peeing inside and chewing, I know you said that you fixed this but to be safe make sure you have lots of toys and have a daily training time. BCs are smart and I know for my Ollie it has helped a whole lot.

For walks, I use a gentle leader even though my Ollie has gotten out of it. Now I combine it with another collar, but he doesn't like it. He probably is doing it from too much energy. Try running before you walk, this gets them to focus on excersising. Or you could play fetch or a game before you walk to let some of his energy out.

Jumping, we had the same problem. We taught my Ollie that he would only get attention when he sits. It took a couple of months of us pushing him off and telling him to sit, but now he runs up to people and sits, butt wiggling and everything.

Hope this helps, and I found Ollie a twin.

Ollie the Collie's mom
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