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Newly adopted

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by ClaireEM1073, Nov 27, 2018.

  1. ClaireEM1073

    ClaireEM1073 New Member Registered

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    Hi
    I have newly adopted a 4 year old rescue Border Collie boy. He is very clever, funny and is running rings round me. Any and all help is welcome!

    He knows lots of commands already but chooses not to respond when it doesn't suit him. The oddest thing he does is when I go to let him outside (once we get out the door because that is quite the carry on) he stands outside the step and stares at you. If you turn and go back in he will stay and lie down still focused entirely. If you try and give him a command like be quick or go pee he ignores it. If you go out he tries to air bite or nip at you. Not to hurt but more to get you to do what he wants I think.

    This is just one of his little foibles. He also jumps up all the time, pulls like a train on lead, selectively dislikes random dogs, barks at people in hoods, if we walk with a group he will focus on the one dog who doesn't want to play with him and runs circles continuously around them. This isn't an exhaustive list. I know he sounds like a nightmare but he is an incredibly loving funny dog with me and my partner.

    My biggest worry is that I'm making these behaviours worse by trying to fix them incorrectly.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
  2. Rhythmpig

    Rhythmpig Active Member Registered

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    Hello...and welcome...I won't be much use to you,I have zero experience with border collies.
     
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  3. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    Hi there...As one who has had an adopted Border collie I can recognise some of those traits. The running circles is herding thats natural but can be annoying. Airbiting/ nipping Ive heard a lot although my boy never did it.
    The whole business with the step sounds as if its a learned behaviour from his old life. Maybe try doing something unexpected like open the door and throw a tennis ball out without telling him to go?
    Oscar used to gomental at people in clogs esp old men. What I knew from the shelter that it was an old couple in a village who had him first so that kind of person often wears clogs here. Oscar was very badly treated so he may well have seen the approach of a man in clogs as a trigger for what came next (bad stuff) You boy might well be similar.

    It does sound as if he might well benefit from seeing a professional but there are simple tricks like wearing a hoodie yourself while playing his favourite game or giving him special treats that might help him overcome his fear.
     
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  4. ClaireEM1073

    ClaireEM1073 New Member Registered

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    Thank you. I have been thinking about getting some professional help but also didn't want to rush him too much. I keep forgetting that he has only been with me for 3 weeks because he is so good in the house except when I leave him alone!
     
  5. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    Honestly 3weeks is no time at all give him some time to settle into your routine but dont let it become habit...
     
  6. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    I don't have any experience of collies, but in my experience a lot of behaviour like jumping up comes from being over-aroused or frustrated. Any 'negative' methods, such as jerks on the lead or saying 'No!!' in a firm voice can just feed your dog's arousal/frustration levels and he can't help but boil over. I found that being as calm as possible and making the fun stop by turning away and ignoring, and praising/treating whenever my dog did what I wanted made all the difference. Also, avoiding any stressors - my dog jumped up more in open spaces or wide paths, so I stuck to the woods and narrow paths. You could also try training a really strong incompatible behaviour to ask for when he looks like he's going to jump up - maybe 'sit', maybe 'go find' where you sprinkle some treats in the grass.

    Try to keep him at a comfortable distance from his triggers, and treat him when he sees one - so if he spots someone in a hoodie far enough away that he's clocked them but not kicked off, give him a treat and then walk away. This article on behaviour adjustment training might help: Behavior Adjustment Training: A New Approach to Problem Behaviors

    If he's calmer at the start of the walk than the end, it might help to keep walks shorter too, doing more brainwork at home to compensate.

    As for choosing what to do when you ask - a behaviourist once said to me that a dog doesn't naturally want to do what you want him to do - he wants to do what he wants to do, and your job is to bring what you want to do and what he wants to do closer together. Having said that, collies do tend naturally to want to please their owners, so you might find he's a lot more compliant when he's had longer to settle in. It is still very early days.
     
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  7. arealhuman

    arealhuman Well-Known Member Registered

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    Possibly some of it is down to be being a rescue dog. We have a rescue dog - mixed breed - and he has lots of little foibles, some similar to what you've mentioned. We tried professional help but to be honest perseverance and patience worked better for us. He still has a lot of little odd behaviours, but has improved. We wouldn't change him of the world, he's the most loving dog :)
     
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  8. ClaireEM1073

    ClaireEM1073 New Member Registered

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    I guess as well I was quite lucky with my last rescue who never pulled on the lead and had near perfect recall from day one until he went deaf and couldn't hear me.
    I keep having to remind myself that Billy is a totally different kettle of fish - and way smarter than Jock ever was!
     
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  9. Drift's Owner

    Drift's Owner Member Registered

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    Hi, I have a Great Dane X and he has some Collie in him too - loves running in circles, also a bit of nipping (natural) and jumping - he loves jumping! Jumping in my knowledge is because dogs are very communicative via face contact...eye to eye and mouth - smell. I tend to get down to their level with a command to stay down. We have had our rescue for nearly 5 months and this is still work in progress, but much better than it was when we first got him. The change in his behaviour has been huge during this time...Lead pulling was horrendous when we got him and now down to just morning walks on the way to the park and the occassional bad day. Command and postive reinforcement over and over again. I also had to change the treats I was using...stock standard ones didn't get the response I wanted and had to upgrade to 6 course dinner with wine and window view quality (air dried fish for my dog) and then I started to get a better response.

    Don't be too hard on yourself. You have to remember that we will never fully know what happened before to our rescues and it is probably going to take us longer to get the corrected behaviour to be understood. Also remember Collie's are highly intelligent dogs and they have independent minds. But they are very strong to bond to their leaders - it just might take a bit more time to create that bond, but I am pretty sure it will come in time. They are loyal dogs.

    I found a guy called Zak George on Youtube a great help...he is American and there is a bit of advertorial stuff during his clips, but he works with all different dogs and owners both in and out of training rooms - barking at distractions, other dogs, creating bonds etc. I personally found him to be far more relevant and real than many other trainers. Just my opinion, but I was so happy with some of the things I picked up from his clips that he is now on my dinner party guest wish list. :)
     
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