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Old April 14th, 2011, 11:21 PM
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Gail P Gail P is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Ontario
Posts: 1,301
Originally Posted by NWOSeven View Post
Loki has yet to find a dog to keep up with him/tire him out. We're still lookin' though! =)
Come by for a visit if you're in my neighbourhood...he'll be trying to keep up with my pack 5 BC's, 1 BC/lab, an ACD mix, another mix and a collie. All but the ACD and collie are sled dogs and fit, fit, fit...used to running miles all fall and winter.

The problem with trying to exercise him to tire him out is that the more exercise he gets, the more fit he becomes, the more stamina/energy he has, the more exercise he can become a vicious cycle if you let it. He needs to get enough exercise obviously, but also needs to be taught to have an "off switch".

For instance, when he brings the toy-of-choice and drops it in your lap demanding to play...maybe sometimes you want to, sometimes you don't. If you decide enough's enough he needs to learn to settle down. Put the toy away or that can be a good time for a stuffed kong, or some kind of other yummy chewy...anything to keep him entertaining himself instead of demanding you entertain him. Or, another alternative can be a time out in a crate (which, to be a pleasant experience can still involve treat or chews).

Border collies are active dogs but can easily learn to settle. Right now I have several just crashed around my chair and they'd sleep there for hours if I was to stay on the computer that long. As soon as I move, they'll be up and ready to go where ever to go. If I'm outside, they're outside. If I'm inside, they're inside...depending on where in the house I am they may be found on/around my bed, crammed into the bathroom with me, or taking over every piece of furniture in the living room. But if I'm busy doing something for a period of time they just crash and sleep, they're not in my face demanding attention all they time. Though despite appearances of being "dead to the world", flat on their back with all 4 feet in the air, they do seem to sleep with one eye open...always waiting to see what's next...ready to jump up and go on a millisecond's notice

My BC/lab Lightning can be demanding about playing with toys and he's very vocal about it. He'll drop a ball or something and bark (usually when we're outside and I'm scooping the yard). When he does I ignore him or tell him he has to wait, and I only kick the ball if he's quiet. If I were to give in and do it when he barks it just reinforces the behaviour.

Something else you can do for mental stimulation...if he has a bunch of toys teach him the names of each one and make up games where he has to get the one requested from a pile (or his toybox if he has one). Or hide various toys and ask him to find them by name. You can also teach him to put his toys away. Another thing too (which may help you later in agility too depending oh how your trainer teaches), you can teach him to touch a target. When I did agility with Lightning, to teach the dogs to pause at end of the contact zones we used targets they were told to touch (the target was just a clear plastic sleeve you can slide a business card or name card into - a lid from a plastic container can work well too). Our at home practice was to first get the dog touching it right in front of their nose. Usually they will automatically reach out and touch it to investigate what it is, and when they do, click and treat if you're clicker training or say yes and treat. After they are starting to do it, put the word "touch" to the action. When they are consistently getting it right you make it more challeging, moving the target around so the dog has to reach further for it, seeking it out rather than it being right in front of their nose. Then you can move it further, place it on the floor across the room and say "go touch". I used to make a bit of a game of it with Lightning, putting it in all different spots on the floor and also up on coffee tables and end tables etc.

When he's a bit older there are so many dog sports you could think about getting him into...besides agility you could think about disc, dock diving, and flyball. And if you're thinking about biking with him you could get him bikejoring and in the winter skijoring if you are a skier.

Even at his age besides the puppy classes he could do some of the basics of agility...things like weaves, tunnels and contacts, you just don't want to ruin his joints doing the jumps at a young age. Then there's also rally-o and some disc trials also have puppy roller classes (no leaping for flying discs).
Beware of Mushers...They will suck you into their addiction!

If your dog thinks you're the best, don't seek a second opinion!

Last edited by Gail P; April 14th, 2011 at 11:37 PM.
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