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Old August 19th, 2004, 03:08 PM
Lady_Eleven Lady_Eleven is offline
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problem behavior in 9 month old puppy

After wadering around the forums here and answering a few questions, I figure I might as well get to it and ask mine - in hopes that someone can give me some suggestions.

Maggie, my (almost) 9 month old puppy has behaviors that, well, are a little out of control. She's a Lab/ Border Collie x Australian Shepherd. Knowing what exactly she is is a little helpful to me, as I know that some things are to expect with the breed. That in mind I give her lots of exercise and play time, and can expect high intellegence, but also a bit of goofiness lol.

Depsite doing the puppy training and constant (but not over-doing) attempts at training, she just doesn't seem to listen very well. She knows the commands, I know that (and will do almost anything for a treat lol), but otherwise ignores me. She still nips and chews on my hands and feet (only mine), pulls on a leash, and so far into walks she starts to jump at me and tries to start aggresive games of tug of war with her leash. If it's not with the leash, it with my pant leg, or t-shirt, or sometimes she grabs directly for my arm. She still chews on things she shouldn't chew on (even after offering her something else to chew on), scrounges around the house to eat anything from dust bunnies to the stray rabbit poop the bunny cages, and who knows what else (and she'll even do this after being well fed, so it's not a hunger thing). She barks like a maniac when greeting other people; despite this it's not an aggression thing but rather her trying to get constant attention from them (she hates being left out at all), mind you she gets alot of attention from me so it's not like she never gets any. She really is a great dog, really friendly, especially once you pet her (lol), I think she's just a little confused.

In terms of the exercise, she gets atleast 2 walks a day, between 1 - 2 hours long (most times she starts getting the issue with leash grabbing after an hour so I assume she's gotten bored), and I give her a seperate run time in the park across the street on her 30 ft retractable leash to play ball or frisbee. But despite that I'm not sure she runs off all her energy; and while I'm willing to stay out longer for her to run and play, she gets bored and plops down on the ground (we do switch toys). I'm thinking she would benefit from playing with a well behaved older dog in a fenced in area (I can't let her off leash without it being a contained area or she will run away and not come back; she once got off her leash and I had to trick her into herding me home by running away from her, only to once near home I quickly turned and grabbed onto her to bring her inside safe and sound), but the problem is that I can't find someone with a well behaved dog, or one thats willing to play with all 50 lbs of her, one who's taken care of with all it's shots and so on (I don't want my Maggie sick!) or somewhere where they can play safely. That or a person who has the time for a playtime like that; most people have backyards so they don't do that kind of thing... I don't have a backyard. And if you're thinking "well get another dog", no can do - I can't afford or have space for two, and really I'd rather be able to take great care of this one instead of having to split for dog care funds between two.

Any thoughts on what to do about some or all of these behaviours would be greatly appreciated, that or to share your experiences like this with your dog and what helped you would be great.

Thanks for reading! I love my dog and want to try to have the best possible life we can have together.
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Old August 19th, 2004, 03:19 PM
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Writing4Fun Writing4Fun is offline
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Well, I can't offer much advice, but I can say this. Do you have treats along with you when you take her for walks? Try to continue her training while you're out. Have her stop at each corner, sit, treat. Really work on the "heel" command. This will give her something to think about during walks, and maybe then she won't become bored so quickly. We're learning the "watch me" command in obedience class, which might help with the "she doesn't listen to me" issue. Sounds like you have a high-energy puppy there. Good luck!
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Old August 19th, 2004, 05:56 PM
Lucky Rescue Lucky Rescue is offline
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Quote:
And if you're thinking "well get another dog",
I would never EVER suggest that!

You have a mix of extremely high energy breeds, who were bred to be able to run all day long without tiring. Also, herding dogs are nippy - especially Aussie Shepherds!

First of all, I suggest getting into obedience school, so you can learn how to train her. For this dog, some sort of agility, flyball, etc activities may be necessary. These breeds need a job to do, and if you don't give them one, they will FIND one and it's guaranteed you won't like it.
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Old August 19th, 2004, 10:32 PM
sandra11 sandra11 is offline
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problem behavior in 9 month old puppy

I had a lot of the same problems with my Australian Kelpie at 9 months old, nipping, chewing, knows the commands when she wants to etc.... In my case I felt it was partially lack of exercise (Sheep dogs can do 40-50km a day) and while she got plenty of puppy play with me, cause I work from home, she as a abused dog was scared of going outside, it took me 9months to go around the block. Anyway, what I decided to do was walk around to all my neighbours and see if anybody had a dog that would like to spend some time at my place during the day playing with Zephyr. As I didn't know any neighbours with dogs, I assumed that I would get a lot of people slamming the door in my face assuming I'm a nutcase, but as luck would have it, the first place I knocked on, had a Rotti 6 months older than my dog, who was a outside dog all the time, their owners work all day, small kids in school. So I borrowed the dog for a couple of hours and they got on so well. Fast forward 3 months later....... I have my own lead for their dog and I go and get it for 3-4hours each day, they play full on, my dog from day 1 stopped nearly all chewing instantly, she was so tired, she has more confidence after playing with a big dog, 30kg to my dogs 18kg, she is walking better and paying more attention to me. My neighbours are so happy, their dog calmed down instantly from day 1 too, their kids can now go out in the back yard with out the dog bowling them over for attention, she doesn't distroy the backyard anymore and sleeps all night and they don't feel guilty for leaving her alone all day, we get invitations for roast dinners as thanks and our backyard is a mess (but Hey,can't have everything).
My point being with all this, is that there maybe people in your street with a backyard that would love to have your dog over a couple of times a week for play. I know that if someone had knocked on my door before I was doing this, I would have jumped at the chance for playtime with my dog.
Also, as mentioned obedience school has been great too.
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Old August 19th, 2004, 10:50 PM
Lucky Rescue Lucky Rescue is offline
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That's great Sandra! Not only you solved your dog's problem, but are giving that poor lonely backyard dog a wonderful time too! Everybody wins!

Wonderful pic, by the way.
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Old August 20th, 2004, 09:42 AM
Lady_Eleven Lady_Eleven is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Writing4Fun
Well, I can't offer much advice, but I can say this. Do you have treats along with you when you take her for walks? Try to continue her training while you're out. Have her stop at each corner, sit, treat. Really work on the "heel" command. This will give her something to think about during walks, and maybe then she won't become bored so quickly. We're learning the "watch me" command in obedience class, which might help with the "she doesn't listen to me" issue. Sounds like you have a high-energy puppy there. Good luck!
Actually I do take treats sometimes, but the problem with that is that she'll literally harass me for treats by bunting me, grabbing at anything on me, or whatever she can do to get one (and ofcourse I don't give in, but the reality is that this makes a walk impossible and frustrating). If she's going to get one, it's because she does something good and listens. So that's not a problem in general (asides from the walks). But if I don't have a treat, then she doesn't listen at all; this dogs problem is not intelligence lol. I tried to make it so that the reward was a toy or for me to pay attention to her at the time she does something good, but that's not what seems to get her. And to cut back on the treats, I make her do multiple things before getting one: but as soon as she gets that treat, she's back to doing something she shouldn't be doing.
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Old August 20th, 2004, 10:18 AM
Lady_Eleven Lady_Eleven is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuckyRescue
I would never EVER suggest that!

You have a mix of extremely high energy breeds, who were bred to be able to run all day long without tiring. Also, herding dogs are nippy - especially Aussie Shepherds!

First of all, I suggest getting into obedience school, so you can learn how to train her. For this dog, some sort of agility, flyball, etc activities may be necessary. These breeds need a job to do, and if you don't give them one, they will FIND one and it's guaranteed you won't like it.
I did know about the nippiness, but I'm trying to figure why she only does it to me, and why she gets so aggresive about it. I do figure that if she gets more exercise this will help (or atleast I'm hoping). But boredom is getting in the way of her of playing for as long as I'd like her to. I would love her to get into agility or flyball, but it needs to be something that I can do on a daily basis (or find some of the other dogs to play with her on a daily basis), and then I wonder about affordability and weither or not she could do something like this when she doesn't listen in the first place.
We did do the puppy training and I have been trying to reinforce this, but really I don't think this lady knew first thing about dog training and wasn't very helpful (many people left that class not feeling it was helpful). Theres a local training place that apparantly is good with all breeds (and would likely get alot of herding breeds for the "doggy sports"; flyball and agility, and possibly more), but it is difficult to get into (I am determined to figure something out though). But yeah, with the affordability issue, further dog training cannot happen as this moment in time.
As for the comment about "thinking I should get another dog", it probably won't come to a surprse, but the first thing the vet suggested was to get another dog (*scratches head* hm, I wonder why? it wouldn't happen to do with getting more business would it?) and she knew I had no backyard and was in an appartment. I've heard it from other people as well, and get tired of telling them that despite the fact I love dogs, one at the moment is enough lol
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Old August 20th, 2004, 10:27 AM
Lady_Eleven Lady_Eleven is offline
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Sandra,

Sounds like you have found quite the match! I've done some looking but as of yet, haven't found any dog for her to play with. I noticed when she was in puppy class ad they had free run time, she had a blast and came home tired and happy. But so far it's alot of older dogs that don't want to play, alot of very very small dogs, a border collie who has an attitude and doesn't like anything or anyone (he's a bit territorial about his family and property, and doesn't seem to like the fact that his owner is totally in love with my dog lol), and another appartment border collie thats a wee bit nervous (and its humans are a little strange so I'd prefer for my own safety to stay away from them lol). Theres a jack russel mix in the area, Im not sure where she comes from, but Maggie and her love to play when I'm talking to the owner... but she also doesn't have a backyard. The Jack russel is quite a bit smaller, but can stand her own ground lol (but like my dog is a runner and would never come back if let off leash). I'll keep trying; maybe if I move like I want to I'll have better luck in my new neighbourhood.
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Old August 20th, 2004, 11:40 AM
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Luba Luba is offline
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Sandra that is an AMAZING story and yes it works out very well.
I often borrow dogs for my girl to play with as well. It really does a great job doesn't it...sometimes just when you're at your witts end and then you get a play'day so to speak it completely changes the behaviour around. Gives them an outlet for all that energy.

GOOD for you I love the picture!!
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Old August 24th, 2004, 02:01 PM
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TalonsMa TalonsMa is offline
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Sandra, that is a great idea! I'll have to look into doing something like that for when Solara is a bit older
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Old August 24th, 2004, 02:10 PM
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Writing4Fun Writing4Fun is offline
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Originally Posted by Lady_Eleven
maybe if I move like I want to I'll have better luck in my new neighbourhood.
You should consider moving to my neighborhood. OK, it's a little further North than what you're probably looking for (just south of Barrie), but we have these great, fully-fenced 1/2-acre lots - and then we could get our puppies to play together all the time!!

TalonsMa - I think you're a little far to consider coming over for a romp, or I'd invite you too!
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Old August 24th, 2004, 06:01 PM
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TalonsMa TalonsMa is offline
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Originally Posted by Writing4Fun
TalonsMa - I think you're a little far to consider coming over for a romp, or I'd invite you too!
Yah maybe, a little far But that sure would be fun!
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