Looking For Collie Owners To Help!!

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by bumhouse, Oct 2, 2006.

  1. bumhouse

    bumhouse New Member

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    I have a 15 week old collie puppy named Colt. We acquired him at the young age of 6 weeks from a house breeder who didn't know what he was doing - unfortunately, neither did we!! Now we know that those last two weeks with Mom and littermates were soooo important!!

    I have since done a lot to educate myself to not only the breed but raising a puppy in general. Colt is doing GREAT except in 1 area - biting!!

    It seems Colt likes to get his way regarding walks and play. When either are ended he becomes very agressive - biting and growling and pulling at the leash. He also does this to try to get us to play. Our reaction so far has been to give him a timeout in the kitchen (or in the crate if we need to be in the kitchen). Usually, he falls asleep, occasionally he protests. If we let him out after say 5 minutes he usually does the same thing again - he's doesn't seem to be getting it. He will come right up and bite our feet to get attention!! And honestly, we don't give it to him - he is put away without a word. We never play rough or tug of war or any of that stuff. He seems bored with the way we play though. He has ample time outside and we walk him 2-3 times a day. I do not work outside the home so he is not lonely or isolated.

    He is completely housebroken, has mastered sit, down, come, potty's on command, sleeps through the night in his crate in our bedroom without protest - he is Brilliant!!! He shows no territorial agression with toys, food, etc. But he needs to stop this agressiveness!! He is well socialized as we have many dogs in the neighborhood and he behaves very well with them. Oh, he also will hump my leg to try to get my attention - I gently kick him off and put him in timeout if he continues - never making eye contact.

    Please help!! We absolutely love this dog but we are really concerned. If this is normal behavior, how long can we expect it to last? How old will he be before he can be with us and not have to be put away? How do you feel about using a halti during walks to try and help?
     
  2. casablanca1

    casablanca1 Happy

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    Biting/nipping/humping are normal bratty behaviors, but they're unacceptable and you're right to want to nip them in the bud. He sounds like a great puppy, and very smart and too independent to listen the first 1000 times you say something. You're trying to tell him that it's not nice to bite. You tried to say it really nicely by just putting him in a time-out, but since that didn't work, you need to be a little more assertive. I think that the next step would be either a vocal or physical reaction. Not a punishment/correction, but a simple 'you bite, this unpleasant thing happens.' It could be a sharp, loud yelp of pain (especially useful if he's noise-sensitive, as are many collies), or the bitten body part reacts by giving the biting muzzle a little bop. Not a slap or a beating, obviously, just as much force if he'd bumped his nose on something that moved unexpectedly. You're not angry, you're just telling him "No" in a pysical way. When he backs off, you praise the heck out of him, unapologetically, and continue what you're doing.

    One caveat - at this age, they're close to impossible to tire out, and a certain amount of wild behavior is standard until they're mature. Biting and humping should be stopped immediately, but just general craziness - leaping, jumping, tearing around, snapping, barking, etc. - is something you're stuck with for the next couple of years unless you have a very calm dog.
     
  3. drumancroy@btinternet

    drumancroy@btinternet Souni

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    Hi, looks very like Colt has not learned bite inhibition. If he is 15 weeks you have a week to teach him!!:) I'll try and send you the handout I give at puppy class. (too long to post here) I strongly suggest you start clicker training him as well. There is lots you can teach him, with the clicker to keep him stimulated, mentally. I am training an assistance dog. I met him at 7 weeks and he is now 28 weeks. So far he opens cupboards, brings the telephone when it rings, switches lights on and off, finds mum, (his owner is an 8 year old boy with muscular dystrophy) and so much more. Good luck. :)
     
  4. silverpawz

    silverpawz No Sugar Added

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    Binaca. (yes, the mouth spray for people) a little squirt of this near the corner of his mouth will stop most pups in their tracks.

    It HAS to come 'out of the blue' though, and be timed within a second or two of him biting you.

    Personally I don't advocate making an "ouch" sound and ignoreing the pup when he nips, because is what littermates do...and you don't want your pup thinking of you as a littermate.

    Provide him plenty of toys he can chew on, tire him out the best you can(even though it IS nearly impossible at this age) and carry around some binaca with you so you can whip it out if he gets too frisky with his teeth.

    Be sure to give him an appropriate behavior to do after any spritz, like aksing him to sit and THEN giving him some attention. This way your telling him that biting gets him an unpleasent taste in his mouth, and sitting gets him attention.

    If he's as smart as you describe, he should pick this up in no time.

    I have Collies too and nipping is a commom puppy behavior for them. They're herding dogs and it just comes natural.

    Humping is NOT okay, in any way shape or form especially at this age. That should be swifty discouraged. I would keep a leash on him and anytime he tries to hump you tug him away with the leash and ask him to run through some obedience commands. (sicne you mention he already knows them)
     
  5. bumhouse

    bumhouse New Member

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    Thanks for your VERY quick replies!!!

    I look forward to receiving the handout on bite inhibition and this is the 1st time I have heard of bianca. I really like that idea. I'm getting tired of bathing in bitter apple.

    Colt doesn't seem to have much interest in "chew" toys other than a Kong if it has a treat but he is pretty quick in getting it so it is not a long term solution. I can handle crazy behavior as I have three young children - 11,9, & 4 - but biting and growling just can't happen. I need to maintain order and regardless of what he wants to believe - I AM THE ALPHA IN THIS HOUSE!!

    How do I teach him a job? I think he needs a job other than herding us and trying to keep us in his "order"?
     
  6. silverpawz

    silverpawz No Sugar Added

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    Since he likes to use his mouth, how about teaching him to carry things for you? I've done that with my BC pup and he now carries around paper towels for me when I'm cleaning or anything else I think he could hold. He's been taught how to fetch the remote too and I make use of that everyday. lol

    He loves it, he's so proud of himself for 'helping mom'. I taught all of that with a clicker, but it really helped that he was very oral to begin with. And I think you've got the same problem. ;)

    Another way to give him a 'job' is to make him work for everything he wants, often referred to as "nothing in life is free". Before you pet him, hook his leash up, feed him, throw the ball, go outside, and whatever else, make him do a command first. Really simple to do, but gives you many opprotunities to practice training all day and a way to keep him mentally occupied.
     
  7. otch1

    otch1 New Member

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    Hi Bumhouse... great suggestions you've been given. Excellent idea to do work on bite inhibition/the class handout you were offered. Also, keep in mind that he's coming up on the worst part of teething for some pups. (Open mouth and see if you have swollen gums, any bleeding or loose teeth) This can be a deterant for them wanting to chew... it hurts. While uncomfortable, they can also be irritable, during this time. Take a toy you're able to freeze (there are toys designed for this at petstore) and give him this several times per day to ease discomfort. I see you have 11, 9 and 4 year olds! It's very important to include them in the training process, as I'm guessing your pups smart enough to obey you when correcting the mouthing and mounting issue, but he'll then quickly move on down the line to the next in the pecking order. (Kids) It is time for his obedience/puppy classes to start! Good luck!
     
  8. kidsanddogs

    kidsanddogs New Member

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    Do you have any friends with young dogs or can you find a puppy class? Playdates and play classes are great to help pups learn bite inhibition. As previous posters said, collies are nippers, and some more than others.
    Most collies love to learn tricks and your pup is at a perfect age. It's fun, and it teaches them to learn. Then once they know tricks, you can request them for things, as in the Nothing in Life is Free method. To get fed, twirl around, etc. My site below has lots of trick videos.

    Where do you live? If you are near me in San Diego, we have a fun group of collie owners and we all get together for play dates. You might check for a collie club in your area or even all breed activities would help as well.

    Just a note, collies are soft, sensitive breeds, even the determined ones. Harsh correction or punishment is not necessary ever.

    Congrats on your sweet pup. Hang in there, it'll all be worth it. :)
     
  9. moxiegrl

    moxiegrl New Member

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    JMO, but I would not spray anything into his mouth. For it to be affective, it would have to be timed perfectly, and more then likely 9 out of 10 times it wont be. To me, it just doesnt seem like something you should do to a puppy. There are other ways to teach bite inhibition, and that just seems like the last of last resorts. Maybe Im wrong but it just doesnt seem right?
     
  10. silverpawz

    silverpawz No Sugar Added

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    A puppy knawing on your hand leaves plenty of time to time it right. ;)
    Binaca can work wonders for mouthy puppies.

    Of course you don't want to over do it and spray the whole bottle down his throat, but a quick spritz won't kill him. And please note, I didn't say to spray it IN his mouth, I said near the CORNER of his mouth while he's biting. Big difference.

    It's perfectly reasonable and can be very effective.
     
  11. cindr

    cindr Guest

    Point well made; I would have suggested the same.
     
  12. bumhouse

    bumhouse New Member

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    I am quite overwhelmed by the response to my question and I truly appreciate all of the input!!:hail:

    I live in southern New Jersey and although I have several friends with dogs, I don't know any other collie owners except for the "backyard breeder" we got the pup from and I wouldn't seek him out at this point for much of anything. Colt does really well with other dogs and this issue is not a problem - I don't think I have EVER seen him bite another dog!~! I also don't believe this is "bad breeding" because he has so many great qualities. Also he is not fearful of strangers and is quite friendly but he has never even nipped at a person on a walk or anything.

    I have had difficulty finding a puppy kindergarten class so far that works with my schedule as I need a weekDAY class. I have three kids and the evening classes just don't fit into the schedule.

    Colt lost four teeth over the last two days - he is in pain and I am attributing some of his behavior to this as well as entering adolescence. I plan to get to the store this weekend and look for some freezable toys. The frozen washcloth thing didn't fly - no interest there he much prefers my hands and clothes and has taken to chewing on his crate when he is not in it!! A book I have mentioned frozen carrots - is this safe?

    I have never trained a dog before but I KNOW IN MY HEART that this breed is not aggressive and that Colt will most likely grow out of this soon. He is a very headstrong little pup. Which brings me to my next question - how big should he be at 4 months? He only weighs about 12 -13 lbs. The vet says he is healthy but he seems way small to me (looks like a true "mini collie" if there were such a thing).:confused:

    If anyone knows of a reputable collie breeder near Atlantic City or Ocean City, NJ please let me know.
     
  13. bumhouse

    bumhouse New Member

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    P.S. Could anyone give me instructions on how to post pictures? I use Shutterfly. Thanks!!
     
  14. Lizmo

    Lizmo Water Junkie

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    Well I am not sure about that website but I know that if you go to PhotoBucket and you upload your pics and then copy the Img and paste it in the post!!!
     

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