Border Collie help!

(55 Posts)
Newtothisstuff Tue 08-Jan-13 10:11:54

We've got a 19 month old male border collie, we've had him since he was a tiny puppy. He's always been destructive but he's much better than he was. He's amazing with the kids (6 and 7 months) so can't complain about that.
Our biggest problem ATM is he's started to poo in the hallway every night. Every morning when we get up there's a massive pile of crap on the floor.
He gets fed in the mornings and eats it all so he's not grazing, gets unlimited access to the garden, plenty of walks, plenty of attention, doesn't get separation anxiety and hes not ill so I'm at a complete loss as to why he's doing it.
My 7 month old dd has just started crawling and it's obviously absolutely disgusting he's crapping on the floor
Any ideas on how to stop this ?. I'm at breaking point, the last Month has been hideous

Floralnomad Tue 08-Jan-13 10:13:40

How much exercise does the dog get as this may be the root of all your problems with him .

And what are you feeding him (which brand of food?)

Newtothisstuff Tue 08-Jan-13 10:21:28

2 good walks. Probably not miles and miles but he's out twice. He won't do his business on walks tho. He waits till he's back in the garden

Newtothisstuff Tue 08-Jan-13 10:22:20

He's fed butchers meaty meal dry food

D0oinMeCleanin Tue 08-Jan-13 10:26:03

Change the food for a start. Skinners or Wainwrights are good, budget, dry foods.

Floralnomad Tue 08-Jan-13 10:26:30

Is he off lead during your walks because I wouldn't have thought two walks a day were enough for a border collie.

FloellaDaVille Tue 08-Jan-13 10:33:23

Collies very easily get into habits and it is part of their obsessive nature. The most obvious things to try are making sure that he goes for a poo last thing at night. Sometimes a lead walk up the road might be more productive than just turfing him out in the garden. Also could you restrict where he sleeps so that if he poos, it's in an easier place. We have three collies and they were in crates at nighttime as pups so would never poo in their beds. Now the two older boys sleep in the lounge but the younger girl is shut in the utility room. If your dog has never been crated it might be tricky to introduce one now, but could you use a stair gate or similar to make a sleeping area for him. With exercise it's more the quality than the distance. Try playing with a tug toy with him for short bursts to get him excited, then have a bit of calm walking. I presume he's mostly off lead for his walks. Good luck.

Newtothisstuff Tue 08-Jan-13 10:35:00

No we can't take him off the lead he's a bolter and doesn't come back.
There physically isn't enough time in the day for more walks and he's never had any more since he came to us at about 12 weeks old.
He's literally been the last month he's started this.
Do you really think its down to him not being walked enough ??

Like D0oin says get him off butchers - far too much protein (you need a food with no more than 20%). It's comprised of cereals and meat derivatives (that's stuff like feathers and beaks - not digestible really). Get him on wainwrights, or something like Burns if you can afford it.

D0oinMeCleanin Tue 08-Jan-13 10:37:21

It would depend what happens during the walks, I would think. In my very limited experience of collies (we recently fostered a collie/greyhound) it is mental stimulation they require as much as anything.

I could walk puppy for an hour, off lead, with constant ball chasing, but unless we also did some training and played some games, he'd still be restless all night. Walking with large groups of other dogs (which is in itself, mentally stimulating) was the only thing that tired him out without training.

In OP's case I would fist look at diet and then consider re-training if that did not work. Butcher's is not one of the better foods, it is very fatty and has a lot of 'stuff' in it that is not needed, hence more waste coming out of the other end.

Marne Tue 08-Jan-13 10:43:27

Could you take him to training classes (would help with the bolting and would stimulate him). I agree about the food, butchers is horrid stuff sad and i would feed him twice a day (morning and again around 5pm), maybe walk him in the evening (when the evenings start getting lighter) so he has a poo before bed. My dog started pooing on the landing upstairs so we had to use a stair gate to keep her downstairs, we have now started letting her roam around a bit more but monitered and she has not pooped on the landing for a while.

Newtothisstuff Tue 08-Jan-13 10:45:00

I'll definitely look at changing his food. I'll send dh out later to get a different one.
He's quite fussy with his food he either gags or doesn't touch any of it if he doesn't like it. (Nightmare)

With regards to his sleeping area.. He was crated as a puppy until maybe 1 years old. He now sleeps in his bed under the stairs (which is where his crate was)he gets the hall way and the kitchen, we have to shut all other doors and have a staircase on the bottom of the stairs.we did used to shut the kitchen door but he used to jump and scratch the door all night so we gave in and left it open and he stopped that!!

Have any of you had experience with dogs that won't poo on walks ?. It's like he saves it up until he gets home haha

Is there anything you can put down to deter messing in the same place ???

D0oinMeCleanin Tue 08-Jan-13 10:46:06

It should be easy enough to get a collie to recall with a bit of training, they are ridiculously clever dogs.

Start in the house. Change your cue word from the one he has already learned to a different cue (come, here, back, OI, whatever). Call his name, once it is already certain that he is going to come straight to you, use the cue word, treat like mad when he reaches you.

Go into the garden to practice further. Once he is coming straight away try and find a secure field to practice in, using a long line if necessary and gently pulling him back if he ignores you. Start off using the cue, only when he is already on his way back and then try using it as a command once it looks like he has 'got it'

Don't keep repeating the cue word if he ignores it. He will learn that the cue means nothing and not following the command will have no consequence. Say it once and then reel him if he doesn't respond.

If training classes would be difficult due to time constraints, there's a lot you can do at home. Aside from training him the basics, you can use treat dispenser toys, brain training puzzle toys, stuffed kongs - all sorts to get him thinking.

See if you can work out what motivates him - with my lab it's socks. He loves them. So we've taught him to load and unload the washing machine. Keeps him quiet and controls his sock-stealing impulses. If only I could teach DH to do the same. hmm

Neither of my dogs will poo when on lead, so perhaps that's why? They like their privacy. You could try training a cue word so that when he goes to the toilet outside you use the word, and eventually you can command him to go. Only works if he needs to go though!

With regards to cleaning, make sure you use a pet-specific spray (available from pet shops) to get the ammonia smell out.

Newtothisstuff Tue 08-Jan-13 10:54:58

You taught your dog to load the washing machine WOW that's amazing !!
I'm going to try the change the commands from today. Thank you.
I'll give anything a go I don't know what changed for him a month ago but something triggered this...
Wish me luck, I hate the way things are right now he's such a lovely loving boy and I hate resenting him

mistlethrush Tue 08-Jan-13 10:59:47

We've recently adopted a 2yo dog that wasn't housetrained when we got her. She thought 'inside' was where you did things - and didn't even do things in the garden, coming in to do them immediately. However, she's now a lot better, occasionally goes whilst on walks, but often needs to be put in the garden directly after a walk just in case.

We had a collie cross - who we had to keep on a lead to start with because she would bolt if she saw another dog. She had 3 decent (hour plus) walks per day, and we would also have two sessions in the garden when we would throw a ball for her until we were too tired to continue. She also did lots of playing in the house. Two on-lead walks might just not be enough - if you could throw a ball / frisbee on them for him it might help to get him enough exercise, so this is something worth working on.

If his bed is where his crate used to be, it shouldn't be too hard to reintroduce the crate - hopefully that will put a stop to the current issue.

Change diet off bakers onto something more suited to a collie.

Hopefully the combination will help?

FloellaDaVille Tue 08-Jan-13 11:06:25

I would say that your problems are due to lack of exercise. Collies are not suitable dogs to just walk around on a lead. They need plenty of physical and mental stimulation. You need to try and get your recall problems sorted so that you can take him out and let him off lead. He'll probably poo off lead when you're out too. I would try and get some advice if you don't think you can train him to do a good recall. You need to try and make yourself more exciting than the prospect of running off. If you're in Hampshire, let me know. My DH is a dog trainer and works with people whose dogs have behaviour probs.

Newtothisstuff Tue 08-Jan-13 11:07:28

So you think we should reintroduce his crate ???

My border collie is on skinners food and does lovely firm compact poos. He is about the same age too (2 in May) - and always used to only poo in the back garden but has now started to always squeeze one out on the way home from his walk.

So is he always walked on lead? I know my dog would be demented if he didn't get a good off lead run every day. He usually only gets one trip out but it's a thorough one, IYKWIM. I would honestly concentrate on teaching him recall so that he can get better exercise, it will make your life so much easier.

I taught mine with a combination of food treats and a long line, but his recall is absolutely superb now. I could easily walk him to the park without his lead, ask him to lie down outside the corner shop while I nipped in, and walk home with us - he will cross the road on command and sit or wait from 20m away, I cannot believe how easy he was to train compared to my stubborn terrier who does nothing you ask, ever They are so damn clever as PP said and they love to learn stuff. Mine now loves it when you throw a ball for him but make him wait before he is allowed to fetch it - it makes him really happy hmm

Kormachameleon Tue 08-Jan-13 11:24:36

Sorry but his diet is poor and he doesn't seem to get enough exercise.
His recall will only be poor if he hasn't had sufficient training

You can pretty much teach a collie anything - you just need to find what makes them tick and then use it

You absolutely cannot be a passive or lazy owner with a collie - you must engage them and keep their minds busy

I would encourage you to find a good trainer and get his recall sorted so he can have a really good run when out

Also look at games to play, fetch, hide the ball, find the chew etc
And get him on a decent food - Arden grange is good for them or burns

Newtothisstuff Tue 08-Jan-13 11:36:00

We definitely need to get his recall sorted out. Sometimes he is fine and will comeback (I have him on a long retractable lead) but then other times he's gone and there's no listening.
If he sees another dog he's gone too he's so friendly he just wants to play with them.
He plays with our 6 year old all afternoon after school and evening,they are thick as thieves they play hide and seek and stuff. He's amazing with both the kids, even the baby he just sits there whilst she climbs on him he seems to love it. Is literally just the crapping on the floor.
Will give the food change a go first and maybe reintroduce his crate.

Remember it can take a while for the old food to get out of his system - 6-8 weeks I think, so don't expect results from the food straight away.

Cuebill Tue 08-Jan-13 13:33:28

Sorry I am tired so not energy for being pc.

You sound like you do not have a clue. Your poor dog.

All the behaviours you describe are of a stressed bored dog. You are lucky that the all he is doing is pooing.

Chewing, bolting, refusing to wee poo out on walks etc are all behaviours you would expect to see in a dog that is unhappy.

So you need to do a lot of things to make this work.

Get a trainer - work on recall - you need to be able to let a collie off lead. If this is too much effort (!) then you need to find a safe area where you can let him off lead.

He needs to be stimulated in the day - a lot, get a clicker and find a trainer that uses a clicker for training. No need to be amazed at dogs emptying the washing machine your dog could learn this in under two minutes with a clicker.

I would crate again at night - I would also split the food (which I hope you will change) into two meals a day. Easier for the dog to digest. I would also throw away his food bowl. He needs to work for his dinner. Get him to start with to follow your hand and then hand feed him. If he will follow your hand you can teach twists, spins, walking backwards, walking around (even if you do not want to use a clicker) He will be tired out and relaxed from his training.

You do need to increase his stimulation, without doing this you will have a very frustrated and unhappy dog.

Join a local agility club, go to obedience classes, they are in daytimes ad evenings - if you have an intelligent dog you have to use his brains.

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