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

Newtothisstuff Tue 08-Jan-13 13:43:29

Thanks cuebill
My poor dog!! 2 walks a day, plenty of food, walks and a loving home
Someone should call the RSPCA

Thanks for the advice

D0oinMeCleanin Tue 08-Jan-13 14:12:36

Not wanting to cause you more upset OP, but Cuebill is right. Collies are super clever dogs and generally not suited to average family life. They need a job and if you don't give them one they'll find themselves a job, usually something you'd really rather they didn't do, resulting in one annoyed owner and one unhappy and frustrated dog. I am surprised you have not had more behavioral issues to be honest.

I did mention training in my first post as a way to stimulate them and that exercise alone is not enough and was hoping you'd pick up on that. Other posters before Cuebill also mentioned mental stimulation and training, it's just that Cuebill had the conviction to put her thoughts down more bluntly.

After your last post, it is clear that you think this dog is happy. I have yet to meet or hear of a happy collie with no on-going training or 'job' to do. A previously trained dog, who starts messing in the house again could very well be suffering with stress, although diet still needs addressing in this case.

Please don't take this to heart, I am sure your intentions are in the right place, but honestly, your dog will be much happier if you address these issues and your bond with dog would be much stronger.

Also stop the baby climbing on him. I know you say your dog appears to like it, but very few dogs actually like this. They tolerate it and if you are lucky the tolerance level is very high (Collies are not renowned for being patient, tolerant dogs) . I don't think I need to tell you what happens to the unlucky few. Please don't risk this being your dog and child. Have a read up on stress signals. Turid Rugaas has a good book on this that you can pick up cheap enough on Amazon if you have a read through this, you might realise that your dog is not as happy as you thought, but that's easy enough to change with a bit of effort.

If you want anymore indepth, breed specific advise drop an email to Wiccaweys.

FreckledLeopard Tue 08-Jan-13 14:16:51

Collies are wonderful dogs but very demanding and very intelligent. Close friends had one and she was a lovely dog, very clever. Had commands sorted, responded well and needed to be stimulated. You could take her for walks of miles each day - talking a good 6-8 miles and she'd be happy to do more.

Two walks on a lead, no training or games and poor quality food does not sound like the kind of environment such an intelligent animal should be in.

Clicker training is awesome. I use it to tire out my spaniel and we both thoroughly enjoy it. Recall can be tricky with clever dogs, but if you can nail it your dog will be so much happier. Collies love to run and seeing one tearing about is guatanteed to make me smile. If I didn't let my dog run off lead every day he'd be miserable tbh, and he isn't as bright or high energy as yours.

Cuebill Tue 08-Jan-13 14:54:18

Yep your poor dog - what you are giving are the basic needs - not even that to be honest if you are just on lead walking.

Would you be happy and a good mother if you just fed your children and let them watch telly all day? This is the equivalent of what you are doing with your dog.

You can think I am rude etc but please think about what you are giving your dog and think what your dog needs. He needs more than you are giving him.

If you just wanted a dog to lead walk then you have got the wrong breed. Your dogs behaviour will also deteriorate as he gets older so far you have got off lightly.

I will hide this post I have had my say and it is up to you to what action you take. I have a lot of collies in my rescue already that need my care because they have shown "behaviour issues" purely for being with owners like you.

One thought though to teach your collie decent recall in a week - have his meal in your hand. Throw one piece of food for him to chase (do this indoors to start with) when he has eaten the food call him back to you and feed him another piece, throw the next piece away etc then call him back to you. Then do this in the garden . A collie will have recall sorted in a week.

Collies NEED more than this to survive.

Marne Tue 08-Jan-13 17:50:49

OP, your not a bad pet owner but do take some advice from others.

Google 'bakers dog food' and you will see how bad it is sad.

I went to view some pups today (picking one up next week), they were being fed bakers, fist thing i will do when i get him home is take him off of it. You get what you pay for with dog food, sadly buying cheaper brands does not pay off but you also dont have to spend a fortune. Our local country pet shop sells a good dog food (i cant remember the name) which is for working dogs (labs, collies, spaniels etc..) and its very good, i feed it to my dog when money is a bit tight and i cant aford 'james welbeloved', its around £4-£5 for 2kg.

OwlLady Tue 08-Jan-13 18:33:30

gosh some of you are so harsh and I say this as a border collie owner (and have been for over 20 years) a loving home, 2 walks a day and being fed AND A CONCERNED OWNER ASKING FOR HELP is not a bad bloody collie owner, she wants help and advice not judgement. She is not locking the dog up, punishing it or anything else, she just wanted some advice.

I don't know re food, mine have always had wet chappie and been fine and none of them ever coped well on dry food

A collie with sighthound in it will bolt as well ime and I do agree training will be useful to teach you some tricks smile I had a great one with my old dog who was lurcher. I used to call her, stamp my feet and run in the opposite direction. Endless hours of fun (now I will get called crap)

QuietTiger Tue 08-Jan-13 19:39:18

OP, Cuebill is right.

Collies need jobs - not "2 walks on the lead a day", but JOBS, where their brains & bodies are engaged, active and constantly being used.

Think about it - a collie is smart, he learns to figure things out. He may housetrain easily, learn basic obedience easily, but what else can he learn?

BC’s learn to open doors, steal laundry, and climb a tree. If they have nothing better to do they entertain themselves by doing something like digging or barking. My own youngster (who is coming up to 6 months, lives on a working farm and is being trained for a job) is a complete nightmare - he's currently howling in the kitchen because DH has put him there after a long day running around the farm with our other 2 collies. He's probably covered the best part of 10 miles today, running with the others and doing "stuff". I've just heard a bang and now he's chasing his (empty) food bowl across the floor. He's been in 5 minutes, he's had his dinner and he's already bored.

BC’s are like that super-smart nerdy kid in Chemistry class - he successfully completes the class experiment - and then blows up the lab because he wants to see how the chemicals interact! Super smart kids make super big messes.

Collies are inherently nosey and inquisitive. If they hear something exciting going on elsewhere, then they may try see if they can be involved somehow. They just wants to join in. It has nothing to do with them being ‘untrained’ – my own can are working farmdogs who are highly trained. It is all to do with the fact that they are incredibly nosey, they always wants to be involved and 'working', and they don’t want to be left out.

Regarding the recall, always have something that makes you more attractive than anything else. Food is a good motivator. Also, start crating him at night again.

Cuebill has given good advice, as has Dooin. If you're really stuffed and struggling, I suggest you contact Wiccaweys Here although the advice you have been given is a very good start.

As for food - get him on to dried food, so that you can use his food allowance in reward based training. "Good" ones are hypoallergenic and additive free - CSJ, Skinners, Burns, Wainrights, Gellert Hypoallergenic, James Wellbeloved.

Newtothisstuff Tue 08-Jan-13 20:04:28

Thank you owl glad to know not everyone thinks I'm a crappy dog owner,
He really does get 2 walks, yes on a lead but a really long retractable one, through the woods across from our house so it's hardly a quick trot round the block. I'm gonna go get him some new food tomorrow, I completely lied he's not on butchers I checked earlier and it's called Wagg for working dogs I don't think it was expensive so I imagine as dog foods go its pretty crap.

Thanks everyone for the advice I will be giving all the bits a go, ill do everything to stop him messing on the carpet '

Marne Tue 08-Jan-13 20:17:26

This is the dog food which we have used www.vetuk.co.uk/dog-food-autarky-dog-food-c-1024_1256/autarky-adult-working-dog-food-with-salmon-p-10529, its not realy cheap but not too expensive compared to some.

mrsjay Tue 08-Jan-13 20:17:59

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.

this last few weeks ive taught new dog ( a collie ) to empty the dryer he loves it and it has almost stopped him chewing at our sleeves ( I AM A GENUIS grin )

OP is your dog constipated and no pooping right during the day, make sure he poos last thing and maybe change his food for a few days, dogs can be notrious for stomach problems,

D0oinMeCleanin Tue 08-Jan-13 20:40:19

FWIW OP I don't think you're a 'crappy dog owner', it's clear you love your dog and are willing to work on this problem. I save my 'crappy dog owner' stickers for people who decide to re-home their dog when the training goes wonky.

I do think you are an inexperienced dog owner, which is nothing bad, everyone has to start somewhere, unfortunately for you you have picked the worst breed possible for an inexperienced owner, but again that is not earth shatteringly bad, you're just going to have to catch up on doggy owner skills a lot quicker than you would if you'd gotten a sleepy hound, that's all.

A collie really, really does need a job. I cannot stress this enough. No-one is trying to have a go at you it's just that we can see the problems you have ahead if you ignore this.

Cuebill is a qualified behaviorist who runs her own rescue and it sounds like QuietTiger owns and trains working collies and has done for some time, there is nothing wrong with being less experienced than they are.

I'm studying canine behavior and even I got a shock to the system when I realised just how clever my former collie x foster dog was (he learnt to open the children's toy cupboard and would systematically empty it and bring all the toys downstairs to chew if he was allowed to get bored!)

You don't have to dive straight in at the deep end, just start a bit of clicker training, say three times a day for 15 mins a time. One idea is to ditch the food bowl and use her breakfast and supper as a training session.

This is a great book to work your through

As is this one

Collies love problem solving and mental agility games I've been consiering buying this book but any games or training will do.

You only have to take a look at Nana to see just what a collie is capable of and while you're on YouTube you can look up Kikopup for more training and game ideas.

You'll be addicted to dog training before long and posting about how your dog is not only empty the dryer but do the ironing and put it all away afterwards wink <- slight exaggeration maybe grin

mrsjay Tue 08-Jan-13 20:42:23

but do the ironing and put it all away afterwards <- slight exaggeration maybe

I am working on it but bless him he has no thumbs to hold grin

mrsjay Tue 08-Jan-13 20:48:53

we are also going to take newdog to agility but he isn't one yet and I think they need to be over a year old ?
collies are bloody hard work there is more collie in our little cross than we first thought the behaviourist we saw a few weeks ago said he is probably just 2 different types of collie and the rescue we got him from is a farm area IYSWIm so he is hard work and needs a job as others have mentioned the are nosey need to be in the middle of things and demand attention , op I dont think you are a bad dog owner at all, hope you get it sorted

Newtothisstuff Tue 08-Jan-13 21:09:33

Wow how clever is nana. Thank you so much for the links ! Especially the utube ones. I never thought to look on u tube (der I know)
Thanks again

wgac Tue 08-Jan-13 21:19:49

I think people are being really unfair to OP. Yes it would be perfect to walk a dog for miles and miles every day and spend all hours of the day playing with it. In that case, only people living in the country should be allowed to own a border collie because most people living in the busy and hectic life of today do not have time to walk a dog as much as everyone thinks OP should. In my street there are five border collies and not one of them gets more than 2 thirty mins a day on the lead, and they are seem quite happy with their lot. Dogs adapt...

I have a springer and he only gets an hour on lead a day mainly due to an anterior cruciate ligament tear and hip dysplasia and he is a very settled and content dog. All dogs are different..

Think some of you are perhaps being a bit quick to judge op. She did not say she wanted a dog that just needed 2 lead walks she said she struggled with her recall.

A lot of people get collies without realising the amount of effort they take. I grew up with them and would not have one as I know the work they take and couldn't commit to what they need.

OP a lot of people have mentioned changing your Dogs food. I would say this is a good idea as you have your Dog on a working dog food when he is not working. It will be high in energy and protein. What no one has mentioned as far as I can see is the importance of changing a dogs diet gradually, usually over at least a week. Otherwise you could have an upset tummy on your hands which would not make the poo problem better. I would also recommend 2 meals a day, would you want to go 24 hours without eating? If you want to swap to dry food and your dog is used to wet then you can soak the dry food to begin with.

Work on you recall as you will have much nicer walks and so will the Dog. I don't know how much Doggy experience you have but it's usually quite easy to teach. Even my Mums deaf collie has a good recall. If the dog has a good relationship with your 6 year old then get him involved too he is not too young to learn. If you can find what motivates him, chicken, cheese, a toy then you should reserve this just for training recall and use it as a reward. Remember even the best behaved, perfectly trained dog can turn a deaf ear.

Do you reprimand your dog about the poo? This can do funny things to them and often make things worse. Might help to go back to basics a bit and give lots of praise when poos outside.

There isn't anything he could be frightened of is there? Border Collies are very sensitive especially to noises. Something could be scaring him and making him toilet.

mrsjay Wed 09-Jan-13 08:47:21

Op when did your baby start crawling I was thinking when i was reading perhaps this has triggered pooping dogs can be sensitive to all sorts of change, I also think posters are being a bit unfair on you the dog is a year and a half not as if you only got him last week loads of people have collies as pets and dont walk them miles and miles everyd ay, your dog was fine a month ago,

OwlLady Wed 09-Jan-13 10:03:29

Border collies are clebver, everyone is right. One of mine has been taught to play the piano and the other the flute

Newtothisstuff Wed 09-Jan-13 11:09:01

Haha owl.. Clever dog wink

You might be right mrsjay he got really mischievous just before she was born then stopped afterwards !!

I've started lead training again this morning and working on his recall..
So hopefully ill be able to let him off the lead.. He absolutely loves playing fetch in the garden so I'd love to be able to do it on the field !!

mrsjay Wed 09-Jan-13 11:36:11

You might be right mrsjay he got really mischievous just before she was born then stopped afterwards

even if he looks as if he is all fine and dandy with the baby he maybe a little bit stressed as collies like most dogs love routine and babies are unpredictable iyswim, good luck with him smile

mrsjay Wed 09-Jan-13 11:37:05

have you a long lead we have a long lead for ours when we take him to a field give him space to run but we still control him, as a rabbit or a bird or a leaf can set him racing in the other direction <rolls eyes>

throckenholt Wed 09-Jan-13 11:44:21

In my experience, with collies the mental stimulation is the key. They will take as much exercise as you can give them - you can't wear them out physically. They will happily run 20 miles a day (as long as it is not too hot). So the physical exercise is a red herring. You need to make sure they have mental stimulation - as long as it is intense even 1/2 a day will make a big difference.

As for the poo -I would be tempted to crate him over night, take him out first thing and teach him a word when he poos. And then reward him with a game (or whatever other mental stimulation you have chosen).

And give him more off lead time (in a safe place) - it takes them a while to calm down - but my 5 year old collie is now really reliable, even though I thought when he was younger that we could never rely on him off lead. Still wouldn't trust him off lead near cars though (cars are his trigger).

I have a collie. I don't walk her miles and miles every day. But i do do agility with her and occasionally working trials which she is a bit crap at!

She has off lead walks and goes nowhere, she plods along beside me sniffing. She gets more exercise if I throw a ball in a field for my spaniel and she chases after him. She's really boring on a walk

What I'm trying to get at is that my collie probably gets more exercise running around the garden with my other dog or trying to herd the guinea pigs so If you find it hard to walk your dog more, then maybe exercise him in the garden with a few games or just chuck a toy.

I agree with crating him again at night
also Google some dog tricks to teach him. My dogs love learning tricks or trying to find hidden toys. That wears them out more than a walk.
Good luck my collie is lovely and will try anything, but is a pain in the arse around other dogs!

Newtothisstuff Wed 09-Jan-13 12:24:37

He has a huge retractable lead mrsjay so he gets to run around the woods a lot his recall is just terrible especially if he sees another dog he's off and there's no getting him back.

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