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

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.

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.

mrsjay Wed 09-Jan-13 12:42:48

Still wouldn't trust him off lead near cars though (cars are his trigger).

my collie is terrible with cars he rears up then lies down as if trying to round them up . I also saw another border collie doing the same a few months ago that collie just lay down and the owner had to wait ,

I really don't think a dog needs to romp off lead if they have a longish lead to explore, we don't all live near rolling fields and woods ,

Newtothisstuff Wed 09-Jan-13 13:28:08

It's other dogs and bikes that get mine.. He just dives for them lol

mine doesn't mind bikes. Wheelbarrows and Go Karts however have to have their wheels constantly nipped. Luckily we don't see many on the dog walk!

Crackers and Party Poppers are the absolutely best thing in the world (after fireworks) Everyone pulled their Christmas Cracker with my collie this year!
My dog is mad grin

pimmsgalore Wed 09-Jan-13 14:19:08

Newto you have a DS 6 ? Then he can help teach him not to dive at bikes, get your DS to get his bike out in the garden and start with walking you dog past the bike, as soon as he starts to pull then turn and walk away, treat your dog as soon as you can walk past the bike without him pulling towards it. Then build this up to being able to walk past your DS riding his bike in the opposite direction. Be really vocal about rewarding and treating every time your dog looks at you once he has seen the bike coming. Eventually you should be able to deploy the tactic outside in the "real" world. Now if only pimmsdog would get this concept with the lawnmower grin

Fenton Wed 09-Jan-13 14:33:41

OP - I have a border collie - lab cross who was very easily trainable until he hit about 6 months and then just wouldn't recall when there was another dog about and would see/sense a dot of a dog on the landscape and bolt.

However, he will not poo on the lead so had to overcome this for fear of the garden becoming a poo pit.

It did take some hard work and I thought he would never get it - but about 2 weeks ago we turned a corner and he will walk off the lead from home to the beach (1/4 mile away), poo immediately we get on the stones, have a long play/walk on the beach and walk back - all off lead, with other dogs about beautifully behaved.

It is bliss - he's an absolute pleasure to be with.

It can be done.

And finally - do listen to D0Oin - she really knows her stuff, - I am a first time dog owner and reading her advice has been invaluable.

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