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My dog!!(35 Posts)
Looking for advice please, we got our first dog 7 years ago a beautiful border collie puppy, she is a working dog but also a house dog! Which was never a problem, she loved sheep and also the sofa and cuddles, Was spolit with time and attention which she deserved, now tho I need help, I don't want to say this out loud and I love her dearly!
But .. she has become such hard work. She's knows when she is being naughty , I don't think getting a dog behaviourist in would help?
Over the last couple of years my mum's cat came to live with us(he's no problem likes his own space and to snuggle, and we've had a baby, my dog won't go anywhere near the baby, I built a doggy den under the stairs so she had an extra space, she won't go near it. I take her out all the time on walks and she just pulls, wraps herself up around the pram if on the lead, she knows how to walk to heal, I try to give her one and one time, but sometimes I think actually I don't want to, she's a pain and making things that shud be fun /easy hard work! I am one person I give everyone and all my animals all the time I have and I don't really expect much back but I know this sounds crazy but I think she's selfish, she doesn't want to cuddle, won't return a ball, won't walk to heal, won't eat her food but is permanently at the fridge which she never use to do, doesn't seem to want to be with us, but seems unhappy , I know it's prob all down to jelously but what more can I do to make her start behaving again and in return make me start enjoying her again.
Breaking this down. The den thing. If she doesn't want to go in there as her safe place then trying to force it won't help. It sounds like you built it and expected her to be grateful.
The walking nicely by the pram. Whilst she may know how to walk to heal without the pram have you done any training with the pram? My dog needs to be 'trained' in each situation and it doesn't just translate straight to new things.
My dog won't cuddle me unless it's on his terms. Maybe she is picking up on all the resentment and new changes.
The not wanting to spend time with her is what you need to change. Make the 1-1 times fun for the dog and they will become fun for you as there is nothing more contagious than a happy dog. What are you doing 1-1? Could you do some fun agility or fly ball, or just find a quite place and run around with a new tug toy or something? Anything to get that bond and fun thing back?
A behaviourist is exactly what you need here- I'm not sure why you think it won't work?
Like a PP said you need to train her to walk by the pram - back to basics, maybe?
But it sounds like she's not happy with domestic life - many working dogs don't cope with being in a house all day.
Are you a farmer?
Because you said about loving sheep so I am assuming she is a working farm dog that is out herding sheep?
A lot of working farmers dogs also live in the house and no working dog works 24/7 so of course she will be a ‘house dog’ aswell.
Probably anxious around it, a lot of collies are noise sensitive and movement sensitive and that combined with your own behaviour change she might be struggling with.
As long as she isn’t aggressive I would just give her the option of a safe space, don’t force interaction, just pet her calmly if she ever chooses to approach you.
She might come round in time.
The walking is because you haven’t trained her properly.
A ‘heel’ isn’t quite the same as a fairly close loose lead walk.
If she walks close on lead without the pram then the behaviour hasn’t been generalised to include the pram.
Collies can be rather aloof, I’m not sure cuddliness is a common trait?
They tend to like to be close to you but not all over you I find.
Not returning a ball again is poor training.
If she won’t eat her food, maybe she just doesn’t like it..?
Have you tried something different?
I have a working border collie myself and honestly, I think virtually all of what you’ve said is largely poor training rather than working collie problems.
Think about how her life has changed. What is different for her? Is she doing the same things in the day?
Border Collies need lots of off lead excercise. Does your current situation mean the dog isn't getting the exercise time he is used to? Obviously there have been lots of changes in your dogs life lately. Have a think how that has impacted on the dogs usual life.
If she's unhappy and not eating first off I'd get her checked over by a vet.
As pps have said you need to train her to walk with the pram. Look at it from her point of view. She's learned to walk with you and suddenly you're expecting her to be okay with walking alongside this large moving object. She's got to get used to it.
She's had an awful lot of changes in her life and I think you're expecting too much of her.
Also you're attributing human emotions to her. She probably isn't jealous, she probably feeling unsettled and unsure about all the changes, all the different smells in the house, the different noises and doesn't know what to do and what's expected of her.
You can't just put a bed somewhere for her and expect her to want to sleep there because you were good enough to provide her with it. If you want her to use it you have to encourage/train her to go to that place.
Of course she's selfish, she's a dog.
And as for cuddling, my dog is almost 8 years old, I've had her since she was an 8 week old puppy, she's never liked to cuddle. Cuddling is not something dog's do instinctively and tbh I find it quite odd that so many people expect dogs to put up with humans putting their arms around them. It's such an alien thing for a dog.
She doesn't know she's being 'naughty'. She isn't being naughty, she's being a dog. And she's not making things difficult for you on purpose to annoy you or make your life difficult.
Get a behaviourist in. Why do you think a behaviourist wouldn't be able to help if you haven't tried. Perhaps a behaviourst would be able to help you understand your dog better.
Thanks for the replies, I love my dog that's why I was looking for advice, I didn't think a behaviourist would help, as my dog knows how to behave and walk, she can do it when she wants to, tho I think I will call one and get her to observe, I did get one on when the cat came to live with me as she was herding him around the house but she said the dog was spolit and shud b in the porch more which I didn't like the sound off,
I built her the den under the stairs as an extra, I've not taken away anything, I wanted her to have more space and somewhere to run off to if she wanted,
Yes we're farmers, but with a new baby some things have to change for the short term at least , I've suggested we get a dog walker maybe and my husband is going to try and do more with her,
She does make life harder lately, but I will take on advice given and try to improve things
Dogs don’t misbehave as such.
You say you’re farmers. Is the dog working? She sounds very unhappy. Is she getting out much?
The behaviourist said your dog was spoilt? Think I’d probably try a different one!
She's out every day, not working alot at the minute as just about to lamb, but she's out on the farm, I take her with me everyday for least an hour walk , off lead whenever I can, if I put the baby in the backpack.
I do agree I think she's become anxious, how can I help her? What can I do?
I read something the other day: don't think of your dog as being naughty, think of them as struggling to cope with something, that will change how you react to their behaviour.
As a farmer do you have some safe off lead walking areas? I would put the baby in a sling,so much better for off road walking,and let her run off lead in the fields.
Oh x post with you about the sling.
First thing is get her blood tested.
Thyroid problems can surface as anxiety and unless I read the post wrong she is 7 and the anxiety is recent?
If bloods are normal I would assume it’s the noise/behaviour of the baby and the lack of attention that comes with it.
If she is not aggressive to baby then if it was me, I wouldn’t actively try to engage her in anything to do with baby, I would train her to walk nicely next to the pram, carry on just as you are and whenever she happens to be near baby in a calm mood I would calmly praise her or calmly offer a treat.
I would try her with a different food also as she doesn’t seem to like the current one.
The ‘behaviourist’ doesn’t sound very good.
If she’s gone from working to being in the house for 23 hours a day then you can see the problem. Someone needs to spend time training and playing. Brain games are good. She needs time away from baby and cat. Quiet time too. But play and exercise first.
Yes she's 7, I will take her the vet good idea and check the thyroid, tho I do think it's down to jelously.
Yeh the behaviourist also said to use commands in the house that I use in the feild for when she's herding the cat, but I didnt want to, I don't want her to think she's working in the house, anyway this is all getting tiring and draining, but I will do my best for my pal and hopefully it will turn around in time
She's not in the house 23 hours a day, she's out and about most the day around the farm plus and hour walk,
Please never have anything to do that charlatan ever again!
I am absolutely shocked a trainer would basically advise ‘working’ her on a cat, that has such huge potential to go wrong.
Cats are not livestock!
They don’t behave like livestock, I am just dumbfounded.
Sorry you only mentioned an hour walk.
Who’s with her or is she just loose? I’m struggling to work out what a working dog that isn’t working is doing.
What's she doing when she's out and about all day? Is she working or just wandering about the farm on her own?
The other thing that springs to mind is an hours walk is nothing for a breed like a collie. Do you do any brain games with her or give her any other form of mental stimulation?
She will be with my husband if he's at home, pottering about, or going in the feilds with him,we've got other animals apart from sheep so she walks about with him or me, everyday is different, she does get lots of exercise, sometimes she goes abit lame so just have to monitor it, vet aware and thinks she just over does it.
I came in tonight and just sat with her one and one and she came over to me and out her head down on me, I'm going to work hard at extra doggie time, I love my dog it's just abit much sometimes with everything, that is for the advice
Ps . Also agree that dog behaviourist I had was a loon, so I didn't take her advice
Maybe she just wants some attention? I know mine can play up if I'm busy and he just wants some of my time. They're a bit like small children in that respect!
Can you try and make time a few times a day for her? It doesn't have to be long - 5/10 minutes here and there would do her the world of good. You could play games (something like "find it" would work if she can't do too much exercise), tug, do some training or teach her a new trick. It'll help you bond and tire her out too