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7 month destroying everything in path

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by AnnC, Oct 28, 2012.


  1. AnnC

    AnnC PetForums Member

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    I have a 7 month old border collie dog who as he gets older is getting more destructive.

    Whilst some occasions such as one of us going out to work and the other not on the scene I can recognise as separation anxiety but other times such as this morning when I was having a shower dog took a few more bits out of a jacket he's already trashed. Even though he'd had company, been on the garden and been fed had toys around and only left for about half an hour.

    This lunch we went to a local pub [normal sunday activity] and left him in the vehicle, we came back about half an hour later to find cover over gear lever pulled up and over the gear lever, well chewed, mobile phone holder chewed, pair of plastic sunglasses pulled out of door pocket and chewed, previously it was my husbands disability card which has to be displayed trashed.

    Now my plan to deal with that is to have a stash of raw hide bones so as to have one ready to give the minute we leave, to get him over the initial "oh my god everybody's leaving me" moment. But am I encouraging his behaviour? Is it a case of if I start this and then don't have one to give its going to be a problem?

    Now I know he's teething still but its at the stage that unless I am up early every morning to occupy him something will be destroyed, I already need new dining table & chairs he's almost destroyed them. It would be impossible for me to leave him in the house alone even for 15 minutes, there'd be nothing left of my furniture by the time I got back.

    I'd also like to check with you to see if its normal to have to get up at least once a night to toilet him.

    I got out with him to ensure he does a no2 before coming back in [otherwise it would be a quick wee and then straight back in, then a while later he'd get caught out & mess in the house]. Now winters here standing outside at 1 or 2 in the am in PJ's & dressing gown is not my idea of heaven!!

    Even then I can't guarantee success sometimes we'll stand out there until I'm so cold I have to go back in, he'll just sniff about do a wee and not do a mess and again get caught out later.

    Now I am just attempting to resolve this by not feeding after 3.30pm other than a chewy when he'd normally be getting his 3rd feed about 5pm.

    It was successful last night and I plan to repeat this evening.
    Although this is our 2nd BC from being a pup, we didn't have these probs from our last one who died at the grand age of 15 earlier this year.

    The only trashing I remember him doing was a foam cushion and we often used to leave him in the house on his own. After his teething I still had furniture left!!

    Obviously its me not understanding my dogs needs but how do I go about resolving this?
     
    #1 AnnC, Oct 28, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2012
  2. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    Sounds like its a possible mixture between anxiety when left, and possible lack of physical and mental stimulation. Sometimes its easy when we have had older dogs for years that become easy and no trouble just how much work puppies can be too. I know I did. At 7mths too he is getting to be an adolescent as well and that can be a trying stage at the best of times for pushing at boundaries seeing what they can get away with and forgetting any previous training or seemingly like they have at times.

    How much exercise is he getting, at his age it proberly could do with looking at his exercise levels both in time and frequency, a dog who has adequate exercise and got rid of excess energy is usually better to settle and be more content. The clue to this may be where you have said that unless you get up to occupy him early every morning there is destruction. So first thing I would consider is his exercise regime and think about doing more perhaps.

    Collies as you know already are extrememly intelligent and as well as the physical/exercise requirements they also need something to occupy their brains as well. They excel usually at obedience training, do you do any sessions of training teaching and going through all the basic commands with him? If not maybe try this too, a few sessions a day will occupy his brain which also gives mental stimulation and will mentally wear him out, even better if you can get him chasing around after a ball or toy as well as part of a training session. Doing stuctured retrieving like getting him to sit/wait, throwing the ball, then releasing him with find it, when he picks up the ball encouraging him to retrieve, drop and sit and wait for the next throw is also a good way of physically and mentally stimulating him for example so he not only expels physical energy he has to think and wait for commands as well and use his brain. A training class would likely be a good idea too www.apdt.co.uk should find classes in your area.

    Other ways to stimulate him too is by giving him toys that he has to work at.
    If he is on kibble you can feed some of his meals in a Kong wobbler or Busy buddy twist and treat, having to use his brain and energy to eat rather then just a plain boring bowl, it takes longer too and will keep him occupied.
    Busy Buddy Twist-n-Treat - YouTube

    Wobbler Dog Toy | Dog food fillable toy for paced eating | Kong Co.

    There are even puzzle type bowls like the dog maze
    Buster DogMaze - YouTube

    If he is fed wet or partially wet food there is the classic kong these you can fill with all sorts of other things too.

    Recipes - Kong

    There are also long lasting chews for example
    https://www.antlerdogchews.co.uk/easy-antler-dog-chew-medium

    Pure Dog | Stagbar antler dog chews | natural dog treats | organic dog snacks | hypoallergenic dog chews | long-lasting dog chews | teeth cleaning dog chews | low fat dog treats

    As regards to the anxiety especially when left, if he has access to you all the time when you are there and constant attention, then it can make them very dependant so that when they are left they cant cope, between the "boredom busters" and teaching him to cope alone gradually they should aleviate the anxiety or start too.

    You need to make being alone, self amusing and wind down and relax activities as part of him routine, preferably start after a walk or training session etc, when he has gotten rid of excess energy and be more ready to settle. I would always walk him or wear him out before being left anyway for this reason.

    Things that can help them settle is leaving an old t-shirt or jumper you have worn in his bed as your smell can reassure them, leaving a radio on a talking station as "voices" can be more comforting then silence. Using an adaptil plug in can help anxiety too, its a diffuser that emits an artifical version of the pheromone mum emits to calm and soothe pups
    Adaptil helps dogs and puppys learn settle travel and in kennels

    Also confining him to one room like the kitchen with his bed and these things and his boredom buster may be better, using a dog control gate to confine him rather then shutting a solid door on him that can make them panic and feel more isolated.

    Just start by setting it up and after activity take him to the area leave his goodies and leave with no fuss, no long drawn out goodbyes nothing just walk away. At first you must leave him and return before he gets stressed anxious vocal or destroys, just return no fuss, let him out but say and do nothing else and after a minute or two then call him to you and give him attention. You then slowly stage by stage build up the time before returning a little at a time at his pace as he copes. if you make this as part of his routine, then it will become the normal, whats normal doesnt hold fears, also it teaches him that when you leave you will always be back.

    Once he can stay for a good time, then use exacty the same routines when you do go out.
     
    #2 Sled dog hotel, Oct 28, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2012
  3. AnnC

    AnnC PetForums Member

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    Thanks for your reply. I know what you're saying about transition from old dog to pup and boy oh boy was that a culture shock to start!!

    He goes out every morning by about 10 am and minimal he does is thirty minutes free running in the field while I'm opening up chooks & same again in an evening. There's plenty of toys around at home and in chook field. As yet he doesn't retrieve.

    Usually we go for a run again free running in a local wood where he usually gets lots of socialisation with other dogs and people.

    I will look at our routine and evaluate it against what you've said. Whilst he has a good stimulating environment, sometimes I just wind things down as collies can go down a path of more more snd more activity and sometimes there needs to be a step back.
    I'm waiting for a local apdt trainer to start her classes as yet whilst we have the basics like sit, come wait he's terrible on the lead always wanting to be there like yesterday.

    He's very much a dog who loves human companionship, if we park up somewhere, he'll be on one of our laps as soon as the ignition is turned off.

    We all ready have a variety of toys that disense food including kongs and a a ball that dispenses treats. Which sometimes he's interested in and sometimes not. The problem with kongs is that unless the feed is wet it just falls out of the toy the minute he drops it on the floor.

    I am thinking of joining an agility group with him but he's not old enough yet to do it.

    But he's a dog who tolerates being settled quite well so long as he's got company. If we're in the car he'll settle to sleep almost immediately if I'm on the computer he'll come and settle on the sofa at the side of me and be quite content.
     
  4. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    Maybe thats part of the problem as you say at times he does get over stimulated and needs to learn how to switch off wind down and relax too.
    The Kong wobblers and the busy buddys are for kibble its the classic kongs that need wet or moist food in them. Chewing is a de-stresser so maybe look at chew type things to help him wind down too. its getting a balance really of activity and wind down/calmness time.
     
  5. Netpon

    Netpon PetForums Member

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    As well as exercise he needs mental stimulation too, training - sits, downs, stands, stays, send away etc, playing hide the toys, scent/search games

    One of my rotts could run and run all day and never get worn out, but an hours training class and he was zonked for hours!!
     
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