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BC puppy - tips and advice

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Sooz1979, Aug 12, 2019.


  1. Sooz1979

    Sooz1979 PetForums Newbie

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    Hello!

    I’m new here. We are collecting a BC puppy on Saturday. The puppy was 4th in a litter of 7 and is from a suburban family home. Both Mum and Dad are the family pets. He will be 9 weeks old.

    Our situation- we live in a rural area. I love walking for miles either on my own or with friends often with other dogs. I work from home and would value the companionship throughout the day and on my walks (once the pup is old enough). I have no work on at all until December (when the pup will be 6 months) so I can dedicate the time required to training and play. My three children (4,9,11) are all around for the last 3 weeks of the holidays.

    I have been reading a lot of information online, but there are some conflicting opinions out there about training methods and other issues.

    Basically I am looking to benefit from your experience. I have read a lot of the previous forums and the tips/personal stories are invaluable. Any/all advice on what to do/not to do right from the start is much appreciated.

    There are some horror stories out there and I don’t want us and our pup to become one of those.

    Many thanks
    Suzie
     
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    Welcome on board. Is there anything specific you would like to know more about?
     
  3. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel PetForums VIP

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    @Twiggy might be along to offer specific border collie advice.

    I can say what i did from the start. I liked the way i did things as i have a busy household and, though i am not at all a house proud person, i do like a sense of order and control so a young pup chewing my slippers and piddling over everything is not something that would have amused me.

    So i went for a very rigid method as outlined in ian dunbar's book 'after getting your puppy'

    The whole book is available as a free download but it was in my local library.

    Actually i think the title is 'Before and after getting your puppy'

    So he describes a comprehensive way of house training and chew toy training and crate training in that book.

    It suited my personality down to the ground and i found it very easy to follow. It worked like a dream with both my pups and they were clean, dry, crate trained and chew toy trained extremely fast.

    Of course there's a lot more to having pups than that but house training and being able to settle with a chew toy make things so much easier.

    All the best and let me know if you want a link to the download
     
  4. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    How exciting - a collie pup. I'm pleased your puppy is coming from a family home and that you've seen both parents, rather than a working sheepdog type from a farm (which can be much more problematic).

    My advice would be to start as you mean to go on and lay down firm house rules from the very beginning ie if you don't want the puppy in the bedrooms then never allow it, etc. and try and establish a routine as soon as possible. In the main collies are clever dogs but sadly are very quick to pick up bad habits or well as good.

    Most of all enjoy your collie puppy as I have over the last 40+ years. Couldn't live without one actually and currently have three.
     
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  5. CheddarS

    CheddarS PetForums VIP

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  6. Sarah H

    Sarah H Grand Empress of the Universe

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    Yes I second this book.

    Also even though you will be home until pup is 6 months, make sure you slowly build up time away from him/her so that when you do go back to work it isn't a big issue. Thinking ahead you may need to get someone (or yourself if possible) to pop in over lunch to at least let pup out for a wee if you are at work for more than about 4 hours.
     
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  7. Sooz1979

    Sooz1979 PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks so much for the book tips. They are coming tomorrow - it’s great to have the recommendations as there are so many on Amazon.

    It’s also really good to know there is a supportive online community to help advise once puppy is here.

    Sarah H - when I go back to work, it will be from home so I will still be present all day, just spending more time at my desk rather than on the floor with the puppy!

    Thanks all.
     
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  8. Sooz1979

    Sooz1979 PetForums Newbie

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    Joanne F - one more specific question at this stage is - can I take pup outside to toilet in the garden as soon as he comes home (he will be 9 weeks old and have 1st jabs plus one week)? We are rural so it’s likely that foxes have been in the garden. Or should I wait until one week after the 2nd set of jabs?

    There seem to be a lot of conflicting opinions about this.

    Thanks
     
  9. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    My view is straight out to toilet - as I undestand it, the health risks mainly come from unvaccinated dogs and rats. If you are concerned, could you cordon off even a little bit of your garden?

    But there are consideable benefits of learning from day 1 that outside is the place to toilet.
     
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  10. Veba

    Veba PetForums Member

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    I recommend joining Dog Training Advice and Support on Facebook and reading through the units. And keep reading and asking questions here.

    Congratulations on your new pup :)
     
  11. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    I would definitely take him out from the moment you get him home. Make sure you leave him alone for a bit ever day as well. If you are with him all the time then suddenly have to leave him there could be problems. You want a nice well balanced dog that can be left for a few hours when necessary. My pups have always been left from the first day for up to an hour initially.
     
  12. MontyMaude

    MontyMaude PetForums VIP

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    I have foxes and badgers in the garden but took my pups out from the first day home to do their business in the garden.
     
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  13. Sooz1979

    Sooz1979 PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you such great advice.

    So, outside from day 1 for toileting. Every hour or so, after food, play, sleep and if they display certain behaviours.

    What should I do at night?

    At present, the pups are in a whelping box, they are taken to toilet late and then left. They wee during the night on the absorbent pad in the box. Our pup will be sleeping in a crate at night, so should I put the mat inside?

    I am happy to get up in the night (I’ve had babies so am ok with that!), but (like toddlers) is weeing at night something they grow out of as they grow and their bladder gets bigger (providing of course they have early morning and late night relief)?

    Thanks again.
     
  14. Sooz1979

    Sooz1979 PetForums Newbie

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    Two new questions about training.

    I plan to train at home from Day 1. From what I’ve read, short bursts, a few repetitions several times a day are good. How should I reward a BC? Treats or not? Will BCs work just for praise?

    At what age can you begin official puppy training? The classes I like near me seem to start from 20 weeks.

    Thanks
    Suzanne
     
  15. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    For the toileting, I keep a copy of the following reply so please excuse me for saying more than just answering your question - hopefully it will reinforce what you have already read, maybe it will give you a couple of tips.

    For treats versus praise, it depends on the dog. Treats, toys, normal food and praise are all possible rewards but it is a good idea to use normal food for basic things, and a special reward (chicken or frankfurter sausage cut into tiny pieces; or a toy that is only produced as a reward) for either really good responses or just to mix things up. Dogs seem to be responsive to the excitement of "what will I get" rather than the expectation of a certain reward. But if you think about what people find rewarding - praise sometimes, but nobody works for free! And on that note, as we get better at our jobs we expect our pay to increase, not decrease. So whilst rewards can be reduced over time, few of us phase them out completely. And for new things or important things (like toileting) don't be mean.

    So - toileting - hope this helps.

    Toilet training happens when two things come together - the ABILITY to hold the toilet, along with the DESIRE to hold it in order to earn the reward for doing so.

    Ideally you want him to not be in a position where he needs to toilet before you have him outdoors, so that every toilet is outside - as far as possible, there will be accidents! So set him up to succeed by taking him out even more than he needs; for example every 45 minutes to an hour and always after sleeping, eating, playing. The time between a puppy realising they need to toilet, and being unable to hold that toilet, is zero. So your aim is to have him outside before he can't help himself. When he toilets outdoors make a huge fuss (never mind the neighbours, act like outdoor toileting is the best thing you have ever seen) and reward him with a high value treat. Do that immediately, don't make him come to you for the treat so he is clear that it's for toileting and not for coming to you. The idea is that he eventually wants to earn the treat enough to hold the toilet until he is outside - once he is physically able to control his toileting obviously.

    If you take him out and he doesn't toilet after five minutes, bring him in but don't take your eyes off him. Any hint of a toilet inside, scoop him up and get him out fast. If he doesn't try to toilet indoors (great!) take him out a second time and repeat until you do get outside toilets. You need the outside toilet to happen SO that you can reward SO that he learns.

    If he has an accident inside don't react at all. If you get annoyed he may learn to fear your reaction and avoid you if he needs to toilet - the opposite of what you want. Dogs cant make the distinction between you being annoyed at him toileting, as opposed to toileting indoors. Take a rolled up newspaper and hit yourself over the head for not having taken him outside in time. Not when he is there though in case you scare him. Then clean the area with an enzymatic cleaner to remove any trace of smell that might attract him back to the spot. As he is actually performing the toilet you can introduce words he can associate with it (like 'do weewee' and 'busy busy') that later when he is reliably trained you can use these to tell him when you want him to toilet.

    Indoors if you see him circling or scratching the floor, that can sometimes precede toileting so get him out fast.

    Overnight he is unlikely to be able to control his toilet as his little bladder and bowel are underdeveloped and not strong enough to hold all night so set your alarm to take him out at least once if not twice during the night.
     
  16. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    You will need to take a 9 week old puppy out at least every 30 minutes to toilet during the daytime as well as immediately they wake up and after every meal. They cannot control their bladder for an hour at this age.
    Yes you can start training your puppy immediately, although I usually give mine the first two weeks to settle in and get used to their name. Don't think of training as 'official' but more as having fun together. I normally used tiny pieces of chicken or cheese with young puppies but be a bit careful as collies tend to have sensitive stomachs. There are very few dogs that will work 'just for praise' much the same as humans....!!
    This is Shimmer at 12 weeks doing a sit stay on her platform. She was taught by shaping and at this stage "sit" or "stay" were never mentioned in fact I never opened my mouth.
    P1000927 (2).JPG
     
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  17. Sooz1979

    Sooz1979 PetForums Newbie

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    Joanne F - such fantastic tips. Thanks for sharing. I have my rolled up newspaper at the ready.

    Twiggy - Shimmer is adorable! How did you teach her to sit/stay?

    Also how should I deliver her food bowl? I’ve read that it’s important the pups know that you are their provider and ‘in charge’.

    Thanks again
    Suzanne
     
  18. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    The "in charge" thing is a bit contentious. The pack leadership theory, where people try to suppress their dog because they are afraid he thinks he is going to be boss, has been widely discredited because it was based on flawed conclusions from poorly observed evidence (article below if you want to read more). We find our dogs respond far better to a more fluid partnership - I want my dog to look to me for guidance and yes, leadership but if he goes through a doorway before me, it's because he is ahead and not because he is putting me in my place :p Equally, if he barks in the night I will listen to him with his superior senses.

    For the food bowl, I think it is just good manners for a dog not to rush at the bowl so a calm sit until the bowl is on the floor is fine - but it's for manners and safety rather than being the boss.

    https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/behavior/debunking-the-alpha-dog-theory/
     
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  19. Sooz1979

    Sooz1979 PetForums Newbie

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    Joanne - thanks for debunking that one.

    At first, should one of us hold his collar until he has learned to sit on command, while he watches the food bowl being placed?

    Your barking at night comment brings another question to mind. When he first comes home and whines at night, what should I do (or should I just leave him alone)?

    Thanks
    Suzanne
     
  20. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    I taught her using a clicker, treats and a tuggy toy (and of course the platform). My dogs are always trained off the lead using positive reinforcement. I never shout or tell them off and it's very much their choice whether or not they want to interact with me.
    Err just put her food bowl down and forget about being 'in charge'. They most certainly realise we are the providers without any prompting from us, which is why I always have an audience when I'm eating.....LOL
     
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