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Old 10-12-2006, 01:09 PM   #1
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Default What to do?

We've had our 9-month old (female) border collie/lab mix for 6-months now. She is super smart & awesome!! She knows the basic commands (sit, stay, roll over, left/right shake, turn, etc).

She is left alone in our front yard for 6 hrs/day while my husband & I are at work. We've bought her tons of chew toys to keep her busy, even the ones that you can stick food into. She doesn't touch her toys all day. However, she chose to chew up one hose & onto tearing up a 2nd one. She's also chewed up a flower plant, which has thorns too! We've tried many different discipline techniques such as taking the hose & making her chew on it then telling her no.

I'm sure she has separation problems, but I'm not quite sure what else to do at this point besides leaving her in the house or crating her.

Any other suggestions or are we gonna to have just wait 'til she grows out of this phase? Thanks a bunch!!

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Old 10-12-2006, 01:22 PM   #2
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Hmmm Border Collie/Lab mix. Sounds like she is smart and athletic. The toys are not going to be a substitute for something that stimulates her brain. I know you have to earn a living, but is there a way you could spend more time with her? Like when you come home, go for a LONG walk or jog. They say "a tired dog is a happy dog" and this I have found to be true. I'm afraid that she will not grow out of it, in fact it may get worse if you do not find a way to make her feel better now.
I'm sure that more folks will chime in with advice!
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Old 10-12-2006, 02:15 PM   #3
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Hmmm Border Collie/Lab mix. Sounds like she is smart and athletic. The toys are not going to be a substitute for something that stimulates her brain. I know you have to earn a living, but is there a way you could spend more time with her? Like when you come home, go for a LONG walk or jog. They say "a tired dog is a happy dog" and this I have found to be true. I'm afraid that she will not grow out of it, in fact it may get worse if you do not find a way to make her feel better now.
I'm sure that more folks will chime in with advice!
Well, we really do not spend time away from home after work or even really on the weekends. Friends/Family always come to our house. Onyx is pretty tired out by the end of the night, but the next day, it starts all over again. I leave really early in the morning for work so I do not have time to walk her before I leave. My hubby has lots to do before he leaves for work, but he does find some time to tire her out a bit before he leaves for work. I realize that toys are not a substitute, but I thought it would at least help. We got her this ball where you can put food into. The food is really hard to get out of this ball, but she doesnt touch it the whole time. I've even hid hard bones around the yard for her to have something to do. She finds them, chews them, but still gets into trouble.

Onyx is pretty much my first doggy. When we are at home, she seems really needy. Always wanting to be around us & whomever we have at the house. For example, if we are outside, with the screen door open so she can see us, she whines & whines. It's like she has to be in the mix/middle of everyone at all times.

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Old 10-12-2006, 03:00 PM   #4
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Sorry that Onyx is being mischevious when you leave her for 6 hours. You said she likes to be around you, dogs are pack animals and long for their pack. Would it be impossible for her to have a friend? I always had two dogs when I had to work - and a lady who used to come in and walk them mid morning and mid afternoon.
Would something like that be possible for you?

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Old 10-12-2006, 03:29 PM   #5
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Sorry that Onyx is being mischevious when you leave her for 6 hours. You said she likes to be around you, dogs are pack animals and long for their pack. Would it be impossible for her to have a friend? I always had two dogs when I had to work - and a lady who used to come in and walk them mid morning and mid afternoon.
Would something like that be possible for you?
We did toss the idea around of having another doggy, but we decided that Onyx is already enough handfulls for us. Unfortunately, we do not know anyone that could come in & walk Onyx while we're gone. Not only that, but finances are already tight so we could not afford to pay someone for this service either.

Thanks for the suggestions though.

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Old 10-12-2006, 04:16 PM   #6
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There is a spray called "Grannicks Bitter Apple"...I used this in the house on thing I didn't want eaten while my pup was left alone....worked great...I don't see why it wouldn't work outside too. You can get it at Petco or Petsmart or any pet store...As far as your pup wanting to be with you.....most dogs don't want to be left alone...especially a young dog.....long walks after dinner or a game of fetch might wear her out...probably not though....wish I had the energy of a puppy..lol
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Old 10-12-2006, 07:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skunkstripe View Post
Hmmm Border Collie/Lab mix. Sounds like she is smart and athletic. The toys are not going to be a substitute for something that stimulates her brain. I know you have to earn a living, but is there a way you could spend more time with her? Like when you come home, go for a LONG walk or jog. They say "a tired dog is a happy dog" and this I have found to be true. I'm afraid that she will not grow out of it, in fact it may get worse if you do not find a way to make her feel better now.
I'm sure that more folks will chime in with advice!
I agree that more time needs to be spent with the puppy. If you work close to your home, perhaps you can come home during lunch and have a mini play time? My best advice would be to keep things that can harm her out of her reach. If you keep potted plants, bring them around front or put them on the porch. Move the hoses and leave the backyard as empty as you can only leaving food and water and toys for the dog.

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Old 10-12-2006, 07:52 PM   #8
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Oh yes, hyperactive teenage thug stage, I remember it well! I would re-think your morning routines, perhaps you and your OH could take turns to get up half an hour earlier to include a walk? Exercise in the evening is great, but unfortunately she has slept that off by morning and the batteries are fully charged again.

The treat ball is a good idea, as are the bones, and you could also try freezing her breakfast in a kong and giving it to her as you leave. Pick up all her other toys and give her say three per day. Only give her these as you leave for work, and pick them up again when you get home. Dont give her access to toys at all during the weekends when you are around. Rotate the toys so they have more appeal.

Spent the coming weekend 'puppy proofing' your garden. Remove the hose completely if possible, and anything else that she may want to chew. Find a way to put up a barrier between the pup and any treasured flower beds. If this is not possible, consider investing in or building a kennel with large run. Training options unfortunately are unlikely to work at this stage as she will be able to distinguish between when you are around to enforce the no chewing the hose rule and when you are not.

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Old 10-12-2006, 09:27 PM   #9
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Ah yes, I too have a Border Collie cross - smart little devils aren't they?

Of course mine is only six months old, and I still have the "debil" dog stage to go through.

It's almost as if they are "one step" ahead of whatever you do.

I've found that mine loves to "chase" or "round up" cool drink bottles. They are too big for her to get her mouth around, but do provide her with lots of stimulation and fun.

Just keep to keep checking that they can't get hold of the bottles and chew them to pieces.

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Old 10-12-2006, 11:32 PM   #10
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It sounds to me like your dog is bored.

As someone else suggested I really would rethink your morning routine - look at it from Onyx's point of view - she's just (presumably) slept all night, then you get up and are home for a few hours (or however long your home before leaving for work) and then she's expected to just either sleep again or entertain yourself for 6 hours before getting some physical stimulation - would you not be a little bored as well??

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