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Current Replies for Collie Owners - feeding and barking ???
12/30/2008 9:57:16 AM
Posts: 5
Hi - I'm a newbie to this board. I have a wonderful 17 month old sweet, mail tri-color rough Collie. He is a joy - and except for the normal puppy stuff, I have a question -

Excessive barking - I know, I know, it's the breed. We an control it in the house but when we let him out in the yard, heaven help anyone that dares to walk by. We don't let him out in the A.M. off leash anymore because the neighbors complained. Anyone have an ideas?

Feeding - my dog is a begger. He is being fed a high quality holistic food - Wysong, with holistic canned food - he just begs all the time. I increased the food by 1/4 cup this week but this morning he just pulled out all the stops.

I fed him usual. I usually feed him a couple of baby carrots after - he has to sit or go down for them. Then he just sat there, gave me those sad, Collie eyes, whined, gave me his paw, "talked to me" and I gave in and gave him a 1/4 cup more kibble. After that, he seemed better.

How do you tell when they are begging or really hungry? The vet says my dog just likes to eat for something to do. I don't want to overfeed him but I don't want to starve him.

We treat with cheerios and I have dried chicken jerky and healthy treats that he gets spareing. He gets occassional milkbones at daycare.

12/31/2008 11:51:19 AM
Posts: 75
It sounds like your Collie needs a LOT more mental and physical stimulation. I also have herding breeds, and casual runs in the backyard are not enough to keep them worn out. I would suggest talking to the local breed club and signing your guy up for herding classes. You don't have to own sheep/cattle for him to enjoy the sport once a week. Also, activities like fetch or frisbee several times during the day where he can run it all out will probably help tremendously.

We do mental activities with our dogs when it's too cold to go out, like it is today (20 below). Hide and seek with the kids, hiding their toys and telling them to find them, teaching new tricks that involve concentration, all are things that work their minds. With the breed you have you're going to have to work a bit harder to have a happy companion. A tired dog is a good dog!
1/2/2009 9:01:44 AM
Posts: 5
Thank you. We send him to doggie day care 3 days a week. I like your idea of the mental stimulation - I have been trying to teach him to identify his toys - no luck. He hates fetch - he has "low ball drive" He gets bored after three tosses. He loves chase. This has proven a great activity for me as well.

I am going to look into agility training classes.
1/2/2009 12:06:14 PM
Posts: 117
he's got you wrapped around his finger (or paw, for that matter!). STOP feeding him treats when he whines or he will whine for everything!
Def. agree with the above poster, he needs walks etc. A bored dog is a LOUD, DESTRUCTIVE dog!
1/5/2009 5:32:46 AM
Posts: 137
your puppy is being a typical pushy little brat.. I mean that in the best way.. you have a type A personality ..

Collies are bred to work,, and also have the personality to get stubborn stock to move.. he is pushing your buttons a bit.. trying to control the situation.. very common in herding breeds..

I would suggest reading some articles.. Specifically the Nothing in life is free article.. to give you some ideas.. Demanding food, attention and pets on occasion is fine.. but it can start to effect other situations at feeding time..

One recomendation.. As a Collie if his parents where NOT tested clear of the MDR1 mutation I HIGHLY suggest you have him tested.. It could save his life!!!
info for Collie owners...

1/5/2009 7:52:41 AM
Posts: 5
You are so right. My puppy is so spoiled. But he just looks at me with those Collie eyes and I melt. Seriously, I am the alpha dog and I tend to provide the training. My husband is a softie and my son, well the dog thinks he's a litter mate.

I had a trainer over the summer who said my dog was very well behaved. But today, he jumped on the kitchen table when I wasn't looking to grab a carrot. Well, I caught him and believe me, he knew I was angry. After we made up, I put him in a down stay and then rewarded him.

Even at daycare they spoil him with treats because he's so good. He takes care of the puppies and plays well with dogs that other dogs can't tolerate.
1/5/2009 10:43:04 AM
Posts: 75
My 11 year old daughter does agility with our younger aussie and they both LOVE it. It's tough until they get the hang of it, but if you get a good instructor that's positive and patient then it's so much fun. We even have a jump and weave polls in the back yard that were cheap to purchase. They have to use their minds as well as physical exertion in agility so it's a double-whammy on wearing them out. haha I hope it works out for you!
1/6/2009 7:31:59 AM
Posts: 5
Thank you all so much! I have told my husband and son that it was time they reinforced training along with me. I have told them to STOP encouraging the dog to jump on them. They like it. Yest. I got home from work and Bix was so excited and he jumped on me and knocked the stuff I was holding out of my hands. Another time he ran downstairs and jumped on a guest. He's a good natured puppy - but he needs a bit more structure.

I also need to convince my son that he doesn't get a treat everytime he does something. Intermitent reinforcement. I'm lucky because I'm starting with a good tempered dog.