Let your new pup outside often and to the same spot to potty. Make a big deal out of it when they go, by praising and patting them or give a little treat afterwards. At first, do not leave food and water available at all times. Offer them food and water, and then take them outside after each meal or drink. If pup has an accident, stomp your foot or clap hands and shout “No”! and then bring him outside to his potty place. It is important that the first few months he is not unattended. If he goes in the house several times without being reprimanded, he will be confused as to where he’s supposed to go. If you can’t watch him, put him in a crate while you are busy. Training goes a lot faster if you keep on top of it to begin with. Don’t let him run free without you, or the training will take much longer.
We feed Diamond brand Puppy food, starting at age 4 weeks. Your pup can change feeds easily, just mix the Iams with your new food. We feed small pups 3 times a day, and then once a day when they are adults. Always give fresh water. We keep water fountains in each crate so they can always have water, but if you find your pup is having too many accidents, you can offer water throughout the day. We feed our pups in their crate, but if you don’t have too many dogs, you may be able to feed in an open area. Dogs tend to be dominant over their food, so feeding in their own space is sometimes needed.
Feed your pup from your hand sometimes , as this will help them be submissive. Also take food away and push them out of it so they learn you are the pack leader. Have your kids do the same. It is important for your pup to respect you but also trust you. Many bad behaviors like biting or growling start from the pup being spoiled and not shown who the leader is. This does not mean it’s okay to hit or spank your dog. A stern voice and sometimes a foot stomp or clap of hands will let them know you mean it!
We have a crate for each dog. This crate is used for sleeping , feeding, and keeping pup safe when we can’t watch them. Your pup will most likely cry and bark at first while in the crate , and it’s best to ignore him. If you let him out each time he cries , you will be teaching him to cry more ( like a baby learning to sleep on his own). We only let our pups out when they are quiet, so they are learning positive behaviors. Our dogs only go in when needed , basically anytime we can’t watch them. Dogs like small dark safe spaces to feel safe in. We have dog food dishes on each crate from Midwest brand. This way they can’t spill the feed And we have water drinkers that are hooked to the side as well. Amazon sells both.
We keep our dogs on wireless shock collars from pet safe. This way they can run around without getting into trouble Chasing animals or cars. Border Collies love to chase things that move, and will die doing so, therefore it’s your job to keep them safe. A fenced in yard is also an option. We don’t tie our dogs , but a long run from tree to tree is okay for some dogs but not all the time. Border Collies go nuts if left tied up.
Around 8 weeks and 14 months , your pup can go through a “Fear Period” . It is important not to pat or cuddle your pup of he fears something. Doing this will actually teach your pup that it’s good to be afraid. It’s best to ignore the behavior. If the pup is afraid of a new person, that new person can toss a toy to him, or pat him under his chin. Don’t let strangers pet him if he’s acting fearful. Submissive Peeing is also a result of fear or excitement . If your dog pees when someone new comes along, ask that person to please ignore the dog and not look at him or pat him. This is a phase that will pass once he ages. Once the dog has been around the new person, instruct the new person to squat down and offer his hand , palm up and not make direct eye contact. Let your dog go to him on his own and then the new person can gently pat him under his chin. These behaviors will pass and it’s important not to give up on your pup, even though it can be frustrating!
For walking, a collar or Harness should be used. If the pup is trained to walk beside you and learn the word “heel” when a pup, you should never need anything else. Petsafe makes bark collars and also correction collars if your dog is especially stubborn and needs extra help. A bark collar can be a life saver when they are young. Just be sure you don’t leave it on all the time. Make certain you are not relying on these devices , and Be sure to read up or hire a trainer to help if needed. Joining local obedience classes csn be very helpful!
Teaching basic commands are simple but do take some time each day. It is important for each dog to learn to “come” . Other commands , like “sit”, ”stay”, “leave it” , etc, are also very helpful. To teach a basic command, I like to do the same thing as when I’m teaching my children, or horses - “Ask, Suggest, and then promise”.
”Come”. When teaching to come, have your dog on a long line, about 30 ft is ideal. Let your dog wonder around, and say “puppy come!” ( insert your dogs name instead of puppy) . This is the “Ask”. If your pup comes to you, then praise him and give a small treat. ( hot dog pieces work great). If he doesn’t come, give him a quick tug, and say “puppy come”, again. ( this is the “suggest”). If he still doesn’t come, try again, and this time pull him all the way to you. ( the “promise” ) praise him and give a treat, so eventually he will want to come , knowing it pleases you and he will get rewarded. Once he comes well on the line, it’s time for him to go off line in the hose or a building first. Play “hide and seek“ with him, and practice saying “come”
all over the house or building. After several weeks of practice, you can try it outside, but only in a safe area, where there are no cars. Never trust him to come where it’s not safe. Border collies can be easily distracted and it’s not worth him being injured.
Other commands like “sit”, can be taught the same way . First, give the command, and then assist your pet by showing him what you are asking. For “sit”, say “puppy sit”, and then put your hand on his bottom and push down gently until he sits, and then give a treat. Keep repeating until he sits without your help.
Remember, this is a herding dog. They have a strong instinct to herd things that move. This doesn’t mean that they need things or animals to chase, but it does mean that you need to train them what is appropriate , and give them a “job” or a “purpose”. If you find your pup is wanting to play rough or herd you or your children, you need to stop the behavior . If the pup nips at your heels or wants to pay rough, this is normal puppy play, but definitely unwanted. Stomp your foot or clap your hands to give him a quick scare, snd say “no”!. Then , pretend it didn’t happen snd go about what you were doing. You can give the pup a bone or another toy to teach him that that is what he should be doing Instead.
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