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Dale Preece
Star Customer
Feb 13, 2021
In General Discussions
Anyone that has ever lived with an excitable, unruly, and disobedient dog will tell you that such an animal can make life unbearable for everyone who comes into contact with it. Such a dog will not only leave you emotionally drained; it can also destroy property and relationships with visitors and neighbors. If you find yourself with a dog that has behavior issues, you’ll be glad to know that with proper training, the most common dog behavior problems can be treated. In this article, we identify some of the common dog behavior issues and how to treat them. It’s essential to start by noting that looking after an animal is a responsibility that requires dedication. Just like you would never expect your kids to learn what is right or wrong without your guidance, you wouldn’t expect your dog to be well behaved without proper training. Common Reasons for a Dog’s Behavior Issues Like humans, every dog is born with not much knowledge of what is acceptable in terms of behavior. Therefore, dogs need to be trained to prevent them from exhibiting irritating (jumping on people or begging for food), dangerous (being aggressive to other animals or people), or costly habits (chewing things). But why do dogs misbehave in the first place? In an article published by the American Kennel Club, an organization that advocates for responsible dog ownership and advancement of dog sports, Stephanie J. Smith lists some reasons dogs misbehave: Insufficient training Dogs left alone for the whole day with inadequate exercise. Owners reinforcing bad behaviors Not knowing the dog’s breed. Failing to establish boundaries Medical conditions Some other reasons that lead to destructive behaviors include genetic problems, constant change of environment, and negative socialization. Below are some common dog behavior issues and the best way to treat them. It’s essential to start by providing a word of caution when dealing with dog behavior issues. Punishment, which is mostly associated with pain, is usually discouraged in favor of positive reinforcement, which incentives desirable behavior. Destructive Chewing One way that dogs, especially young ones, learn about their environment is chewing. For younger dogs, this could help release pain when new teeth are growing. Older dogs chew to make their jaws stronger. However, chewing could also result from boredom, frustration, or hunger. Excessive chewing can result in a dog munching everything it comes across, including clothes on the washing line, shoes left at the door, and vehicle rubber and plastic parts. The first point to start when you want to deal with excessive chewing is to ensure that your dog has something to chew when it wants to chew. Supermarkets, pet shops, and vet offices have a wide array of toys you can buy for your dogs. You could also find edible things that the dog can chew, like rawhide bones, pig ears, or bully sticks. Another way to curb excessive chewing is to ensure that the dog gets enough attention and exercise. Identify when the dog usually wants to chew and use that time for exercise or a walk. While you are still training your dog, keep things like doormats, shoes, and dirty clothes out of the dog’s reach. Otherwise, you can discourage the dog by showing your disapproval when it starts chewing something that it shouldn’t be. However, it’s vital to replace whatever the dog is chewing with something that it must chew. Mouthing, Nipping and Play Biting Biting and nipping (biting softly and playfully) are natural behaviors that dogs use to explore their environment. Puppies also nip as they try to gain the attention of humans or other dogs. Other reasons include fear, pain, or illness. However, constant biting and nipping should be stopped before a dog grows into an adult. To deal with a dog that exhibits biting and nipping behavior, the website of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), Aspca.org, advises that you need to let your dog know that it should not bite you hard. You do this by “immediately [giving] a high-pitched yelp, as if you’re hurt, and [letting] your hand go limp” to startle the dog to stop. Praise the dog when it stops. Another effective way of stopping a dog from mouthing, nipping, and play biting is using the time out procedure. This training method involves walking away from the dog and withdrawing attention when the dog has exhibited unwanted behavior. However, this procedure needs to be used with care because it can worsen behavior issues if a dog is already anxious. Separation Anxiety Separation anxiety is a situation where your dog exhibits different signs of distress when left alone. The condition affects both puppies and older dogs. Common signs of separation anxiety include misbehaving about 30 to 45 minutes after being left alone, crying outrageously and causing havoc when left alone, barking, and attempting to leave the house in your absence. It could also manifest by showing excessive excitement when you return. The ASPCA advises that in mild separation anxiety, counterconditioning can be used to treat separation anxiety. It is done by offering something pleasant, like a puzzle toy filled with goodies, to your dog before your departure. This conditions the dog’s mind to associate your absence with good things. Another method of easing separation anxiety is to confuse the dog not to associate specific actions with your departure. For instance, the ASPCA advises that if a dog associates your departure with wearing shoes and picking up your keys, you can do these actions and still not leave the house. Or, you could leave the house for a short period and come back so that the dog gradually gets used to the fact that you will come back at some point when you leave. Excessive Barking All dogs make sounds to communicate, although in different forms. They howl, whine, or bark. When your dog barks, it conveys various messages. For instance, a bark could warn that the dog is anxious, bored, excited, or merely responding to other dogs. However, barking can also be excessive and irritate anyone within earshot. To stop excessive barking, you need to start by knowing the reason behind your dog’s excessive barking. Sometimes it’s easy to do this as you can see the object or situations that result in your dog barking excessively. In other instances, the reasons are not so apparent and require the help of a veterinarian. To stop your dog from barking excessively, you must train the dog to know when to bark and be quiet. Thus, you need to call your dog by its name when it’s barking excessively and tell it to stop. If it stops, give the dog a treat and a pat on the back to show that you approve of the behavior. Keep in mind also that an exhausted dog will not have much energy to bark. Therefore, ensuring enough exercise for your dog is an excellent way to reduce excessive barking. Should You Use an Anti-Bark Collar? An anti-bark collar is sometimes used to discourage a dog from excessive barking. It dispenses a foul spray or slight electric shock as a way to caution the dog. However, if you consider that barking can be used to communicate, such a collar will punish a dog for all barks it makes, even the right ones. Using devices like anti-bark collars is a matter of great controversy. Some animal rights organizations perceived such devices as being inhuman because they inflict pain, and the devices do not usually deal with the reason the dog is barking in the first place. So, you’ll need to consider the disadvantages of such devices before you use them. Aggression According to the ASPCA, aggression is the most popular and severe bad habit exhibited by dogs. Although it’s a means through which both humans and animals guard their territory, the behavior should be regulated. Aggression in dogs can be described as harmful attacks against victims. It starts slowly from a change in body posture, strange facial expressions, barking, and finally, biting. Dogs display aggression by showing teeth, growling, and making threatening barks. The MSD Veterinary Manual reports that aroused dogs also show aggression when denied access to their opposite sex. Puppies generally tend to play aggressively while exploring their environment. To treat aggression in your dog, you need to know situations that make it aggressive and, if possible, avoid them. Positive reinforcement helps dogs stay accustomed to good behavior in anticipation of a treat. Discourage the dog whenever it shows aggressive behavior and reward it when it stops. Jumping Up Jumping up is a natural behavior for dogs, especially puppies. They jump to greet, seek attention, show excitement, or reach for objects in your hand. Even though you may not be opposed to your dog jumping on you, guests could find this behavior upsetting. Dogs that jump on people can also make people afraid or dirty. The best way to control jumping dogs is to ignore them. Repeatedly tell the dog to sit until it complies. Giving a reward and praising your dog when it complies is likely to encourage it to stop the behavior in the long run. A practical example of dealing with this behavior could involve inviting a friend to knock on the door. Instruct your dog to sit, and when it does, open the door. If it keeps sitting, appreciate it with a treat. When this is done repeatedly, your dog will observe the pattern and get the message. Begging Begging is a bad habit that is tough to cure but easy to prevent. Surprisingly, some dog owners encourage begging without realizing what they are doing. If you give the dog attention when you are eating or keep throwing bits of food at it, you are encouraging it to beg. It’s important to take steps to stop begging behaviors as soon as they start. The American Kennel Club provides some tips on how to get rid of begging behaviors: Ignore the dog and never give in to its begging behavior. Train your dog to understand basic obedience commands. Feed the dog before you eat. Place the dog in a comfortable spot, like a bed or mat when you eat, and train it to go there during family meals. Block access to the dining table, or keep puppies in a crate during family meals. If the dog doesn’t finish its meals and comes to beg for yours, you may try changing the diet until you know what the dog likes. It’s vital to ensure that the dog has something to do while you dine. Also, kindly ask guests and kids not to give the dog food when it begs or during meals. Digging Whenever they have the opportunity, dogs tend to dig. It’s part of their hunting instincts. Generally, digging is a normal dog behavior. However, it can get excessive, and dogs could end up digging paving and opening holes underneath the fence from which they can escape. When digging becomes excessive, then you may need to consult a professional to determine the reason. Otherwise, you will need to ensure that your dog gets appropriate exercise not to have too much excess energy. If possible, you can create a spot in your yard where you put sand, and the dogs can dig all they want. Always direct the dogs to the spot when you see them wanting to dig. Inappropriate Elimination A dog that urinates or defecates in inappropriate places is a pet owner’s worst nightmare. This bad habit can leave your home dirty and unattractive. This behavior is inevitable for puppies less than three months before they have been appropriately trained. In adult dogs, inappropriate elimination can result from anxiety or a lack of proper training. Some dogs urinate in certain areas to mark territory. Like you would do with all other behaviors, focus on training your dog to know where it needs to go to urinate or defecate. Watch the dog so that you know the signs that it wants a toilet break. Take the dog out to the spot where you want it to urinate or defecate after meals until it associates that spot with elimination. Suppose an older dog suddenly starts defecating or urinating in the house. In that case, there may be a medical problem for which you should see a vet. Credit goes to - https://www.dogsintl.com/dog-behavior-issues/
Common Dog Behavior Issues and How to Treat Them content media
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Dale Preece
Star Customer
Jan 15, 2021
In General Discussions
The border collie is the doggy equivalent of both Einstein and an unflappable blue-collar worker. These highly intelligent dogs live to work and have enough energy to do so for hours on end. While their affectionate and loyal demeanor makes them one of the most highly sought after breeds, their intense, endless energy make them more difficult to keep than many realize. Keep reading to find out if you have what it takes to bring this shepherd of boundless energy into your home. Contents General Characteristics of the Border Collie The History of the Border Collie The Temperament of the Border Collie Health Issues Common to the Border Collie Breed Do Border Collies Do Well With Children and Other Pets? What to Consider Before Bringing Home a Border CollieActivity Level Trainability Grooming Nutrition Cost 10 Fun Facts About the Border Collie Before You Go General Characteristics of the Border Collie Other names: Scottish sheepdog Height: 18 to 22 inches Weight: 30 to 55 pounds Lifespan: 12 to 15 years Origin: Anglo-Scottish border Colors: Any, but most commonly black and white Activity level: High Grooming needs: Low Best suited for: Very active families, ranchers, and dog sport aficionados The History of the Border Collie To get a true sense of the history of the border, you need to go all the way back to first century Britain. While traditionally void of livestock, the invasion of the Roman empire brought with it cattle and sheep, and, more importantly, herding dogs. These Roman shepherds likely descended from dogs common to the empire–namely large molossus types and fierce livestock guardians. This combination led to a dog that was quite thick-boned and much larger than many shepherds used today. The BC is the picture of poise and focus. Their keen expression and hard stare not only has the power to move the flock, but to move many owners to obsession. Over the next millennia, these two vastly different types of shepherds interbred, creating a mid-sized shepherd with the stamina of the Roman herders but the athleticism to work smoothly over difficult terrain. While these new herders looked more like the working shepherds most of us are familiar with, the border collie was still centuries from existence. At the end of the 19th century in Northumberland, a county on the border of England and Scotland, landrace collies of various types were frequently used to assist shepherds in the fields. In 1893, a puppy named Old Hemp was born to two of these local collies. While most shepherds of the day moved sheep using their bark and aggressive actions, Old Hemp worked in near silence and was able to move the flock almost without effort. His instinct and intelligence were so great, in fact, that it is said that he needed no training at all to learn to herd. Old Hemp quickly gained notoriety in the area and it wasn’t long before other collie’s with similar herding behaviors were being bred to him to create a truly unique shepherd. 📷 In 1915, the International Sheepdog Society first used the term “border collie” to describe this quiet, agile herder. Today, the hyper-intelligent, instinct-driven BC is still commonly used on ranches, though they have become even more popular as companion animals. The Temperament of the Border Collie The unique herding methods of this shepherd also show through in their temperaments. Where the typical shepherd is loud, in-your-face, and “flighty,” the BC is quiet, observant, and ever-focused on their handlers’ next command. They tend to be very affectionate and gentle dogs and are incredibly loyal, especially to their favorite person in the family. Companion or show dog, the BC will always be a herder at heart. That means any prospective owner should have a good understanding of common behaviors seen in shepherds and how to appropriately redirect them when they are not desired. While not as prone to nipping as other shepherds, their instinct to chase and herd is still very strong and can lead to issues if training and consistency isn’t used. Luckily, training a BC is rarely a difficult task. These dogs love to learn and are highly motivated to please, but even more motivated by their own need to accomplish a task. Outside of intelligence and herding instinct, what most defines a BC is their high-energy level. These dogs were built to spend the day sprinting miles over rocky, hilly terrain. In the home, this energy often comes out in the form of undesirable behaviors like chewing, destroying furniture, and obsessive behaviors. 📷 To keep your BC from turning to these less desirable energy outlets, you must provide plenty of physical and mental stimulation. A long walk around the neighborhood won’t cut it with these dogs. They need to work their brain as well as their body for hours each day. Overall, the BC is an energetic and smart breed that needs a job to do before they can settle down with the family at night. Health Issues Common to the Border Collie Breed While overall a robust and hardy breed, there are a number of health issues known to affect the BC. Many of these are common to the collie line while others are specific to this unique dog. Here are some of the more common health issues seen in border collies: Collie eye anomaly, progressive retinal atrophy, and glaucoma Epilepsy Hip and elbow dysplasia Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis Trapped neutrophil syndrome Hypothyroidism One unique health issue that some BCs face is something known as “border collie collapse.” During such an episode, an affected BC will suddenly become disoriented, lose attention for the task at hand, and may lose mobility in their hind end. Eventually, the dog will need to sit or lie down until they calm down enough for the episode to pass. Because they were bred for function over form, there are a lot of variations in the look of a BC. While most have half-drop ears, some have fully erect ears, like this one pictured above, and others have full-drop ears like that of a retriever. 📷 What causes this issue is unknown, but it is thought that these episodes only occur when an especially high degree of arousal is met. For most dogs, there is only one or only certain types of activities that cause collapse. Some dogs are unable to play with balls or herd because of this condition, but can still run, swim, and do other physically demanding activities without an issue. Scientists are currently working to determine exactly what causes this issue in herding breeds and other high-drive dogs like labradors. While there is still a lot of mystery surrounding it, it is worth noting that descriptions of Old Hemp, the “father” of the modern border, often described him working so intensely that he would visibly shake. This fact has many in the BC community wondering if this genetic anomaly has been present in the BC line since its very conception. To avoid issues such as border collie collapse, collie eye anomaly, and other issues common in the breed, it is important to only purchase puppies from a credible, ethical breeder. Or better yet, adopt a BC with a well established health history. Do Border Collies Do Well With Children and Other Pets? Their energetic and affectionate nature makes the BC a favorite playmate for kids, so long as the child is old enough to play safely with a herding breed. Because these dogs will chase things that run, small children and BCs don’t typically mix. The child needs to be old enough to use commands to keep the dog from nipping or getting overly excited or at least old enough to know to stop when the dog starts chasing them. Like with ear type, coat length and coat color are highly variable in these dogs. Smooth coated BCs, like the one above, are less common than rough coated versions. These dogs can come in any color from solid to merel, but are most commonly black with white markings. 📷 For older children and teenagers, the BC can be a great companion, especially if they have an interest in obedience or dog sports. Typically, BCs do well with other dogs. Working dogs often work alongside other shepherds in order to cover more ground and work larger flocks, so being sociable has long been a desired trait in the breed. While they do not always “play” the way most dogs do, BCs do enjoy chasing other dogs. BCs, like other shepherds, especially love to run fences, both at home and at doggy daycare. So long as they are introduced to other pets, such as cats, early on in their lives, most BCs do well with non-dog siblings. If not taught how to interact with other animals as puppies, a BC may become overly interested and end up chasing smaller pets. What to Consider Before Bringing Home a Border Collie Think the Einstein of the doggy world is the right pet for you? Here are a few more things to consider before bringing a border home. Activity Level Wearing out your BC physically is a challenge. These guys are known for their stamina. And even when they are tired, their drive will keep them going for hours more. Jogging and running alongside a bike are great activities when you are short on time, but running off-leash in an open field or hiking through the mountains provide even more valuable energy releases. Are you ready for this ball of energy? Keeping an intelligent dog means constantly having to find new ways to stimulate them mentally. Training high flying acrobatics and other physical behaviors is a great way to wear them out. 📷 But the real challenge with this breed is tiring them out mentally. These dogs truly need a job to do. If you get a BC, plan to spend a small fortune on puzzle toys, trick training books, and doggy daycare. Or, better yet, sign them up for a doggy sport like agility, flyball, or freestyle dog dancing. If you live in a more rural area, you may even be able to find a dog ranch that specializes in letting companion herding dogs practice their original purpose. Trainability To say a border is trainable is an understatement. These dogs love learning and yearn for any opportunity to perform new, complex behaviors. Working borders must learn to differentiate and respond to dozens of different whistles and commands. This ability to learn so many behaviors and words is something unique to this breed. Most BCs are more interested in chasing something than getting a treat, so, often, using a fetch toy as a reward produces faster behaviors than treat training. These intelligent dogs do not react well to harsh punishment and, given their intelligence, this training tact is rarely necessary. The most important thing in training a BC is consistency. Grooming BCs come in a variety of coat types from short “smooth” coats to longer “rough” coats but the majority of BCs have a medium-length double coat. In any case, this dog doesn’t typically require much grooming. A weekly brushing should suffice to keep their fur in good condition, though more frequent brushing may be needed during the twice-yearly shedding seasons. As with all dogs, they do require daily teeth brushing and frequent nail trims. legant and graceful, both in the pasture and in the flesh, it is no wonder so many have fallen in love with this loyal and beautiful breed. 📷 Nutrition The border is an “easy keeper” and will do well on any high-quality commercial or homemade dog food. Working dogs or competitive athletes will benefit from a higher protein, higher fat diet. Although not typical, some BCs will struggle with weight gain, so watch portions and waistlines closely. Cost BC pups are fairly common, especially in rural areas. A purebred will cost you anywhere from $700 to $2,000 depending on the breed lines. Because these dogs are more difficult to keep, there are also a decent number of pure and mix breed BCs available for adoption at any given time. Check with your local BC rescue for adoptable dogs. 10 Fun Facts About the Border Collie It is noted that scars in show rules, broken teeth, and other hazards of the working dog should not be counted against a BC in the show ring. The BC ranks number one in Stanley Coren’s The Intelligence of Dogs. Almost every border can trace their lineage back to a single dog named Old Hemp who showed unique behaviors when herding that differentiated him from other shepherds of the time. Between 1905 and 1951, every border who won the International Sheepdog Society’s championship was a direct descendant of Old Hemp. There are two different standards for working BCs and show BCs and few dogs compete in both types of competitions. While not well known for loving water, most BCs will willingly chase a flying ball or flock of ducks just about anywhere. This drive can get them into trouble, so a reliable recall or stop command is much needed with these pups. 📷 The BC was not recognized by the AKC until 1995, due largely to the fact that BC breed clubs did not want the breed to compete in the show ring. Some agility competitions include “ABC” classes–“anything but collies”–because BCs are so skilled at winning these types of events that it makes it hard for anyone else to compete. “Collie” is the Scottish term for shepherd and likely comes from the Celtic term for “useful.” Chaser, a white and black border, was well known as the smartest dog in the world. She knew over 1,000 names for objects and could retrieve each of them when given the command. BCs are especially common in Australia where the harsh desert environment requires a hard worker who can cover a lot of land in a single outing. Before You Go Not sure you have the energy to keep up with this hard-working shepherd? Here are a few more breeds to consider. Australian Shepherd Australian Cattle Dog Anatolian Shepherd German Shepherd Dutch Shepherd Source - https://yourdogadvisor.com/border-collie/
The Border Collie – Ultimate Breed Information Guide content media
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Dale Preece
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