Any Indoor "jobs" For A Border Collie?

Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by MissyBC, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. MissyBC Experienced Member

    Hi there. For the past 4 days Missy has decided to chase shadows. She never used to... (at least not often) and she used to get bored laying or sitting around... not doing much while I did other things (once she was run in the morning - she was happy afterward (10:30 ish for usually an hour, sometimes a little shorter, but she was tired none the less.)

    I had her out this morning from 11:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. this afternoon (2 1/2 hours of physical and a bit of obedience training too!).

    Well, here's my question: I was wondering if anyone had any "jobs" I could get her busy with in the house while doing my own house work?

    Any help with this would be much appreciated.

    Any way I could maybe incorporate her into helping me out with chores?

    Thanks for all your help in advance!
    Jean Cote and MaryK like this.

  2. southerngirl Honored Member

    I have Missy help me pick up items. If you have a small trash can for your room, bathroom you could have her carry it to the garbage. Open cabinets, drawers, door. Throw trash away such as wrappers.
    MaryK, MissyBC and Dogster like this.
  3. Dogster Honored Member

    Great idea southerngirl!!!!:D I was thinking along the same lines.... Missy can help with chores/housework. You can teach her many useful tricks, the possibilities are endless, really.:) You can teach her to make the bed, wipe the floor, load the washing machine, fold towels, etc. There are lots of really good ideas in Jesse's "Useful Dog Tricks" videos.:)





  4. MissyBC Experienced Member

    I just find right after she is run, she's still raring to go and crazy (which I'm okay with... if she lays down and settles when I tell her to, or if I want to work on some tricks with her right when we get back, but I had some chores to do first.)

    "Crazy?" you might ask. Here's the definition(s) of what I mean:

    She barks out the window, chases shadows.. (newest), :rolleyes: and just doesn't settle right away... I try to get her to lay down or sit in her chair, etc. but sometimes things just don't work the way I wish they would.

    Thanks for your help, southern and dogster! Very much appreciated, like always!! :)
    MaryK, southerngirl and Dogster like this.
  5. Adrianna & Calvin Experienced Member

    Hi MissyBC

    I have to say, I find the shadow-chasing behavior very concerning. BCs are a prime breed to develop OCD, and I'd be worried that this behavior could increase. I would find out where the closest veterinary behaviorist (so DVM + DACVB) is, and turn to him or her ASAP (do not wait!) if the chasing is a frequent thing, becomes worse, OR starts impacting her quality of life. I hate to be a hand-wringer but a glimmer of anything OCD is the one thing that would send me flying to a DACVB. If there isn't one in your area, I think both Tufts and Purdue Universities offer consults through your regular vet.

    Re: your actual question, I think southerngirl and dogster have had great ideas :)
  6. MissyBC Experienced Member

    @A&C: She's sleeping on the floor behind my chair, right now, cause she's tired, chilling with me... but I'm worried that as soon as she gets up from a nap she'll start up again.. I hope not!! She knows what "leave it" means and I'm going to try and incorporate that into her chasing shadows behaviour and see if that helps.

    When she first notices the shadow (any shadow she can find on the floor), she's begins by wagging her tail, growling and then pouncing on it. When the shadow is gone, she still goes and looks for it, wondering where it has gone.

    Even if I say "sit!", one of her most well known cues in her vocab, she stares at the shadow and ignores me... something I wish I could nip in the bud.

    I told my dad: "She seems frustrated..."

    My dad answers: "No, she's not. She's wagging her tail, which means she's quite happy.

    I'm not convinced...

    Thanks for the help, A&C!
    MaryK likes this.
  7. Adrianna & Calvin Experienced Member

    Tail wagging is a sign of excitement, not friendliness or happiness. Are you in the US or Canada? Do you have a DACVB in your area?
  8. MissyBC Experienced Member

    The training school where I took Missy for all of her obedience training - they have a professional dog behaviourist/trainer on site (Missy and I had her for all of her obedience training classes as head instructor), and I will get in touch with them - I'll try to get in touch with the head dog behaviourist especially.

    My mom and I are planning on taking her to the vet tomorrow for a walk-in vet appointment (for her yearly checkup), and I may ask her about it as well.

    Another thing: It's been quite wet and rainy for the past 4 days as well so I haven't been able to run her at the park as often as I usually do... could that be triggering this odd behaviour?
    MaryK likes this.
  9. MissyBC Experienced Member

    I do notice that when I put her GL on, it settles her right down and stops the chasing shadows behaviour. :) So at least I have something I can use to prevent the behaviour from happening until I find the right solution! :D (besides more exercise and tricks, and if that's the case, I'm more than happy to teach her more tricks - we're working on trick #'s 32 and 33 at present.)

    I'm going to try and get up on time tomorrow (Missy and I love sleeping in... only because we go to bed at all hours!) and RUN her in the morning, mid-day, and early evening, and see if that helps at all. :)
    Dogster, MaryK and southerngirl like this.
  10. MissyBC Experienced Member

    I think I've figured out the problem....

    I don't know what I was thinking :rolleyes: - for the past 4 days, in the evenings and during the day, I wouldn't have any of her toys on the floor for her to play with on her own... she loves playing by herself when I'm either not in the room or in the room but relaxing on the couch...

    So, I think I may have fixed the problem. :D Hopefully!
    Dogster and southerngirl like this.
  11. MissyBC Experienced Member

    I took Missy to the vet today for her annual checkup, and I asked the vet about Missy's "shadow chasing" behaviour and her reply to that was: "You've trained her so much that she's too smart now. :ROFLMAO: "What I see is a well behaved, well balanced dog."

    So she's not neurotic or anything, she's just bored. :oops: That's an easy fix, phew!! (y)

    I'd better start her on household chores! (y)
    Dogster likes this.
  12. Adrianna & Calvin Experienced Member

    I'm sorry she didn't take your concern more seriously. Please see a behaviorist if the behavior persists.
  13. MissyBC Experienced Member

    Hi A&C: I've decided to train her with the shadows in the room just like in Grade 1 obedience (treats) and see how that goes. :) I also plan to start Grade 4 obedience with Missy sometime soon (not sure when yet though), as Missy is now fully up to date on all her vaccinations.

    Also, if it persists I will call the obedience school she went to for all of her training, so far. :) She has one grade left (Grade 4).

    Keeping her busy in the house with basic obedience seems to be working. ;)

    Thanks for all your concern A&C. I really do appreciate it!

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