Smart Dog Gets Bored Resulting In Behavior Issues

by Renee B
(Conway, Ar)

This is back at Thanksgiving 2014

This is back at Thanksgiving 2014

Hi! I have an Aussie/Border Collie mix that is brilliant and gets bored very easy. She however has a few behavior issues. She listens to my husband but not me, I can not get her to obey me at all. She is chewing up everything we give her, and she has a minor problem with snarling and snapping when she is getting in trouble. She is about 9 months old and like I said super smart I think her main problem is she is bored.

What are the best ways to keep her occupied while we are gone? Also what is the best way to discipline her when she does something she is not suppose to.

I have been looking for interactive toys but I think she will just destroy the toy in a matter of days. We don't have a fenced in yard so it is hard for her to get the exercise she needs and that will change in the next few months but until then what should we do?

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Part answer?
by: Rob

I'm no dog expert... I've literally been dragged up the learning curve with my first ever dog being an Aussie whom we've had since a puppy (now 18 months old)... yeah, what the hell was I thinking?! So here are some hard won lessons we have learned along the way with our pure bred aussie pup which I believe will translate to your aussie/border pup.

It sounds like your pup doesn't respect you in the pack pecking order - and when they don't sense leadership, they take on the role, which usually comes with an attitude. So you have to switch this up. These are smart energetic dogs so they figure things out and when they get away with something, they will do it again. So you have to break into this thinking by re-asserting your higher position in the pecking order.

You have to make sure you walk through doors first - if she runs through ahead of you, command her back inside, get her to sit and you step through then release her to come through when it suits you. You eat first - make sure she sees that. She plays with the toy/s you choose for her when it suits you (she can choose toys as a reward for good behaviour later on) and ignore her when she pesters you to play, until and when it suits you. She sits on the couch when she gets permission from you and if you want the ultimate, she doesn't sleep in your bedroom.

See where this is going? You control her food, her fun, her toys, her comforts and where she sleeps. You are the pack leader. You make these decisions for her. This will take a lot of perseverance but as you assert your self in the pack she will learn and she will take comfort that you are taking care of her.

They are incredibly loyal, to a fault. As you take on the leadership role AND do stuff to bond with her, your puppy will transform into a dog that wants to please you. It's a lot of pressure sometimes! To help this process, always praise the good things she does. Give a growl when behaviour doesn't suit.

Now the most important thing - exercise, exercise, exercise. Morning and night time vigorous walks, puzzles during the day (kongs/treat balls, treats wrapped in frozen old towels on hot days etc), obedience training, tricks and more exercise. Our pup gets walked in the mornings and on the evenings that we can't, it's vigorous fetching, mixing it up between a tennis ball and a frisbee and hide and seek (hide the ball/toy sometimes in plain site) and she has to retrieve it to get a reward (tug toy, praise, good girl, a treat).

These breeds were bred to work all day every day. If they don't get mental and physical exercise, they channel their energies in destructive ways. They are life tilting dogs but the rewards are significant.

Hope that helps.

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