10 Week Old Border Collie Puppy Question

Border Collie Puppy playing with stickWe got an email from reader Sandra L. about her new 10 week old Border Collie puppy …

We have a 10 week old Border Collie puppy, a little male, with a real temper. You can see he’s become attached to my boyfriend and me, that he likes us, but when he gets into one of his crazy moods no one can stop him. He wants to chew our fingers and toes, we stop him, but he doesn’t respond to our squeaking, or “no” and just starts biting harder and harder.  We end up having to crate him because he becomes uncontrollable. After that the demolition of his crate starts and he only settles down after we take his toys out of the crate.

We have had our Border Collie puppy 10 days now. Before we got him he was living with his brothers and sisters in a stable, where a man would only come to bring food or spend just short period of time with them. This puppy loves people, and he’s happy around them, but it seems to us that he thinks of humans as one of his toys.

Can you help us with advice on how to handle this problem?  How to put him under control but without hitting him or causing him some further traumas?

My first thought is it sounds like this little guy has not been all that socialized with people in his first few weeks of life which might be part of the issue. Would suggest to get with a  dog trainer or a local rescue group for some advice. Readers…thoughts?

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  1. says

    That’ll be the herding instinct! Ours was exactly the same, like a Tasmanian devil :-) get him in training and get him some outlets for those instincts like chasing a tennis ball or something. Keep on calmly, patiently indicating that its not acceptable and eventually they do start to calm down :-) remember, he’s a puppy and needs time to learn.

  2. Matt S. says

    Hey, I don’t know how old this is since it’s not a typical forum, but dittos on pretty much all you said, I’m a little bit ahead of you in that my guy is almost 12 weeks, and i’ve had him about a month.

    Mouthy is a good way to describe it. Sweet as can be until psycho-mode kicks in. Even when he’s sweet and calm he still will bite and chew fingers and everything else on my body.

    I just set up a crate in my LR about 2 hours ago, and was researching the best ways to use it etc. One way to NOT use a crate is for punishment. You want the crate to be a good experience, a safe haven and his own little den space. You want him to go in there to sleep, get away, be comfy when you have to leave for awhile and not tear the house up.

    I’ve found 2 very useful ways to settle him down.
    #1, if you have time to relax (TV, chilling about as you were playing with him) hold a bully stick or a bone thing small enough to get into the bare gum spots and you can hold him like a baby for a half hour if need be! You can use this to bond and satisfy his chewing needs. But he’ll appreciate the strong grip so he doesn’t have to try to hold it. If he does it in passing, shove a squeak toy in his mouth and walk away!

    #2, if you are busy with a task and it’s not possible to drop everything for #1, and he’s in psycho-mode he really needs to chill the bleep out. This is unacceptable and it’s called puppyhood. So I place him in the bathroom with the light on and close the door. He whined the first couple times but no matter what, after about 10-15 he’ll be conked out on the bath mat. If he acts up again, another time out! He’ll get the idea.

    If I knew about #1 & #2 earlier, I wouldn’t have made the mistake of letting it get to me and blow my stack. Visible anger or grabbing the neck or even shouting NO is futile. It only escalates the issue and his frame of mind. He thinks your rising to his challenge and will match it with more!
    And that finger in the mouth or squeezing the gums into the teeth to get a whimper was a waste of time too, and only added to my red marks on my hand ;)

  3. KateG says

    Don’t know how old this thread is but…with a Border Collie they really have to be tired out or they will make their own entertainment and in your case it sounds like the entertainment is biting your toes and fingers! Also do not ever use your crate as a form of punishment or to isolate your dog’s bad behavior. Your dog will just learn to fear and hate it’s crate and probably attack that as well and make a lot of noise. Your dog should be comfortable in it’s crate and not consider it a punishment or a place to hide (it’s like being locked in your room when you were bad as a kid! And how many of us escaped out our window?). The best advice I can give to a BC owner is TIRE THEM OUT! That solved 99% of my “problems”. Good luck!

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