If your Border Collie puppy is acting crazy, let me assure you of three things. One, it’s completely normal. Two, they will get better. Three, you need to show them the way.
Many owners of Border Collies have said they’re the best dog they’ve ever had. If you asked them what they thought when they were puppies, they might say they were the craziest dog they’ve ever had.
Border Collie puppies are extremely curious. They’re filled to the brim with energy, are often plagued by zoomies, and they get into anything they can find.
You might be thinking, yep, that’s my pup! And if it is, this article is for you.
Border Collie Destructive Behavior
Does your Border Collie puppy do any of the following? If so, you’re not alone!
- Digging holes
- Jumping up on strangers
- Climbing anything and everything
- Annoying other pets
- Chewing everything in site
- Getting into cupboards
- Following you everywhere you go
How to Calm Your Crazy Border Collie Puppy
Border Collie Puppies are spirited and energetic pets. It’s important that you use techniques such crate training, obedience classes, tie downs, massaging, aromatherapy oils, and routine to ensure your puppy is a calm pet.
Border Collie puppies can be a handful due to their intelligence and vast stores of energy. It’s important that you and your puppy are on the same page, working together to overcome their destructive behaviors.
Is your Border Collie puppy a biter or shows signs of aggression? Read our in depth post on what you can do to remedy their biting.
Here’s an analogy I like to use when it comes to teaching your puppy what is the correct behavior and what isn’t. Your puppy is at the beginning of a maze and you want them to get to the end. They start running in every direction, back tracking, going into dead ends. You scold them and tell them No! and Don’t do that! And so, they turn direction, and head back into another dead end.
What if you laid the way to the end of the maze with treats to follow? Like Hansel and Gretel, if you place breadcrumbs from the beginning of the maze until the end, you will see they find their way much quicker and without all the detours.
You will always train your puppy more effectively using positive reinforcement than you will by getting frustrated and berating them.
The problem with negative reinforcement is it can either end in them learning to fear you, or they see it as a reaction and getting your attention, which of course they want.
There are some methods of calming your Border Collie puppy such as time-outs and tie-downs. But these are practiced alongside positive reinforcement.
Whenever your puppy is doing exactly what you want them to do, be sure to treat them.
You should be rarely without puppy treats in your pocket ready to dish out for good behavior.
Also consider using something like PetHonesty Hemp Calming supplement, which you can give to your puppy to help relieve anxiety and stress, both of which can contribute to undesirable behaviors.
Another important tool for you to use is training your BC the Place command. You will be able to use it when your pup needs to calm down, or when you need them removed from a situation. Whether it be a hot kitchen or when a visitor arrives.
Here is our guided instructions to teaching the Place command to a puppy.
If your Border Collie is over 1-year, and you’re having difficulty calming them down, consider the Anxious Pet supplements range. They’re Veterinarian formula calming solutions for dogs, using Hemp oils or CBD.
So, let’s get into some of these methods you can use to teach your Border Collie puppy how to be a little less crazy and a little more calm.
How Long Will it Take?
General advice is a puppy will begin to settle down from ages 2 to 3. Border Collies however are a different kettle of fish!
Some owners have seen their BC settle down from 4 to 5 years of age, while other owners say their 10-year-old is still acting like they’re 6-months old.
Here’s the thing, your Border Collie puppy will improve with the work you put in, and will learn what is appropriate and not appropriate. Which is why it’s so important as a BC owner to show them the way with positive techniques shown in this article.
Cure the Crazy from your Border Collie Puppy
Routine is Key to a Calm Puppy
It’s vital that you teach your Border Collie puppy to know when it’s time for play when it’s time for relaxing.
By giving them a time for everything, whether it’s play, or napping, or walking, or training, they will begin to learn how their day is planned.
Subconsciously they will learn that after their walk it’s time for a nap. A routine gives them boundaries and structure to their lives.
The key to a good routine is consistency. The more consistent you are with your routine, the more likely they will be to follow it.
Give Your Puppy an Off Switch
Equip your puppy with an off switch. They need to know there’s more to life than destruction and showing off.
If you have not crate trained your Border Collie, then start now. It’s going to be your number one tool to disarm your little weapon of mass destruction.
By giving them crate time in a quiet area of the house, and with a calm voice, you will be showing them the path to quiet time.
Have you crate trained your BC puppy yet? Be sure to read our post What Size Crate for a Border Collie: Best Revealed
Here is a good video on how to crate train your puppy.
Does your Border Collie bark a lot? If so, then be sure to read our post: Border Collie Barking: How to put a stop to it.
There is help out there for owners with unstoppable barking dogs. We recommend Thrive Dogs, who have created a highly effective method that you might also want to check out.
If your Border Collie puppy is whining and barking inside their crate, don’t scold them. Wait for them to stop and then go to them and take them outside for wees and poos.
Once they are done, you can return them to their crate. If they continue to carry on, you must never let them out during their barking or whining as this will make them think this is what lets them out.
There is a limit to how much crate time they can have. Here is a guide to give you an idea of how long you can leave your Border Collie puppy in their crate.
|Puppy Age (months)||Bladder Control (hours)||Total Daily Crate Time (hours)|
|3||2||1 – 3|
|4||3||3 – 4|
|5||4||4 – 5|
|6||5||4 – 5|
|7||6||4 – 6|
|8+||6 Max.||4 – 6|
Use a Tie Down
A tie down is a 3-foot rope that is anchored to an immovable object such as a wall or large piece of furniture.
It is connected to your dog via a harness. We do not recommend other collars for this.
A tie down can be a good way to manage your puppy’s behavior through restricting their movement. This is not a punishment but used as a tool to control behavioral issues.
Someone should always be home when using a tie down.
When to use a tie down:
- When you have visitors over to stop jumping
- When children are meeting your puppy
- When your puppy is following you around everywhere you go non-stop
- When you need to cook in the kitchen and don’t want to trip over your puppy
- When you are eating
- Teaching your puppy to settle
- When your puppy is biting
To use a tie down, be sure to praise them with treats and praise if they are well behaved during its use.
Also always make sure there’s toys close enough to use and a soft blanket or alike for laying down.
Puppy Massage Time
When your puppy is out of control, you can give them some massage time to calm them down.
Take your puppy in your lap and stroke them on top of their head and back, letting them find a comfortable position. If they are resisting, massage their chest and behind their ears.
If they have relaxed and calmed down, lay them on their back and rub their tummy. Make sure you use soothing praise.
Gradually increase this massage time until they learn this is a wonderful part of their day and they look forward to it.
If they resist this process, do not give in. It will teach them that resisting gets them what they want. This is the key to everything!
If your puppy is struggling to get away and even nipping, then lay them on their back against your abdomen, facing away from you. Use a soothing voice and gentle massage to rub their belly and ears.
Do not let them go until they have calmed down, which they eventually will. Once calm, then you can let them go.
Repeat this process daily and with different members of the household.
Puppy School and Obedience Classes
Your puppy should learn to socialize from a very early age, ideally as soon as you get them. This will help them to learn what is appropriate behavior around other dogs.
Border Collies are extremely intelligent and require brain exercise. Without it they are sure to be a handful as they find other ways to stimulate their minds.
Obedience classes and home training are essential and should be a constant in their puppy lives. It will burn some of their energy off and make them a happier and less destructive puppy.
A study was shown that lavender can settle a nervous dog. Use aromatherapy oils in your house with a very small amount of lavender.
Remember to keep it very subtle though as your Border Collie can smell 10,000 to 100,000 times better than you can. If you can smell it, you can be sure your puppy is getting a face full.
A play pen can be a great tool in effectively managing your puppy’s behavior and can be a great place for a time-out when they’re out of control. Be sure to keep their pen where they can see you.
The Frisco play pen is a quality play pen you can use for your puppy.
When your puppy is misbehaving, place them into the pen as a time-out and ignore them.
A time-out shouldn’t last longer than 3-minutes.
Only take them out once they are well behaved and not whining or barking.
If the problem behavior repeats itself, then place them back into time out.
This can be a trying exercise as it will take dedication by you, but after a couple of weeks of using this technique, you can cure problem behaviors.
Swap for a Toy
Be sure you to have plenty of toys on hand. If your puppy starts chewing on something they shouldn’t, swap it for a toy. Don’t scold them, as you need to teach them what is a toy and what isn’t. This will take some time.
Border Collie puppies can be a handful. There will be plenty of times you want to pull your hair out no doubt; this will be an exercise in patience. Be sure to take a breath when it gets too much.
You may have several months of this before your puppy calms down and learns their boundaries.
What is for certain though, is that if you put the time and effort into teaching them, you will be rewarded with one amazing Border Collie, perhaps even the best dog you’ve ever had!