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Fluffstuff
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 1:48 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hello proud owner of a Bearded Colley,

I come to you because I have a HUGE problem with my Beardie.
After my previous much adored and much regretted bitch passed away at the age of 14, I naturally looked to acquire another Beardy, another bitch as it happened. I felt ready for another BC as I had come to love the characteristics of the breed. I knew my new dog would have a different temperament and I didnít mind. However I didnít anticipate the problem Iím currently experiencing.
Have I made a huge mistake?
My new Beardie is now 1 year and 4 months old. She doesnít seem happy with me and itís breaking my heart. After I enquired a bit, I came up with a possible explanation(?). Although my old Beardie was very energetic at the same age, she was also placid and enjoyed long naps next to me on the sofa or the bed.
She happened to come from a show lineage, though I just wanted a family dog and never showed her.
My new one (Yogi), though balanced and very affectionate, is of working stock and never seems satisfied with the level of exercice I give her. I take her out every day, go jogging with her for an hour 3 times a week and occasionally go on long hikes in the mountains when on holiday in the summer. She also has the use of quite a big garden. But itís not enough. When sheís outside, she waits for me to come out and play/run with her. when sheís inside, she paces the living-room restlessly after a while, and seems to miss the company of other dogs to play with. she has also started chasing her tail again like a puppy, so big is her frustration. True Iím 16 years older (55 now) but Iím still active and deplore the fact that I donít seem to be ę†enough†Ľ for her.
Iím at the end of my tether and would even consider swapping her for a more mature, calmer Beardie provided she found a loving home because I really want her to be happy and fulfilled.
Can you help me?
Thank you.
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Jacquietwig
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 2:27 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

So sorry to hear you are having problems with your beardie. I've owned three working line beardies, currently have two having lost one at 15 years in 2017, I also owned 10 show bred beards so I can say the working temperament is different to the show line; they do need more attention and mental stimulation, they are also much sharper. I find mine want to be near you all the time, wherever I am they will be, they are not too keen on inactivity and make up their own jobs if none are offered to them. Could you try agility or some other discipline that would give her focus? They do like to feel they are 'helping' you in all activities and, as you say, it's no good putting them outside on their own, they will just wait for you to join them. They need much more mental stimulation and socialisation than the show line dogs. It does sound as though Yogi is very frustrated and stressed out (tail chasing is indicative of this as you are aware) and needs more than you are giving her. Lots of physical excercise can sometimes be counterproductive as it raises the adrenalin level which then doesn't have time to settle again before the next 'fix'. Working line dogs don't really make good pets if that is all you want from the dog'

I wouldn't normally say this and may get shot down over it but if you and Yogi are both unhappy with the relationship it may in the end be better if a new more suitable home could be found for her. But I would stress that a suitable home where she will have some activities or 'proper' work to do is essential, please, please do not just pass her on to be someone elses pet or it will be doomed to fail just as it has with you and that is so unfair on her. I really hope you can find an answer, you are doing the right thing in seeking help now while Yogi is still young.

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munchkin
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:49 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I have to totally agree with Jacquie but I would also say at 14 months she is still a baby in beardie terms, have you tried games like getting her to take the washing out of the washing machine for you, collecting all her toys by name, yes you have to build up to them slowly but working lines have working brains. There are groups out there that specialise in dog stimulation so may be they can help you with brain games and advise.


I hope it works out for you and if not "Beardies in need" help to rehome bearded collies to the most suitable homes for them

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munchkin
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:50 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I have to totally agree with Jacquie but I would also say at 14 months she is still a baby in beardie terms, have you tried games like getting her to take the washing out of the washing machine for you, collecting all her toys by name, yes you have to build up to them slowly but working lines have working brains. There are groups out there that specialise in dog stimulation so may be they can help you with brain games and advise.


I hope it works out for you and if not "Beardies in need" help to rehome bearded collies to the most suitable homes for them

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AnnS
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 9:52 am Reply with quoteBack to top

You sound a really thoughtful owner. This time of the year doesnít help either. If you have a large garden could you set up some agility equipment? Our pets at home had it all reduced to half price. Join a local club, doesnít have to be competitive, just for fun. Other thought is what is she fed on? Your dog is a similar age to my youngest, a working one, and she is full of energy, but does settle down.
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snowleopard
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:08 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi

You have been given some great advice already but I would like to add my own observations from your post.

You mention that you take your beardie out every day but for how long and does she get the opportunity to run free, although as you suggest she likes to play with other dogs I take it she likely comes off lead? With any dog their exercise has to be consistent and the correct amount for the breed, age and the indervidual dog. Having a big garden is great but does not mean much if she has no one to play with her in it.

Lack of exercise has shown to be fundamental to problem behaviours arising. However the problems you mention such as pacing and tail chasing are classed as stereoptpyical behaviour and are likely being observed due to the psychological wellbeing of your beardie. This can be due to frustration with not receiving enough exercise but I think it could have something to do with your relationship with her.

How we interact with our dogs can have an impact on how they interact with us. You mention that she does not seem happy with being with you but this could be that she is aware of how you feel about her and she may be unsure why you donít seem happy with her. If you are thinking you may have made a mistake and you are obviously stressed by her then you wonít be interacting with her in the way we do when we are enjoying the company of our dogs. She being affectionate and wanting to be with you may be a sign of her insecurity with the relatiopnsahip.

I have seen many dogs showing similar emotional problems due to the breakdown of the relationship. I donít know but it could be you have not been the same with her from the beginning as with your other beardie and this has evolved over time to where you both are now.

If you are providing her with the exercise and mental situation she requires each day but she still shows signs of anxiety then you need to look at your relationship with her. As what you think is the best way forward you probably know in your heart and itís always best to be honest with ourselves and for our dog.

If you do re-home her please donít swap her but instead make contact with a bearded collie rescue organisation who will place her in a good home.

I wish you both well in the future.

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Fluffstuff
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:41 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hello you all,

thank you very much for the kind replies I got after posting a message about my problems with my current Bearded collie Yogi.
I would have answered you much earlier but Iíve been suffering from an upset stomach Sad
I read all your posts carefully and must admit you really seem to have nailed the problem. However some of what you suggest I have already tried and I feel Iím nearing the end of my tether. The slightest walk I do with her turns into a battle between me trying to impose my will and her resisting it.
She jumps at people (in a friendly but over enthusiastic way) when we come across someone, tends to nip me, and of course her paws arenít always clean...etc. She also plays hard-to-catch when she doesnít want me to restrain her.
She literally drags me out of the house when she thinks Iím inside too long, or cries at the door in a very obvious way. Itís heartbreaking to see all that lost energy..
I wish I were 20 years younger, though again, I never had those problems with my old Beardie. I had her spayed, hoping it would calm her down a little, but it didnít work. More recently I bought some expensive vegan dog food because I read a few articles on how it is supposed to help with exuberance, weíll see.
Do they ever settle after a few years or should I try to pass her on (to whom??).
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Dorsetangels
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 7:12 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi have you thought about joining a dog training club - they would support you on your journey. Food has been mentioned by Ann and some foods do not suit all dogs. Have you been in contact with your breeder to see how the rest of the litter are. I do hope you find a way through your problems.

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Fluffstuff
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 7:26 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi and thanks for your post.
I live near Paris and the breeder was in the very North of Germany, near the Danish border. The rest of the litter seems to be doing ok.
I am part of a dog training club already and she doesnít do too badly there (sit, lie down etc) though she pulls a bit on the lead. Itís a different story when sheís out with me on her own...
I also wish I could cuddle and stroke her but sheís too restless!
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Jacquietwig
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:31 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi again I can't really offer you any hope regarding calming down as from my experience that just does not happen! They are not like your average dog who after around 2 - 5 years settles. These dogs need to work and that energy never leaves them until old age slows them.

I am very much against feeding vegan food to dogs, I know some say they can survive well enough on it but dogs are basicaly carnivores and I don't believe they will thrive without meat based protein. Also your girl is still growing and needs a very good diet to ensure she doesn't suffer any defficiences. If it were me I'd get a high quality diet from a good company, you should be able to ask their advice as to a recipe that will suit her growth yet not be too high energy. Though from what I understand it's very often the quality of the protein that can cause problem behaviour not the quantity.

Have you tried clicker training? this is a form of training that gives you a very good connection with the dog and may, at least, help you get some control over her behaviour outside.

In the case of you really feeling you must give her up, it's difficult as you are not in the UK, but I know there is a very good beardie rescue in France I have no idea though if they take working stock. Nina on here knows them and, I'm sure, would be able to advise on that.

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Fluffstuff
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:33 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Thank you very much for your reply.
I am keen to listen to all advice and I hadnt really thought about the problems with a vegan diet (that sheís growing..).
My old Beardie was energetic yet more placid right from the start.
I am afraid this one has a more active temperament, thatís all.
I still would like to keep her if I can and am going to try and look into everybodyís advice. The clicker sounds interesting, thank you for the tip.
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snowleopard
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:00 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi

If you really want to keep her and work on improving things then if possible you could find a dog behaviour speclist. They could come to your home and assess your beardie and the relationship you have with her. They may pick up on ways to improve life for you both.

Sometimes others see a way of improving things when looking from a nuteral point of view. At times as we are living it the best way forward is not always clear to us and having someone observe our world can be so much help. If you ask your vet they may be able to recommend a behaviourist to you.

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Fluffstuff
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:34 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks for your ideas Snowleopard.
I think you could well be right and I need to step back to see the bigger picture. Not easy though!
I will ask my vet..
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Robert
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:44 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Fluffstuff.....

I've read what you've been saying and the replies. Now I am no dog behavioural expert or training expert, nor am I clear on how long it was between between you last beardie and you new one...... but would still like to throw in my two-penneth.

Starting with comparisons between dogs... you have to take into account your own perhaps quite distant memory of how your previous dog was as a pup.... you may well have forgotten quite how boisterous a beardie pup can be. Then take into account that a beardie does need lots of exercise .... not just physical but mental. Also, remember that Yogi is only 16 months and that a beardie commonly doesn't fully mature until their about three years old.

I don't know how much exercise you do with her but perhaps more is needed - both physical and mental. Do you have a friend with a dog that Yogi gets on with or who would be willing to exercise their dog with you. Dogs have an ability to exercise themselves when they're charging about together. By the way, your hour of jogging is to a beardie a milde warm up..... That could help with the physical bit.... but training is undoubtedly where the brain training comes in and they're usually up to the challenge. And a challenge it can be.... I know only too well with my Hobbes - he has been and continues to be difficult at times.

Hobbes is our fourth beardie in thirty years. Each one has been different and had their challenges that we've had to work through. But persistence and patience is the secret... please do not to give up unless you are yourself unwilling or unable to give the time, which may be a factor which leads to you frustration. Getting frustrated and cross, is something your dog senses in your body language and tone of command.

I know it is difficult when they don't do precisely what we want when we want.... but she is a puppy when all said and done.

So my advice, if you'll for give my blunt approach, is to find that extra time to provide both the physical exercise and mental stimulation to Yogi. Remember, you don't have to charge about at beardie pace for an hour but maybe you can find a place/way/ method to provide that exercise every day. Also, set aside a time every day to enforce/refresh the training you do in class with her - probably when she's finished her physical exercise.

This is actually beginning to work with Hobbes, who by the way is 20 months old and isvery much an Alpha male and caused me to have exactly the same thoughts you've been having recently.

Keep at it and good luck Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

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