Advice needed

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Advice needed

This is a discussion on Advice needed within the Introductions forums, part of the DogForum Community Welcome category; Hi my name is Vicky and I'm new to all if this, I'm not sure if I'm listing in the right place but here goes... ...

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Old 11-26-2013, 03:15 AM
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Advice needed

Hi my name is Vicky and I'm new to all if this, I'm not sure if I'm listing in the right place but here goes...

I have a 2yr old border collie who has always been pretty well trained and 'normal' lately her behaviour towards me has become over powering. I'm currently 16 weeks pregnant, I had read dogs can pick up on this but had never expected her behaviour to change so dramatically. She's had become obsessed with a jumper of mine that I always walk her in, she sleeps with it, takes it from room to room with her and just won't leave it alone. She has to be constantly touching me, pawing me, licking me and starring at me, she also now sleeps on my side of the bed (on the floor) when I firmly tell her to lie down or stop it she completely ignore me and persists on touching and pestering me. Her behaviour has become over powering. I don't want to upset her as she's a particularly sensitive dog but this has to stop. She's also worse when my partner isn't around. Any ideas how I'm to deal with this? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

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Old 11-26-2013, 10:05 AM
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Vicky, all Border Collies have OCD. In my opinion, your Pup is concerned about you and there is really nothing you can do about it except ensure the pup that you're okay. This is in-bred with many dogs but specifically Border Collies. It may be a pain to you but it is simply the pup doing what comes natural to them. All I can say is to enjoy the attention and the mothering that it is compelled to do. It is only looking out for you and showing you that it cares. It could do a lot worse.
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Old 11-26-2013, 12:17 PM
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Vicky, if it were my dog, I'd be adding lots of training to your daily schedule. Just simple obedience commands, even if she's perfectly trained. Giving her something to do will help her anxiety. I don't know if this is OCD behavior or not and it's hard to say what her motivation is but she needs something else to focus on. I don't think it's something you should assume will correct itself. She needs some coping mechanisms for now and especially when the baby arrives. You'll be plenty busy then and won't have much time to do any training. Teaching her to settle rather than just telling her to go lay down is a better strategy but it requires some time to get a solid response.

Teach her the find it game. It's easy and a good indoor activity that most dogs love. Trick training is another type of training that will help her and is fun to do. If you don't already use a clicker, I'd highly recommend it. You can find videos on several sites. Karen Pryor and Kikopup have a lot of great videos to get you started.

You also might try getting some interactive toys for her. Put super good treats in them so she's motivated to puzzle them out. Nina Ottoman makes some great ones.

If you feel she's really upset/anxious to the point of becoming a problem, consult a behaviorist. Preferably a veterinary behaviorist. Here is a link to their website. Under the resources tab you'll find a list that will help you locate one near you. Some will do phone consultations if none are near your location.
AVSAB | American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior
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Old 11-26-2013, 04:21 PM
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It's not really OCD (the psychological disorder itself), but border collies do have a tendency to become obsessed over things sometimes. They're bred for extreme focus and intensity...They have to have these traits in order to do what they were bred to do, to control and move huge herds of animals that weigh over three times as much as they do. When you have one as a pet, those traits don't go away. They just get applied to other things. Especially novelty. When something is different than normal, it blows their little minds.

I imagine that's what's going on. You're pregnant now. You're different. You're giving off different scents and pheromones, you're producing new hormones. And she's obsessing over it. The best you can do is try to ignore it and give her other things to do. Use treat and puzzle toys. A stuffed Kong or something like the Kong Quest, Wobbler or one of their other puzzle toys. I have a Quest for my BC and I'll put in cereal and peanut butter and it'll occupy him for hours. You can also try doing some trick training, as Grabby suggested. She needs other things to do.

When she starts to pester you, get up and leave the room and ignore her. That gives her a consequence for it. If you tell her to stop or push her away, you're just encouraging her and giving her attention for it. If send the message that when she gets buggy, you're going to leave, she'll learn to tone it down because she doesn't want you to leave her or ignore her.
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