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I have a 2 months old Border Collie and I taught her to fetch. She learned quickly, in about 5 minutes, and we continued playing like this.
The problem came when I threw the toy and before getting it -half way there- she urinated on the floor and I got mad and hit her hard and put her in the patio, she wouldn't get out of there for like 8 hours.

So I know it was wrong to hit her, I would say I gained her trust back after a couple of days. But the problem is, she won't fetch the toy anymore, I think any toy because I tried teaching her to go for the ball and she would get under a chair, same thing if I try with the other toy.

Have I ruined my puppy forever? Is she never going to play fetch again? I need some advice over here because I'm getting really worried, she's a Border Collie so she needs lots of exercise and it was solved having her fetching the toy, but now I don't know what I'm going to do to get her tired when she grows up.

I would really appreciate advise on this topic, thank you for reading.
 

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Dogs that pick things up quickly from positive reinforcement will pick things up just as quickly from punishment. Hopefully you will learn that lesson as quickly as your puppy learns things!

I would not recommend that you punish this dog ever again, for as long as you can help it. I'm sure you see by now that the problem is not that she's dumb or rebellious, it's that she takes punishments TOO seriously and avoids doing anything and everything that might have led up to them in the past.

Typically, you can 'un-ruin' dogs but it will take a lot more work than it will to simply avoid hitting/shouting in the first place. Here are the basic principles of how you turn a scary negative stimulus back into a positive one:

The Dog Trainer : Counterconditioning :: Quick and Dirty Tips â„¢
https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-behavior/desensitization-and-counterconditioning

Does she play with the toys when you do not throw them?
 

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She now associates fetch with being hit. So yea I wouldn't be expecting her to fetch with you anytime soon.

You should really look into hiring a professional trainer. BCs can be a very emotional breed and 1 simple slip up that wouldn't affect most dogs will rock a BC all the way to a core and cause irreversible damage. Hitting a dog because is peed on the floor is something the could very much damage a dog like that. Please speak with a positive reinforcement trainer to maybe help show you how to properly handle such situation.
 
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Dogs that pick things up quickly from positive reinforcement will pick things up just as quickly from punishment. Hopefully you will learn that lesson as quickly as your puppy learns things!

I would not recommend that you punish this dog ever again, for as long as you can help it. I'm sure you see by now that the problem is not that she's dumb or rebellious, it's that she takes punishments TOO seriously and avoids doing anything and everything that might have led up to them in the past.

Typically, you can 'un-ruin' dogs but it will take a lot more work than it will to simply avoid hitting/shouting in the first place. Here are the basic principles of how you turn a scary negative stimulus back into a positive one:

The Dog Trainer : Counterconditioning :: Quick and Dirty Tips â„¢
https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-behavior/desensitization-and-counterconditioning

Does she play with the toys when you do not throw them?
Hi, just finished reading about the counterconditioning, I think I'll start applying it now. Sounds like the best way to go, thank you :) and yes, I now know that it's of no use to punish the dog
She plays with the toys when I don't throw them, but she won't even play tug of war with me. Everytime I show her the toy and start moving it she goes under the chair or gets too calmed down and sad
 

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You've already realized how wrong it was to hit your dog, so I won't belabor the point.

Start by getting her very favorite treat in the world. Sit down beside her, and show her the toy and then give her a treat/praise/love. Do this a few times. PUT the toy down on the floor, and give her a few more treats/praise/love. Pick it back up, and just hold it close to her, let her sniff it and give her some lovin'. Put it in your lap, give her love. Do this for brief periods a few times a day, until when she sees the toy she wags her tail because she knows it means she's going to get treats/praise/love.

Keep this up for a few days, or until you are sure she's comfortable with with the toy just being in her presence, when she wags her tail when she sees the toy because it means she's going to get treats/praise/love.

End of step 1.
Step 2.

Give her one treat when you first take out the toy, so she undertands the game is continuing. Put the toy on the floor, then gently push it away - if she looks at it, praise/treats/love. If she follows it a step or two, even better. Repeat till she doesn't hesitate looking at/following the toy.

You can use the same process to re-teach her all the elements of fetch, from taking it in her mouth, picking it up carrying, bringing it back to you. She may very quickly remember how to play fetch, so it may go faster. The point is that you want to change her association with the toy/you/fetch from scary to GREAT! You do that through lots of treats, lots of praise and lots of love. No mean words, no skimping on the treats/praise/love. When she's regained her confidence in you, thats when you can start scaling back on the treats.

Good luck.
 

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Hi Asteria,

Welcome to the Dog Forum! This is really a terrific forum in which you can learn a great deal about how to raise your new puppy. I'd like to suggest some books:





Good luck and keep asking questions!
 

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She knows that toys = fun, but you + toys = punishment. So it's going to take some conditioning to get her to engage with you again.
BCs are "soft" dogs, and take any punishment very seriously. They are bred to work close with the shepherd, and as a result are quick to learn anything (good and bad). A change in your body language, or even a sigh of frustration can be easily detected.
Start working with a positive trainer, or check out some videos (Kikopup is a favourite of mine) so you can learn how to deal with inappropriate behaviour. BCs are crafty little things, so you can bet she is going to frustrate you. :)
I am the proud owner of an 8 week old BC, and today as I was folding laundry, she pooped on the floor. Then I took her out to potty and she peed. Brought her back in, and she peed on the floor. Such is life. :p
 
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Hi, just finished reading about the counterconditioning, I think I'll start applying it now. Sounds like the best way to go, thank you :) and yes, I now know that it's of no use to punish the dog
She plays with the toys when I don't throw them, but she won't even play tug of war with me. Everytime I show her the toy and start moving it she goes under the chair or gets too calmed down and sad
It sounds like the trigger for her then, where she starts suspecting trouble, is when you have the toy in your hand. This is the first thing you want to start counter-conditioning her to. When she gets really excited about you having the toy in your hand, you could move it up to tossing it, and then having her chase the toy, then having her grab the toy... all the way until she starts bringing it back to you.

Counter-conditioning is probably a useful skill to learn for this breed especially because even if you control your own behavior, you still might not be able to control all of the things she learns to be wary of: She might trip while hopping into your car, for instance, and be afraid to jump into your car the next time. Another (all-too-common) example is dog that get attacked/startled/bullied by other dogs. Some bounce right back from the experience while others begin to approach dogs with a lot more caution or even defensiveness. So even after you habituate her to fetch, I think this will be a super-useful concept/skill for you to have at your fingertips :)
 

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I have a 2 months old Border Collie and I taught her to fetch.

Have I ruined my puppy forever? Is she never going to play fetch again?
No. She's 2 months old. She'll get over it. She got over being separated from her mother, her siblings and the only home she knew, she can get over being hit once.

Counter conditioning is not a bad idea at all, but I'm guessing that even if you didn't she'd probably fetch again on her own.
 

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This will help you with housetraining her http://www.dogforum.com/housetraining/house-training-how-tos-2135/

How quickly she'll get over being wary of playing with toys with you depends on just how soft her temperament is and how sensitive she is. I had a puppy that didn't care what punishment was used, he'd recover in a New York minute, and I had one that all I did was raise my voice slightly to her and she acted like I had killed her favorite pet and ate it for lunch, after that she was always slightly wary of me but I did not have her long enough to fully repair our relationship.

I think if you follow the excellent advice that you've been given she'll come to fully trust you again so long as you do nothing else to frighten her. Try to keep in mind that she's the age of a toddler and does not have full control of her bladder, right now she likely, just like a human toddler, does not realize she has to potty until it's almost to late so she stops, squats, and pees in the middle of playing because she cannot help it.
 
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I can't give any more help, as what you've already gotten is great. What I can add to the emotions of a BC, or in my case BC mix. My doggie Tessa (see profile pic) has BC in her and she is the most emotional and sensitive dog I've ever known. She can detect when I'm having an anxiety attack before it really registers, and works to come closer to me to calm me down. If I were to yell, get mad, or generally frustrated (not at her, just in general) she will become fearful and hide. If I have an argument with a person (i.e.: they yell at me) she becomes aggressive (note: not aggressive to the point she attacks, but she body blocks and will bark with hackles up).

She's basically an emotional beacon for me, which can be good but one emotional slip up can cause her great hardship and lose progress that we've trained for. I love her, but have to be sure to control my emotional state which is hard. I too had hit her once when she was young. I didn't mean it, I was frustrated, she was being a brat and biting me, and I smacked her on the bum. Not only did I feel awful immediately afterward but we also lost months of bonding and trust because of it.

It took a few months but through counter conditioning we finally we got back to where we were prior to the 'incident', as I call it, that occurred when she was probably 4 months old.

So my advice is take it slow, use the advice given here, and always be aware that she's going to be an extremely sensitive dog that may take a bit longer than others to recover from negative hiccups in training/home life.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hey guys! Thank you all for your help, I really appreciate it!
I tried the counterconditioning and worked great! She doesn't go after the toy I first taught her to fetch though, but I noticed something interesting, I started playing with a sock and she did tug of war with me thanks to that sock! 5 minutes later I threw it like 2 feet away and she went fetch it! Later I tried with an empty bottle of water and she went fetch it even farther away! So I think she's overcome the fear of playing fetch, maybe not with the toy but I can play with her again! Thank you all for your help :)
 
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