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Need puppy help!

Sam is being difficult!

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Kirrilly Kirrilly VIC Posts: 2092
1 4 Jul 2011

Okay, three days ago we adopted an 8 week old border collie puppy and I love him to bits already but he's wearing me out! Some tips would be really appreciated.

-How long usually does it take to toilet train a puppy?

-I don't growl at him or rub his nose in it when he goes somewhere other than the newspaper, I just pat him and praise him when he goes in the right place. Is this right?

-When he's in that playful mood, he bites a LOT. When he's getting too rough I've tried tapping him on the nose gently but it doesn't really stop him. Neither does growling at him when he scratches up the wooden furniture.

Beemo Beemo United States Posts: 1259
2 4 Jul 2011
Sam is adorable. I love his eyes!
We adopted an 11 week old puppy last Monday so I am actually going through a very similar thing to you at the moment! lol.

I take Moki onto the grass where I want her to do her business about every 2 or so hours and tell her to "go do wee wees" and then praise her when she goes. That way she doesn't really get a chance to do it inside or on the veranda. I caught her doing a wee one morning inside and I picked her up straight away and took her outside onto the grass where she should be doing her business.
If she is naughty she gets a tiny tap on the bum or I get a rolled up newspaper and smack it against my hand so it makes a bang - that usually gets her attention and she immediately stops what she is doing. She also usually responds if I say "no" but if not then I pick her up and go and put her in her bed - I guess it is kind of like a time out for being naughty? lol

I have used methods similar to what you are doing with previous puppies and they worked perfectly fine. I think the time taken to toilet train a puppy can vary quite a bit, from memory my last dog took around 3-4 months to be fully toilet trained. Also remember that puppys often don't have full bladder control so there is bound to be a few slip ups along the way.
I haven't had a puppy in 7 years so I forgot how much time and patience they require haha. It is definitely worth all the effort in the end though!

EDIT: Sorry I didn't really tell you much that you aren't already doing! Though it sounds like you are on the right track already. So best of luck training your little one happy

psychokitten psychokitten QLD Posts: 340
3 4 Jul 2011
I don't know how long it will take. Luckily you've got a smart breed, so it should be less of a hassle.
As far as catching him peeing somewhere he shouldn't, I'd make a point of making a short sharp noise, then if possible dragging him to where he should be going.
With the bad behavior, whether it's peeing or scratching, clap and sort of bark his name, a really short, sharp, loud noise. Like a "Hey! Pay attention to me!" noise then immediately correct the behavior. Provide a toy if he's scratching or move him to the paper if that's appropriate.
Don't bother with the nose tapping business, I've never heard of that working.
If he's getting too hectic, just stop. Stop playing with him, stand up, hands in fists so he can't fit them in his mouth. Don't make a big deal of it, but stop responding, responding is in effect rewarding his behavior. Because dogs are pack animals, you shunning him like that speaks volumes.
Also try having a key word for when he needs to calm down, same as "sit" or "stay" should be a part of his training, add something like "settle" in a calm voice, stroking him, repeating the word until he winds down.
Thought about puppy pre-school?
Hope that helped, good luck.

xAshlee xAshlee TAS Posts: 722
4 4 Jul 2011
omg my border collies were the worst! terra has the nickname 'croc' for a good reason. haha. they are so intelligent and as adults they are so smart and can learn ANYTHING.

WELL, Terra whom i got last year from QLD - took a couple months to toilet train & had accidents every now and then. i'd hardly ever catch her just use the words wee wee and when she went on grass made a huge fuss. they learn so fast.

she use to nip at the heels real bad too... she thought she was sooo funny. even when she was out of it shed run past real fast and do a real quick one! haha.COMPLETELY ignore them! and they will stop doing bad things. they want a reaction. I clap real loud if she chases a cat or something coz its distracts them.

anyway even if you didnt read all that... dont stress! SAm, my 8 year old - didnt learn to sit till he was 6 [only as he lived on farms - not with me and no one taught him] took me 2-3 days happy and learned to paw when he was 7 - took about the same time.

THIS YEAR, since moving out - he had never lived inside and marked his territory on everything outside- HE lives inside now and is perfect. !

my point is [and why im being vague] is - BC 's are just the smartest dogs. cheeky and naughty but so much fun. love ......

OinkMoo OinkMoo NSW Posts: 1340
5 4 Jul 2011
Puppies start gaining control of their bathroom functions at around several weeks of age. About this time “bathroom visits” will become more regular. However, due to a small bladder puppies will still need to go to the bathroom about 6 times per day. By the time the puppy has reached 8 weeks of age they will have much greater control of when they go. This is also the age that a young puppy will be developing preferences on where they will go. Now is when you should start house training.

The first step in housebreaking a puppy is to take it outside frequently to use the bathroom. You should take the puppy outside right away after it wakes up, after play time, approximately 15 – 45 minutes after it finishes eating a meal, and other times totaling at least 6 – 8 times per day. Once outside, and in a suitable location, allow the puppy to sniff, pace, and explore slightly for the exact spot the puppy likes. The location you choose should have several considerations before taking your puppy there. Young puppies do not have strong immune systems, so avoid places where other dogs and puppies go to the bathroom. You should choose a puppy potty location that you can take him or her to consistently. This will make it easier for the puppy to remember why he is there, mostly from the smell of his previous visits. Many puppies may need 15 to 20 minutes of sniffing and pacing before they are comfortable enough to go to the bathroom. The sniffing and pacing is very important, however, this should not become a playtime or play place. Because of this, keep in mind the “play areas” when choosing a location.

While the puppy is using the toilet, you should repeat a key phrase such as “go potty”, “make poop”, or “do your business”. Your puppy will learn to associate this phrase with an appropriate time and location for going to the bathroom. To avoid confusing the puppy, choose a short, simple phrase not commonly used in conversation. Eventually your puppy can even learn to use the toilet on command!

Playfully chewing, biting, and mouthing of you and your clothing is to be expected from puppies,  It is not only natural, but also instinctual for puppies to chew and nip.

Here is how to help your puppy learn good bite inhibition. To start, you will need to decide how much is acceptable and when it becomes too much. Some people are comfortable with a dog touching their hands with teeth if no pressure is placed on it. Other people prefer no tooth contact at all (this is important with large, strong jawed breeds). Next, as soon as your puppy has “gone too far” let out a loud yelp and turn your entire body away. Walk away a few steps, keeping your face and eyes away from the puppy. Do not speak to him or touch him. You may feel silly doing this, however, the purpose is to socially isolate him for about 15-30 seconds. This is long enough for him to notice, but not long enough for him to forget what he did right before you yelped. If other people will be around, you need to make sure they do the same as you. If they start playing with or giving attention to your puppy during this time it will be for nothing.

hope this helps happy

rottweiler rottweiler SA Posts: 1907
6 5 Jul 2011
With the biting thing, Cargo bit reaaalllyyy hard when he was a pup and I always thought it was cute.. And then i'd think.. "he's going to grow up thinking this is okay and bloody kill me"
So i slowly taught him it wasn't okay to bite.. I didn't scold him or anything, i just tried avoiding any times or situations that he may do it.. He doesn't bite now unless you tell him too- he can like, hurt on command =/
Anthony plays rough with him deliberately to let him bite him, and then after a while says "stop!" and he does. He lets him do it for a bit as training that he can only do it when told, or when he knows it's okay.. And stops when he knows.. Potty training obviously varies, if you get on it now you'll be right.. Cargo's problem was he was allowed to do what he wanted cos he was so damn cute

Kirrilly Kirrilly VIC Posts: 2092
7 5 Jul 2011
Wow! Thanks guys. Obviously I've looked it up and research and everything, but having personal experience helps a bit more. He's being an angel today, which is nice happy

Thanks so much for all your input!

xAshlee xAshlee TAS Posts: 722
8 5 Jul 2011
make sure he learns to be by himself. Terra - my 18 month old. I was home schooling when i got her [and still am] and since i got her we havn't been apart for more than a few hours. [excpet for when my dads evil partner made her sleep outside and she cried all night ]=(

she is so protective of me and if i trry to go anywhere without leaving her with someone she knows [or giving her a bone and sneaking away] she cries and goes mad.

should have seen the way she reacted when i took her to be desexed :/ .... and sam just jumps the fences if i go anywhere.... unless he has a bone... .argh.... im home bound.

so yeah happy good luck with your Sam love

Mean people wear fur Mean people wear fur QLD Posts: 1087
9 5 Jul 2011
This isn't going to help, but I just have to say that Sam is so adorable!
I think it's great that you adopted him! I know that you have given him an amazing home and that he will be very happy with you happy

ckimana ckimana NSW Posts: 2545
10 5 Jul 2011
I apologise for the long post in advance wink


1. Pups usually don't have much control on their little bladders so it's best to confine the pup into a small(er) area.
2. Ensure the bedding/food area is separate to wear he toilets (no-one likes sleeping & eating where they pee wink)
3. Puppies will usually go to the toilet within 10 mins of waking up, playing and eating. So be prepared and move the pup to the area where you want it to go.
4.  If you notice stiffing the ground etc or circling, move him ASAP.
5. Some people like to tap the dog on the nose and say "No" firmly, but the reward system works just as well. PRAISE & REWARD.
6. If "house toilet training", there are Pee Pads available from some vets & petshops which will help in the training process. When he's ready to toliet outside, move the Pee Pad closer to the door, then eventually outside.


It's normal for them to nip/bite in their early days as this is when they are learning (smells, taste etc) not to mention teething when they're abit older. Gently tapping on the nose helps. Remember that playing with the pup immediately after he has been naughty is REINFORCING "bad behaviour" and should be avoided at all costs. To dogs the worst punishment is being ignored (dogs are pack animals and very social). Say "No" firmly and immediately move him into another room and ignore him for 10 or so minutes.


Kongs or Treat Balls are fantastic. You stuff them with treats & either smear them with Kong Fillers, peanut butter or vegemite. They are great for keeping them entertained esp when no-one's home. Also regularly rotate toys.
Border Collies are working dogs and very active so when he's had all his vaccinations take him for regular walks/play or they tend to become destructive (digging etc).

A good training book is the Dog Whisperer. It's only about $20 and you can find at most bookshops.

Most importantly when it comes to training you & your family all need to be consistent and ensure you are training the same way. Don't forget to give rewards.

You'll get there. Good luck! happy

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