Dog getting up to mischief!

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linedancer16 | 15:10 Wed 29th Feb 2012 | Animals & Nature
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Hi! Any suggestions please? I have had a new rescue dog for six months now and he does not seem to settle when left! He is a 10 year old Border Collie (called Hamish-the name he came with!). He has never done any damage or messed or howled but he likes to get up to mischief - eg he will get things off the worktops and leave them on the floor, he goes into the rubbish bin (can even open one which locks with a catch), anything remotely edible he will eat iincluding a box of toffee and part of a bird fatball. And yes I do feed him! He is never left for longer than 3/4 hours and that only occasionally as I am retired and take him with me whenever possible. He can open all the internal doors so it is difficult to lock things away. I have done all the things I have heard about to settle him down. I dont make a big thing about going out and I leave him chews, special biscuits and toys with treats inside to occupy him and some times hide treats for him to find . He doesnt bother with toys as such. I dont make a fuss of him until he has calmed down when I come back but he still looks for mischief and I always wonder what he will have found to do next when I get back. He gets plenty of exercise and is always walked before being left. Why wont he just snooze till I get in!!!


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The above link is to a article about someone with a similar problem. Pete the Vet is quite keen on using a kong with frozen food in it to keep dogs occupied. If you google "Separation Anxiety" you might find more information.

Good luck
Trouble is you've got a very smart intelligent dog there and he will just be bored. As well as wolf's suggestion you could also try the kind of kong that they have to roll around to get the hard treats out. It can take quite a while for them to empty one of those.
Difficult to provide stimulation for him when you're not there. Bless him.
teach him tricks do obedience training... so he gets lots of brain workouts and start saving up for his school fees
Question Author
Thanks for the link. He has a two kongs but I just put treats in them not anything frozen. One he can do quite easily and the other is the 'genius' which he doesnt seem to have great success with so just leaves after a while.
I have an eight year old rough collie who gets up to mischief when we are in the next room. She once dragged a large leather pouffe into the next room and chewed it to bits while OH was watching the rugby and I was upstairs ironing. We give her lots of exercise, three times a day, and oodles of mental stimulation by hiding her toys and treats etc.
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He doesnt do anything while I'm in but he follows me round the house and settles wherever I am. He has a bit of a panic when I leave him with anyone else- eg the lady who looked after him when I was away for a weekend and my son who came to stay at Christmas and tried to take him for a walk. I think the mischief is his way of getting back at me for leaving him for a while!
Border Collie? As I've said before on this site, a border collie is not a dog, it's a very bright child in a dog costume ! Best thing to do is give him a set of house keys, the town map, and a 'What's On' guide and let him out for the day to find his own entertainment.
Failing that, he might (with luck), settle without mischief if you start with short absences and gradually build up the time away, just in case, he does this out of frustration or loneliness or anxiety.
The breed is exceptionally intelligent and requires a lot of mental stimulation and interesting exercise and he may well prefer to invent his own games rather than chew a kong or play with any toys you leave him, but that's not say you shouldn't try doing that. That's the of having one. At least he's small. My Irish wolfhounds, bored, once ate a three piece suite and pulled down all the curtains off the rails in the drawing room, and were found sitting happily surrounded by kapok!
I just had to laugh at your anecdote about the wolfhounds. My sis has one (her third), but he's very well-behaved - even though he's still a 'baby'. Sorry, linedancer - I'm not trying to hijack your thread.
The dog in my avatar, was also called Hamish, though was called Wally when I rescued him. He was exactly the same as your Hamish. It turned out that his first owner had been a nurse and he'd been shut in the kitchen for hours at a time. He used to lie in doorways to stop anyone from shutting a door and therefore shutting him in.
I can't really advise you as he was only 10 months old when I got him and he never grew out of the habit, although I was his third owner in that short time. I rescued him from his second owner who used to beat him with a broom handle and his fists. This lovely man used to like to beat his wife and Hamish would attack him when he did, so he wanted rid of him.
All I can say is that I couldn't have wished for a better dog. I have been considering getting another one, but he will be very hard to replace and it will be very hard to better my beautiful Hamish.
Oh, blubbing here SirA. XX
Sorry, ladybirder, didn't mean to upset anyone!
I'm just so pleased you two found each other SirA. He looks gorgeous, bit like a rescue boy I had.
My Dad is very keen for a 'replacement', my cat will be less than enthusiastic! We want one as near to Hamish as we can, so we've plumped for a Norfolk Terrier. The mother was apparently in season around Christmas, so it will not be long before my little Rufus will be born. Hopefully!
Question Author
Thanks for all the replies! I knew what Border Collies were like when I adopted him because I'd had a rescue one before- also an older one but she slept far more than he does after walks and when I was out. I shall just have to carry on with what I'm doing already. I've left him tonight for an hour and a half and he's been quite good. All he'd done was opened the lounge door, taken the cushions off the chair by the window and partly opened the curtains so he could see out and then presumably spent the rest of the time sitting in the chair till he heard me open the door.
I must be very lucky then, Callie is a Cocker Spaniel puppy, 7 months old, and as mad as a box of frogs! but is only crazy when I'm indoors, when I go out she goes to her bed until I return, don't leave her for more than a couple of hours though!.......
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I know it could be a lot worse because he's never damaged or chewed anything or messed or barked. Its only mischief and he's a lovely friendly affectionate dog!
he should be fine, just give him more time, he's a lively and busy dog, and so needs to be stimulated!........maybe think about fly ball or something like that?
annemollie:btw your sis will find that a wolfhound has marked phases when young. They all go through a very inquisitive, destructive,adolescent behaviour phase,at around a year old,which can last several months. It is separate from the normal chewing phase.And they grow so fast that you need to have everything edible or fragile out of reach and up by the ceiling by the end! The lad will not reach full height until 2 or so, and full size at 3 or so. Mind, in between phases they're angelic. Mentally, they are not mature until 2 years (though how can you tell?)
linedancer, he sounds to be progressing just fine for a BC, all things considered ! Good luck. Bet he becomes a wonderful companion and devoted and loyal, in which BCs are like almost no other breed, always wanting to please their master. They all have that "What's next, dad?" look, which is so endearing
Question Author
Thanks. Thats a really good description!

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