We brought a beautiful 6 month old male home from a ranch the end of July. Murfi apparently has had no socialization of any kind. He does not show concern or agression with our cat or grandchild. He stays put, shows no affection. He will accept it, but does not reciprocate, no hand nudging, etc. He will sit by you, but does not come to you. he likes to follow us from a distance, and prefers we follow him. when he tires of this, he sits and waits to be picked up by my husband (he balks at me) and carried to his pen or into the house. He did chase the deer the other evening, but was not being agressive. We do not have animals for him to herd, but we have acreage for him to run and play, as our previous border collie did. (he died at 1 1/2 yrs old of a bacteria a few months ago). Help, please. We have a great home to share with him if he would just accept it. He has lost the confused look he had for a few weeks. he has done well in the house, with only a few accidents, but does not tell us he needs to go out. will not play with toys like our other dog loved to do, but has torn up a magazine left in his reach and chewed the zipper from his bed.
It's going to take time. He wasn't socialized properly and never taught how to play. Start teaching him interactive things. Take him to obediance classes, agility when he gets older, Rally-O, etc., anything that makes him work and be interactive with you. It will help a lot with the bonding. It could take awhile for him to come out of his shell.
If you have the means to do day care, try that too. It will really help him learn to interact with other dogs and he might even learn to play with toys from them.
Good luck with his training. Be patient. It'll be worth it in the end.
PS: I'd nix the deer chasing ASAP. Aggressive or not, this is not a good habit and can get him shot depending on where you live.
Lucinda Mae - The princess - adopted 8-4-06 Grady White - Pigpen - adopted 8-11-08
Like I2A said, you want to make interacting with you a good thing. So, one of my recommendations would be that you hand-feed him really tasty treats (like cheese or jerky or dried liver) and perhaps once he appears comfortable with this begin making a game out of it. If he does not act very interested in yummy treats, cut back his regular food just a bit.
Remember that he is not and will not be your old dog. As you grow into the relationship you will discover and appreciate things about him that were not the case with your other dogs. Enjoy and appreciate these things and relax a little if he is not like your old dog in some ways.
I agree with the other posters, that this is just going to take time. One of my friends had a dog that came from a neglectful situation. It had been tied up in the previous owner's backyard and the collar had become embedded in the dog's neck. Anyway, because this dog hadn't been abused per se, there was no aggression toward people. But because the dog had never had any social interaction with anybody, he just regarded my friend and her other dogs as if they were pieces of furniture...essentially nonexistent. It took this dog about a year, but slowly she learned that people and other dogs could be fun and you could count on them being there for you day after day. In that year's time, it was the difference between night and day. So just take it slow, don't force anything on your new pup, just let him hang out and get to know the ropes. I'll bet by next spring, he'll be a brand new dog!
Thanks to everyone, very good advise. Murfi has taken a few "baby steps" in interacting. You can see it in his eyes that he wants to understand what is going on. He has started taking treats and licking my hand, and peaking out from behind the sofa to see what we are doing. He seemed terrified to go outside this morning (he sleeps indoors in a crate that he loves). Husband sat in the doorway with him, then finally carried him out so as not to shove him. he bolted around the house (its ok, we are fenced) then looped back and was ok. He does have a game of following us from a distance and watching us. We are not new to dogs, just this behavior, but seems we are on the right track. We will follow everyones' suggestions.
Hello! I sent this post to a dog trainer friend of mine -- and she added the following suggestions: _______________ " You might post that she should be hand feeding this dog ALL his food, not just treats. Also I'd put a drag line on him so that they can pick that up and connect with him instead of him following them around on his own. Same thing about them following him. I would definitely teach this dog clicker stuff, tricks etc." ______________
A drag line that we have used in the past is a light cotton clothes line attached to a collar clip, with a small knot in the end (so it doesn't whisk through your fingers when you pick it up) about 5-6 ft. long.
Wanted to update everyone on Murfi. he turned 1 year old on Saturday, and while he is still not the dog he can be, he has made great strides. We keep him on a line when walking and he will walk right by us, up to us and beside us. He loves to run in a big circle on the line ( makes me dizzy, but not him) and in a large fenced area rather than let him run the 10 acres. he sleeps in his crate inside at night with the door open. He no longer has a confused or "disturbed" look in his eye. He licks us, but still does not nudge for attention. He likes yogurt and will eat from out of our hand, IF we are not standing over him. his "sister" Andie has made a world of difference. She is 8 months old, has taught him to play. unfortunately, she is a barker, and is turning him into one, but we can deal with that. He still has some "threshold anxiety" but knows "outside" inside" "kennel up" "stay" (to take his rope off). He still drools buckets in the car, but enjoys riding. Thanks to everyone for their help. we are still working with him, and will continue to do so. If anyone sees any ads for dogs outside of Fedora or Lexington, Texas, pay attention that its not from the ranch we got him from. that man is disturbed. Unfortunately we have no one to complain to. he is not registered that we know of, and mainly sells through the Austin Statesman.
Well, its been one year now since we got Murfi. We hired a trainer to "train us" in Feb for lessons, and it really helped. He now has a very intellegent look in his eyes. He is still skiddish, but loves to run back and forth from his pen to our bed in the early morning, alerting us that the female wants out of her pen. We have not been able to take them off the lines, as we now have a herd of 10 bucks roaming the land. but he will go to the kennel and back in the house on command. Thanks to those who responded. Its been a hard year, especially on my husband, since Murfi was so scared of him. He still is not an affection seeking dog, but loves the attention when it comes slowly. He also enjoys a recent addition to the clan - a black and white kitten that we tell people is his daughter-she even has the white forehead streak and white feet. He has started bumping us in the behind to nudge us along.
Ohhh, poor guy! He fell in to a big pot of jam when he ran into you two. Please be patient. But ALSO, take the initiative. He might not feel like it is okay to be by you while you sleep. Invite him! Also if you can swing it, mom or dad or both, try to steal some doggie-on-mommy/-daddy time. He needs to feel like he is VERY IMPORTANT, INTEGRAL part of your family. This breed can be very sensitive - make lotsa effort to include him and that means sleeps with you (or at least in the same room).
Some ways you can respect your Border Collie/mix are to give him/her permission to be themself. This breed gets its self esteem from being able to take care of others (that means YOU and your family). So, respect him/her when he/she barks and YOU don't hear anything: Respect the alert, don't make a big deal about "checking it out" BUT make it obvious that you know she/he might have heard something YOU didn't hear. Easily walk around, peek through blinds, and after you both have trotted around making sure all the doors are locked, etc. a big... *THANKS for telling me* goes a long way. Once you have determined everything is okay, say something like, "Thanks, I checked it out, it's okay right now and let's go nigh-night." (or whatever lingo you use to say let's go to bed). I HOPE YOUR DOG SLEEPS INDOORS.
*I THINK* the best thing you can do with ANY breed of dog is to let them know that you SEE them, acknowledge their presence. Every living soul on this planet wants to be validated. This is especially true with BCs/all herding breeds. This breed in PARTICULAR needs to feel noticed, needed, and they need a clearly-defined job. You don't need to be a Frisbee-champion-pair to have a loving relationship with a BC. You DO need to be able to spend loads of time with your dog, treat him/her like you would your 5- or 6-year-old child or beloved niece or nephew. This is a relationship that you may never get the chance to know if you don't finally just let this dog IN to your heart. Let the dog in.
A loved dog will follow you without a leash. Please give your family a loved dog. xxoo
wanted to give update on Murfi. he has grown so much! sleeps at foot of bed on his own bed, weighs 70 lbs (thyroid, but is on meds). more loving than ever. Still scared in open spaces and situations, but tries hard to deal. he loves to go for rides,just does not like being at a new place. runs free to play but comes and checks that we are "following" him. thanks again for all the concerns and help. I will post his picture when can figure out how. Little 'sister" Andie is only 38 lbs, attention grabber and show off. they blend beautifully together.