I am very new to the world of Border Collies. I have cats and have been looking to adopt an active dog that would be respectful of cats and would enjoy long walks with me. Most of my cats are special needs - deaf, one eyed, tripod, a cat with Cerebellar Hypoplasia...I have been doing rescue and ended up with 8 that were not quite adoptable.
Anyway, I was looking to adopt a dog and was interested in deaf dogs due to my previous experiences with deaf animals. A rescue friend from BDRA (Blind Dog Rescue Alliance) alerted me to a family looking to place their BC. The people were divorcing and needed to downsize - they had 4 dogs total. Cassie sounds like a perfect fit for a beginner like me - I fostered 3 dogs in the past but by no means a dog rescuer or expert, more like an average Joe when it comes to dogs. Cassie's mom was a vet tech and Cassie was a young (2 yrs old) sweet dog that just needed a home and attention.
I met with the dad half way , 2 hr drive for both. Cassie lived with two cats, so that was not a problem. Her prev. mom mentioned dust biting and said that it was minor and due to boredom. Okay, I figured we will work on that.
Well, when I brought sweet Cassie home, I realized that her fly biting is...well, not stopping. When we walk, she focuses on sniffing and looking around and does not snap her jaws a lot. But when she is relaxed or anxious, she starts going after invisible flies a lot! She snaps her jaws with much enthusiasm and I am not sure if these are small seizures or her being OCD (her prev mom thought OCD).
I brought this up when talking on the phone with prev. dad and he said that 'Oh yeah she does that a lot...and there was something else I forgot to tell you...she gets these horrible night terrors..used to be every night and now - every 3 to 4 nights'. Wow.
So, night comes around, and it did happen, twice. The dog seemed to be fully asleep and not fully out of it, and whimpering and screaming in her sleep. Once she is awake, after the 'episode', she is very agitated and excited and does whimper for a few minutes, and then back to normal. I guess, due to stress, she had the first two nights very bad night terrors...then, two nights of nothing, and last two nights, they are back - not as loud, but plenty loud - I wonder if the neighbors can hear, they probably can. Seems to happen when she is in deep sleep and since she is deaf , she cannot hear herself and probably continues.
I have a vet trip scheduled and blood work, in a week. I am very discouraged as if this is going to continue...well, I do care for a dog and willing to go great lengths, but I do not know if I want to commit to years of screams at night... That, and her fly biting, I am worried that the cats - I have 8 indoors! - will not get used to her because of the unpredictable, to some extent, behavior...
The dog is super sweet, smart, loves walks, house trained, absolutely gorgeous - white and black, 55 lb. Just not sure if these behaviors are common in the breed, and whether there is a 'fix' for that? For a newbie owner, this sure is overwhelming...
I am looking for advice ...on how to manage the behaviors, what your thoughts are about these behaviors, etc,etc....any input is greatly appreciated.
Sounds like you have your hands a bit full of BC. One the bright side it is just GREAT that you are looking for help and willing to try. The air biting seems to me like of an OCD or Obsession issue to me. I put a link below to a topic in the book of Border Collie that deals with that issue and may help you. As far as the nightmares I have no idea hopefully there are others here that can offer some help on both issues. I will be looking forward to see what is suggested.
Thank you for the link, I will definitely read through that. The night terrors have subdued - she is not as loud (but still loud and whimpering a lot) and doing it once a night instead of two. Seems like stress and anxiety do intensify it.
Perhaps these suggestions might help your dog's anxiety level a bit! Adjusting to a new household and routine takes a while for any dog, and may be more difficult for a sensitive dog like a BC, who may have had some bad experiences before you got her. Best of luck to you and your girl!