New here: Border Collie with anxiety OCD behavior Questions

Discussion in 'Border Collie' started by ed branch, Sep 28, 2023.

  1. ed branch

    ed branch New Member

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    New here: Border Collie with anxiety OCD behavior

    Hi, New here. I have my second BC from a rescue 4.5 yo female...have had her for 3.5 years. She is in her fourth series of agility training. She is dog selective (3-4 dogs she will play with) and will get extremely excited when they are together...will bark and pursue them beyond their mutual interest. She will eat dirt on the agility field while we are not active. She gets exercise and training everyday. She is noise sensitive. Does anyone have specific suggestions for redirecting in these situations?
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  3. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    Have you spoken to your vet about her behaviors? There may be a physical reason behind the dirt eating, so I would get that ruled out first. Same with the noise sensitivity - make sure it isn't a physical medical problem.

    For the dog interaction and boredom between agility runs, you might try a calming behavior. It can be different for each dog, so you'll want to experiment a bit. It could be as simple as a "look at me" and then a quiet praise. Or you may need to take her away and give her some down time - go sit in your vehicle between runs, etc.
  4. Chris B

    Chris B Member

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    I agree with the above.

    A medical check to rule out any possible medical problems

    Could she perhaps be being over-exercised. Too much can be as bad as not enough
  5. Helidale

    Helidale Member

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    ed branch likes this.
    If your vet check is OK, you might like to have a look at, 'Control Unleashed', by Leslie McDevitt, a paperback from Clean Run Productions.
    Presented as a course to reduce your dog's reactivity, and increase his focus on you. The book is very Agility related, but I found her training methods were useful for my highly strung obedience dog.
  6. ed branch

    ed branch New Member

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    Thanks everyone for your replies. She might indeed have some medical issue as she cannot readily discern the direction sound is coming from (looks around to locate). This hasn't manifested in any other direct way. We have done some of the pattern games from Control Unleashed but i do not have the book.
  7. PawWhisperer James

    PawWhisperer James New Member

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    ed branch likes this.
    Welcome to the community, and thank you for caring so much about your Border Collie's well-being! It's clear that you've invested a lot in training and providing her with a fulfilling life. Addressing anxiety and OCD behaviours can be challenging, but there are some strategies you can consider helping redirect her in these situations:

    1. Counterconditioning: For noise sensitivity, you can try counterconditioning. Pair the noise with something positive, like treats or a favourite toy, to change her emotional response over time.

    2. Agility and Exercise: Continue agility training, which can help stimulate her mentally and physically. Ensure she gets plenty of exercise and mental challenges, as boredom can sometimes lead to destructive behaviours.

    3. Noise Reduction: If possible, create a quieter and calmer environment for her when noise sensitivity becomes an issue. This might include using white noise machines or soothing music.

    4. Redirect Her Energy: When she starts displaying OCD behaviours, offer her an alternative task, like practicing tricks or playing with interactive toys, to redirect her energy.

    5. Consult a Professional: If the anxiety and OCD behaviours persist or worsen, consider seeking help from a professional dog trainer or a veterinary behaviourist who can provide tailored guidance and strategies.
    Remember that every dog is unique, and it may take some trial and error to find the most effective approach for your Border Collie. Patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement are key when working with anxiety and obsessive behaviours.

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