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Old 12-02-2015, 06:09 AM
 
5 posts, read 3,002 times
Reputation: 23

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Our border collie is driving me crazy since my youngest child went off to college in August.
She follows me around the house all day
If I sit down, she sits on the sofa, and whimpers and barks at me.
If I go into the basement for a quiet moment, she will dig at the carpet as she knows that will bring me upstairs.

She gets lots of exercise even though she does have arthritis.
She is in good shape for her age, but is hard of hearing.

When all of us (husband and 3 kids) are home during the holidays, she is a calmer girl.
She does whine and bark, but nothing like when we are alone, which is the whole day.

I feel guilty for the resentment building up inside me.
I know she won't be around much longer, which adds to my guilt.

Any advice in how to handle her? Ways to tire her out?
I prefer not to use drugs.

Thank you!
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Old 12-02-2015, 06:26 AM
 
1,706 posts, read 1,231,273 times
Reputation: 4829
What is with the resentment? Your children were/are part of your dog's pack, and now they are gone. Try to understand that she isn't intentionally trying to drive you nuts, but rather she is grieving the loss of her pack members; she misses the kids. Your routine has not only changed but the kids are gone, and you yourself may be having some emotions about that that she is picking up on. Part of her anxiety is that she is also picking up on your irritation.

Do you have a t-shirt or sweat shirt of theirs that you can put in her bed?

Get her into a new daily routine that gives her day structure and something to look forward to. Spend quality one-on-one time with her. Teach her new fun tricks that will give her a sense of accomplishment, even if it is just spins or hand touches or playing hide and seek.

Above all, be patient with her. She has been through a lot of changes as a result of the kids leaving, and she is likely trying to figure out how she fits into your household now. Creating a new structure to your day that includes spending quality time with her will help with that, as will time.
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Old 12-02-2015, 06:50 AM
 
761 posts, read 640,635 times
Reputation: 2229
@Oreo, I wish I had your problems. I lost my wonderful, faithful, Sheltie, Toby back in March.
He followed me everywhere and was always checking my feet out to see if they moved. If they did, he was up and after me. On the couch, in the bed and closet and even used to grab my towel and try to play when I was drying my hair. He barked. All Shelties do....and I miss it.

He died from liver cancer and I miss him every day. I would gladly have him back if he were healthy to shed on my rugs and floors, lick my feet (ughh...I know), chase squirrels and bark like a maniac. But I can't, you see, he is gone forever.
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Old 12-02-2015, 07:41 AM
 
5 posts, read 3,002 times
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Oh, she is not ignored....the constant barking and whining all day long prevents that...

She can sleep in my daughter's bed, so she has that smell to comfort her, but she chooses to sleep with us.

We play and exercise throughout the day---as much as she wants.

She never bonded with the kids really--I have always been the one for her. She has never been a loving dog, but fun and energetic. I know where you are coming from elliotgb, my last dog was the most loving collie in the world.

I am hoping some border collie veterans could let me know things that worked for them?

I'd like to help her calm down so I can enjoy her while she is still with me.

Thanks for responding...
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Old 12-02-2015, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Lake Country
1,961 posts, read 1,579,766 times
Reputation: 1801
Quote:
Originally Posted by oreooreo View Post
Our border collie is driving me crazy since my youngest child went off to college in August.
She follows me around the house all day
If I sit down, she sits on the sofa, and whimpers and barks at me.
If I go into the basement for a quiet moment, she will dig at the carpet as she knows that will bring me upstairs.

She gets lots of exercise even though she does have arthritis.
She is in good shape for her age, but is hard of hearing.

When all of us (husband and 3 kids) are home during the holidays, she is a calmer girl.
She does whine and bark, but nothing like when we are alone, which is the whole day.

I feel guilty for the resentment building up inside me.
I know she won't be around much longer, which adds to my guilt.

Any advice in how to handle her? Ways to tire her out?
I prefer not to use drugs.

Thank you!
Take her to your vet for a thorough checkup and be sure to describe her behavior changes. Her behavior could be related to your youngest child leaving home or it could be coincidental and due to another cause. Canine cognitive dysfunction is a possibility considering her age and behavior.

My three Aussies follow me around the house constantly. That's what many herding breed dogs do. The barking and whining indicates she is unhappy about something for sure. Try these on for size.

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Natural Remedies for Dog Anxiety | Care2 Healthy Living

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Old 12-02-2015, 11:44 AM
 
5 posts, read 3,002 times
Reputation: 23
Our vet is at the Cornell Clinic and I asked her about Canine Cognitive Dysfunction last week.
She did not feel she had that. This behavior is specific--it only occurs when we are alone.
Cognitively, she is still very sharp---knows when it is mealtime and barks at me to feed her; watches for the mailman and barks when she sees the mailflag go up; barks for the cat to be let in and out; etc...

She is a rescue and has always been a puzzle to us.
She is very smart and most everyone who knows the dog thinks she is just playing me due to boredom.
We tried the vest when she was quite young and afraid of thunder, but she didn't like it.
Due to her deafness, she is no longer afraid of thunderstorms. I always felt that was something she sensed, but in her case that problem disappeared.

Like Jumpindogs says, she is a herder and that has never bothered me. I love to have my dogs around me. But she is like having a toddler in the house who never takes a nap, she only rests with one eye on me at all times. And the incessant barking and whining gets on my nerves. I can't close the door to take a bath. She has to be in there.

She loves to ride in the car so that breaks up the day for us. I will try those other remedies you listed.
Thanks for the responses. I appreciate it!
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Old 12-02-2015, 09:27 PM
 
Location: Lake Country
1,961 posts, read 1,579,766 times
Reputation: 1801
Quote:
Originally Posted by oreooreo View Post
Our vet is at the Cornell Clinic and I asked her about Canine Cognitive Dysfunction last week.
She did not feel she had that. This behavior is specific--it only occurs when we are alone.
Cognitively, she is still very sharp---knows when it is mealtime and barks at me to feed her; watches for the mailman and barks when she sees the mailflag go up; barks for the cat to be let in and out; etc...

She is a rescue and has always been a puzzle to us.
She is very smart and most everyone who knows the dog thinks she is just playing me due to boredom.
We tried the vest when she was quite young and afraid of thunder, but she didn't like it.
Due to her deafness, she is no longer afraid of thunderstorms. I always felt that was something she sensed, but in her case that problem disappeared.

Like Jumpindogs says, she is a herder and that has never bothered me. I love to have my dogs around me. But she is like having a toddler in the house who never takes a nap, she only rests with one eye on me at all times. And the incessant barking and whining gets on my nerves. I can't close the door to take a bath. She has to be in there.

She loves to ride in the car so that breaks up the day for us. I will try those other remedies you listed.
Thanks for the responses. I appreciate it!
Some BCs can be a bit...shall we say...eccentric? Not necessarily playing you but obsessed with an idea or an object, etc. If people who know your dog think she is bored then perhaps she is. BCs do generally require much more mental stimulation than most other breeds. She can't help it if she is a brainiac. And obsessed.

Hopefully the interactive toys will help.

You mean some people take baths without their dogs either staring at them or lying down right next to the tub?!
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Old 12-03-2015, 07:32 AM
 
13,696 posts, read 13,632,565 times
Reputation: 39934
Look up some of the posts on here about stuffing and freezing kongs for your dog's meal.

I work from home and my nearly 16-year-old border collie starts to bark if she gets stuck in another part of the house from me. And if she doesn't see me leave the house, she'll drive my roommate crazy with her barking while I'm out.

It's a combination of senility, uneasiness regarding her own declining health, changing situations and separation anxiety. When they get to be this old, you just have to accommodate it.
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Old 12-03-2015, 05:13 PM
 
Location: West Virginia
12,450 posts, read 31,568,814 times
Reputation: 8157
Got any teens in the neighborhood? Maybe you could ask them if they like to come play with her. I wasn't allowed pets like a heat seeking missal & would look for dogs in my neighborhood to play with Not saying you cant play with her you can BUT sounds to me like she needs a kid fix
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Old 12-03-2015, 10:45 PM
 
Location: Canada
1,403 posts, read 854,350 times
Reputation: 4478
I'm a BC owner but not a veteran (this is my first, and he's only 4 yrs old). I do know that this breed can tend to be a bit 'clingy' if allowed, but obviously this is new behaviour for her. I'm guessing it might be one of a couple of things; either she has developed an anxiety of some sort - the change in the household with your children leaving, even if she didn't seem too bonded to them, might be a huge stressor for her - or there is the possibility of a cognitive disorder developing. I know this latter suggestion was already mentioned and you stated that your vet didn't believe it to be the case, but how far did the vet investigate? Was your dog tested to rule it out, or was the vet saying this based upon what you'd told him/her about the dog's sudden change in ways?

My sister's last dog (a sheltie mix) began acting a bit oddly when she was around 13, with my sister telling me that Lassie had begun sleeping downstairs all day, and, annoyingly to her, whining and barking at my sister every evening for no apparent reason. She'd pace back and forth and whine, didn't want to be let out, had been fed and walked, etc., yet she kept it up. Every evening. When I asked my sister if she'd told the vet about it she said yes, and the vet wasn't concerned that anything neurological was going on. Yet one weekend I had to dogsit for my sister and I took my dog and Lassie out for a walk, a place where I'd taken Lassie many times in the past when she'd come to stay with me. Both dogs were off leash and exploring, as usual, but then Lassie suddenly began wandering off. When I called her name she began to run away, so I made my dog sit and stay while I chased her across a field, a street, and another field where I finally caught up with her. And when I grabbed her collar she looked at me, and I swear, for a second I'm sure she didn't have a clue who I was. (I told my sister about this when she was back, but unfortunately she never did a follow-up with the vet about it.)

If it isn't CCG, then consider that your dog might have developed an insecurity because of the change in your household. Since she's an older dog, also consider that many things which may not have affected her in her prime, such as fears and insecurities, might affect her quite a bit now. Perhaps she began feeling anxious once the children were gone, and now, whenever her "family" is down to just you and her, she's feeling abandonment (separation) issues, even though you are there.

I'm really not sure what to suggest since I've never dealt with this type of anxiety in a dog myself (separation anxiety, yes...but not when a person is home and the dog is still experiencing it). Perhaps setting up a regular daily routine with her - if possible - might help her to work through it? Some play time, massage, then give her a large juicy bone or some other type of high-value, long-lasting treat whilst you go about the house (preferably in a crate, so she can't decide to get up mid-treat and follow you), along with more massage time in the evening might help. You might try some of the Bach's Rescue Remedy formulas for dogs to see if that might help too. They're flower essences, all natural, and are supposed to help a dog calm down if they are in an anxious state.
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