If puppies are not exercised both mentally and physically, they will find their own entertainment.  Most of the time, their
idea of entertainment is NOT yours.  Be honest with yourself before you purchase a puppy.  Do you really have time
for a puppy?  Will your lifestyle interfere with your responsibility of taking care of a puppy?  Do you have the patience
for a puppy?  Raising a puppy until he's old enough to start on livestock is a commitment.  Are you ready for that
commitment?




If you have beautiful flowers, shrubs, small trees, or even grass -- puppies will destroy them.  I really don't think they
see them as evil beings, just fun objects in which to stalk, pounce and tear to pieces all for the sake of just being a
puppy.  The wind blows, the leaves and flowers move .... it kicks in their prey drive.  On lazy days, they are laying
beside the flowers and there is nothing better to do than to pull the petals off the flowers.  Or, it could be that it's just
fun to attack the flowers, pull the grass out by the roots and pull off every leaf growing on the shrubs.  

The easiest way to save your flowers is to keep the puppy near you.  If he starts to tear up your flowers, say to him in
a low, growly voice, NO! and then redirect his attention.  You may have to take him completely away from the flower
bed in order to get his mind off the flowers.  Another way to save the flowers is to kennel him away from your flower
bed.  Or, fence off a portion of the yard or area that he can play or stay so that he can't get to your flowers.      

Before you purchase a puppy, make sure you will like the puppy more than your flowers.   I actually know a person that
gave a puppy away because he kept getting into her flower bed.


Before You Buy




Before a person buys a puppy, they should realize that puppies can be
annoying, destructive, pooping-machines and all-out little monsters.  Why?  
Because, they haven't been taught what is acceptable and what isn't.  It is up
to the buyer to teach the puppy acceptable manners.  It is up to the buyer to
spend time, or make time for the puppy.  Don't wait for the puppy to grow up
to start his training.  Everything one does with a puppy can be turned into a
training session.  Make time everyday to teach the puppy something, even if
it's just a recall (coming when you call his name).

Buying a puppy should be a lifetime commitment.  Care should be taken by
the breeder to match the puppy with the buyer.  Many do not understand why
some breeders do not or will not give "pick of the litter".  It's nothing personal.  
Invariably, a person that wants or needs a dog that will be independent
(translates into, can work alone without the handler standing near), will
choose one that is needy.  Or a person that wants a needy (translates into
snuggle bunny, will not leave handlers side) dog will choose one that is
independent.  This choice has a lot to do with "looks", believe it or not.  Most
say they don't care what the puppy looks like as long as he works.  Then, in
the next breath, ask if the litter has a certain color, because that is what they
prefer.  There is nothing wrong with coat color, coat length, eye color, or ear
preference.  It is best to fit the personality of the puppy to the personality of
the buyer.  

Many seem to forget that puppies are like children.  They are not born with
the knowledge to know right from wrong.  It is up to the "buyer" to teach basic
obedience to their puppy, not the breeder.  So many herding bred dogs are
euthanized or returned to the breeder because the buyer failed to teach their
puppy basic social graces.  A lot of time, the puppy is called stupid and the
breeder is blamed.

This is probably the number one complaint of many dog owners. This "jumping-up" behavior has been taught to the
puppy since he was very young. As the pup is growing, he is absolutely the cutest thing alive ... and there is no way to
avoid picking him up and snuggling. There is nothing wrong with picking up your pup and loving on him. Unfortunately,
this also teaches him that EVERY TIME he puts his feet on you, you are going to pick him up. Over and over, as he is
maturing this "jumping-up" behavior is repetitiously repeated. How is he supposed to know that there is a magical
age/height/weight when he is suddenly no longer allowed to display this behavior? He doesn't. All he knows is that he's
been able to "ask" to be picked up, by jumping up on his owner, and getting what he wants. Now suddenly, his owner is
slapping him, kicking him, yelling at him, .... this does nothing but confuse and make the dog fearful.
The ways we've helped to stop this behavior before it begins is to always sit down (on the ground) and pet the
puppies. Or, scoop the puppy into a sit, wait a few seconds with his butt on the ground, then pick him up (from the sit).
The pup is not picked up when he is standing up on us and scratching on our legs.

One tried and proven effective method by a Border Collie person, when the puppy jumps up on you, take his paw and
squeeze it enough to be uncomfortable.  Puppies/dogs do not like their paws squeezed and if you do this every time
they jump up, they will quit jumping on you.







Puppies chew, it’s a fact. There are many reasons why they chew. They chew to exercise their jaws; when in pain (like
during teething); to alleviate boredom; when playing; when exploring new things; when excited, etc...

There are ways to deal with their chewing. Please do NOT slap your puppy in the face when you catch him/her
chewing. This will only cause your puppy to be fearful of you. Puppies are not born with the knowledge of knowing what
they can chew on and what they can’t. It’s up to you to teach him (in a loving, non-harmful, way) what is acceptable
behavior and what is not. When you catch your puppy chewing on something, redirect him to something else; like a
chew bone or play with him.

So many times I’ve heard, "my puppy chewed up my new shoes or backpack". A sure way to keep a puppy from
chewing on things, is to put those items out of reach. If this is not possible, when you catch your puppy carrying
something off to be chewed on, in a real happy voice tell him what a good boy he is for bringing you the shoe (or
whatever he has in his mouth), walk to him and lavish him with praise and take the object. Now some may ask, why
reward a puppy for doing wrong! Sometimes, it’s better to teach him to bring you the item he’s tempted to chew on,
therefore; you can keep him from destroying your stuff. If he thinks that every time he picks up something you are
going to smack him and yell at him, he’ll steal it and hide some where to chew. If he thinks that every time he picks up
something, you are going to love on him, praise him and be happy, he’ll bring you the item every time, thus; you can
avoid it being chewed to pieces. This also has a down side, once he learns this action makes you happy, he’ll bring
you stuff just for the attention. This method seems to work the best, at least for us it does.

Every puppy is an individual, so what works on one pup will not work on another. If the above doesn’t seem to be
working after many times of repetitious teaching, there are other things you can try. Whenever you catch your pup
chewing, take the object away and replace it with something he can chew on. Always, give a command when you do
any action. For example: when you take the object that he isn’t supposed to be chewing on, say to him in a sharp, firm,
low voice "off!"(or whatever command you can remember), then hand him the object he can chew on and when he
takes it, praise him and tell him he’s good.

It is important that every member in the family use the same method and same commands. Repetition is essential and
patience is paramount to anything else.




Puppies love to explore and try new things.  It's important for a stockdog to learn new things, explore new territory and
become acquainted with his surroundings.  Unfortunately, while exploring, he will find things that he'll tear up.  You can
either keep your things out of his reach and take-away the idea of tearing it up, give a correction, then - redirect his
attention, or teach him not to tear stuff up.   Teaching the "off" command, or whatever command that is easiest for you
to remember, is one way to curtail this habit.  Since you can't possibly be with your puppy every second of the day,
putting stuff away may be a more easier and safer way to avoid having your property shredded.  If you catch the pup in
the act of tearing up something, tell him in a low, growly voice, NO.  Do not take the item away from him and beat him
with it, no matter how tempting it may be.  This only causes him to be afraid of you and whenever he is shredding
something and sees you coming, he'll take off running.






Land mines!  Ankle breakers!  If you have puppies/dogs, then you probably either have holes or had holes in your
yard.  It is thought that a dogs hearing is 10,000 to even, maybe, 100,000 times better than humans.  They can hear
everything going on above ground, as well as underground.  They can hear grubs wiggling around underneath the
soil.  They can hear, track and know the exact location of moles, gophers, termites and any other subterranian dwelling
animal or insect.  So, they are going to dig.  It's a fact of life with a dog.  They dig because the hear noises, or smell
something, boredom, to get cool or just for fun.  Probably the number one reason they dig in the summer is to lay in a
cool spot.  

The way to redirect their attention from digging holes all over the yard is to teach them to dig in a certain spot.  Some
have purchased a small child's plastic swimming pool, filled it with sand and taught the puppy/dog to dig only in this
area.  It's rather easy.  After filling the pool with sand, hide toys, chew bones, treats, or whatever the puppy likes to
play with in the sand.  Make finding the treasure fun.  Every time the puppy is caught digging outside the designated
area, in a low, growly voice, say NO.  Take him, or pick him up (not in an angry way) to the area you want him to dig in,
place him there and with your hand dig a little and tell him, good boy.  Try to get him interested in digging at the spot
you want him to dig in.

If he's digging to lay in a cool spot.  Wet the sand in the pool, or provide him a place to get in water.  A child's plastic
wading pool, filled with water, is excellent for a puppy to play in, get out of the summer heat and get cool.   

Placing the pool of water and/or pool of sand in the shade is best (to avoid the puppy being burned on the hot sand
surface or hot water).   Also, make sure the puppy is large enough to get in and out of the pool safely (without any
possibility of drowning).
The pups are learning
to sit on command.  It
only took a few lessons
to teach them to sit.
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