Hyperactive dog needs more exercise
When someone passes by our house, our border collie attacks the window blinds. Is there a humane product, like a motion-activated noisemaker, to keep her from doing this?
Answer: Counter-conditioning will help her associate those passing by with something good.
Enlist a family member or friend to help with training. Have your friend pass by the window while making a noise. Inside the house, have your dog leashed and practice a few commands that she might know well, such as "sit" and "down." As your friend passes the house, reward your dog for remaining nonreactive. The key is to keep her calm before the stimulus becomes too much.
When you're working with her on a leash indoors, she must stay with you and won't be able to get to the blinds. Pay close attention to her body language; if she looks like she might become excited and attempt to move, stand in front of her to block her way to the blinds.
When she does not react to outside noise, offer positive praise with treats and words of encouragement. Consistent and continual training will help her associate praise with remaining calm when someone passes outside.
Do not allow your dog access to the blinds when you're not home. If she is unable to behave, the issue becomes more difficult to eliminate.
Q: What other tips might help correct the problem?
A: Border collies are high energy and need a great deal of exercise, such as two 30-minute walks each day. Games such as catch, play dates and trips to your nearest off-leash dog park and dog-friendly beaches will help.
Socialization also helps keep a dog from becoming excessively territorial. If your schedule does not allow much time for these kinds of activities, a dog walker can provide the benefits of socialization and the mental and physical activity that your dog craves.
Ample activity is key to reducing excessive barking, chewing and hyperactivity.
The Hawaiian Humane Society welcomes questions by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org. Indicate "Pet Ohana" in the subject line. Or, write "Pet Ohana," Hawaiian Humane Society, 2700 Waialae Ave., Honolulu 96826.