Canine Behavior/restless


We rescued a possible border collie mix pup and now that she's turned 10 months she's driving us nuts. We walk her twice a day, allow her to play with our other dogs twice a day, do training and provide her with interactive toys and chew toys. In the evening at the most, her behavior gets us really irritated. When all our other dogs sleep, she repeatedly lies down, gets up, chews five minutes on a toy, sits, stares at us, whines, lies down five minutes, gets up, checks the kitchen for crumbs, pants, lies down, gets up, chews, plays with a toy, gets up to get another toy etc. Also, can change areas to lie down repeatedly.

Every time she lies down we make a sigh of relief, but nope after a few minutes she's up again to go sniff something on the floor. All this repeatedly when we are desperately hoping to watch a TV show in peace for just a couple of hours.

She is a powerful chewer for her size, breaks toys not even my larger dogs can chew. She sounds like a nervous chewer when she chews almost as if she is releasing frustration. When it's time to eat, she often can't seem to focus on eating, leaves her food bowl to sniff around, then goes back to the bowl, nibbles, then moves again around, and finally eats lying down. When she sees a dog on walks she barks, growls and acts aggressive when we know she is not.

But the main issue is this constant staring at us, getting up, lying down, chewing, sitting, whining, sniffing the floor, for what feels like hours, and it really lasts that long because it lasts the whole show time.

Only thing that stops her is raising my voice, then she'll lie down and finally fall asleep. Do I have to do this to calm her down? I don't think it's right, but so far it's the only thing that has been working. Could she be just cranky and tired, like some kids are and needs me to tell her to knock it off and go to sleep? It's almost as if she needs me to get irritated to fall asleep! Sometimes she seems to sleep or pretends to sleep for like 5 minutes and then gets up again though. Can this be canine ADD? This is really getting annoying, and we tried chews, bones and stuffed kongs to keep her occupied, but they only last a few minutes with her. Oh, and if we don't stop her from playing with the other dogs, she'll go on almost all day pestering them to move by humping them and pawing on them; she's rude and seems to never get tired of playing. Thanks for your time! Steven


The dog may have failure of cognition but I doubt it.  She is highly stressed.  She is giving you "eye" (what the Border Collie does) and obviously has great discomfort for some reason I can't see from here.

Responding IN ANY WAY to her restlessness before obtaining the in person diagnosis of a certified applied animal behaviorist, and most likely a referral to a veterinary behaviorist for possible calming medication, is rewarding her behavior and further confusing her.  When any dog demonstrates behavior that is genetically part of the dog's type (if she IS really a Border Collie mix) and that behavior is problematic, the answer is to TRAIN the behavior in order to get "control" of it.  This requires hands on experience of a professional.  Expensive?  Yes, can be, but this is a life worth saving.  And, at her age, she's at the most frustrating behavioral threshold (some breeds and breed types take up to THREE years to settle down, even in a knowledgeable home such as yours).

To find a certified applied animal behaviorist, try the following links or call the veterinary college in your geographical area.  The situation is far too complex (because there are other dogs involved and because I can't "interview" this dog) to address in this venue:  

Canine Behavior

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Jill Connor, Ph.D.


I have spent my entire professional life rehabilitating the behavior of the domestic dog and I can answer any question regarding any behavior problem in any breed dog. I have answered more than 5,000 QUESTIONS on this site in the past (almost) eight years. If you are a caring, committed owner and need advice, I'm here for you. I am personally acquainted with my colleagues (Turid Rugaas, Ian Dunbar, etc.) who were members of an elite group in EGroups that I founded: K9Shrinks. THERE ARE NO QUICK FIXES for serious behavioral issues; not only is it unprofessional to offer same, it is also unethical. IF I ASK YOU SUBSEQUENT QUESTIONS, I NEED YOU TO INTERACT WITH ME. More information equals more credible answers and a more successful outcome. If you want ANSWERS THAT WORK, participate in any way I request. I'm quite committed to working on this site for YOUR benefit and the benefit of YOUR DOG. Help me in any way you can.


30 years of solving serious behavior problems in domestic dogs; expert in dog to human aggression; Internet columnist for for 5 years; former radio talk show host, WHPC.FM, Garden City, NY "Bite Back" (1995 through 2000). List owner, international animal behavior experts, Seminar leader: "Operant Conditioning and Learning"; "Aggression in The Domestic Dog"; "Solving Problem Behaviors" -- conducted for various training facilities on Long Island from 1993 through 2000. Former clinical director of "Behavioral Abnormalities" in conjunction with Mark Beckerman, DVM, Hempstead, New York.

Member, APDT (UK); Psychologists in Ethical Treatment with Animals

Harcourt Brace Learning Direct: "The Business of Dog Training" "The Fail Safe Dog: Brain Training, not Pain Training"

Ph.D., UC Berkeley

Past/Present Clients
Board of Directors: Northeast Dog Rescue Connection; The Dog Project; Sav-A-Dog Foundation; etc. Pro Bono counselor: Little Shelter Humane Society My practice is presently limited to forensics. I diagnose cause of dog bite, based upon testimony before the Court, for attorneys and insurance companies litigating dog bites, including fatal injuries. I also do pro bono work for bona fide rescue organizations, humane societies, et al, regarding such analysis in an effort to obtain release for dogs being held for death in municipal shelters in the US.

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