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Canine Behavior/the twilight hound


Hi, almost weeks ago my family and I baught a beautiful male Border collie from Wales. He is currently 10 weeks old and has been living with us 12 days. He isn't alloud outside at the moment but he will finish his vaccination programme next week. In the mean time we have been trying to manage his physical and mental needs as best as we can through logical food hideing toys and exercise through games such as fetch. We are also socializing him by carrying him around on village walks. He is an absolute angel during the vast majerety of the day and obeys to what he has been taught and even mouthing only occurs in gentel play and he immedeatley stops when told. However he can remain this calm and lovable pup all throughout the ealy evening (even tired and sleepy), however as soon as twilight appoaches he trasforms in to an entirely different dog. Any odediance, rules or loyalty goes out of the ceiling and we are left with a hyperactive disobediant puppy who will purposley attempt to bite your legs and feet and refuse to let go. We have tried to stop him both calmly and and demanding but he simply will not budge. When he acts this way we usually try to get him into and icolated area until he has calmed down which he usually does as soon as it is dark. At fist we thought that he was overtired but we have began to notice that this is becoming a routined occurance even if we have ensurerd he has had pleanty of rest throut the day. We have tried methods of caling him down such as placing a ticking clock next to his bed and giving him an old t shirt scented t-shirt. Should we be trying to get him to sleep through these twilight hours? Or would that just result in and even more hyper puppie ater on in the evening? We hope that things may become easyer once we can walk him and exercise him properly vut in the mean time need advice on how to manage the deamond puppie we are too scared to go anywhere near, any advice?

Have this puppy tested for PRA.  His night time vision may be compromised which would explain his heightened state of anxiety.  In the UK there are many veterinary behaviorists and government licensed (with credentials) behaviorists.  I would look for a veterinary behaviorist first, then see the list below:

Meanwhile: when the puppy begins to demonstrate this hysteria, put a house tab (long lightweight leash) on him.  Leash restraint will help him to acclimate if his sight is impaired; it will also calm him (umbilical cord).  Be sure he is left in a room with plenty of light (lamps, overhead, etc.)

This might also be a response that has been exacerbated by your frustration, confusion and negative response.  But it appears to me there is some fundamental cause: either sight related, or a strong conditioned response to fear when lights are dim.

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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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