08 August 2014

Banksy is almost 6 months old.

Banksy is almost 6 months old. This is the good kind of stare that we love.

Life with Banksy is a roller coaster. She's smart. She's sweet. She's wild. She is very, very wild. A wild puppy who has learned to escape from the dog run at work. Uh oh.

I am pretty worried about her staring. I try not to be, I try to be chill and redirect her to something else and keep her out of stare zones. But I do worry it will affect her life in a not so good way if she keeps it up like she does. Sometimes it's hard for her to go from Point A to Point B because she has to freakout stare at specks on the ground. Sometimes we have to walk somewhere and the wind might be blowing the specks. It's not good.

Sometimes it's fine, in a lot of places she is a normal, super wild puppy. Sometimes, she's even super calm. Although there is a lot of Yes. She. Is. Wild. If we're in a no staring zone, life is good. The wild, it can be awesome! The training and running and hiking, so fun! I love to be in no staring zones with Banksy. We can have the bestest, most amazing times when there isn't any staring. The forest has hardly any staring. We have been working on meeting more dogs, going to more places. Going places on a leash, going places off a leash. New places to walk, new places to play. In low distraction environments, she's amazing.

Sometimes, though she's not fine. Definitely not fine in a staring zone. Any place with little dusts and specks that flutter and blow and scoot. It gets better, then it gets worse. Another day it might get better. And then another day it might get worse. And some of behaviors are pretty weird, even by border collie standards. If she gets startled, she might not care. Or, she might run through the house to go attack a lamp in the other room. Lamp! Lamp! Lamp! When stuff like that happens I can't find her off switch and it's like her motor is stuck on high. I think it makes her brain burn. Of recent, vets, the dremel, the brush, and the sound of barking have all started to make her brain burn, then start to melt. I don't want her brain to meltdown!

Seeing a Veterinary Behaviorist has been suggested for the staring by a trainer who told me that most people don't have to go out and get a million floor rugs to keep their puppy from staring at dust all the time. That her staring could be a genetic sickness, not just a weirdo border collie thing. I'm a little scared by that. We're really trying to curb it. I am at least. Banksy tries, too. With attention work. Control unleashed ideas. Learning to relax. Using Dr. Karen Overall Relaxation Protocall. Learning self redirecting. Engaging. Crates. I'm working pretty hard here.

Banksy is the best puppy I could have ever hoped for and I just want her to feel happy in her brain.


Anonymous said...

well, it does sound as if you have a few challenges mixed in with all the wonderfulness. hopefully once she gets through being a teenager, and has had the time to grow a complete brain, the challenges will abate. lucky for her that she has you as her person.

Anonymous said...

I think seeking help for Banksy would be a very good thing. Compulsive behavior disorder is a very real thing in border collies. If you are interested, you could check out this behavior study, it sounds like they might be able to help:

Banksy is a beautiful girl and you are doing a great job with her. I have a house full of crazy border collie boys and a couple who are not quite normal. You are not alone. :-)

manymuddypaws said...

I have a friend who has a springer who sounds a lot like Banksy. She too has worked very hard with him- and he does play agility (very well actually!). I will direct her to your blog. Maybe she has some insight to offer!