Exploring and running about outside
Once they get to six weeks old, Border Collie puppies are so much more lively! They really begin exploring and running about outside – they are so much more fun. At this age though, they are terrors as well. The puppies are not toilet trained, so I always say to visitors ‘Please keep your shoes ON; welcome to the world of wee!’
The puppies look so cute and fluffy, don’t they? Yes, they look lovely, but their teeth are like needles and their nails catch clothing and rip skin. They get under your feet and can easily go flying if you don’t watch your step.
Border Collies have ‘double coats’. This means they have a soft, fluffy undercoat and a long (usually), silky top coat. They were bred to work out on the hills in the border between England and Scotland. So they keep warm and water and mud just slides off. Onto my kitchen floor, but hey, nobody’s perfect.
Border Collie puppies have thick fluffy coats for the first few months of life. Perfect for being outside, exploring and running about. I really like them to have plenty of space to do this, knowing that they are really safe and secure. Ideally, the door stays open, so they can be in or out.
We are fortunate to have enough space for a dedicated puppy run, with patio that can be cleaned and swept, artificial grass to land on by the door and real grass, (or mud), to use as a toilet. There is step to jump on and off, a chimney pot to run through, places to hide behind.
Puppies are good gardeners!
If you have any weeding you want doing, a litter of puppies will clear it all for you! They love to eat plants. Puppies will dig as well of course, given the chance. It’s up to you to manage their access to the garden.
Managing the space
I keep the run up until after the puppies have gone. If I am keeping a puppy, it stays up for a lot longer. My garden is more or less secure for dogs, not so much for puppies. I have lots of plants I am fond of in the main garden, but also a wall that can be jumped off. I don’t want little puppies doing that.
They will go out into the main garden, but only under supervision. Similarly, they spend lots of time in the kitchen and dining area, when we are around to make sure they are OK. They love exploring and running about in the house! We wouldn’t leave them alone with the older dogs, who can be a bit grumpy when being jumped on by puppies.
Beginning to toilet train
Part of the challenge of managing the puppies at this age is managing the toileting. When they wake up after a sleep I take them outside. I usually feed them outside, so that they can go to the toilet out there. They will choose to do this, on the whole. Running around playing is a different matter however. You can’t expect a puppy of this age to choose to go outside to toilet, can you?
It’s fine, they just keep on changing and in just a few more weeks they will toilet less often and start to have increased awareness and control. You just need to be realistic and patient! Meanwhile, let the play begin!
NB: THESE PUPPIES ALL HAVE HOMES
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NB: I am not a dog trainer, or a dog behaviourist, just a dog breeder and owner. I can only offer my opinion, based on my experience.