Last Thursday we rescued Dundee from the local animal shelter and took him home. The first few days he did great! But now he's been acting up alot. He's an Australian Cattle Dog, so he requires alot of excercise. We take him on 3 walks daily and give him plenty of play. However, his idea of play consists of biting people in the feet and arms. This is definitely NOT what we want him to do! We are firm with him, giving a strong NO! when he does bite, but he doesn't respond to "No". The only way to stop him is to squirt him with a water gun. However, he continues to bite whenever the water gun isn't around, so it hasn't been very effective. He's also been barking alot. Both in his kennel and when he's outside he repeatadly barks for no apparent reason, and it's gotten me at wit's end. Finally, after 5 days of successful crate training, we let him out of his kennel and immediately he urinates on our carpet. I quickly take him outside for 15 minutes and nothing happens. 10 minutes later once we're inside he urinates again. PLEASE help! I'm going insane!
First of all, I love the name. It's so cute! It sounds like an attitude more than not understanding. Your dog sounds like he's testing the boundaries. He really needs to know who's boss. Try all the typical things with him that you would with a dog that would need to learn his pack placement. As you take him out of the crate, put the leash on him and immediately take him outside. As for the biting, I grab Frosty's muzzle and hold him there until he gets the point. It has really worked.
A few other suggestions. First off, austrailian cattle dogs and border collies are strongly instinctive herders. This often means children and adults get bitten by them because, well, that's the way they herd sheep. The dogs try and bluff/body check whatever it is they're herding into going the way the dog wants to go to start off with, and if that doesn't work, the dogs can bite to get the point across. I strongly suspect this is why he is biting, and probably why he was given up for adoption. So let's address that first. You say the water gun works on keeping him from biting, but only when you have it. Head to walmart and pick up 5 or 10 of the 50 cent water bottles. Mix a 1/4 vinegar with the 3/4 water and strategically leave the bottles all over the place so there will *always* be one handy. Make a holster for it if you have to so you can instantly correct any bites. Squirt him and say "No Bite!" The vinegar will not hurt him, even if it gets in his eyes, but the strong scent of it is extremely offensive to dogs. Keep him on the leash at all times in the house, so you can totally supervise his comings and goings until he settles down. If he starts to pee in the house, jerk him off hte floor and take him outside, and keep him on the leash outside until he goes to the bathroom. Then give him lots of praise. If you keep him on the leash and wait until he goes potty, he'll make the connection. Invest in a citronella 'no bark' collar. If he finds the spray of water offensve, hopefully he will not appreciate the citronella spray any more, and that may keep down the barking outside. Likely, he has learned that when he barks, he gets attention. So he doesn't shut up. Call around and find out about obedience classes, it sounds like he is seriously in need of one. Finally, be aware that many cattle dogs and border collies NEED something to do to keep them from becoming bored and destructive. Consider doing advanced obedience and even agility with him once you work through these initial behavior problems, they may acutally help with the problems you're having now. Forgot you can also use the squirt bottles/gun to correct him when he barks when he is out on a walk.