KieraKiera lives with a gentleman and his mother. The lady unfortunately is not well and seldom goes out. She is not really up to looking after an energetic young dog all day, but her son brought Kiera home.

Whenever six-month-old Border Collie Kiera does something the lady doesn’t want, she is shouted at. NO! Mostly she ignores her. The lady unfortunately hasn’t the mobility to quickly get up and move her away. After all, she’s not being taught what is good behaviour, only being scolded for bad. Scolding does at least get her attention under her own terms.

During the day she spends too much time creating her own stimulation. She is digging in the garden, wrecking the plants and becoming possessive of a spot under a bush. Then, when the gentleman comes home in the evening, she is over-stimulated by him. Excitement and stress causes her fly at them, attack feet, bite clothes, and to be destructive – she scratches at chairs, carpets and walls. She is deaf to NO. She barks continually at him until he takes her out. Which he does.

Throughout her puppy-hood Kiera has been learning that bad behaviour gets the attention. She has to be doing something with her active brain, after all. She is fed on a commercial brand of food known to cause hyperactivity because it contains additives and colourings. She is also give lots of unhealthy extras and taught to be a nuisance at mealtimes by being fed from their plates. She has so many unearned tit-bits that food rewards have no value.

Meals need to be regular and healthy, and treats earned. Then, when she’s doing something they don’t want, it will be sufficient to call her away and divert her onto something else, because she will realise this is when she gets a treat – not doing nothing at all or just to shut her up.

Kiera needs some boundaries. Kiera’s behaviour is so clearly a result of the behaviour of the humans in her life. People need to be consistent, calm, patient and kind. She needs encouragement and reward for the desired behaviour and no attention for unwanted or wild behaviour.