The notorious teething stage can get the better of even the most experienced owners out there. If you’ve got yourself an adorable border collie pup, you’ll have many questions about teething, when it starts, ends, and how to deal with it. This article will cover everything you need to know to make this daunting process easy and stress-free.
When Do Border Collies Start Teething?
Border collie puppies officially begin teething at around 3 weeks of age when their set of 28 baby teeth (deciduous teeth) start pushing through. By 6 weeks old, your border collie’s set of 28 deciduous teeth should have all come through.
So from 3 weeks old, your border collie would have started teething.
This means, by the time you collect your pup from the breeder at around 8 weeks old, they will already have perfectly sharpened puppy teeth, ready to cause mayhem!… lol, just kidding (definitely not kidding).
When Do Border Collies Stop Teething?
Most border collie puppies stop teething between 6-8 months of age. While it varies with every border collie, their full set of 42 adult teeth should have come through by 8 months of age. If any haven’t by this point, it’s advised to speak to your vet.
So from 3 weeks old to 8 months old, you’ll have to manage teething as it comes in various waves of severity.
Many new owners think that teething is a non-stop onslaught of pain and destruction for their puppy (and the owner). But the truth is that it comes in waves, where some weeks will be worse than others. All will be explained further below.
Border Collie Puppy Teething Timeline
Let’s run through a teething timeline of when the most significant events will occur.
3 weeks old:
Your border collie’s 28 deciduous teeth will start pushing through. This is when teething officially begins, and at this point, he/she will still be with the breeder.
6 weeks old:
Your border collie’s baby teeth would have all come through and he should have his full set. By now the puppy will be testing out his newfound gnashers by biting and chewing everything in sight. This is a crucial learning stage whereby the canine mother will put your puppy in their place whenever they bite too hard.
12 weeks old:
At 3 months old the 28 deciduous teeth will start to make way for a full set of 42 adult teeth. This will happen gradually with the incisors usually being the first baby teeth to come out and be replaced.
4 months old:
At around 4 months old the adult premolars and canines start coming through.
6 months old:
The adult molars will start pushing through from 5 months onwards and should be out by 6-7 months.
8 months old:
By 8 months, your border collie should have their full set of 42 adult teeth. 20 of these teeth will be located in the upper jaw, and 22 will be on the bottom jaw.
Here’s an excellent diagram to check out:
(the left-hand side represents the upper jaw, the right is the lower jaw).
In total, your border collie will have 12 incisors which are the small teeth located right at the front of the mouth. 4 large canines which are the fang-like teeth, 16 premolars and 10 molars.
How Border Collies Handle Teething & What To Expect
Teething has a big impact on every puppy. It’s not described as a “grueling process” for no reason.
Your border collie pup will have to deal with itchiness, tingling, pain, inflamed gums, and general irritation.
And the worst part is that this will come in waves of severity for the entire 8 months. So teething is usually a bumpy ride. Some days or weeks your puppy won’t display any discomfort, and others, he’ll be chewing like mad and exhibit dramatic changes in temperament.
Typical reactions to teething:
The increased irritation from the gums will drive your border collie to want to chew everything in sight. It can also lead to an irritable temperament and make training difficult (due to the pain your puppy is having to cope with). And when your pup is going through the worst of it, a change in appetite and food refusal can also be the result.
- Increased chewing and biting
- Lack of focus when training
- Mood swings and irritable temperament
- Increased bad behavior
- Increased drooling
- Change in appetite
- Slight bleeding from gums (occasionally)
Please note, it’s normal for a small amount of bleeding to happen, but it should not be heavy bleeding nor should it be all the time. Use good judgement and take your collie to the vet if you think bleeding becomes excessive.
How chewing helps border collies with teething:
The act of chewing is actually very important to the overall teething process and helps puppies significantly in dealing with the increased irritation.
Chewing on various textures not only satisfies itchiness but acts like a massage and promotes healthy blood flow to the gums. The increased blood flow reduces inflammation and helps the adult teeth come through on time and without issues.
The ironic point to understand is that although we as owners try to “stop” the chewing. Chewing is actually a VERY GOOD thing and we shouldn’t be trying to stop it at all. Your border collie pup will benefit greatly from chewing as much as possible.
It’s all about getting her to chew the right things, instead of your fingers, ankles, shoes, and furniture!
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Redirecting Your Collie’s Chewing While Teething
One thing to know in advance is that your border collie WILL chew things she isn’t allowed to. Your hands, shoes, socks, and chairs will fall victim at some point, it’s unavoidable and to be expected. Puppies simply don’t know what they can and can’t chew, until they’ve been trained and told many times.
That’s where you come in…
One of the most important parts of handling the teething process well is to consistently redirect your border collie whenever she tries to chew or bite something she isn’t allowed to.
You’ll find yourself doing it every single day a lot of times, and that’s normal in the beginning.
This is such a crucial practice to engage in and the benefits go WAY BEYOND the 8 months of teething. The constant redirection will teach your collie what she can and can’t chew for the rest of her life… Put in the hard work now, and it will pay off tenfold in the future. I can’t help but stress this enough.
⭐ How to redirect your collie’s unwanted chewing:
It’s essentially a simple 5 step process, check it out:
- You witness your collie pup chewing or biting something she isn’t allowed to
- Firmly call her name, startling her just enough to break her focus (but never shout)
- Give her a firm “No!” in a lower tone
- Redirect her to an interesting toy & ensure she remains on the toy for at least a 3-5 seconds
- After waiting, praise her heavily with your voice and give her a treat
And that’s it!… If it sounds simple and too easy to be true. Well, let me tell you, it doesn’t work after one try. The key for this to work lays in your consistency and it will take 2 or 3 weeks of constant redirection, several times every single day.
⭐ Why and how does this work?
This is a form of positive reinforcement training, and still, to this day, there is no better way to teach a dog a new understanding than via positive reinforcement.
This works so well because dog’s especially border collies, all want one thing, their owner’s approval. So if they know what to do to be the “world’s goodest girl,” they will do it. This is why praising your collie heavily when her focus remains on her toy is such a crucial part of the process. She will soon learn that chewing your shoes earns her nothing, but chewing her toy gets your positive attention and a treat.
I’ve heard many owners claim this doesn’t work. Unfortunately, the only time this doesn’t work is when the owner isn’t consistent enough with it. It won’t work after one or two tries, but it will after weeks.
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5 Ways To Help Your Border Collie When Teething
The best way to help your collie throughout teething is to have plenty of options available for her to chew, and for when you need to redirect her chewing.
1. KONG puppy toy (with a bonus tip)
One of the all time classic dog toys is a KONG toy. KONG toys come in many varieties, but for a teething puppy, the puppy kong toy is the best.
Kong toys are super durable and have a chewy rubbery texture to them, making them great for teething.
The hollow insert also allows for you to fill the toy with some kind of treat, and this is where it becomes powerful. Having a treat inside the toy suddenly makes it 100 times more appealing than it already was and is the perfect toy to have on offer to reduce the chances of your puppy choosing your shoes.
Bonus tip: My favorite trick is to take some dog-friendly peanut butter (xylitol-free) stuff a little inside the kong toy, and then freeze it for 1-2 hours. The frozen PB will soothe your pup’s irritated gums and your puppy’s desire to chew will be thoroughly satisfied. Of course, just be careful with caloric intake as PB is calorie-dense.
2. Ice cube treats
Ice cube treats are both great for when the weather turns hot, and for a teething pup all year round.
Ice cubes treats might not last very long but a few at a time will provide your collie with some instant pain relief. The ice will reduce her inflammation and take the edge of any pain she’s experiencing.
You can infuse meat stock, dog treats, kibble, peanut butter, bananas, or even yogurt into the ice cubes before freezing.
3. Frozen carrots/bananas
For a healthy DIY puppy chew you can take a large whole carrot or peeled banana and freeze it.
Again, freezing it will provide added pain relief to soothe inflamed gums, and will make the treat last longer in general.
I love this because it’s simple to do, effective at providing relief, and far more affordable than buying branded puppy chews.
4. Rope Toys
Rope toys are another staple for the toy box.
Rope provides a great texture for puppies to chew on and can be used as an excellent distraction when redirecting unwanted chewing.
Rope toys are also great for general playing, and it will certainly help to have a few laying around the house at all times.
Additionally, rope toys can also be frozen. All you need to do is wet them first before popping them in the freezer. This will provide quick pain relief for when your puppy is going through a wave of teething activity.
5. Keep toys on rotation
Something a friend showed me once was to keep my pup’s toys on rotation, whereby every week you put one selection of toys away and get another out.
This is such a clever and simple way of keeping your puppy’s toys interesting and desirable. This will help significantly to keep your pup interested in his toys rather than your shoes or chair legs.
After all, one of the main reasons puppies venture off to destroy your couch, is because they either don’t have access to toys, or they’ve had the same one for ages and no longer find them appealing.
By rotating two or three sets of toys each week, it’ll be like your puppy is continuously receiving new and exciting toys. I strongly recommend doing this as it will help greatly in unwanted chewing.
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Border Collie Teething FAQs & Summary
To round up the article ill run through the most frequently asked questions on teething with a short concise answer.
What’s the best way to help a border collie when teething?
The best way to help your teething puppy is to provide plenty of exciting toys and frozen chewing options. Chewing promotes blood flow which helps the overall teething process and the ice-cold temperature will provide instant pain relief.
When to start brushing your border collie puppy’s teeth?
While it’s not necessary to start brushing your puppy’s teeth until they have their adult teeth, it helps to get them accustomed to having their mouths touched and held early on. This will make brushing their teeth much easier in the near future.
How long do border collies teeth for?
Most border collies will finish teething by around 8 months of age, some a little earlier. If your puppy still has teeth yet to come through at 8 months of age it’s important to see your veterinarian for further advice.
How to stop a teething border collie from biting?
The truth is that chewing and biting is a good thing for teething. So the goal isn’t to stop them from chewing, but rather redirect chewing to things they are allowed to chew. Rotating toys to keep them new and appealing, using treats, along with redirection training is the key.
Should my border collie’s mouth bleed when teething?
While a little amount of bleeding from the gums is normal and to be expected, heavy bleeding is not normal and you should call or visit your veterinarian ASAP. Bleeding should be minimal and infrequent.
How to help teething border collie eat her meals?
If your pup is experiencing a wave of teething activity, the increased pain might cause her to refuse her food. In this case, try adding in a small portion of wet dog food to make it more appealing or pour some plain meat broth over the kibble. If you can’t get your pup to eat within 24 hours, take them to the vet.
What to expect from a teething border collie?
It’s normal to witness an unusual change in temperament while teething. This is a normal reaction to dealing with unfamiliar pain. Your border collie might become disobedient, more irritable, and difficult to train. You should also anticipate a lot of chewing activity.
- KONG puppy toy
- Dog-friendly peanut butter
- Quality rope toy selection
- Low-calorie natural ingredient treats
- Healthy teething chews
- Dog toothbrush and toothpaste
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