My parents have a female border collie of 5 or 6 years old. I have lived with my parents (and the border collie) up until recently. I have my own place now. She’s visiting while my parents are on vacation.
She knows how to ask to go to the toilet. She nudges you with her nose and walks a few steps to the door. The problem is, she shows exactly the same behaviour or similar enough behaviour that I can’t tell the difference if she wants to go home. She does this nearly constantly, even waking me up in the night.
How do I get her to show me a clear difference between asking to go home and asking for the toilet?
A few clarifications:
- She loves walks. And she loves the sea. I live at the beach, my parents live further from the sea.
- She gets walked regularly, for half an hour to an hour. Before I leave for work, when I get back from work, after dinner and before bed. She gets quite a bit of exercise and playtime too.
- She gets dinner once a day, at the same time as I have dinner, as the vet recommended. She has clean water available at all times. My parents have fresh running water, but she's used to just having a bowl too.
- She actually peed inside on the first day. She was sick after swimming in the sea. She's fully aware that is not okay, though. She walked towards me and submitted immediately, without me having to say anything. She had been showing signs that she wanted to go out, but I ignored them since she had been out two hours before.
- She has lived with my parents and me for over 5 years and I moved out. I think she wants me to come 'back to the pack'.
- She has never been in my house before, so this place is unfamiliar to her.
- She is happy when outside, but restless when we stop. At my parents' house she'll sleep most of the time she's not walking or playing. She doesn't appear to be up for playing as much right now as usually.
- I don't have a garden or other space she's allowed to do her business that I can leave her in.
- I do have a conservatory. It's not too bad if she does her business in there, but not prefered. She knows it is not okay to do her business indoors. My main concern is that she doesn't do her business on the carpet, outside is secondary.
- I actually locked her in the conservatory overnight, because she was constantly disturbing my sleep. I felt really bad about that. My parents have a house with stairs that she doesn't climb, so they never get disturbed in the night. She would wake up people sleeping on the sofa, licking their faces. She never gets on the sofa or bed unless invited.
- She seems to like the conservatory, though. She insisted on sleeping there. The floor in there is quite cold and there's a breeze, which is nice with the current heatwave.