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Old 12-03-2010, 02:53 PM   #1
Heidi83
 
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Vicious Border Collie?????

I would really appreciate some advice about my 4 1/2 month old collie. For the last two weeks I have been really worried that he has got a vicious streak in him. The first time I thought he was really vicious was when I told him off for chasing the cat who he is also quite nasty with, (just lucky shes quick getting away from him) and he jumped for my face and made a vicious growling noise but he didn't get me.

The vicious noise and the biting has continued when you tell him to get off the couch, when I tell him not to jump up at the work tops especially when I am preparing his tea and the cats. Its mainly when he can't get get his own way.

I have got two small children and he does come into the lounge with them but usually ends up in the kitchen within minutes because he has jumped up at them, pinched toys etc. He has never gone to bite them.

I do feel like I am making progress with him in other areas. When we first got him he was a nightmare for biting at you ankles, but that has now stopped and he responds to get a toy. He sits when prompted but sometimes its can take a while.

He also pulls on his lead and I wouldn't even think about letting him off as he seems to bark at every dog, person, cat we see.

My parents have got a japenese akita that he has been introduced to and has been fine with up to the last week. My puppy was quite vicious with him and bit his neck and side, but was fine after about half an hour.


Are all these signs warning signs that I should be worried about or have I just gone very wrong somewhere or is this just what puppys do. I have grown up with dogs but this is the first puppy I have owned.

For the last two weeks all I have thought about is whether I should rehome him and it really upsets me because he can be so well behaved and it is really pulling at my heart strings but I have got to think about my kids

Your comments and suggestions will be greatly appreciated

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Old 12-03-2010, 07:37 PM   #2
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Hi there, welcome. I'm sorry you're having trouble Hopefully we can help in some way.

Dogs do not have "vicious streaks." They do not act a certain way because they are naturally aggressive, it's either a direct result of the environment or- more often- something that a human does or hasn't done. I don't necessarily mean abuse; rather, it could be a lack of boundaries or exercise or an inadvertently taught behavior (for instance, the dog is caught off guard and snaps once and gets what it wants, so it repeats the behavior to get what it wants in the future.)

First of all, I should say that advice from the forum is not a replacement for professional help. If your dog is TRULY showing signs of aggression- you use the words "vicious" and "nasty" so I have to assume that he is- you need to see a trainer- look for one that does not use punitive methods for training but instead uses positive reinforcement and other pet-friendly training techniques. Aggression (from a trainer/handler/owner) begets aggression. Taking a dog that is showing signs that he might bite and poking him with a proverbial stick by trying to intimidate, harm or even just "correct" him physically can push him over the edge.

Rehoming him is not a good option. I hate to put it this way but it's like sweeping your mess under someone else's rug. When you brought him home, you made a commitment to him. I know you need to look out for your kids but this is a PUPPY, not a dangerous dog at this point and he needs you to fulfill your obligation to him. Until you've done everything you can, rehoming is just giving up and he deserves more than that, don't you think?

I can't give you specific advice but I can suggest that you start with Nothing in Life is Free. Your dog should not be on the couch unless you allow him onto the couch, and he needs to learn to get off when told- not asked. http://k9deb.com/nilif.htm I would also be teaching him basic obedience every day, three sessions of around 5 minutes. At 4.5 months and considering his highly intelligent breed, your dog should know more than sit-when-he-feels-like-it at this point and is capable of learning MUCH more. I feel he's probably not being stimulated as much as he could be, so try looking into games, puzzle toys, and more physical exercise in addition to the training exercises.

Lastly, because this kind of behavior is very stressful for the cat, I want to point out that you can recondition a dog not to go after the cat:

http://www.youtube.com/user/kikopup#p/c/F09632A4A4BD3DDC/2/TBvPaqMZyo8http://www.youtube.com/user/kikopup#p/c/F09632A4A4BD3DDC/5/zNAOe1djDyc
EDIT: I should add that if you decide that you cannot do any training with this dog, seek out a qualified border collie rescue to help you. Do not send him to a shelter or try to rehome him yourself. He needs to be with someone who will help him over his issues, and if it's not you then the best people qualified to do that are rescuers of his breed.

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Last edited by StarfishSaving; 12-03-2010 at 07:46 PM. Reason: Made addendum
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Old 12-03-2010, 09:40 PM   #3
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I agree with Star.


I must say, my impression, plus the dogs age, gave me the interpretation that you are describing normal untrained puppy behavior, just with very strong wording.

Puppies are very very mouthy, and if its handled wrong, they can become bitey. I don't think your dog is vicious, but I do think its time for a pro to come help you.

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Old 12-04-2010, 02:02 PM   #4
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Thank you so much for your valuable advice. After I had wrote the post he was so naughty he was literally bouncing of the walls. I went to bed with the thought in my mind that he was going to a rescue home because I just couldn't cope anymore because he had reduced me to tears again. I checked on here this morning and read your posts and it put everything into perspective. I feel like it is us that have lost our way. I have contacted a trainer from my area to come and have a house visit to get us back on track and I am going to start going to obedience classes with him.

So thank you so much you have saved him from a rescue home and as we speak he is curled up in front of the fire fast asleep. Swings and Roundabouts come to mind.

Thank you

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Old 12-05-2010, 08:22 AM   #5
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Don't give up
They can be very challenging at times but I promise you with time/effort/and work each day seems to get better and better. It pays off.

I know from experience My BC just turned 1 year old now and it's been an uphill battle but surely you'll achieve greatness with him.
They are sometimes too smart for their own good so a good level of mental stimulation is a must and lots of exercise. Once those needs are met you'll see you have a very different border collie at the house.
But you need to get that done first otherwise you'll have a wild dog running in the house

Best of luck.
We are very lucky to have all the people on this forum continuously giving us their advice. =D

Molly says don't give up. These breeds get re'homed and abandonned far too much

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Old 12-05-2010, 07:31 PM   #6
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This is why I know I couldn't do a BC, & why I also believe that they are a breed that 90% of ppl shouldn't own. They are insane!! When looking for a trainer I would find one that has herding breed experience. In the mean time practice nothing in life is free & bar ALL access to ALL furniture, don't let him run the show, its YOUR house, & YOU pay the bills so there fore YOU have the right to set the rules as I imagine you do for your kids. Your puppy is essentually a kid.... an adolesent at that (about 14) so he is going to try you.

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Old 12-05-2010, 11:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidi83 View Post
Thank you so much for your valuable advice. After I had wrote the post he was so naughty he was literally bouncing of the walls. I went to bed with the thought in my mind that he was going to a rescue home because I just couldn't cope anymore because he had reduced me to tears again. I checked on here this morning and read your posts and it put everything into perspective. I feel like it is us that have lost our way. I have contacted a trainer from my area to come and have a house visit to get us back on track and I am going to start going to obedience classes with him.

So thank you so much you have saved him from a rescue home and as we speak he is curled up in front of the fire fast asleep. Swings and Roundabouts come to mind.

Thank you
So wonderful, just lovely to hear that! You'll get there. Just have faith in your dog and when things go wrong, start looking in the mirror at what you can change and not down the leash. Remember that he's still learning and needs guidance and he can only react to what's going on around him. He's a good dog, he just needs to learn how to show it

Please feel free to come back any time you feel frustrated or want to vent. We've probably all been there! Please don't be a stranger.

dogdragoness, BCs are not insane, just specialized dogs that need the right kind of handling. I do agree that they're not for everyone, certainly not everyone that has them really should, but they are amazing dogs with a world of potential.
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Old 12-06-2010, 09:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarfishSaving View Post
dogdragoness, BCs are not insane, just specialized dogs that need the right kind of handling. I do agree that they're not for everyone, certainly not everyone that has them really should, but they are amazing dogs with a world of potential.
Sorry for the wordage, I didn't really explain myself lol. I didn't mean 'insane' to be an insult to the BC's breed, they are insane in a good way but its a lot of dog to handle even too much dog for me & don't get me wrong I do like them as dogs, I just know enough about myself to know that I don't have it in me to take one in lol.

I do ACD's now which aren't an easy breed either & have raised a jack russell, dobermans, GSD's & a few mixes & after all that exprience I still don't think that I have it in me to do a BC lol.
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Old 12-06-2010, 09:57 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogdragoness View Post
Sorry for the wordage, I didn't really explain myself lol. I didn't mean 'insane' to be an insult to the BC's breed, they are insane in a good way but its a lot of dog to handle even too much dog for me & don't get me wrong I do like them as dogs, I just know enough about myself to know that I don't have it in me to take one in lol.

I do ACD's now which aren't an easy breed either & have raised a jack russell, dobermans, GSD's & a few mixes & after all that exprience I still don't think that I have it in me to do a BC lol.
It all comes down to if you'd really really want to you could.
In my mind if you've dealt with all those other breeds and you seems to be a good dog person I think you could.
That being said, it's perfectly fine and actually a good thing for a person to openly admit "Hey, I rather skip on the whole BC situation" At least you know it and that's a good thing There are people who own bc's just because and that sometimes turns out badly... as mentioned in another on going thread here that 99% of people shouldn't own a BC hehe.

But again to the OP.
Don't give up on your dog.

Give him a chance to understand and he can be an amazing family dog.
He's a member of the family now, I always say, if you had to take care of a family member that required more attention and effort, you'd still take care of them regardless of their needs. Well Bc's are the same.
If you made the decision to bring one into your family I feel it's the family's responsibility to take care of the dog. Re-homing him won't make him a better doggy.

He'll turn around for you guys, and then you'll be soooo happy you kept him
Post on here when you get frustrated and I know many members will be able to give you different approaches to try and end up solving the situation

Hang tuff
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Old 12-06-2010, 01:46 PM   #10
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Exercise! Exercise! Exercise! They are a highly intelligent breed - they need to be stimulated both mind and body .. they do well with agility that will stimulate their mind and give them a work out
So glad to hear you hired a trainer to work with you and did not just give up ..

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