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Shocking Behaviour from BC

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Devil-Dogz, Apr 24, 2011.


  1. Devil-Dogz

    Devil-Dogz PetForums VIP

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    My BC for the most part is a dream dog - and is a joy to own (hes now 4 days of 10 months!).

    - only I feel a new problem is starting, one I am not comfortable with :(

    Yesterday had the dogs in the garden (the gardens being done so people are in and out!) a friend from over the road popped in was stood with us for about 30 mins the other side of the temporary fence and lent over to give me a cuddle before leaving and he flew at her, barking his head off I was totally shocked, as was my friend who has seen him since he was a pup. I yelled 'get in' and think I did just in time, I am not sure if he would have connected with her or not if given the chance.

    Today mum chucked a towel at me and before I could catch it to put in the washing machine - he did just the same as the night before, totally went mad at it!

    I dont understand where this has come from, or why! Is he 'protecting' ??
    any advice would be great, as this is something I dont want happening, needs stopping now.
    - I have always felt I had total control over him, but both times, this behaviour was totally out of the blue!...:(
     
  2. Old Shep

    Old Shep PetForums VIP

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    Could this be relevant?
    I don't know enough to advise you, but that may have a bearing on his recent behaviour.
     
  3. Devil-Dogz

    Devil-Dogz PetForums VIP

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    I personally dont think so, hes always been fine with people - we dont live in a quite house as it is, he loves people and will find any chance he gets to be fussed. He was out with us the whole time we stood talking but it seems as soon as she went to touch me, thats what triggered it!
     
  4. Old Shep

    Old Shep PetForums VIP

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    When the plumber came to sevice our boiler once, my BC brought him his ball and the plumber willingly threw it for him the entire time he was sitting on the floor working on the boiler. The dog chased the ball and brought it back repeatedly for half an hour. When the plumber was finnished and got up to go, my BC nipped him on the thigh!


    I;m sorry, that's not much help either. I think sometimes collies have thought processes which are so complex we can't easily understand them.
     
  5. Devil-Dogz

    Devil-Dogz PetForums VIP

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    Their buggers arent they - always said I loved a challange :rolleyes:

    I shall just have to keep a very close eye!
     
  6. ninja

    ninja PetForums VIP

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    Herding instinct??
     
  7. Old Shep

    Old Shep PetForums VIP

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    :lol:

    I think so, That's probably why, when a neighbour came over with a parcel and we stood talking at the door (with Shep peeking out and wagging his tail at her, while she stroked him), when she left and walked down the path he ran out barking furiously at her and nipped her on the heel!

    Bl**dy collies!


    Sorry, DD. No help to you again!
     
  8. candysmum

    candysmum PetForums VIP

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    Sounds like he is protecting you I watch Victoria Stilwell with a dog the same as you described and he was protecting his master etc once the owner was a bit firmer etc dis some of the exercises she gave him
    He relaxed might be work showing him
    Your top 'dog' and you protect him not the other way??

    Hope you can solve it Hun x
     
  9. Savahl

    Savahl Guest

    sorry no advice for this really...could be a combo of his teenage terrors with a bit of protection, maybe try a bit of desensitisation of people making physical contact with you in little bits (small at first, just arm touches etc) with the dog around so he gets used to it without feeling he needs to protect you?

    Its not something iv ever witnessed to be honest I hope someone a bit more learned comes along :eek:
     
  10. lemmsy

    lemmsy PetForums VIP

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    I don't think ninja was far off the mark actually.

    You need to think about what you get in the BC package. Yes, your dog has been heavily socialized, trained etc BUT we are talking about instinctive and hard-wired behaviours.

    Collies are instinctively sensitive and reactive to movement. Their desire to control movement is what makes them such masters in their field of work.

    Often a well socialised dog will become accustomed to normal human movements that they are habituated to during socialisation. However, many urban collies may struggle with movement that "isn't quite right" (or something that they've not been socialised around). People using crutches, people with strange gaits and any different or sudden movement may often trigger such a reaction in a WSD lines collie. To them, the movement "isn't quite right" and so they need to "cover it" (nothing to do with dominance or any of that lark- this is what they are BRED TO DO).
    Such instincts combined with factors such as spookiness or fear often means that you have a dog that learns to be even more sensitive and reactive to movement than a more confident dog.

    The best way(s) to avoid movement triggered-herding type behaviours in urban settings is to:
    1. Make sure that the dog has a suitable outlet to safely perform instinctive behaviours.
    2. Train and heavily reinforce a new behaviour around "urban triggers"
    3. Whilst you are doing above (2), avoid exposure to situations that will allow rehearsal and reinforcement of instinctive behaviours.
     
    portiaa likes this.
  11. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    And as Old Shep pointed out, DD's dog likely had a pretty frustrating day with the garden work going on.
     
  12. Houseofpets

    Houseofpets PetForums Member

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    We have a 2 year old collie and like yours she is perfect in almost every way! (Have just posted a behavioural question re her growling), however there are my Husband, me and 2 teenage girls in the house and whenever we 'mess' around she will go absolutely bollistic - she has never bitten but will bark and spin and do all sorts of crazy behaviour.

    She will also bark at us if we are laughing - it doesn't stop us doing our normal family laughing and messing around but sometimes we do have to shut her in the kitchen as she is particularly protective over the girls and hates us tickling them. Having said that I like the protectiveness of them as one of my Daughters was walking her recently and another dog walked past my Daughter and growled at her, my BC was straight in there and didn't draw blood but gave the dog a very stern warning (owners of other dog thought it was funny that their dog was behaving so badly)!!

    I think this is a breed instinct as Mother in Law had one as the same thing happened with her gas man as happened with 'old shep' post. It's just something we have learned to live with really.
     
  13. Jenny Olley

    Jenny Olley PetForums VIP

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    He was protecting, but himself not you. He feels under threat because of the people in and out of the garden, as the person leant over to hug you he just saw the leaning over, saw it as a hazard and reacted. dogs hate being leant over they see it as a threat, just because most of them most of the time don't react, is a testament to the nature of the dog.
    re the second incident, he was probably still in a high state of arousal from what had happened previously, and the people in and out of the garden, a selection of bite cues came together and he again reacted.
     
  14. Jenny Olley

    Jenny Olley PetForums VIP

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    when the plumber got up from the floor he became a bigger hazard/threat, so he nipped him. He was probably not 100% happy with him while he was down on the floor, but as we all know a bc/wsd will never let a bit of fear get in the way of getting someone to throw a ball. The biting as they get up to leave is seen in all breeds when a dog is fearful, not just herders.
     
  15. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    I've seen territorial type behaviour which seems more down to urge to harass encroachers than fear of them. Actually it's the tradesman who turns and flees who's most likely to be nipped, presumably triggering chase instincts. A reason why BC's tend not to be rated as the most suitable family pets and there's a risk without lots of exposure from puppyhood of them nipping playing children.
     
  16. northnsouth

    northnsouth PetForums VIP

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    This can be employed perfectly on children reluctant to go to school or tidy their rooms:D:D
     
  17. Jenny Olley

    Jenny Olley PetForums VIP

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    Its probably just our definmitions of fear that differ, my theory would be why would a dog of any breed or type want to harass encroachers on their territory, therefore putting themselves in a state of conflict, which as we know no dog undertakes lightly, unless they are fearful.
    By fearful I don't mean the dog is s**t scared of humans in any given situation, but in this situation they are, they do not like people they don't know or know well, or people who act, walk, talk or behave funny, or people who upset the balance of the home in their home.
    They are "back yard Dans", daren't face the front end, but will whip in for a nip as you leave, so hopefully you don't return in a hurry, and any breed/type of dog will do it, and to any visitors, its just people who have dogs which behave like this don't get many visitors, just the poor tradesmen.
     
  18. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    Same reason, I evaluate and possibly intercept strangers encroaching on my territority without a legitimate purpose; they are out of place and don't belong close to my "den".

    Alert dogs, act "on watch" by barking when they hear something, I've seen plenty of Collies dash about excited around delivery people and that is likely self rewarding when they leave. Are Collies fearful of a single sheep, or wary and calculating when stood up to but perceived fleeing triggers pursuit?

    Once the dog's frustrated or highly excited, then a false move, can easily lead to a nip. Even with less nippy dogs with generally placid reputation like Golden Retrievers, you can find yourself on the end of predatory chase behaviours in the wrong circumstances.

    If fear was the motivation for all aggressive behaviour why would so many dogs chase squirrels, who pose no threat to them?
     
  19. Jenny Olley

    Jenny Olley PetForums VIP

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    as you know when a dog chases a squirrel it is in prey drive, I don't believe a dog biting a person in its home is doing so in prey drive it is in defense drive protecting itself from a peceived aggressor/threat, which is why it nips and out. If it were in prey drive it would be a whole different story, with a full mouth grab bite, and hold.
     
  20. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    And when they nip people running away?
     
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