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slightly naughty Border Collie!

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by aedlin, Jan 22, 2008.


  1. aedlin

    aedlin PetForums Newbie

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    Hi everyone

    This is my first posting and I am new to the forum, I hope you can help me please!

    We have a Border Collie, Ben, that is just 13 months old, he was a very sweet puppy, everyone loved him and he has been great up until a couple of months ago! He is fantastic with people and we have him under good control, many people comment on how good an obedient he is. He was neutered at around 6 months old but now he now seems to be a bit aggressive towards other dogs. His aggression is that he snaps well curls up his lips and snap snarls at other dogs. He kind of bites/snaps the air between them it is weird because this is the same action he does when he plays with other dogs he likes. However, the owners of the "victims" tut as if to say our dog is aggressive to theirs. He has a best friend that he meets regularly and plays quite roughly with, his fiend is a spaniel also quite a big build and they play rough and tumble and generally enjoy themselves, snapping an snarling at each other, to onlookers it may seem a like a fight, when they have had enough the just lay down.

    If we go on a walk or if we are in the village pub and Ben is on a lead he can be quite aggressive towards other dogs, he barks and snaps at them, usually if they start at him first. Because he is a big dog he seems to be labeled the naughty dog (maybe in my mind)! He is very good with children and is always kept on the lead in a street or in the village, we let him off in the fields (and on the beach when we can) and he has 2 - 3 good walks a day. (30 min quick run round first thing, a walk into the village in the day and an evening run (1 hour ish sometimes longer) at weekends he goes on long walks with us about 1.5 to 2 hours. The problem seems to be smaller dogs, especially terriers - we have to go past a house that has three dogs kept in the garage that bark at him every time we go past and it seems to be bothering Ben and on the other side is a terrier that also barks at him. It is almost like running the gauntlet, the this is if he sees these dogs out he hates them.

    On the beach Ben minds his own business playing in the water but other dogs run up to him and he gets quite cheesed off if they try to muscle in on his fun so he warns them off with a snap.

    I am concerned that he will be the “bad boy” and I really don’t know if this is a phase he is going through trying to be assertive or if he is starting to be something much worse. I would like to know if there is anyone that can give me a tip or two as to how I can stop him snapping and curling his lips at other dogs please. If you need any more details let me know.

    yours hopefully

    Andi
     
  2. Jenny Olley

    Jenny Olley PetForums VIP

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    There is a very fine line between play and fight, the rough play he has with his friend has taught him that snapping and using his teeth is acceptable. On the whole collies seem to prefer none contact play, such as chase and tag, if his teeth are out during play with his friend he is not enjoying it quite as much as you think. I would cool down the rough play, allowing only short sessions, you control the time not the dogs. You may have to think about going to dog classes to sort out his learnt behaviour of snapping when dogs get in his space. You say your dog is obedient, so if he does good heelwork or good down tell him to do that when passing other dogs, take back control, he is making too many decisions, and they are the wrong ones.
     
  3. aedlin

    aedlin PetForums Newbie

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    Hi Jenny

    Thanks very much for this, we have been putting what you said in to practice and it is working, he still feels the need to curl his tail up and look but he is definitely much better. He has stopped growling and we make sure his is praised when he has been good.

    Thanks again and we are also investigating going to obedience classes if only to make him more sociable!

    Thanks

    Andi:)
     
  4. Jenny Olley

    Jenny Olley PetForums VIP

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    Glad its going well, the earlier you can stop the dog in its behaviour the more successful you will be.
     
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