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Found 12 results

  1. Hi again, I'd appreciate advice on another topic for Bailey, as we think he's enterred his adolescence/fear/sensitivity phase and we're not sure how to address it. He's started alert barking/growling at things over the last week. He seems fine out and about on walks, but it has been random points when he's at home. Some examples below: Catching his reflection in the tv/door Lawnmower Pigeon on a roof A dog on the TV Seemingly nothing, but i assume something he senses outside at night - or a ghost He goes all alert and goes to the back door, has a low growl and starts barking. It's difficult to distract or reassure him, we've tried the 'show me what it is' idea, trying to get his focus back on us with treats or toys, patting him for reassurance etc. But he just keeps on going. A lickimat worked more but he kept getting up going back to the door to bark once or twice, then going back to his mat. What is the right way to deal with these situations? Should we just ignore it? It completely came out the blue to i assume it must be due to his age (6.5 months) and hormones and hopefully isn't a long term behaviour? Thank you!
  2. Hi everyone - really need some advice regarding my 10 month old border collie pup! Apologies as this will be long but I want to include as much detail. we’ve had Roo since he was 8 weeks old and we got him from a family (his parents are working dogs) Roo is extremely clever and quick to learn. He knows many tricks and commands and will do them 99% of the time with no issue. he has always been very sociable, seems to love everyone and everything! Unfortunately in the past month, there have been 4 instances where he has attacked me (3 times) and his dog walker (once) the first time was when we went away to a dog friendly hotel. He didnt seem to like the fact he could smell/hear people in the corridor so began barking loudly (had never previously done this anywhere), his tail was up and puffy and his eyes big & black. I made the mistake of coming off the bed to comfort him, as i went towards him he attacked me (punctured arm, drew blood and very bruised) i was so shocked i didn’t react. I just went into the bathroom where my partner was and had a cry. After 10 minutes we both came out, completely ignored Roo and went out for dinner. Upon our return Roo was back to normal, very happy to see us etc so we didn’t punish him. The second instance was on a walk with my partner - he had walked on ahead and Roo was struggling very hard to get to him, I’m the one who walks Roo the most so I was trying to get him to listen to me with treats etc, as he wouldn’t, I stepped infront of him to get his attention, Roo bit my leg and arm, again drawing blood. This time I did shout (wobbled due to shock, upset) and carried on walking, when we got to my partner he took Roo off me (this caused Roo to lunge at him angrily) my partner pulled him away by the scruff and walked home without me (to give us time apart) the 3rd time, i was home alone with Roo and was sat between him and the front door (please note - since first attack Roo has started barking at the door but we ignore this habit and that seems to work) i was setting up a treat puzzle game when Roo suddenly went for me (barking, puffy tail, big black eyes, lock jaw) thankfully he only got my jumper. I stayed very quiet until he let go and then moved myself back a bit (i was a bit cornered so didnt want to stand up quickly) Roo just went to lie down a few feet away with his back to me. The 4th time, we were on a walk with his walker, her dog and another dog. As we got to the park I put Roo on his long line, he seemed very eager to get into the park so I let him go (checked no one was there first) and he beelined for a tennis ball (Roo isn’t really allowed tennis balls as he literally destroys and eats them and gets very angry possessive with them) i managed to remove the ball by bribing with treats, after a few minutes Roo was sat between me and dog walker (seemed happy, tail wagging) as she was putting a harness on him, as she was adjusting the straps he went for her (same reaction - puffy tail, black eyes, lock jaw) luckily he only got her jumper but it was very shocking. It took about 10 minutes for him to seem back to normal (we didn’t punish, we simply ignored him behaviour and put him on a short leash for remainder of the walk) as we went back to van after he bit the walker, he went for one of the dogs and unfortunately came away with a puncture in his neck (healing now) i know dogs don’t bite for no reason but i’m at a total loss. He doesn’t seem to give me any warnings (i always try my best to read his body language) i’ve seen a behaviourist who has told us to muzzle train him, limit my physical contact with him and avoid conflict situations (let him have all his toys, don’t go near him at meal times etc) Roo is honestly so loving & friendly most the time, that this has been a really big shock for me. He does seem quite submissive (he will drop and army crawl towards dogs to greet them), he rolls on his back a lot etc but never has he been violent before. please if anyone can offer any advise, i’d really appreciate it
  3. Hi everyone, I’m just hoping to get some advice with my pup, I’ll try and detail as much as I can - we’ve had Reuben since he was 8 weeks old, he is now nearly 10 months old he is well trained, house trained etc however in the last couple of weeks he appears to be getting a lot of fear aggression. The first instance, we went to a dog friendly hotel for a night for my birthday and Reuben didn’t like the idea of being in the room and hearing people in the corridoor, he started barking (big black eyes, puffy tail) and I (probably stupidly) went over to calm him down and he bit my arm (drew blood and bruised) i stopped moving so he would let go, went into the bathroom and then we went to dinner, we ignored him before leaving him alone and when we returned he was very happy to see us. The second time, myself and my partner were on a walk, my partner was up ahead and Reuben was pulling loads trying to get to him whilst I was trying to get his attention on me, asked him to stop and sit, he wouldn’t so I stepped infront of him and he bit my leg and arm again (drew blood, bruised) I wailed, shouted No and walked on ignoring him. the third time, I was sat in the kitchen between Reuben and the front door and was setting up a nice treat puzzle game when he VERY suddenly barked, big black eyes, puffy tail and went for my arm again! I just got him off and then sat there crying - he laid down a few feet away from me with his back turned - I ignored him for the rest of the evening. A bit of back story, he has recently started barking at the front door (even in the middle of his food) we ignore his and he stops quickly and usually comes running up to us (as if afraid) We own our own dog friendly cafe and Reuben comes to work with us everyday, nothing in his routine has changed recently - however I am wondering, as he is a puppy and we’re training him inside he is leashed to his bed, he gets a 15 min walk in the morning and evening and between 1-3 hour walk in the day with dog walkers, but perhaps he feels trapped in the cafe? He is such a loving dog, enjoys cuddles, merting new people and loves everyone he meets. he is extremely submissive, when he meets a dog he will crawl on the floor to greet and then roll on his back, he also does this when customers go to greet him in his bed. please if anyone has advice? I am planning to take him to see a behaviourist but wanted to see if I can do anything in the mean time? I don’t ‘punish’ him as such after the attack, apart from ignoring, as honestly i’m afraid if i do, he’ll attack me more. he has only bitten me but has gone for my partner once to which he got a smack and dragged off thank you if anyone can help, feeling extremely desperate, scared and alone with this!
  4. Hi all! I'm new here so forgive me if there is already a thread devoted to this topic. I've been lurking on the boards for a while now and have read a lot of good advice. I'm hoping you all can give me some advice on helping our new BC puppy, and share your experiences with fearful puppies/puppies going through fear periods. We adopted our puppy from a rescue group last week. The group believes he is a full blooded BC and he certainly looks it! We are familiar with herding breeds and the challenges and joys of puppy-raising, and are very excited to introduce our puppy (Beau) to the very best life we can. When Beau came home, he was 8 weeks old and initially showed normal signs of puppy-leaving-litter separation anxiety. He cried most of the night, but by the next morning was beginning to warm up to my husband and I. However, as we have had him over the past few days, we have noticed he is intensely fearful of other people, unfamiliar places, car rides and children. He will struggle against the leash or our arms, and even growl when someone unfamiliar pushes his comfort zone too far. He hates walking anywhere unfamiliar and will sit down and refuse to move when we go too far outside of familiar territory, even within our own immediate surroundings. I'm assuming he's going through a fear period, but as I don't have experience raising a puppy this young, I am not quite sure how to best handle it. Of course we correct the growling, and I expect he will grow out of some of his fears with confident handling and time, but I don't want his fear to escalate into something more dangerous, especially with the children in our neighborhood. I want to make sure to manage this fear appropriately and get started early, so that we can encourage Beau to develop into a happy, confident dog. I figure even though we've only had him a week, it's better to address this early on rather than potentially letting it escalate further/ leaving it unaddressed. Do you all have any advice as to what is normal for a BC puppy during a fear period and what we should be concerned about? How did you help your puppies through this time? Thanks in advance!
  5. Lily is showing a new fear behavior that I am hoping others may have some experience with. I would just add this to the running thread that I've created for Lily, but seeing other car issues in the forums, it seems logical to list this separately so others can help, and be helped, by any discussion, without having to wade through my lengthy thread about Lily. Here's the issue. When we return home, especially from the park or somewhere fun, Lily acts afraid to get out of the car. She has to be coaxed out, often times switching from one side of the car to the other. she will sometimes "hide" on the floor of the car, something she's also done when she gets nervous when we have to take winding roads and she gets unstable on the seat. Then, when I get her out, she is afraid to go through the utility room (garage - utility room - hallway), and will try to slip back through the door back into the garage (and then back into the car). One day, she was so reluctant to come out, I left the car door open, the door to the house open, hoping that she would come in on her own and discover it was OK all along. 30min later, I lost patience and went to get her. I coaxed her out of the car and closed the car door. She still didn't want to come in, so I figured I'd give her a few more minutes. 15min later I went back and found her laying UNDER the car. This is a daily issue, sometimes easier than others. There are two things I can think of, that might be happening here. 1) she has an issue where her excitement turns into fear (discussed here: Lily's progress), and maybe she's just excited o get home but then becomes overwhelmed. 2) We've had several thunderstorms in the 5 weeks that she's lived with us, and she is VERY scared of thunder. Sometimes, as the thunder begins, she tries to lead me to the garage, which makes me think that she may think the thunder is only in our house ("let's get outta here!"). If anyone has any ideas about how to work through this, I'd love to hear. I'm thinking we might try treating upon getting home, but 1) she doesn't care of treats when she's afraid, and 2) treats may increase excitement level, and she already hides or needs reassurance after getting too excited (often times after getting home). We tried exiting the car in the driveway once, and it worked, but not without some of the same timid hesitation.
  6. I have a BC (rescue) and a Wire Haired Pointing Griffon (also a Beagle, but she is not an issue whatsoever). My BC has a very strong (but very sweet) personality. That said, there are times when he lowers his body position and looks "intense" and then nips the hind end/leg of the Griffon. Of course, this rarely ends well. We have had many a fight in our house (mostly with only pinched skin, occasionally battle scars, but always sounding horrible!) and I want it to stop. I've started researching intensely and found some very useful information, and I determined that I need to start at square ONE with the BC in obedience training. I have no idea of his history before I got him except that he did know tricks (shake, down, sit, etc). He's very bull headed, but trainable. Some tricks take literally minutes to learn. But keeping him out of the kitchen is impossible. So, that said, I've begun positive reinforcement training for BOTH dogs. Treating them equally to show each one that it's a level playing field. This seems to wear them out mentally, which helps a lot! But I still have a long road ahead. So, the top two issues are: 1. Unwanted nipping by the BC at the Griffon (it's NEVER at anyone/thing else) 2. Charging the front door when people come/doorbell rings (this is a small space where fights are likely) I have contacted a trainer that specialized in herding dogs (she has BCs and Aussies). She is going to do an in home consult to begin with. Suggestions are appreciated...thank you! Amy
  7. Our poor, sweet Gabe got attacked by a dog across the street as we were finishing up our walk yesterday afternoon. The dog ran across the neighbor's front yard, and before I knew it this pit bull was latched onto his hind leg. We finally came home after 5 hours at the ER with him last night. He's in a lot of pain, but ate and drank okay this morning. We haven't quite figured out how to get him to pee. Overall, a few things to be grateful for. The biggest is probably that this happened now and not a few months ago, so at least he is comfortable with us and we were able to do a lot of the handling at the vet's. She kept saying "We don't normally let owners see this part", but I'm glad they let us be there with him through most of the poking and prodding, and waking up. I think it would have been worse had he been with strangers through that. Grateful it was his leg the dog latched onto and not something more vulnerable. Now starts a long healing process, and I can't even imagine the psychological healing we'll need to work on. Send some good healing vibes to our Gabey boy.
  8. Hi My husband and I recently rescued a collie cross from the RSPCA, she had hardly any background information except she was attacked by another dog before she went into the rescue centre and the owners 'couldn't afford her' what ever that means. The first five weeks were great, she was very nervous with other dogs and people (she really distrusts men) but began making friends with other dogs, even laid down and completely ignored a dog who was barking at her because he wanted to play. Then last weekend happened. We were playing fetch, and a tiny dog popped out from around the corner, barked and stood up straight and tall in front of misty. Misty walked towards the dog slowly, then really went for the dog. We managed to pull her off the dog and it was unharmed. We felt so terrible. The next day we went to a pub garden with misty, where we had been before and she had been ok, and she started barking at someone who walked too close, and when they didn't move away she started nipping at his heels. He was ok about this, but we decided to leave anyway. Unfortunately, within 3 minutes of leaving the pub, two men walked past us on the street and she bit one of the men. Again, he was fantastic about it, I think he saw the shock And upset in our faces. Luckily he was a nice guy, and refused to take our phone number and carried on on his way. I am cutting this very long story short. We have spoken to a behaviourist and I understand what we did wrong as to why she reacted in such and dreadful way. We have been given a training program, to help her obedience, help distract her when she gets scared, and generally help her be more comfortable in situations. The behaviourist is hopeful, she thinks Misty might always be scared of men but there are ways we can help her cope with the situations, and therefore be able to trust again. (We have two male friends who come round our house all of the time and she loves them so I can see it will happen) I am super confident, I know it will take a lot of work to get the friendly, confident dog that we know is inside her, maybe a few years. My husband, although he loves her so much, is less convinced that she might be able to run around free again, and is worried that she will do it again. SO! I was wondering if anyone has any similar stories with hopefully happy endings, which they could share to give my husband confidence that if we work hard with Misty, she will be great. I think he is just struggling to give her the trust back that was lost that day.
  9. My family dog is a young collie, about 2 years old, who seems to be suffering from extreme anxiety. In the house he is fine, but taking him out for walks is fast becoming impossible. He seems to stop when provoked by nothing, and cower, constantly pulling in the direction of home. He is very scared of trucks and motorbikes and will become stressed if they drive by, but it seems just being out is scaring him. He has been attacked by other dogs a couple of times in the park, and he has actually attacked another dog, even though he wasn't threatened. If another dog walks past him while he is on the lead he will sometimes growl and make a lunge for it. I have been abroad for a year and a half and have come home to find him like this. My parents are having a hard time coping with him. My dad has Parkinson's disease and so finds it very difficult to move, and having an out of control dog is extremely frustrating to him. To the point where he has actually been hitting the dog to try and discipline him or get him out of the way. This breaks my heart and I have had many arguments with him in an attempt to get him to stop. I am leaving to move to London on Monday and am worried that the dog will only get worse if I am not at home to train him. My mum wants to get a shock collar, but I think this is a terrible idea and will only serve to make him worse. Sorry for the long winded post, but we really love our dog, and I'm desperate to get him sorted out. At home he is extremely loving and playful. I have suggested to my mum that we should take him back to the Dog's Trust, because I am sick with worry at what might happen while I am away. Please any advice will be appreciated!! To get him to calm down on his walks and stop being so scared, and be more disciplined with my dad. Thank you!
  10. Hello fellow Border Collie lovers! I'm just going to start by apologizing that I'm another newbie who's going to post asking for advice, but I have read through so many threads that now I feel like I have too many competing ideas floating around my head. I am 22 and Addison is my first dog on my own. I know a Border Collie is a bold choice for a first dog, but I have a lot of time to devote to her, previous experience with dogs, and the commitment to work with her. Plus I found her on craigslist and felt responsible for taking care of her so she didn't end up with someone less capable! I had been looking for a dog for a while and found a college kid's add for her on craigslist. He had gotten her before he had an apartment and only had her for two weeks before he signed a new lease that didn't allow dogs.....idiotic, but none the less he needed her gone by the end of the day. He told me that she is "probably" a Border Collie Sheltie mix, but he wasn't sure because he had bought her from someone who rescued dogs from Amish farms. So far, I think he's correct. Addie has the body of a Sheltie and a coat that looks like it could be a cross between Sheltie and Smooth coated Border- longer than a smooth coated, but shorter and less silky than a rough coated border. Addison is 10 months, 28lbs and stands just below my knee. She has extremely long legs, and a long face like a Sheltie but the coloring of a Border and definitely the temperament! Addie is everything you could hope for in a BC. She is inquisitive, aware, playful, sweet and devoted. She is the sweetest, most quiet, most loving and attentive dog I've ever met - when people meet her they are basically mesmerized by her soft, expressive eyes. She has the BC stare and is very chatty but pretty much only with me. She was surprised/afraid of anything unfamiliar when I first got her and would bark and bark until I could get her to investigate it. She still does this rarely, but she is much more confident and less skiddish. She doesn't crouch like I had expected, but from what I understand not 100% of BCs do. Since she's from an Amish farm she may not even be mixed at all - who knows. I've definitely found that mental games and human interaction wear her out much better and faster than anything physical so I try to do both every day. As far as mental games go, Addie really enjoys anytime I hide something - especially treats inside of something. She loves to guess which of the three cups a treat is under when I shuffle them around. She loves to try and guess where I'm going to through her ball and to follow me around the house. I've never seen her as tired as after we take a walk down a really busy street or to the quad on my campus because there's so much to see and so many people to meet. It also only took me a couple months to realize that she's probably not a dog park kind of dog. Like the other BCs on this thread, she is very choosy about who she deems worthy of friendship. At the park she often acts as the "fun police" and comes home more wound up that before we left. Addie has an alpha dog personality and always wants to be top dog in a group. Only on a couple occasions have I seen her take spot number two and that's my parents labradoodle and my boyfriends parents dogs. Both occasions involved her and I visiting someone's house where there already was an alpha dog and an extensive introduction among the dogs where I had to have Addison lie on her back and let the other dogs sniff her. She's occasionally stubborn when it comes to me giving her commands, but it's becoming less frequent as I'm strict about being top dog. I'm starting to think it may just be a teenage phase. Sorry for the extensive description I'm just hoping the more you know the better you can help! Now for the two behaviors I'm having a hard time understanding and choosing a method of training her on! 1. She barks out the window constantly and excessively/loudly. I have read that this could mean she isn't stimulated/exercised enough at home and that could be true..but more than anything it seems like she has chosen the job of guard dog and is taking it very seriously. She hears and sees things I've never noticed and makes sure I notice them! I've tried a couple different things - telling her off the couch or away from the window and making her sit until she relaxes then allowing her to return - just recently I started going over to the window letting her know I see what it is and then giving her an end command. Both work to get her to stop barking in the moment, but neither has taught her to stop or at least limit her barking overall. She will bark at something in the street endlessly unless I give her a command or come to the window and even then she's really reluctant to stop. 2. She's a nightmare on her leash. And I don't mean tugging which she does, but we've made a lot of progress towards heeling recently so I'm not so worried. Anytime she sees another dog she goes completely insane - lunging, growling, barking like a maniac. Usually she spends a couple minutes intently watching the dog - her posture will be alert but not aggressive at first. Sometimes she will even sit and wait for them to pass - which I think is because she knows she must sit in order to get anything she wants (not that I give her everything she wants, but I only ever allow her to do things once she sits first) I also taught her to do this when there are too many people walking by. I live in Chicago so sometimes there's a stroller, a kid on a scooter and two parents all on one side walk and I find it a lot easier to just take a step aside and have Addie sit and wait for them to pass. The only problem is a lot of fellow dog owners think this is a sign or her being very friendly and well behaved..only to realize once they get too close that she's a maniac who wants to literally murder their dog. Here's the issue - I can't decide if it's fear aggression or just straight up aggression. At first I was all about strict discipline and it only kind of worked like she knew she had done something bad but it seemed as though she cared about the job more than anything. Recently I've switched to a baiting/distracting tactic. I also read that she could be picking up on my fear/tension so now when we're walking and she sees a dog approaching, I'll use a soft happy voice and say something like "Addie who is that? is that a puppy friend? look at that friend!" (dont laugh haha) it seems to help especially combined with a happy, comforting but very rushed passing by the dog. I guess I'm looking for advice because like a typical BC she learned everything so quickly and I feel like I've got to be doing something wrong, or at least not good enough, if I still haven't been able to discourage her from starting these two behaviors. Like I said I've gotten pretty good at getting her to stop once she starts, but is there hope that someday she just won't start? Ideally I would like to absolutely eliminate the walking problem - Chicago is a busy city and I want to be able to walk my pup in peace! I understand that the barking out the window might not be able to be completely eradicated and I don't mind, but if I could just get it to a couple, not so intense, warning barks I would be so pleased. I'm open to anything and everything, but mainly looking sincere, helpful, friendly advice. I'm sure I've exposed some of my BC ignorance or just naivety in my post, but if you could just be kind I would really appreciate it. Thank you!
  11. Hi! Does anyone have any success stories they can share with me on rehabilitating a fearful dog into one who is able to enjoy life outside the home? Here is what's going on with us: I recently rescued a young border collie at about 8 months old. He is now about 10 months. So only had him a couple months. He had almost no socialization in his early life. I feel his fears are much more strongly nurture than nature. He isn't what I would call skittish because he doesn't jump up and dash when he hears a sudden noise and he slept through the fireworks this 4th of July, he just cannot handle new outdoor situations very well and gets very weird around new kids and unfamiliar big men. In these outdoor settings he will refuse treats and toys. I have gotten him to play ball a bit at a nearby park after a few times going there and getting him used to the park. But he is still wary even as he goes for the ball. I am wondering if this is a dog that will ever be able to do things like agility etc. I mean he may warm up to one training facility but in competitions the locations are always new and different with different dogs and people. I am currently doing sheep herding with him which is the only thing he seems to show no fear with and he has shown interest in working cattle but I will wait on the cattle. I realize this may be a fear period but I feel its more just lack of socialization. Wondering if he will be able to walk out my front door with me happy and excited to see what fun things I have planned for him rather than slinking out the door looking over his shoulder all worried. Also I know I have not had him long to I may be expecting too much too soon but I am just wondering if others have had a similar situation and had a great outcome with time and patience. Thanks!!
  12. After much thought, my wife and I have made the hard decision to rehome one of our two BCs: Cocoa, a 2.5 year old red female, 51lbs, spayed, and up to date on her shots. Cocoa is so sweet, full of love and excitement. She loves people of all ages (she has been great with our son, from birth to the toddler he is now), and has just enough "puppy" left in her to be fun and trainable. Unfortunately, although we purchased her as a companion to our 4yo male, Toby, she just isn't good with other dogs, not even him. While it appears to be aggression, we believe it's mostly fear. Basically, she growls and barks at other dogs from a distance, and she may nip at them if they get too close, especially big black dogs. Obviously her behavior is not terribly uncommon, and is far from severe. If we weren't a family of two working parents with a 2 year old son and another son due in two months, we'd definitely do what we could to train this problem out of her. Overwhelmed, as you can imagine, it's just not in our capacity to address the problems properly right now, and it just isn't fair to her to have to live with this correctable problem. Cocoa is an ideal family dog. She was an "indoor" dog with us, but as a purebred from a working line, she is intelligent and loves being outside too. Cocoa would do best in a family where she was either the only dog who didn't get taken to "dog-rich" environments often OR with an owner with the time, resources and patience to work this problem out of her so she could live a full life! We live in Colorado Springs, and we'd be happy to work out specifics with any interested party.
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