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New here with our first BC

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Hi everyone! My family and I recently adopted a 6 year old Border Collie mix named Panda. She was apparently a happy family pet for the first 3 years of her life, and then her main owner died and she was neglected for the next 3 years, before the owner-by-default's son asked the vet to find her a new home.


We heard about her from a friend of a friend, and one thing led to another and she has been in our home for a week.


She is a very well mannered dog - you can tell that she was once well trained, and the more she gets comfortable with us, the more she is showing us.


I'm sure I'll have tons of questions, but for now, we are just loving her, getting her used to being part of a family again, and at the same time, setting our bounderies and using some simple commands with her. For example, we are doing basics like sit and stay before feedings and going out, walking on leash without pulling, etc. and she is doing great. She seems to want very much to work with us, though, and I am hoping that we will be able to teach her many, many things as time goes on. We are a very outdoors-oriented family.


My kids are 6, 8 and 10, and I also have 4 cats, so we are trying to watch closely for herding behavior, so we can nip it in the bud. I have done a lot of reading on this breed, and I am not prepared to find this behavior "cute" in any way. One reason we have waited this long to get a dog is that I feel that the dog always gets on the wrong side of any misunderstanding between dog and child, and it is rarely *really* the dog's fault, IYKWIM.


I wanted to ask about something we saw last night - My oldest daughter is a runner, and she was running with Panda on-leash, in a heel position, and every once in a while, Panda would step our in front of my dd and just stand there, looking at her. My dd handled it well, and had the dog come back around to heel, while barely breaking stride. The episodes were infrequent, and got less frequent as they went, so we are hoping that this was the right thing. Panda was not tired, and she seemed to be enjoying the run, so after watching for a few instances of this, my husband and I felt that it may have been a herding behavior - to get in front and stop the forward motion of the "runaway sheep". I hope we handled it right, and would be open to feedback or other suggestions.


The other thing that I see in her that might be herding is her "greeting" behavior. She is very excited when we come home, or come back towards the home after being out back - even if she was back there with us - and will run along side us and jump up. She will also occasionally dive at our feet. We have been trying to distract her from this by putting her on a sit-stay and then petting her (showing her an appropriate way to say hello), and it is getting easier. Am I right - is this something we should discourage?



Wow - this post makes me appear strict, lol. Please understand that we are also having a ton of fun together. But I am a firm believer in good dog manners, and also not putting a dog situations where *I* as the human should know better. So we are trying to be very "aware" as we get to know our dog's personality. She is very happy here, but I do not want to misunderstand her cues in these early days, and have a big problem to unravel later.


Thanks in advance!

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You don't sound strict at all, you sound like a very responsible, great owner for a Border Collie! It's nice to hear that an older girl had a second chance at a loving home!


While I can't really tell if your dog was herding your daughter, she handled the unwanted behaviour well. You can try treating when your dog is walking or running nicely beside you or your kids to further reinforce good behaviour. You sound like you're keeping on top of any herding behaviour that might arise and if you continue, chances are that you won't even let it start.


As for the excited greetings, keep doing what you are doing and putting her in a sit-stay and pet her/treat her when she is calm so she knows what is appropriate behaviour. If she tries to jump up when you arrive home, simple just walk back outside and wait there for a while. Only give her positive attention when she is acting the way you would like her to act. She seems like a smart girl, and should pick up everything quickly!


Remember, she is still getting used to your home so just take it easy and let her get used to everything. You sound like a perfect home for her, keep up the good work.

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Welcome and congrats to you for giving this lovely dog a wonderful (and active and thoughtful) new home!


The behaviors you are seeing are Border Collie mannerisms - the herding behaviors of Border Collies are refined from predatory behaviors. What you are doing to prevent them from becoming "bad habits" is wonderfully intelligent training. The mistake that many people make is to not deal with them at the outset, before they become ingrained and sometimes impossible to break. Trust me - I've made my own mistakes of that sort.


You sound like you have a very common sense, fair, and intelligent approach to training your dog, and seeing potential problems before they become issues. Too bad all Border Collies (and other dogs) don't have owners like you! What you are doing sounds just right.


Enjoy these boards. They are a wonderful resource for Border Collie owners, whether the dogs are used for stockwork, simple companionship, or dogsports (or a combination of these roles).


Very best wishes to you all!

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