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BC nips/bites when you stop petting him

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Hey everyone, I have a problem with my BC. He is 2 years old, and neutered. Usually he is a great dog but we have a problem with him.

 

When we are petting him, sometimes when we stop he will nip or growl at you, either while you are petting him, or as soon as you stop. He doesnt do this all the time, but when he does, I immediately scold him, and send him away. As well, when we scold him, he runs to his food and starts scarfing it down like someone is going to steal it. We have had Phoenix since he was 8 weeks old. We have never taken his food away from him, and we leave it down all day.

 

We have tried feeding 2 times a day, morning and evening. But he just won't eat if we do it like that. He went 4 days without eating when we tried that. Any suggestions?

 

As for the nipping, I tell everyone that they can pet him, but only for a few seconds to acknowledge him, as I feel that his biting is him trying to establish being the alpha/boss of the person who is petting him.

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This section is for "working stockdogs" and questions relating to stockwork, and is not meant for general questions or those that do not relate to dogs working livestock. You will get helpful replies if you post your question to the "General Border Collie" section.

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First, this "ask an expert" forum is asking an expert in stock work, not general BC behaviour :rolleyes: Second, has this been going on for two years, or is it a recent behaviour? I wouldn't free feed at all, in fact, I would switch to hand feeding for a while. With my dogs, I spent many hours hand feeding from the bowl, asking for behaviours, pausing, start feeding again, etc. This shows that I control food and follows some of the "nothing in life is free" mentality.

Also, rather than scold the dog for growling or nipping, I might try immediately getting up and leaving to another room and ignore the dog. This might show that this behaviour gets him totally ignored. Which is probably not what he's looking for.

I would try and look up info on NILIF ( http://k9deb.com/nilif.htm) and start using this as a way to reset the order of the pack, if that is what you feel is happening here.

 

I'm sure others will offer even more ideas, good luck!

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Hey everyone, I have a problem with my BC. He is 2 years old, and neutered. Usually he is a great dog but we have a problem with him.

 

When we are petting him, sometimes when we stop he will nip or growl at you, either while you are petting him, or as soon as you stop. He doesnt do this all the time, but when he does, I immediately scold him, and send him away. As well, when we scold him, he runs to his food and starts scarfing it down like someone is going to steal it. We have had Phoenix since he was 8 weeks old. We have never taken his food away from him, and we leave it down all day.

 

We have tried feeding 2 times a day, morning and evening. But he just won't eat if we do it like that. He went 4 days without eating when we tried that. Any suggestions?

 

As for the nipping, I tell everyone that they can pet him, but only for a few seconds to acknowledge him, as I feel that his biting is him trying to establish being the alpha/boss of the person who is petting him.

 

 

You have a very dangerous situation here and it needs to be dealt with right now. I know this is suposed to be for stock work only but you need to get this in hand now. Feed your dog twice or once a day as you see fit but don't leave the food there any longer than ten minutes. By free feeding you are telling your dog that he is in control of when he eats and, for your dog's health, you need to be in control of that. He will eat eventually. He will not starve himself. Just be sure he has plenty of fresh water while converting him to you controlling his feedings. As far as the nipping/biting is concerned this is not allowed. Again, this is the dog in control and not you. Nipping and biting deserves serious correction. When the dog comes over to be petted, give him a pat and tell him to lie down and stay there. You need to take over as the boss right now. I certainly would not encourage your friends to pet him to acknowledge him until you are positive that he will not bite or nip anymore. Give him some boundaries that he needs to live by and form a routine for him to live in. He needs to have rules and boundaries so that he knows what he is allowed to do and what he is not allowed to do. All dogs need this. Otherwise they wander around confused about their life because they don't know what they can and can't do. These are the kind of dogs that wind up being problems for their owners. It is your home and you are in charge and you lay down the rules. You love him and treat him with kindness but you are in charge. Kindness is letting him know you are in charge and what he can and can't do. He needs this to be a happy dog. This goes for ALL other folks in the family also. It does no good for you to be in charge and everyone else lets him do as he wishes. The dog is part of the family and at the bottom of the pecking order and he needs to know this from EVERYONE!

 

I am not being harsh. I am being realistic. You and the dog will enjoy each other much more when you both know your places. I have experienced this problem quite a few times with a lot of folks in familes that don't set boundaries for their dogs and in at least 50% of the cases, the dog has suffered the brunt of the disaster and been destroyed. So you need to get on this right away and nip it in the bud. If you don't it will get harder to deal with as time goes by. Good luck.....Bob

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