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Agree with RDM 150%

 

I haven't been able to veiw the videos. but your written description sounds exactly like Kipp. When I got Kenzi last year I shuffled dogs for 2 weeks while I got him used to the idea of a new dog. What finally did got him comfortable with her was spending a couple of nights sitting on the living room floor for 2 hours with a bowl of kibble and a dog on each side. He had a very solid "down" and Kenzi would lay still as long as I kept feeding her. So they got their meals one piece at a time. I bascially let them be near each other with no pressure on Kipp to interact. Once he was able to relax and think, he quit reacting to her.

 

I still have issues with him and other dogs. But I can manage them and he ignores other dogs unless he's in close proximity.

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I echo the agreement with RDM - trust your own dogs assesments - they are scared of him and with good reason.

 

This behavior is serious, but he looks salvageable with training. He's young, he sounds like he's had a bit of a hard knock life, he can learn how to do what he needs to to make people happy.

 

Do you know anyone with a background in treating this who can help you? Like a "Feisty Fido" trainer?

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RDM

Can you explain or show me where you see fear in this dog? I don't disagree and know you've had lots of experience but I'm not seeing the fear. I do see a little tail tucked concern on him when the video just starts while he's being petted by the guy but then it STM the fear turns into prey or stalking.

 

Dew does this same thing with 1 other dog and I know Dew's not fearful or at least I thought I knew. The dog that Dew picks on is quite fearful of lots of things so there is fear involved but not with Dew, or so I thought.

Just looking to understand what's going on.

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RDM

Can you explain or show me where you see fear in this dog? I don't disagree and know you've had lots of experience but I'm not seeing the fear. I do see a little tail tucked concern on him when the video just starts while he's being petted by the guy but then it STM the fear turns into prey or stalking.

 

Dew does this same thing with 1 other dog and I know Dew's not fearful or at least I thought I knew. The dog that Dew picks on is quite fearful of lots of things so there is fear involved but not with Dew, or so I thought.

Just looking to understand what's going on.

 

You don't need to see the fear to understand that it's present, because well adjusted dogs who are comfortable with other dogs don't launch at them and attack them - they're afraid, so they get in a good offense as the most effective defense. People don't view it as *fear* because people think fear is cowering, shaking, screaming etc - like what fearful people do. And some dogs do indeed show these traits, but the majority of dogs who are aggressive to all other dogs are fearful, and are reacting in a normal dog way, not a human way. The fear generally comes from a lack of confidence, and a lack of socializing ... if the dog were confident, it wouldn't need to behave this way in the company of other dogs. If it were comfortable, it would not need to put on a huge display. What this dog is doing is either an escalation of what most likely started as a dog who showed much more minor threat displays initially, or given this dog's propensity to stalk other dogs, played inappropriately, was poorly received by other dogs and began to anticipate their negative reaction, so ramped up his threat display. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy for dogs like this - they are concerned, they anticipate the negative response, they become more afraid and you end up with a dog like this who goes over the top stimulated in the presence of other dogs.

 

Particular one dog to one dog interactions are not the same as across-the-board aggression, ime. Dogs have personalities, like people do, and they don't all like one another. But when a dog behaves the same way, all the time, to all other dogs, it's not a personality issue, it's more a like a learned response the dog can't escape from.

 

RDM

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Whne Kipp would get like that his body wasn't screaming "fear" but he was tense as all get out. He couldn't relax, he didn't know how to handle it. So he'd try to dive and bite, circle, etc. It is all something that most people see as regular aggression. And while it is agressive behavior, it is different than regular agression.

 

After I sat on the floor with Kipp and Kenzi getting Kipp to relax around Kenzi and realize he didn't need to be afraid of her he went from the crouching, diving, prey type behavior around her to letting her rule the roost with no issue. She can chew on him and he'll just play back with her. But it's a relaxed, fun play. There is no tension in his body.

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THanks. I think I understand a bit more.

 

What this dog is doing is either an escalation of what most likely started as a dog who showed much more minor threat displays initially, or given this dog's propensity to stalk other dogs, played inappropriately, was poorly received by other dogs and began to anticipate their negative reaction, so ramped up his threat display. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy for dogs like this - they are concerned, they anticipate the negative response, they become more afraid and you end up with a dog like this who goes over the top stimulated in the presence of other dogs.

 

I think the this explains what I was missing.

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I agree with MrSnappy. You are over-facing this dog. Get the dog on a leash and spend time with the dog independently of other dogs for awhile. Teach the dog about what is good behavior and what is bad - obedience would benefit this dog a lot. If you know the dog will react neurotically and "agressively" to new dogs, why do you continue putting him in this situation? You are continuing to set him up for failure.

 

Wow, thank you for the very helpful insult; I mean insight. This was the FIRST time we had ever introduced Pip to other dogs. So, I fail to see how I "[knew] the dog will react neurotically and "agressively" to new dogs" and was "continu[ing] putting him in this situation?" and "continuing to set him up for failure." How would I know what his response would be to other dogs had I not tried to introduce him to other dogs. Also, understand that we have had this dog for less than 2 weeks. The first week was basically spent trying to save his life. Now, as he becomes more and more healthy, we are seeing behaviors that were previously masked because the dog basically had no red blood cells and thus was quite mellow, even in the presence of other dogs. You make it sound as if we have not tried to build a relationship with him or teach him good manners, etc. We haven't had him long enough and he hasn't be well enough to even start doing those things.

 

Anyway, I'm not worried about making him a "dog park dog." I'm worried about making him an adoptable dog and a dog that will not be a liability.

 

I agree about the CU stuff, but the problem is, Pip still needs to live in my home and there are other dogs here and due to some unfortunate timing, there are lots of other dogs here. So, I am not able to completely remove him from the stimulus of being near other dogs. There is a possibility that we could move him back to Steve's house, which we use to quarantine dogs, once the parvo puppy is gone. We'll just have to take a chance about exposing him to an environment that could have parvovirus, though we've been very careful about picking up all poop with a shovel so that we can get the dirt underneath the poop, as well.

 

Another new-ish behavior that Pip is doing is air snapping at our faces. He's done it to Steve a couple of times and did it to me last night. I know it's a frustration behavior, but should he ever connect with skin, it's not going to be pretty.

 

Anyway, I was able to upload the other video last night, so here it is. You can actually see Pip go in for an attack at the initial greeting. You'll also see how quickly he shuts down the other dog. And Maddox is not a dog that is easily deterred.

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8cfB9js_ho

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I just don't feel that it's as bad as you are making it out to be. Yes, the dog is inappropriate and doesn't know proper canine behavior. But he is not trying to kill the other dogs.

 

The "attack" in the newest video should have never happened. Pip gave HUGE signs that he was uncomfortable with the face-to-face introduction that the other dog was going for. One of the humans absolutely should have stepped in and corrected him before it got that far. He gave warning. He gave a huge warning.

 

I also wonder what would happen if there were several dogs present, and not just the pressure of that one-on-one greeting. With my foster, I found that he was actually more relaxed when all three of my dogs were put into the yard vs. one by one -- Mostly because they carried on more with their usual routine and playing, vs. being so curious about the newcomer.

 

I never encourage too much face-to-face time when introducing new dogs. It's very pushy behavior. I will allow momentary sniffing and then I step in to break them up and move them on. You aren't looking for Pip to be best friends with any of your dogs. You are looking for him to be able to peacefully coexist with them. They should not be allowed to get into each others faces like that. No good comes from that kind of challenging posture.

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I agree about the CU stuff, but the problem is, Pip still needs to live in my home and there are other dogs here and due to some unfortunate timing, there are lots of other dogs here. So, I am not able to completely remove him from the stimulus of being near other dogs.

 

The problem is you're not going to make progress with him if he doesn't learn to relax. Maybe you could try medication to help him relax, but a quite environment where he can decompress then learn to relax is what is going to be needed to lay the groundwork to to teaching him to handle other dogs in the vicinity.

 

The air-snapping could quite possibly be the result of the tension he feels from all the other dogs.

 

Kipp is a completely different dog when he is happy and relaxed than he was when he was worked up and tense from other dogs. Seriously, no one in my family would really believe me when I'd say how agressive he'd become because he is so easy going at home. And people who saw him worked up could beleive how mellow and easy going he was at home.

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I agree about the CU stuff, but the problem is, Pip still needs to live in my home and there are other dogs here and due to some unfortunate timing, there are lots of other dogs here. So, I am not able to completely remove him from the stimulus of being near other dogs.

 

Can you start with closed doors, crates and baby gates? Yes, it would be a total pain in the ass, but between having you help him deal, learning new things and dealing with life he might get better a little quicker than you think so it could be temporary. He gets some loose time with you then his kennel or a room gated off, that kind of thing.

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This looks exactly like Brew. He is like this anytime he meets a new dog. After he gets to know them, he does still stalk them, but no longer goes after them. I have always believed him to be fear aggressive. He is actually worse on leash than off. I also don't really see him as being horribly aggressive. Even when he did go after Maddox, it seemed mild. Brew will actually puff all up when he is introduced to new dogs and look mean. Brew also has his tail up in theses situations. I really think Pip looks scared.

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I agree about the CU stuff, but the problem is, Pip still needs to live in my home and there are other dogs here and due to some unfortunate timing, there are lots of other dogs here. So, I am not able to completely remove him from the stimulus of being near other dogs. There is a possibility that we could move him back to Steve's house, which we use to quarantine dogs, once the parvo puppy is gone.

 

Mary, you might also just harass - I mean, ask ;-) - all your contacts until you find someone with a behavioural background that will take him and work with him. I just had to do this with one of my own fosters, West who has a real fear-aggression problem with strangers. While I have the know-how to work with him, between TWoo's dog-issues, my job and the movie I simply could not provide him with the environment he needed to get the rehab he must have. I was very lucky to find a behaviour-modification type person, with a much more stable environment, who took him on to work with him. Maybe if you really put the word out you can find someone to take him on as a project. I'll wish this for you. I know how frustrating it is to have a foster that you want to work with, but your home or situation is just not suited to what you need to do for him.

 

Good luck

 

ETA - I just watched the second video .... you see that Pip has hackles up, stiff stance, starts panting, lip-licking - it's evident from those signals there that he was going to go in for the bite. I point these signals out for the benefit of anyone else watching the video Mary, not for you. That's a stressed dog.

 

Further, you see him biting the leash (barrier frustration) that prevents him from pursuing the dog, which is a signal that he is overstimulated, stressed etc. Lastly, twice he tries to exit the situation, which would have have been an excellent opportunity to reward him for choosing flight over fight. Of course, if you were actively working with this dog, the leash should never have been dropped, as he was throwing signals right and left that he was uncomfortable in the situation and would fight again. However, I know that when introducing a new foster to a situation, you sometimes don't catch those signals if you are not expecting an aggressive dog. I've made similar errors myself. Hindsight and all that.

 

RDM

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RDM had lots of great advice and insight. I think the really important point she made about this dog's level of fearful aggression is to look at the OTHER dogs' reactions. I agree with those who say the dog doesn't seem all that fear-aggressive, but the OP's other dogs beg to differ. The foster dog was very clear he didn't want to be in the same room, yard, or hemisphere as the new dog. That says much, much more than anything I am seeing in the original video (I haven't watched the second yet). I also agree with RDM that the behaviors are likely to escalate with practice. The fact that he is now snapping in people's faces shows escalation of problematic behaviors is already occurring.

 

Sorry I don't have any helpful suggestions for this difficult situation. I do think the dog is likely salvagable, but based on the other dogs' responses to his behavior, he is not simply a socially clueless dog.

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On top of what RDM has seen, I noticed that at 0.05s and 0.11s he freezes (literally, he stops dead in his tracks) and raises a foot, looks away and licks his lips. It really does look like he's uncomfortable with other dogs. Leg lifting is known as a "calming signal", it's not really calming anything, but dogs do it when they are unsure or nervous. You can also see that he has 'whale eye' at 0.11s too (you can really see the whites of his eyes). He seems very nervous.

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I'm unable to watch any of the video, thanks to technology shortcomings and restrictions at my end. However, I'm aware that Mary is quite experienced. And her descriptions are clear, and contain what are to me some very troubling points indeed.

 

Several people have commented that they don't see dramatic overt fear displays on Pip's part. I agree completely with those who have replied, "Watch the other dogs' reaction." Dogs know more about other dogs than we ever can. If they're telling you "That guy ain't right," I'd pay attention. There are several possibilities other than "he somehow missed the Canid Communications 101 class."

 

Pip may not be giving dramatic signals simply because he doesn't understand the meaning or the use of warning signs. A failure to give warnings can happen because he has no idea that a warning could do any good. That could be because he has had an isolated upbringing or traumatic experiences. Or it may be that his basic instinctual canine communication skills in general are simply lacking. This could be a serious problem. We're apt to say, "He must have have a terrible life so far to be missing such fundamental social skills." But as a matter of safety (human and canine) we shouldn't overlook the possibility that he could be plain missing a vital piece of key genetic programming. Most normal dogs "get" the give-and-take of communications at a threshold well below "attack" starting as tiny puppies and acquire a full vocabulary with minimal coaching. (Also, "attack mode" is not social behavior. It does not involve give-and-take or useful individual-to-individual adjustments: it simply eliminates the interloper without further interaction. Checkerboard overturned without solving the problem.)

 

It doesn't sound like the other "absence of warning" issue applies here, which is just as well. A dog who actually *wants* to fight may show some signs of arousal, but not fear and warning signals. A dog who intends to bite and means it and has practice will simply bite, with confidence; and the approach of such a dog can look mighty deceptive to a chump human. Often other dogs will give such individuals a wide, wide berth -- you may never know why, but it's worth taking notice when your generally reliable dog suddently acts like there's Bad Craziness afoot.

 

In Mary's most recent post there is one warning signal which is quite dramatic: air snapping AT HUMAN FACES. The higher on a human's body a canid's aggression/warning/negative attention is aimed, the stronger the warning and more potentially serious the consequences. Particularly with a dog like this who seems to go directly to over-the-top action very fast. Snapping at hands, feet, backsides generally means "don't do that" or "I'm not comfortable with you in that space" (often something more-or-less specifically to do with touching, resources, or avenues of escape). Snapping at faces generally means the dog wishes or intends to make you GO AWAY. Just generally stop interacting, period. The ultimate target (if the implicit warning/threat is followed through on) is potentially as serious as it gets. The dog may be helplessly reactive and not in control of its actions when it connects: but as you already know, nobody at the ER cares whether your dog could help itself or not, when they're treating you for macerations.

 

Mary, I would be very very careful handling this dog. Obviously I don't know whether the face snapping happened when the dog's face and the human's face were already at the same level, or whether the dog was on the ground sizing the human up. (That is a particularly frightening thing, if you've ever seen it. It doesn't sound like the case here and I hope it's not.)

 

I'm not saying poor Pip is automatically a walking, irredeemable, unfixable disaster. Especially not in patient, wary, expert hands. But I would like to balance some of the positive responses here with a note of caution. Based on Mary's descriptions (which from other comments are well supported by the videos), there definitely seem to be some behaviors, actions and reactions here which are potentially dangerous. I'm confident she wouldn't have labeled this thread "troubling behavior" lightly.

 

I can only wish the best of luck to Mary and Pip from afar. I know you'll do your best with this dog who seems so unhappy with his life so far. But please -- be careful, as well as patient and kind.

 

Regards,

 

LizSinSCPA

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This was a few minutes after they were initially introduced and Joey was already quite done with the situation by then. I also didn't get the initial attacking on video, but I think you can get a sense of Pip's behavior from the video anyway. After we put Joey away, we decided to up the ante a little and bring out a dog that wouldn't be such a pushover. Same thing happened. That dog, too, wanted nothing but to get out of the situation as soon as possible.

 

Pip's behavior is very disturbing to me. He seems to be treating the other dogs as prey.

 

 

 

If I brought this dog home to foster and it behaved in this manner, I would -

 

A. Have the dog on a line at all times so that I could correct any behavior I did not like immediately.

B. Have the dog muzzled so he could not make contact with one of my dogs with his teeth.

C. Immediately establish consequencines for behavior you do not like.

D. Try to set up an area where the dog could interact with the other dogs safely, like from behind a baby gate.

E. Correct the barking, whining behavior - use a spray bottle, and click and treat for quiet as well as correcting noise.

 

Was he neutered when he came into the shelter or very recently nuetered?

I see some behavior where his carriage and tail make me think he is a dog who likes to be in charge, but at least in the part of the interaction that you have on video, I don't see outright aggression. I have had quite a few young, male, teenage delinquent fosters in that past who were very fixated on the other dogs, had no idea how to interact at first and who spent most of their time herding the other dogs. I have had a few who would drive in and nip.

 

I do not put up with that behavior and I make it very clear that it will not be tolerated. I would have been much more firm and clear in my corrections and I would have been immediately removing the dog from the presence of the other dog the instant I saw behavior I did not like. Think of it as a time out. I would not have allowed direct interaction off lead after the initial bad behavior.

 

I certainly would not allow him to stress your dogs or subject the less confident dogs to his rude or aggressive behavior. I would practice very brief periods of interaction as frequently as you can with your more confident dogs who are not going to be tolerant of rude behavior but with that dog on a line and muzzled.

 

If there is any way to find him a different foster situation with less dogs in the foster home, it may make things a bit easier, but he is going to need some time and effort.

 

Great looking dog with a beautiful structure. I hope he settles in for you.

 

Jen.

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I just watched the 2nd video, which I missed when reading the trail of posts the first time.

 

Pip very clearly told anyone who was listening that he was not comfortable with greeting the dog on the video.

I could see the reaction coming way before it happened. This wasn't this reaction of a dog aggressive dog, but a dog who is fearful and unsure of other dogs.

 

I also see clear signals that Pip is worried and unsure about the other dog throughout the second video. I know that many on the board consider herding behavior when not directed at livestock prey drive, I personally feel its all the same thing and I have seen many Border Collies who intently follow other dogs around as if they were herding a flock of sheep and who are completely focused on doing so. I think you have that going on as well as fear and uncertainty in how to go about interacting with the other dogs. I don't see an aggressive or dangerous dog, but I can certainly sympathize with your concern. I would not subject my own dogs to the stress of having this type of dog in their home. Its not an easy siutation.

 

You have your hands full and the situation for Pip is not ideal since there are many dogs and you don't have a place where he can be without seeing or hearing them. I would address how he is to behave when crated or separated and keep him as far away from the other dogs as possible when you are crating him. I'd exercise him as much as is safe for him while he recovers as often as is safe. I would try to teach him to play with toys and interact with you. I'd expose him to the dogs behind a baby gate or fence while supervised for as many brief periods as you can and I would provide carefully controlled and very brief periods of time where he is near other dogs but not allowed to practice the herding behavior and not approached for now by the other dogs.

 

I would immediatly be doing some clicker and food work and this dog would eat only while working so that he gets as clicker motivated as possible as quickly as possible. I would then use the clicker to reward behavior near the dogs. If you can get him to turn his focus from the other dogs when asked and you can get him to relax in the presence of the other dogs, you may be able to move forward and get him properly engaging with them. I did see two instances on the videos that I felt were definitely the awkward, and hesitant, but obvious invitations to play.

 

Best,

Jen

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I got one almost like it. In her case she was raised as a pet with not near enough stimulation for a dog with as much drive as her. So she totally focused on the other dog and learned to be a bully plus of course fixate. She was also under socialized with other dogs. In her case, she does not direct any aggression towards humans or leads although she can at times be a pain in the crate if there is just way too much going on around her.

In her case, my guys are just bigger fools than her and they don't take her serious for the most part. Plus they will (because she lets them) back her off to an extend.

The one single biggest thing to help her has been to start working her on sheep. Which I don't get to do nearly often enough.

Good luck with Pip. He looks like a handful.

 

I will also have to echo RDM's post. This dog should not be underestimated.

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I also see clear signals that Pip is worried and unsure about the other dog throughout the second video. I know that many on the board consider herding behavior when not directed at livestock prey drive, I personally feel its all the same thing and I have seen many Border Collies who intently follow other dogs around as if they were herding a flock of sheep and who are completely focused on doing so. I think you have that going on as well as fear and uncertainty in how to go about interacting with the other dogs. I don't see an aggressive or dangerous dog, but I can certainly sympathize with your concern.

 

This is very close to what I think. I've been hesitant to say much more, as I am certainly no expert. But opinions, well, you know the saying, we all got 'em.

 

In the first video, without seeing the attacks, I thought Pip was just very un-socialized, totally lacking in dog communication skills, obsessive and a bit of a bully. In fact, I shared that video with a friend, and she used the word "bullying" several times. I didn't see a fearful dog until the next video with Maddox. I'm still not convinced it's all fear aggression, but he was definitely not wanting any part of Maddox in his face, and did try to avoid it. When that didn't work, he struck out. I'm not trying to downplay the attack, either, but I still don't see Pip as entirely vicious and aggressive. I also wanted to point out that even though mine was one of the more positive early responses, it was not that I was in any way doubting how the other dogs were feeling. They were scared and leery, and I don't blame them. They obviously feel something is off with Pip, and they're right. He seems overstimulated around other dogs, keyed up, nervous, unsure how to act and react. I thought he was curious, but then if too close, didn't know what to do, so he lashed out. Again, no expert, but the lashing didn't look that bad, IMO, but I would worry that it will escalate.

 

Mary, I still think he's salvageable, but it's going to be a lot of work in your overcrowded house. I know it's not an ideal situation, but through no fault of your own. :( I wish I knew of someone who would be able to take him on and help him out, but anyone dog savvy enough already has a houseful, and that's not what he needs.

 

PS. I know that Mary knows what she's doing, and she's integrated a lot more dogs than I have. I trust her judgment here. My thoughts are just based on observation of the videos only.

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Wow!

 

Watching that second video, I got all nervous and tense very early on, because after living with Buddy for five years, I knew exactly what Pip was thinking and how he was going to react if the other dog got any closer to his face. Pip's behaviors there are exactly - EXACTLY - Buddy's behaviors when another dog gets in his face. The tension building, the body language wishing the encounter won't happen, and the buildup to his goin gover threshold.

 

I think until you've lived with a dog who acts just like this, it'd be really easy not to see what's about to happen there. People always think I'm overreacting and over-controlling my dog when he's meeting other dogs, when what I'm really doing is reading his nervous body language and preventing things from going over the top.

 

The reverse situation happens with Buddy and other dogs, though - he would much rather go off the trail and pretend to be interested in sniffing leaves or something, to avoid meeting face-to-face with another dog. Pip seems to react to his own fear in the opposite way: by stepping in and attempting to "get them first."

 

My sympathies on your tough situation. I will follow your stories with interest.

 

Mary (2)

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Mary,

 

I have never seen Joey act that way around another dog. Even when I took him to meet Cujo that time. When we foster, our dogs meet dogs regularly who are unsure/afraid/nervous. They ignore them and go about their business until the dog settles down some. They sense that the other dog does not mean them bodily harm necessarily. Joey and the others reactions to Pip indicate that they have read this dog as one that will cause them harm. They know.

 

This sucks on so many levels. I'm so sorry.

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Guest carol campion

Hi Mary

 

I watched both videos and I don't think that Pip is acting out of fear at all. I wrote you privately but you must not have seen it so I'll answer here.

 

Let me preface this by saying that I breed, raise and train a lot of working Border Collies and I buy a lot of well bred pups to start as well as do lessons and training. My experience with these dogs is from the perspective of a working dog.

 

My impression of this dog after watching the first video is that he is merely working the other dog. Just about every BC that I raise at some point goes through this type of behavior when the instinct first kicks in. It isn;t always directed at my other dogs, but often is. It is usually initiated by some kind of movement in another animal or object. Might be my other dogs, or my cats, or my chickens or the birds flying overhead. Depending on the tpe of eye and genetic makeup of the type of worker, different types of behavior are exhibited. Some will run circles frenzied around the other dogs—some with more eye stalk and try to stop the other dogs. It expresses itself in varying ways.

 

Pip, in my estimation, isn't acting out of fear at all. He is intention is in working the dogs and that is why he isn't carrying a playful tail. His tail is pretty much down in a work like display. A dog fighting or playing usually has his tail over his head and not in a serious pose such as this dog. In the 2nd video, the man with you mentions that. He also mentions that Pip seems pretty happy about what he is doing. I agree.

 

Even though I mention that this is not abnormal behavior for a working dog, it isn't really acceptable—partly because it annoys the hell of of other dogs and cats and what ever. And if left unchecked, in a good working dog, may lead the dog to believe that only the type stock he is to work is the first he started working, and then it would be hard to shift to another. I have had dogs that will work sheep and then never want to work geese. That type of thing. And it can happen with working dogs and then not sheep, for example.

 

The dangerous thing for a dog like Pip is that the dog he is working might haul off and tell him off and then a fight would ensue. So I nip this type of thing in the bud when I see it. It is also a sign for me that the dog is ready for stock work and some training. Someone mentions this in their response to you.

 

I think it unfair to restrain a dog that has turned onto working dogs and allow another dog into his face as happened in the 2nd video. Because the response is exactly what you would want from a working dog if that work instinct was directed towards the proper stock. If you restrained a dog and push a sheep into its face—or a cow, it would bite it. And most would be thrilled that the dog had grit and defended itself. That's just what Pip is doing here. Not unusual at all. But because his behavior is not being viewed as work, he is considered aggressive and dangerous. I disagree. he is defending himself against the stock (dog) he is trying to control.

 

As long as Pip is view through a "pet" lens, he will be misunderstood. I would bet that at some point, he was either left unattended to work other dogs through a fence or along a fence or possibly work stock unattended. He wants to work now. H would be a good candidate for an instinct test and for someone who wanted a work dog. I might be wrong and he may have too much baggage associated with working the wrong kind of stock (dogs) but it could be he was working other stock (sheep-cows, etc). In this environment, without stock, his new dog companions are all there is to work.

 

When mine start behaving like this, I find it pretty hard to stop it completely because it is difficult on the "worked" dog. They feel you are correcting them when you are correcting the dog working (pip). So I usually let them out alone for exercise or find a dog that doesn't interest them to accompany them and don't allow this habit to build. Once they start working sheep, it falls into place. They are not allowed out with my other dogs that they work.

 

These dogs need an "off" switch when it comes to working. But to want Pip to be a Labrador in a BC suit isn't going to happen, I don't think. His work instinct has been turned on and he is going to find something to work. To force him to behave differently with the other dogs isn't going to be easy. He might do best in a home with no other dogs in a one on one situation with someone looking for work genetics.

 

You will probably never know how or when this started and it doesn't really matter. The best thing is to channel his work instinct rather than try to eliminate it.

 

This is all meant in a very helpful way and is in no way judgmental. Based on what I have seen in the videos, I think it sad to think he is being classed as a mean aggressive dog as I don't think that the case. Had he originally been owned by someone that threw him a frisbee or a ball, he might be totally different. You can see that once he isn;t working, he doesn't quite know what to do with himself. He needs to learn. His fate is that he turned onto other dogs to work and it isn't acceptable. It might or might not be too late to alter and rechannel his working instinct. You won't know til you try.

 

Carol

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Pip, in my estimation, isn't acting out of fear at all. He is intention is in working the dogs and that is why he isn't carrying a playful tail. His tail is pretty much down in a work like display. A dog fighting or playing usually has his tail over his head and not in a serious pose such as this dog. In the 2nd video, the man with you mentions that. He also mentions that Pip seems pretty happy about what he is doing. I agree.

 

I really hesitate to disagree with this, because I know that you have so much more experience than I will probably ever have when it comes to stockdogs. But I do know that I saw pretty similar behavior in my Kipp when I got Kenzi last year. Head down, crouching, dive and bite, lots of eye, very stylish. And it was because he didn't know how to handle her. It was like he was unsure, he was tense so he resorted to hardwired behavior. Before this he had lived just fine with my oldest dog for 3+ years. Once I got him to relax around Kenzi, the "working" behavior stopped. Like someone turned off a switch. He just doesn't do it anymore with her.

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I'm editing my post after having read carol campion's, above. I agree with her.

 

When I saw the first video, I immediately thought of my Violet, who obsessively "works" other dogs.

Not all of them - she tried it exactly once with my dear departed bitty buzzsaw of a Lhasa, and got her head handed to her. But she still obsesses on my little feist, Abbie, so I just don't allow Violet and Abbie to be in the same place at the same time.

 

I know for a fact Vi was allowed to get into this habit at her last home, where the people thought it was just her instinct and she couldn't help it.

 

Vi's not dog aggressive at all with dogs she's not interested in "working". She's been loose with big crowds of dogs, at clinics and at the NC BC picnic, and I've not had a problem. (Well, she did try to "work" Julie Poudrier's Pip at the picnic, but being a gentleman, he ignored her :) )

 

But VI will, when trying to "work" another dog who challenges her, get in that dog's face just as she does when a ewe stomps her foot and challenges her. A few times (through bad planning on my part), I've had to restrain Vi as Abbie approached her, and Vi reacts much as Pip did in the second video. I don't see a dog-aggressive dog there - just a huge PIA dog who wants to work other dogs. :)

 

Could you take Pip to sheep and see how he does? I know not all dogs who exhibit this behavior will work stock - but Vi turned out to be pretty good on stock, and Pip may also. I think carol's right that if he shows any promise on stock he'd have a better chance of finding himself a home.

 

In the short term, I guess I'd probably just try and keep Pip isolated, or see if you can find a dog he's not interested in. Vi only occasionally tries to "work" Faith, because Faith is bigger and faster and reacts by simply bowling Vi over and continuing on her merry way. :) And Scott, my maremma/BC cross, doesn't move around enough to interest Vi. :lol:

 

Good luck. I know how frustrating this problem can be. With the exception of poor little Abbie, I've just let my own dogs work it out amongst themselves, but I realize with a foster things are different.

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