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I have a two year old female border collie who I got when she was 10 weeks old. From the start, I was very proactive about introducing her in a controlled way to lots of social situations on a very regular basis - lots of people of different ages, lots of dogs (mostly at dog parks and dog day care), etc. basically because I know how hard it can be for a border collie that isn't well socialized; I think more so than most other breeds.

 

When she was about 10 months old, I moved into a house with a boxer who is about 2 years older than her. He is a wonderful dog, but he doesn't go to the dog park because he does not get along well with other male dogs. I started going to the dog park less frequently because they play together very well and she gets to at least meet lots of other dogs on our walks and runs.

 

In recent months, on the occasion I do bring her by the dog park, I noticed she seems less socialized than at her peak. The most disconcerting things she'll do is, if she's at the water bowl, bare her teeth and snap at other dogs who try to drink at the same time or, more frequently, snap at other dogs who get jostle her when somebody is winding up to throw a ball (she's obsessed with this).

 

I'm fairly confident she'll never actually hurt another dog, but I know the bared teeth and snapping is not good and I do think it makes other people a little concerned.

 

I don't think she's stressed from other factors in life. She gets about 20-30 miles a week in running, has a proper weight, and gets lots of positive attention at home. She's otherwise extremely sweet though her and the boxer wrestle pretty roughly.

 

How do I reverse this trend? I don't know how I feel about bringing her to the dog park more because I feel like, while she'd still be welcome there, I'd like her to be in a slightly better place when interacting with groups of other dogs.

 

Any advice would be very much appreciated!!

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Well, I would think it's not a reverse in sociability, but rather she's old enough now to stand up for herself. Most puppies are like little kids and everything is cool but as they start to grow up they realize that it's annoying and they're in a place to say "no." and I would guess that's what she's doing.

 

I don't go to dog parks very often at all but if I do go to one, Soda isn't allowed to play with toys because she guards them and if she tries to steal someone else's I tell her to "leave it" and we continue on. If she doesn't leave it I go and get her.

 

She also gets pissy at the water bowl with the other dogs crowding her so I stand guard and if other dogs (LABS!) come over to bum-rush the bowl, then I just have Soda leave with me. I so rarely go that I don't see the need to get a water bottle/bowl to take for that reason but if you go frequently then it's worth getting.

 

I guess what I'm saying is dogs are dogs and they will stand up for themselves. For me, as long as they don't escalate, then I'm ok with a dog giving another dog a snap or snarl if they deserve it.

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Love your screen name! A lot of dogs lose the urge to play with bunches of other dogs as they mature. At two years, your girl is pretty much an adult now, and thinks other dogs should be polite and wait their turn.

 

Border collies specifically don't care for other dogs that they don't know that well invading their space. With dogs they know, as in the case of your boxer friend, wrestling is a great thing. For a strange dog to shoulder them aside, or try to body slam, even in play, Is Not Well Tolerated.

 

My Samantha used to get fairly distresssed at dog parks. There were all these dogs running around and no one was in charge! When I saw her stance start to get more rigid, and especially if she stalked other dogs or started running rings around them, it was time to go home.

 

I would consider not taking her to the dog park, or at least go when there aren't so many dogs there, if you're able.

 

We'd love to see pictures!

 

Ruth

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Love your screen name! A lot of dogs lose the urge to play with bunches of other dogs as they mature. At two years, your girl is pretty much an adult now, and thinks other dogs should be polite and wait their turn.

 

Border collies specifically don't care for other dogs that they don't know that well invading their space. With dogs they know, as in the case of your boxer friend, wrestling is a great thing. For a strange dog to shoulder them aside, or try to body slam, even in play, Is Not Well Tolerated.

 

My Samantha used to get fairly distresssed at dog parks. There were all these dogs running around and no one was in charge! When I saw her stance start to get more rigid, and especially if she stalked other dogs or started running rings around them, it was time to go home.

 

I would consider not taking her to the dog park, or at least go when there aren't so many dogs there, if you're able.

 

We'd love to see pictures!

 

Ruth

 

 

Yes, her name is sort of running joke my housemate and I have. It's *actually* Frida, but he likes to call her Miss Margerie Hambone. I will probably just try to work with her more closely at the dog park and keep the stressors at a minimum. I love border collies because they always have such (relatively) complex and developed personalities for dogs, but they certainly know how to make their dislikes clear.

 

Here's a photo of her herding her boxer friend. :)

post-12052-059519400 1300458771_thumb.jpg

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Border collies specifically don't care for other dogs that they don't know that well invading their space. With dogs they know, as in the case of your boxer friend, wrestling is a great thing. For a strange dog to shoulder them aside, or try to body slam, even in play, Is Not Well Tolerated.

 

 

Yes, this. I shouldn't generalize, but when I read about Miss Hambone (lol) and her dog park behavior, my first thought was that she sounded like a pretty typical border collie. I second the suggestion to maybe avoid the dog park at peak hours or all together. She may love playing with you at the park, but not so much the close interaction with the other dogs.

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I've never heard of a communal water dish at the dog park! We have one park that has a fountain for dogs, but I never go there, it's not fenced.

 

Anyway, I agree with what most others said. I have one of these handy products for our dog park trips.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Handi-Drink-Dog-Water-Bottle--Spill-proof/dp/B000GDXHQ0/ref=sr_1_1?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1300461663&sr=1-1

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