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I have a two year old BC bitch unspayed. She is out of my bitch so I have had her since birth. She is very sensitive to sound. runs from plastic bags, and any strange sounds. Growls at things outside that I can't see. She is a very driven dog. Very grippy on sheep. She is not worked very much. I live about 2 hours from where I can herd, so she probably works sheep on average 1-2 a month. I board horses and she runs loose on that property. Wants to herd and nip at horses. I have taught her not to go in pastures. She will jump up and nip at noses and at heels. I have tried very hard to correct, but she goes back to it. She will also circle the horses when they are in cross ties. Any help in breaking habits like that is appreciated. My biggest concern and what I really need help with is her aggression with small dogs. She is a very dominate dog, she runs up very aggressively to strange dogs if they stand it is a quick sniff and she moves on, sometimes they lie down and she sniffs and moves on. the problem is small dogs typically run, she then feels the need to nip at themand she often knocks them over. Sometimes i can call her when she is running over and end it, but sometimes she does not listen. She is also protective aggressive with me when she is on a leash. Other dogs can't approach with out her growling. Off leash, she can be aggressive with dogs that I pet. Typically growls and snapping. I am trying to nip this in the bud before it can get worse.

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Crate or tie her up around the horses. Ditto to spaying her. All of these behaviors sound as if she just runs wild? Who's in charge? If she can't behave and you can't be 100% focused on her then put her up until you can. I see no reason to allow the charging, nipping, jumping in horses faces..once is an accident, twice is training problem.

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Agree with Journey. ^^^^ When my dog is at the barn, he is tied up since I can not be watching him and doing the chores at the same time. If I boarded my horse at a barn where a dog was allowed to nip and herd my horse, I would probably be asking the owner to control their dog -- or go elsewhere.


Leash aggression: My dog has a bit of this. I have heard that Patricia McConnell has a book that covers dealing with leash aggression. It is on my list of books to order and read.



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^^^What Karen (Journey) said!


When I got my first working-bred pup, he was a pistol and I was pretty clueless. I learned that a combination of training and management are necessary. I let him get away with similar bad behaviors that your dog is showing (the jumping and nipping, in particular). So I made a real effort with my next several dogs to train and also to manage (by management, I mean not allowing the situation to happen where the dog can get into a bad behavior).


Your dog sounds like she has been allowed to run amok and do whatever she wanted to do. Established bad behaviors are much harder to break than it is to avoid the start of a bad behavior (or nip it in the bud when it is just beginning).


Crating or tying (and you will probably have to do these things out of sight of the horses or she may still react to them), or using an empty stall when you are moving or working with the horses. Reprimand bad behavior and substitute something more desireable for her to do (redirect her energy into something else). Foresee problems and avoid them from happening rather than just reacting once they have happened or are happening. Teach a "leave it" command, which can be a lifesaver! And, if nothing else works, don't allow her at the stable but confine her at home or in a crate in your vehicle where she can not see the horses.


As for the small dogs, you might consider having her on a long line so that she has slack and is free to greet them without the "leash effect" (a leash confines a dog and a taut leash transmits tension, so avoid both a short lead and a taut lead) but, if the small dog moves off and she wants to take off after it, you can have your foot on the long line and prevent her from chasing, then deal with reprimanding the initial chase, and reward her for coming to you and leaving the small dog alone).


And, of course, avoid situations entirely if you can not be in control so that the small dog is going to be safe.


Good luck dealing with these issues. Others will give much better advice than I can.

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Hi there ~


The first thing I would say is STOP allowing her free run of the property. You can't stop her fixations with the horses simply by yelling NO. Crate her, tie her up where she can't see the horses, (or tie her to your belt,) put her in a box stall, whatever, but I echo the thought that it seems she simply has too much freedom.


It's difficult if not impossible to stop a behavior, if she's only corrected once she's in the middle of doing it. She's already satisfied herself, if she gets yelled at when she jumps in a horse's face. She won't see any need to quit, since she got what she wanted, and the yell is just an annoyance to her fun.


Can you set her up to do the bad things? I'd say try taking her around on a long line, and when she goes into her circling or nipping behaviors, snatch her up hard with a loud, firm correction. I've been around horses all my adult life, and sooner or later, she's going to go whizzing past some horse's heels and he's going to break her neck or shatter her skull. If you can't supervise and restrict her self-gratifying bad behaviors, she should not have the freedom to indulge them.


As for aggression on little dogs, I'm no expert, but again, don't give her the freedom to do it. If she's going after dogs belonging to horse owners who come there, she should not be allowed the freedom to dash up however she likes. Forgive me for saying, but you're a little late in "nipping it in the bud," if you've had her since birth and she's now 2 years old. Thus, now you're trying to un-do behaviors you've permitted to develop.


(I know that sounds harsh, but I've seen it too many times. People just let the dogs slip through their fingers and suddenly they have grown dogs with problems.)


One thing I'd suggest is spaying her. With that temperament, I'd not recommend breeding her, and spaying may take the edge off some of her dominance behaviors. However, much of what you describe sounds like plain bad dog-manners, so I'd recommend listening to folks here who can advise you in training methods to replace what she's learned to do. For example, when meeting or petting other dogs, make her sit. Enforce the sit. Correct her sharply (I'm talking verbal and/or a pop on the leash, not beating!) if she growls or offers aggression, then praise her when she sits nicely and lets you deal with the other dog.


If she's very headstrong, as it seems like she may be, it will require lots of persistence and repetition, and lots of work on leash. It sounds like she needs less freedom, more rules, more consequences and restrictions, and more training time with you.


Best of luck, but please, please don't let her keep after horses like that, or you're going to see her killed or maimed. Or worse, she'll cause a lawsuit by getting someone else (or their horse) hurt.


~ Gloria

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