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Hi there, its my first post, not sure where this belongs, but I could use some help :P

 

My dog, a 11 month old border collie, is aggressive to strangers, he is on a chain, gets taken off for a few hours during the day, for walks, fun, work etc. But, if someone walks past, or he sees a stranger, he will attack them, snapping and biting. Yet, if you play with him for just 2-3 minutes, he will be anyones friend. :unsure: We cant let him off his chain due to this, He will attack anyone that walks past.

 

Also, he is aggressive with cars, which is a problem, since I am afraid he will get run over some day, how should I stop him chasing and snapping at wheels, he just goes crazy as soon as he gets near them.

 

Thanks!

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Chains encourage this type of behavior. I would be crating him in the house (or at least away from where people are walking by) instead of chaining him up.

 

What kind of exercise and training does he get? From your description he sounds bored adolescent dog that needs more guidance and training.

 

For something like car chasing, I'd set him up and correct strongly when he starts to think about it - car chasing kills and I want my dog to know on no uncertain terms that it is not allowed.

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You are not going to like what I have to say, sorry. Keeping a dog on a chain can actually be the cause of your problems. I take it you don't have a fence. In my experience (teaching classes and training at a shelter), dogs that are kept tied up can develop all sorts of problems. You said yourself that a few minutes of freedom and play change him into a friendly dog. Think about it. If you can't keep a dog any other way, you should really consider finding him another home, and don't get another dog until you can keep it properly. The appropriate life for a dog is IN THE HOUSE with the family. Are you a young person whose parents won't let the dog in???

 

As for training him not to chase moving vehicles, how much training have you done with him? Basic obedience? Gone to classes? How much time do you spend with him daily? (Is the couple of hours you mentioned all of it? Not enough). He needs a great deal of training and management at this point. It will take time.

 

Kathy Robbins

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We have never kept dogs in the house - Never will. That was the issue with the dog when he was in an enclosure, he jumped out and walked the roads (We live in the country) So that is why hes on the chain.

 

He is off his chain most of the time, He is a herding dog, He only goes on is chain at night and when people are not around. He gets plenty of exercise and is fairly happy.

 

I will try and get him off the chain as soon as possible, but what should I do about him jumping out and chasing people walking past, or jumping out to chase cars?

 

Training wise - Several sessions with sheep, no classes, Basic obedience (Lie down, stay, recall etc)

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How about a dog kennel with a cover?

 

Herding dog or not, the chain is not good and is probably contributing to the aggression. If he's still jumping at people when he's in the kennel, you can make that unpleasant for him by "rattling" the panel with a stock stick or whatever.

 

Chasing cars ... set it up. Put him on a long line (not too long), let him have enough rope to hang himself with ... and then let him do it. I make hitting the end of that long line a whole lot of not-fun.

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I'd rather say the appropriate place for a dog is with his/her pack - whether that's in the kennel or in the house. A single dog, kept alone, is not going to be a contented dog. There is nothing wrong with dogs kept in well-managed kennels if they are cared for properly (and that includes much more than food and water).

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I second pretty much what everyone else has said. The chain seems likely to be a contributing factor.

 

Also, I agree with setting up a situation to train away from car chasing. Our six month old puppy had a tendency to lunge at cars while on leash and did a little bit of chasing once or twice when off leash (the cars caught us by surprise at a park, fortunately she returned before chasing too far).

 

What we did is take her for a walk on leash on the sidewalk along a fairly busy road. Whenever a car went by I timed a fairly harsh correction the moment she started to lunge. This seems to have worked pretty well and it only took a few sessions. At least she doesn't lunge at them on leash any more.

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WorkingCollie:

 

First I want to say that I don't think all dogs need to live in the house to be happy.

 

But by your own admission, there are problems with the dog in an enclosure; he gets out. And problems with the chain: he gets nasty with people.

 

So what can you do? You say you have never had an inside dog and don't want to start now. You must have a reason for this. But whatever your objection to the dog having inside time, perhaps you could evaluate what the trade-off would be if your dog began to be inside some of the time to counteract his boredom, compared to controlling (not solving) his aggression problem by a rigging a kennel yard with a roof or some other containment system. Perhaps he could spend evenings until bedtime inside, and then sleep in his kennel outdoors.

 

It seems that he is not getting enough stimulation from the work he does for you to come home after work and just sleep. Dogs get stimulation in all kinds of ways. Riding in a car, working, interactive play, and hanging with their owners. It is generally true that a chained dog is not a happy one, but there are ways around chain-induced aggression, especially as he is not chained all the time. There are many people who keep their working dogs in kennels when they aren't on the job, but unless I am mistaken, they probably have a few kennel-mates to keep them company, and a work-load that meets their requirement for simulation.

 

Whatever you decide to do, remember, all dogs are not the same. Your male may simply need more from you to be calm and well-adjusted than your female did/does. What's going on now isn't working for you or the dog, and I suspect that simply making his enclosure escape-proof will just convert him from a dog who lunges at the end of a chain to a dog that lunges at a fence. Either behavior is undesirable and could have long-term effects on his mental stability if allowed to persist for any length of time.

 

You say your dog chills out if you play with him for a few minutes after letting him off the chain, but that could change if his situation doesn't.

 

Here's another thread about car-chasing. http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/index.php?showtopic=19969&hl=%20juno%20%20chasing%20%20cars&st=0

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The farms I have been on have had kennels for their working dogs - either outside kennels or kennels inside the barn. I have seen several places that had nice kennels for the working dogs set up inside the barm where it's warmer and protected.

 

I don't think I ever saw the dogs on chains. Dogs get crazy on chains.

 

I saw one really neat setup in Ireland. I was at a working sheep operation and the owner had set up a stall in the horse barn for the dog. It had a door that closed securely so once inside he couldn't get out. It was filled with fresh straw, water, food and a warm blanket. And it was kept very clean. The dog was out working during the day so he was happy to have a safe, warm place at night.

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GB ... The OP was pretty clear.

 

We have never kept dogs in the house - Never will.

 

And I get it. I know people who would never have a dog in the house, and there's no convincing them, and that's fine. I am getting pretty sick of the dog hair in my house myself and am thinking about changing things up.

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I'd seriously consider a kennel with a top or roof.

 

Editing today, because the forum froze up on me last night.

 

I meant to come back and say, I can't think of any way to stop a dog being aggressive on a chain, so long as he's on the chain. A dog on a chain (or even a leash) is "trapped," if he meets with a stressful situation. From what you describe, it seems your dog is very stressed by strange people coming near when he's on his chain. The fact the he's willing to make friends after an aggressive display tells me that he's fearful and he's reacting viciously as a means of self-defense.

 

Why, by the way, is he chained where strangers can walk by him, if he is so aggressive? Since you live in the country, I think I'd find a low-traffic area in which to keep your dogs, like behind the house.

 

A kennel, however, is a dog's safe place, his "den." So, give your dog a kennel with a good roof and a dog house inside the kennel. Then he can't escape, and he'll have a safe place in which to retreat if people come near. You can just buy some sheets of plywood and wire them down tight, or sheets of metal. It will serve the dual purpose of keeping him from climbing out, and giving him shelter from sun and storm. Or watch Craig's List for some chain link to wire over the top.

 

Until you get him off that chain, you're going to have a problem. It's not that hard to roof a kennel.

 

Although if he's attacking people when he's *not* on chain, you've got a bigger problem than I know how to address.

 

The vehicle chasing is more complicated than I'm equipped to advise on. But again, I'd say the best/easiest thing is to restrict his ability to be anywhere near a moving vehicle. Is a fenced yard out of the question?

 

In all, it sounds like he's not getting enough to do, ("fairly happy?") and he's being kept in a place with way too much strange-people traffic for him to handle. He needs a roofed kennel with a dog house or shelter to be his safe place, away from passing strangers.

 

Best of luck,

 

Gloria

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Thank you for the replies.

He has a large stable of which his chain only reaches partly into, I can set it up so he can have the full run of it, and let him out to roam himself when he stops taking himself for walks and chasing cars :rolleyes: Would that suit him better than a chain?

 

He was in a roofed kennel and he absolutely hated it, scratched and ate wire until he got his way out, barked and complained, which is why he got moved onto the chain.

We live by the roadside, which is why there is the problem with cars.

 

He is aggressive off chain aswell, but after those 2-5 minutes with me holding him and letting people throw balls around him then he will be friendly.

 

Would the best option be let him stay in this stable with a mesh guard on front? How do I go about keeping him staying at home rather than walking himself? Once again thanks so much for the replies.

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Yes, that set up would be much better. But you still need to deal with the underlying issue of a bored teenage dog with pent up energy. The car chasing will not stop on it's own - it's highly self rewarding to a dog. Since he's been in full view of passing cars for a while he's got the pent up frustration of wanting to chase them but not being able to. It's like the cars have been taunting him so when he gets loose the one thing on his mind is to get them!

 

How much do you use him/train him each day? From your desription of his behavior I think he's probably not getting enough physical and mental exercise. I would take him out in the morning and exercise/work him really well so that he's ready to just chill a while. Then do it again in the afternoon. Tired dogs are good dogs. Border Collies get tired from a combination of physical and mental exercise.

 

The combination of giving him enough exercise to meet his needs along with keeping him in a secure location away from visual stimulation will go a long way toward solving his issues

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He has a large stable of which his chain only reaches partly into, I can set it up so he can have the full run of it, and let him out to roam himself when he stops taking himself for walks and chasing cars :rolleyes: Would that suit him better than a chain?

 

He was in a roofed kennel and he absolutely hated it, scratched and ate wire until he got his way out, barked and complained, which is why he got moved onto the chain.

 

Yes. If he reacted badly to a kennel, which I know happens, then fencing off the interior of the barn, or a nice portion of it, might work better. If he's comfortable in there, that would make a good kennel situation for him.

 

We live by the roadside, which is why there is the problem with cars.

 

Then he must be kept away from the road. I'm still not sure how his chain-out area is where he has contact with passing strangers. Is a fenced dog yard out of the question?

 

He is aggressive off chain aswell, but after those 2-5 minutes with me holding him and letting people throw balls around him then he will be friendly.

 

Would the best option be let him stay in this stable with a mesh guard on front? How do I go about keeping him staying at home rather than walking himself? Once again thanks so much for the replies.

 

Honey, I really hope I'm misunderstanding you, here, because the vision you're painting of your situation goes from bad to worse. Right now I see an under-socialized, car-chasing dog who bites people, (possibly from fearfulness) ... and you're looking for a way to fix him so you can turn him lose on an unfenced property that's located right on the road?

 

I'm wrong, right?

 

Because the only guarantee that a dog won't end up on the highway, whether he's chasing cars or just admiring the scenery, is to keep him behind a fence. The fact he's aggressive with people on and off the chain makes this an even greater liability. Yes, he's young and careful training and conditioning can relieve him of his aggressive behavior and the car chasing.

 

But I can never, ever accept a dog being loose on an unfenced, roadside property. I've lost a dog to a highway - he only got out once and he was dead in minutes. To expect your border collie to become a stay-at-home porch dog would be unreasonable, and can only end in tragedy. If the road doesn't get him, then he may well end up over at some neighbor's property, killing chickens or chasing livestock.

 

I must ask again, is a fenced dog yard not a possibility?

 

At any rate, the barn solution sounds best, for now. I hope others who are more versed in behavioral training can advise you on techniques for replacing his aggressiveness with correct behavior, and to also modify the intensity of his reaction to cars. But please, please don't ever expect a dog to just hang around an unfenced property, especially with a road right there.

 

~ Gloria

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He is aggressive off chain aswell, but after those 2-5 minutes with me holding him and letting people throw balls around him then he will be friendly.

 

WC, I agree with Gloria. There's a bit of concern here. Can you please explain this in a bit more detail? When you say aggressive, what do you mean? Will he actually bite people unprovoked? Or is he aggressive in getting people to play with him or what?

 

If you could post some photos of your setup, that might help us give you some ideas.

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I'm thinking maybe the words "attack" and "aggressive" aren't holding the same meaning to board members as they are to the OP -- an aggressive dog isn't the same thing as what I'm picturing....an 11 month old pup with pent up energy wanting desperately to play and probably jumping and play biting at anyone who walks by in a bid for attention? Though eventually, the pup may become aggressive as any dog chained for long periods of time becomes defensive - it has nowhere to run if threatened, particularly if it is now being punished for jumping at people it really only wants to play with...

 

 

As for the rest of it, Gloria, et al are right on...the dog is barking and carrying on at the cars in the same way it as at the people -- looking for something to do. Getting run over "some day" is not a possibility, it's a reality - he's been turned on and here's a moving object -- darn there it went! I'll get the next one...He might be trained out of it, but it's my bet that you'll never be able to trust him around anything with wheels.

 

As has been suggested, he needs more exercise, more obedience and socialization, a quiet place with no outside stimulation to dial down for down time. Try to get him "dog tired" before you put him in his new digs and then put him to bed like you would a toddler - with non destructible toys to occupy him -- my pups always had marrow bones. If the stall or kennel is is big enough, a basketball to chase around might help or even a tough tug rope might help to work off some nervous energy, (these things are popular at my house but I have them in a fenced in yard) ...I switch things around around every now and then, though they do sometimes tend to want their "favorites."

 

Liz

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Not sure if this will help or if it is already too late (i.e. he has an ingrained car-chasing behavior), but --- you say you live by the roadside. Can he see the cars go by from his kennel/chain? If so, he is 'working/chasing' every car that goes by in his mind. When I talked to an experienced sheep trainer, he told me that he kennels all his dogs so that they cannot see the sheep. He only wants them working the sheep under his direction, and when they are looking at the sheep while they are kenneled, they are imagining things he doesn't want them to be thinking about.

 

I am thinking a similar principle may be at work with a dog within view of moving cars. If you can block his view of passing cars, his response may dampen down. (He will still need additional training/corrections to deal with his chasing behavior.)

 

Jovi

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Liz, I hope you're right, but she said "snapping and biting" and that she has to hold him while people throw balls, until he becomes friendly. So ... if she returns to tell more, maybe we'll get a better picture. :)

 

~ Gloria

Yes, it's hard to get the full picture...one of our rescues (an older dog) was like that for a bit -- he felt threatened when people reached for him and would nip...but if he decided to come up to the person, everything was fine. After a few months with us, he stopped it. Got more secure...it's the car chasing that gets me more though...hard to control that once it starts.

 

Liz

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Sorry for the short updates, had a much longer one written but wouldnt post :unsure:

 

I'll start with the aggression, He is totally fine with me around, very wary of people, will openly stand beside them on a leash, if they ever went to stroke him, he would nip, He doesn't bite/latch, he just gives them a quick nip/snap. He's not a fan of other dogs, which I thought was territory related, him being close to where they walk, If He is on the chain, and I let people play with him for 2 minutes, I will then invite them over to pet him, he will be absolutely fine with them from now on. Could he have got it from the much crosser older dog when he was a pup? I just want him to stop completely snapping/chasing people/dogs.

 

As for the car chasing, he will chase any car whilst I am not nearby either, if I am there, I'll just tell him to lie down and stay, he will not do anything to them. But If I am not there, he will lunge at the car and attempt to snap/bite wheels. He really did hate the kennel, didn't like sharing it with the other dog either (The other dog didn't like sharing)

 

He gets upwards of 2 hours training/exercise a day, various activities, Basic obedience, herding, walking and playing.

 

I was hoping that he could stay in a fenced area, where he wouldn't jump out, but I would like to open a gate and leave it open so he could roam the yard when he stops car chasing/sheep chasing. Previous dogs have been allowed to do this and have had no problems with it. We are maybe 30 meters away from the road. Would that ever be possible?

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I was hoping that he could stay in a fenced area, where he wouldn't jump out, but I would like to open a gate and leave it open so he could roam the yard when he stops car chasing/sheep chasing. Previous dogs have been allowed to do this and have had no problems with it. We are maybe 30 meters away from the road. Would that ever be possible?

 

My dear, please read my previous post on page 1 of this thread. You canNOT expect a loose, unsupervised dog to live safely 100 feet from a road. I don't care that you've been lucky with previous dogs. A dog this reactive to cars can never be trusted next to an unfenced road, no matter how you train him.

 

Even if you trained him until you felt he was utterly neutral around any moving vehicle, what's to stop him simply wandering out into traffic, or chasing a squirrel in front of an oncoming car? What's to stop him heading off to the neighbors to chase their cats or chickens?

 

I'll say again, I had a dog get on a road, just once. He did NOT chase cars. He didn't bother moving vehicles at all. But he knocked open a gate, wandered onto the road and was dead within minutes. All he did was step in front of a moving truck - which witnesses said didn't even hit the brakes. My heart still aches over that.

 

If you care for this dog at all, please, please abandon the idea of ever leaving him loose and unsupervised 100 feet from an open road! :blink: If nothing else, this dog's temperament is clearly not the mellow, laid-back, sit-on-the-porch type your previous dogs must have been. Yes, you can train him to not chase cars, but you will never entirely remove that spark of impulse which could, at any time, trigger him to go after a vehicle that catches his attention.

 

Lastly, he's a border collie. He's bred to go 30+ miles a day. The distance to your road is barely a hop. My present dogs can cover the 100 feet from our house to our highway gate in about 3 seconds. If that fence wasn't there, they'd be dead, too. Now, if your family is of the mindset, "Hey, if he's too stupid to stay off the highway, oh well" ... then I can't help you.

 

I'll offer some more practical thoughts in my next post.

 

~ Gloria

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Okay, some thoughts. Others have offered training tips, so please read back through this thread. Here's a bit from me.

 

It kind of doesn't matter why your dog became the way he is. You must deal with the dog he is, now. If he was put in a kennel with a dog who was unkind to him, that's a shame. He should not have been in that situation. But your setup with the barn sounds like a good substitute, if you can kennel him in there. When he's not in the barn-kennel and not working with you, he should be kept in a fenced yard. Again, DON'T turn him loose to roam just 100 feet from the road! That's a ridiculous thing to expect of any dog, but especially a border collie.

 

Now, others here have suggested correcting him for chasing cars. My two cents is this, if you want to try it. If he'll lie quietly for you while on leash, and let cars go by with no reaction, then try stepping up to a long line. Have a good length of heavy cord, clothesline or heavier, that you can really hold onto. Make it about 20 feet long or so. Then if he goes after a car, snatch him back with a loud verbal correction. This is a matter of life-and-death, so if you scare him from the car chasing, all the better. You can also make a loud bashing noise at the same time, by shaking a plastic soda bottle with some pebbles in it and shouting NO!

 

You'll have to do this, or something like it, every day, every week, for a very, very long time. You won't train a dog out of a self-gratifying obsession in just a couple weeks. That's what you must understand. Chasing cars is FUN. He enjoys it. He gets pleasure from it. So you're not just correcting a no-no, you need to un-wire and re-wire a fixed pattern in his head.

 

As for his wariness with strangers, will he take treats from strangers? Perhaps try taking him places with you, or taking him for walks on leash, and when you meet strangers, ask if they'll help you with him. Have him sit, offer him a treat that he really likes, then have them offer him a bite of the same treat. Don't have them pet him right away. Just have them offer the treat, and remain quiet and un-confrontational. (Don't let them bend over him or get close to his face.)

 

If he goes for the treat idea, then maybe you can start conditioning him that meeting strangers=getting treats. Think really good treats, too, like cheese bits or chunks of hotdog. Again, this will take lots of time and repetition, but it can work, if you are consistent.

 

In the meanwhile, as others have said, get rid of the chain, and make sure his new home in the barn is secluded from passing strangers.

 

All this will take lots of time and dedication. I hope you're up for it. But if you value this dog, you'll make the added effort to help him find a better way to be. Since you say he's wary of strangers, it's probable that he's somewhat afraid of them, and that snapping is his way of warding them off before they can hurt or scare him. You must bear that in mind, with everything you do, and do NOT leave him in situations where strangers get near him, without your help.

 

I hope all this will help.

 

~ Gloria

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