Katrice Posted March 28, 2012 Report Share Posted March 28, 2012 We recently adopted a Border Collie from an organization that saves dogs from high kill shelters. The dog is about a year old, and when he was found (out in the middle of nowhere), he was emaciated and had multiple open wounds, apparently from dog fights. This dog has extremely strong herding instincts, great focus, high energy, all the traits you would expect in a Border Collie. He is extremely loyal to his owners, but is distrustful with strangers. He was neutered just before we adopted him. He is not a destructive dog, and he has been doing well with his obedience training, is house-trained, and crate trained. He is a wonderful dog in almost every way. We exercise him with a five mile bike ride in the morning. In the afternoons we toss balls and frisbees for him to chase. He didn't know how to play when we first got him, but he really enjoys these activities now. In the evenings we take him for a two mile walk. The walks have become nearly impossible, because any time he sees another dog he fixates. He has that laser stare that Border Collies are noted for, which I think is viewed as dominance by a lot of the dogs we encounter. We cannot break his gaze when he fixates on another dog. We have tried distracting him, telling him no, making him sit, yanking on his leash, getting him to look at us, but he is determined to not let the other dogs get any closer. He fixates about 200 yards away, and if the dogs get closer than 40 feet he lunges, growls, and bares his teeth. It does not matter what breed of dog he encounters, their sex, their age, or their size. He responds the same way to every dog he meets. The only way this aggressive behavior ends is when the other dog leaves the area. This situation is complicated in our neighborhood, because a lot of our neighbors allow their dogs to roam freely, and I'm afraid that if one of these dogs comes too close to our on lead dog, I will not be able to stop a serious dog fight. When our dog is in these rages, it is as if we do not exist; no matter what we do, he ignores us. I'm asking for any advice you might have regarding this situation. We have taken the alpha role with him (making him sit before he eats, we eat before we feed him, we go through doors before him etc.), so he is not responding to these dogs because he feels he needs to protect us. We feel that his aggression is more fear based. Can dogs like this be rehabilitated? Is dog on dog aggression common in this breed? We are not sure that we will be able to keep him, because we are very concerned about his behavior. We have small grandchildren (the youngest is 3) that we haven't exposed him to yet, because we are afraid of how he might react to them. If we felt that we had some control to break his fixation before it becomes rage, we would feel a lot better about the situation. Thanks in advance for your insights. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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