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How do I teach my dog when not to be protective?

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My 2yr old bc gets very protective when some one come into the house. I know that bcs are protective but my dog seemes to have a hard time knowing when not to be protective. I have had problems with my dog wanting to bite stange people mainly men. My fiance's mom's boyfriend came over to their house today and the dog wanted to eat the guy. My fiance's mom yelled at my dog and now my dog thinks he is in troble when the guy is in the house. If I was worned that the guy was coming over I could of helped let my dog get use to this stranger. My question is if anyone knows how to teach their bc when it is o.k. to let someone in and when they are suppose to protect the house.

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Guest borderkatahdin

First, I don't teach my dog to guard the house. I don't see a reason. I am sure they will bark if they need to. I would suggest against it. As you have probably seen by your post it can get you into trouble.


Border collies aren't generally "protective" from what I have seen. Mine will bring their toys, and have a party when we have company.


I would suggest taking your dog to an obedience class to expose him to many people, and to learn yourself how to handle him in different situations. Your next step would be to have more people come to your house( only if you are sure you are not putting them in danger, I don't know how aggressive your dog is), and you set up a situation to teach your dog how to handle people coming to the house.


I have heard different ways of dealing with this from having the dog politely sit when visitors come to getting the dog involved in a game of fetch when somebody comes over. Whichever way you go , basically you want to get rid of the aggressive behavior and replace it with another behavior you want.


I would discourage any protective/aggressive behavior. Be sure you aren't praising the dog when he is misbehaving. I have seen so many people pet their dog while at the same time saying "it's ok" while the dog is lunging , or trying to bite somebody. In effect this is praising the dog for doing what you don't want him to .


Hope this help,


Good luck with him, and let me know how it goes.



Wendy Carlson

Goldenoaks Farm


Aledo, IL.

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What you are describing is a fear/aggression behavior, not protectiveness. Most BCs are NOT protective, there are some exceptions though and some even have been trained in Schutzhund.

I would definitely enlist the help of an obedience instructor that is familiar with dealing with problem behaviors, and even after you get more of a handle on it you will always have to stay very aware of interactions between your dog and others.

Lawsuits due to dog bites is very common anymore, so it would definitely behoove you to get this problem worked out. Good Luck!

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No insult intended, honest, but....


How about starting with teaching guests in your home *not* to yell at, discipline, pet, or otherwise accost your dog without your leave?


Second, a good recall can work wonders indoors, too. At home, indoors, I am working on "That'll do" with my dogs, and they come sit at my feet. With "corner" or "crate" each has their own indoors special spot they go to that is *not* a punishment spot. Seven crates would be nice but who has money for 6 border-collie-size crates and one for a German Shapherd?


Seriously, though...I let guests know I have dogs before they come in, and I secure the dogs before the guests come in if it is necessary or if I think it might be necessary.


I freak at the idea of anyone other than me doing anything with my dogs when I am standing right there...being just a bit territorial myself.

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Just a comment to something cowwgirldebbi stated.....

IMHO I personally do not feel your fiancees mom was wrong in yelling at your dog. As long as she yelled at the dog as it was going for her boyfriend, she gave a good correction. (Were you in the room at the time and did you do anything? If you had given a working correction, hers was unnecessary, I'm sure she was just scared that he might get bitten). You definitely don't want your dog biting someone. It would have been different if she had struck your dog....that is unless it continued it's attack after she yelled at it.Dealing with a biting dog is a very serious thing and serious actions need to be taken.

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