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In need of some advice and help!

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Hi all! If this isn't the right place to post this, please let me know, or move it. I'm still pretty new!


Anyway, onto the topic.


We have had out boy for not even a year yet (he was born around June, so he is close to a year now) and we haven't had any particular problems yet, but as of late he sort of has adopted a fairly tedious one. He has started getting very aggressive towards us (that being my household) with anything that has to do with water!


Ok, so this really has only escalated more recently. He will drink water from his bowl with no issue, and falling rain oddly doesn't seem to bother him either, but anything else water related? FORGET IT. I never thought a border collie would be so against water, we havent been able to bathe him in about a month now because of this new attitude. He will snarl at us, and literally snap and bit at us. He won't outright ATTACK us (yet...), but while his bite don't draw blood they do hurt. Thankfully we have no children living here or it might be a bigger issue, but I honestly don't know how to go about fixing something like this.


Before we got Baymax (thats his name btw!), we had a yellow lab. Obviously yellow's are BIG water dogs, so he was always in the pool and has no issues with baths in any way, so with such a big change I just think we are overwhelmed with this attitude. But it's something we really want to fix.


Another example. Whenever we water the plants outside, he KNOWS what the hose is now, so he will run around the side of the house and hide, and we will have to go get him before he even shows his face again. And another, just today actually was his worse little snappy attitude, he had some sticky gunk on the side of his face from being outside, so my sister got a paper towel with a little water on it to wipe it off and he got SO mean, I have never seen it before. He was actually growling, which we have never heard him do before.


So, any advice about this will help so much. If he can't even get a bath from us, I don't know how he will be able to even get one from a groomer or anything. Oh, and also, we have been giving him baths since he came home to us, and while he never really LOVED it, he was ok with it and stood there with no fuss. But now he just feels like he can overpower us and fight back I think, so he takes action.


But, really other than this negativity with water, he is an absolute ANGEL, it's so strange. He will be so angry with us one minuet, but once the water is gone, he completely forgets anything happened and is back to his normal self! Is it a puppy thing? Will he grow out of it?





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From what you say it sounds like a pup who is entering adolescence and trying to find out if he really has to do stuff he doesn't like doing. You can and should do desensitization and conditioning to help him learn to cope with things that are uncomfortable or scary, but honestly at his age he should also learn that he does have to do things he doesn't much feel like doing, because you told him to. The relationship between dog and owner is about trust and respect both ways, and a dog that trusts and respects his person doesn't bite because of having to do something he doesn't much feel like doing (unless of course the dog is truly freaked out, scared or anxious).


How to go about achieving that trust and respect is hard for me to explain, but it's all about your attitude and it's NOT about being mean or agressive to the dog. One only gets trust and respect if one gives it. But it's about making clear that if something he doesn't much like has to be done, it HAS and WILL be done.


When Tess was 5 mo she had chataracts surgery, and had to put eyedrops 11 times a day. First day home, she was like a wild horse when it came to the drops. I live alone and it was not feasible to have a friend over to help 11 times a day for a month. I didn't want her wildly trashing her head around after eye surgery. She didn't respond to treats, and needed to put the drops NOW, not go through a long dessensitization process. She never tried to bite, but she sure fighted the process. I was so stressed I cried most of the night.


The next morning I woke up and thought, Let's NOT make a drama out of this. She needs those drops, period. So I told her, girl, I know you don't like it but these drops are important and I AM going to put them in your eyes.


I don't know what happened except I was calm and determined. But she never again gave me a moment of trouble over eyedrops. She's 21 mo now and still puts drops once a day.

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