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BC suddenly spooked

Guest RuM

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Yesterday, my 3yo Male Border Collie and I, took a walk in the local park, this is a regular spot for us. All of a sudden he became very spooked and ran away from me, regardless of my recall. I lost him for a few minutes. We’ve had him from 12 weeks and he has always been very well behaved and has brilliant recall.

Once I found him he didn’t seem to be relieved to find me but had his tail between his legs and was very nervous. He was looking around and very jumpy, and constantly sniffing the ground. We left straight away but he was still nervous on the way back to the car.

On returning home, he barked and growled at my partner who opened the front door. He recognised him almost immediately after that.

He was flinching when we tried to stroke him. And was still hyper aware of everything.

He was scared of a piece of wood in the garden and was hesitant to walk on the decking (he’s lived here his whole life) 

He spent the day with my Mum today and her BC (my dogs brother). He spends at least 2 days a week there. He continued to constantly sniff the ground and seemed worried about his surroundings. He relaxed after an hour or so at my mums. 

We took a trip to the vet who could find anything wrong with him (he seemed pretty calm by the end of the day.) she gave him some pain killer and we are due to return tomorrow to see if it helped.

He remained his normal self until we went on our evening walk in another regular walking spot. My BC is ball obsessed and nothing can distract him from the game. But this walk he was still jumpy and worried and barely retrieving the ball. He was again constantly sniffing with his tail between his legs. 

He seemed relaxed at home now and is fine in the garden, he plays like normal and is eating and drinking.

Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.

thanks, Ru

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This section is for advice on working dogs on livestock. You might get more and quicker replies if you post in the "General" section. 

That said, is it possible he was bitten or stung by something (wasp, yellow jacket, etc.)? 

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My first thought, once I read that you had had him checked out at the vet, was that he was stung by something.


My approach would be to continue to take him to the familiar places, and to make sure I always acted upbeat and happy, giving the message that there is nothing to fear. He should get over it in time if it were something like a sting.

However, if this were my dog, and the overly-cautious and fearful behavior continued, I would probably have him more thoroughly checked out with the vet to eliminate more serious possibilities. 

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I wonder if there was a nest of ground bees.  Do you have them where you live?  You can hear them, a faint buzz,the nest is below the ground, when you walk over the nest they come out and sting.  I stepped on a nest as a three year old child and I still remember the experience!

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