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3 year old is possibly being aggressive?

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Hello everyone,

My border collie, Blaze, is turning 3 years old in September. Lately I've been noticing some behaviour changes in her. When we play frisbee, for example, if the frisbee falls and another dog is closer then she's fine, but the moment she's trying to get the frisbee and another dog comes too, she snaps and they seem to start a fight. They never hurt each other seriously, but I don't know whether this can escalate or if it's just Blaze saying to the other dog to "back off". It has also happened when another dog has lunged towards her (to say hello, but really fast) and when another dog was trying to hump her (out of dominance) when she was trying to play with a ball, which I understand is just a way for her to communicate to them to back off. She has also started acting up with overly annoying puppies that don't leave her alone (she's patient for a while, but then snaps). However, if a group of dogs is playing with a ball, she has no issues, it's just with the frisbee (maybe she associates the ball as a group thing and the frisbee as a me and her thing, I don't know). I just don't know whether this is normal or whether I should get concerned or train it out of her somehow. Basically, I'm asking how, or whether I should, handle this.

Thanks in advance!

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What you describe sounds like normal bc behavior to me. Border collies have a very clear idea of what is proper greeting behavior and what is not. They also tend take their personal space very seriously and do not like their 'work' being interfered with.  

At 3 years old, she is a grown-up and not tolerating things that she used to. 'Seeming' to start a fight can certainly escalate and get ugly. A dog humping her is very rude. Both these situations she has handled appropriately, it seems to me. However, if these or other dogs continue to try to take her frisbee or hump her a it will only get worse. It's not something you can 'train' out of existence.  It's an adult dog asking  not to be bothered while playing

You may need to find a time/place where you and Blaze have a space to yourselves. This is fairly common. I've had to do it when I was playing fetch with my dogs. It was a PITA in a way, but I didn't have to worry about my dogs getting hurt or hurting another dogs.

Hope t his is helpful.

Ruth & Gibbs

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Glad you find it helpful. It was a big weight off my shoulders when I had this pointed out to me. If you can take her out and about with you, running errands and the like, those are fertile times for training in bits and pieces as well. One of my dogs LOVED meeting other humans. I taught him to wait/watch me for a few seconds before I let him approach a prospective fan. Then I had him sit before the New-To-Him human petted him. He loved it. Of course I always asked the other human(s) if they would mind saying hi/helping me train my dog. 

Let us know how you and Blaze get one!

Ruth & Gibbs

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