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HELP NEEDED with Border Collie


Evergreen

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On our little farm of 3 goats, 3 cats, 3 little old house doggies and 10 alpacas, we recently acquired [don't ask unless ready to hear a long story] a female mixed breed and a young Border Collie from the local kill shelter. We got the shots, had the female spayed and the male neutered, named him Sinbad, and the vet said he looked like a fine purebred.

 

Sinbad is a truly beautiful dog and very loving -- all he wants to do is play and protect his people, but we're having problems. Our Alpha house doggie provoked him into a ferocious fight and I had to intervene to save the house doggie's life -- and got my arm bitten almost to the bone by Sinbad! He certainly didn't intend to harm ME and my arm is healing, but I learned my lesson about intervening in dog fights.

 

Sinbad also chases the alpacas. Well okay, I know a Border Collie is a herding dog, and all Sinbad is doing is herding our alpacas into a clump and barking to keep them there -- he's marvelous at this! -- but alpacas don't need herding, are very sensitive creatures, and continuation of this distress could kill them or cause abortions of our pregnant moms.

 

Our yard and all our fields are fenced, of course, but Sinbad runs like the wind and can easily clear, or dig under, any of our fences in a heartbeat.

 

I finally got a whole night's sleep last night by chaining up Sinbad, but this solution won't work when the weather gets colder.

 

What do I do? At first we tried contacting the state Border Collie Rescue people for a new home for Sinbad, but they never answered -- and now I've come to love him and don't want to let him go. He's a wonderful dog, smart as a whip, if I could just somehow train him to watch and PROTECT the alpacas instead of herding them.

 

Any help will be much appreciated.

 

Evergreen

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What you have there is a herding dog. I don't think he will change much though others with actual experience will be able to tell you for sure.

 

If you want a dog that guards livestock, you need, well, a livestock guard dog. Border collies do not typically fill that role.

 

You might have more luck posting in the general discussion forum, too. Though I know this is a livestock question for you, it is also a question of dog-dog interaction, because if Sinbad cannot live inside the house and be a part of your family, he will probably not be a very happy camper.

 

Also, if he is clearing fences, etc. to get to the alpacas, he is probably bored and figure they are a good job for him... have you given him a job? Agility? Obedience? Tricks training?

 

There are lots of folks in rescue on this board, and if you post a question for rescue/rehoming help on the general discussion area you will get not only lots of recommendations for good rescue folks but also probably tons of help with your problem if you want to keep your dog.

 

Allie, Tess, & Kipp

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I agree with what was said.

 

If you want to keep him then you will need to integrate him into the family (and house) and give his brain a workout on a regular basis. It sounds like you would also have to figure something out so that all dogs get along.

 

So do you want to keep him with this in mind, or find a home for him?

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The main thing you need to do is keep this dog under constant supervision. It takes a few minutes to dig under a fence, so don't leave him alone for a few minutes. Don't let him get in with the alpacas. Don't house him where he can watch the alpacas.

 

Essentially, don't turn your back on him.

 

Crates are wonderful things for all these purposes.

 

Start training him to come when he's called and stop when he's told to. Don't excuse bad behavior as "herding." Just show him what you expect, and don't accept anything else.

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