3 month old Border collie mix, PLEASE HELP
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Thread: 3 month old Border collie mix, PLEASE HELP

  1. #1
    Junior Member Gingerleah78's Avatar
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    Unhappy 3 month old Border collie mix, PLEASE HELP

    Hi

    We have had this puppy for 10 weeks and we know she was taken from her mom way to early. We have started her at Pet Smart dog training. Tomorrow will be her second lesson. SHe is very mean she bites my sons feet all the time and attacks him snarling an biting if he tries to play fetch with her. We are told she needs a job but she doesnt seem to want one because if we try to take the ball or toy to throw it again and tell her to drop it she flips growling and snarling like a nut. She attacked my cat tonight luckily the cat is bigger then her and my other cat came to help but my childre arent able to defend tehmselves and i have to stand guard all the time. She is hardly ever in her cage and we try to give her attention until she gets mean which is usually at night. I am concerned something may be genetically wrong.

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    Senior Member Entwine's Avatar
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    Re: 3 month old Border collie mix, PLEASE HELP

    I'm not expert, so I'll let those who are give you advice, but that all sounds like normal puppy behavior to me.. If left unchecked, that is.

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    Senior Member GottaLuvMutts's Avatar
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    Re: 3 month old Border collie mix, PLEASE HELP

    First, I doubt if there's anything wrong with your pup, genetically speaking. Dogs learn inhibition from their mothers and litter-mates, so being taken away from that too early can lead to over-bitey tendencies. You need to work on this NOW to make sure your dog won't be a biter when she gets bigger. Time out is perfectly acceptable when she starts misbehaving. So is removing what she really wants, which is your attention. Read some of the stickies at the tops of the general and training forums - you will find lots of helpful information.

    It's common for people to say that herding breeds need a "job". While that's true, I don't know that any puppy of 3 months old can really handle a job. When people say that herding breeds need a job, that means they need to feel needed. Like they need to herd something, protect something, DO something besides just go on a walk. Playing fetch is a great way to get rid of some extra energy, but your dog wasn't born knowing how to play this game, so it's your job to teach her the rules, which includes no snarling/growling. If things start to head south, end the game and pick it back up later.

    What you've described just sounds like a typical undersocialized 3 month old puppy. Continue the classes, read the stickies here, do a lot of training at home (do you have a clicker and treats?) and be patient. Good luck!

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    Junior Member Gingerleah78's Avatar
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    Re: 3 month old Border collie mix, PLEASE HELP

    Really? I have had a lot of dogs and puppies growing up but none of them were ever mean but there were never really small children around and the cats got along with the dogs. My grandmother would have never tolerated any of the dogs biting me nipping ok but this is biting to draw blood and scary. Maybe I just dont remember

    Quote Originally Posted by GottaLuvMutts View Post
    First, I doubt if there's anything wrong with your pup, genetically speaking. Dogs learn inhibition from their mothers and litter-mates, so being taken away from that too early can lead to over-bitey tendencies. You need to work on this NOW to make sure your dog won't be a biter when she gets bigger. Time out is perfectly acceptable when she starts misbehaving. So is removing what she really wants, which is your attention. Read some of the stickies at the tops of the general and training forums - you will find lots of helpful information.

    It's common for people to say that herding breeds need a "job". While that's true, I don't know that any puppy of 3 months old can really handle a job. When people say that herding breeds need a job, that means they need to feel needed. Like they need to herd something, protect something, DO something besides just go on a walk. Playing fetch is a great way to get rid of some extra energy, but your dog wasn't born knowing how to play this game, so it's your job to teach her the rules, which includes no snarling/growling. If things start to head south, end the game and pick it back up later.

    What you've described just sounds like a typical undersocialized 3 month old puppy. Continue the classes, read the stickies here, do a lot of training at home (do you have a clicker and treats?) and be patient. Good luck!
    Thank you! I am actually crying I am so upset and worried. I forget to mention that the cat got out and the fight broke out when we brought him back in maybe that was her trying to herd him? I will definitely read more of the stickies and we will contine with pet smart as well as our vet has a person that specializes with border collies so hopefully she can help.
    Last edited by Gingerleah78; 11-22-2009 at 09:19 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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    Senior Member jesirose's Avatar
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    Re: 3 month old Border collie mix, PLEASE HELP

    The dog and cat as well as the dog and kids can NEVER ben unsupervised.

    Have you brought up these concerns to your trainer?

    Sounds like normal puppy behavior, especially given the breed and the environment.
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    Junior Member Gingerleah78's Avatar
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    Re: 3 month old Border collie mix, PLEASE HELP

    Yes the trainer is aware. She said she has never seen such an aggressive puppy but she thinks that she is young enough that it can be corrected.

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    Senior Member Keechak's Avatar
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    Re: 3 month old Border collie mix, PLEASE HELP

    Herding dogs are especially known for snapping at children and I prefer to keep my herding dogs eather on a leash or on a controled "Down Stay" when young children are present. You are going to have to watch this puppy very closly when she is around your daughter. If she starts to get growly or snappy pick her up and put her in her kennel for a time out to calm down.
    Last edited by Keechak; 11-23-2009 at 09:53 AM.

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    Junior Member Gingerleah78's Avatar
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    Re: 3 month old Border collie mix, PLEASE HELP

    Well Lady bit some one at training today and attacked a pitbull. The trainer said she needs to go back to the vet and told us to be prepared because the dog may need to be put down. She had a woman come to her with this type of situation and the vet suggested putting the dog to sleep. I understand she is way out of hand more thean any dog I have ever had but I think that is a little extreme wouldnt I try giving her to someone with no kids or other pets first?

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    Senior Member Keechak's Avatar
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    Re: 3 month old Border collie mix, PLEASE HELP

    it sounds to me like leaving her litter and the additional problem of having a bit inexperienced owner, ( I hope that didn't come off too harsh) has really taken it's toll on her metal and behavioral development

    If she does go to a new home It should be someone who is very experienced with herding breeds and understands puppy aggression, preferably someone with other border collies.

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    Member Brownie&Ruby's Avatar
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    Re: 3 month old Border collie mix, PLEASE HELP

    If I were you I would contact a trainer to come in to YOUR environment, as opposed to going to theirs. My understanding is PetSmart is a great program, but it is group training. She may be a special case that just needs some extra attention and patience. It gets under my skin that a trainer would tell you to take her to the vet, and say anything about a possible euthanasia. That's crap. Sounds like that trainer doesn't want to deal with it. I would contact a doggie personal trainer. Sometimes it costs more, but it will be worth it when you have a great dog!

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    Senior Member jesirose's Avatar
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    Re: 3 month old Border collie mix, PLEASE HELP

    There is no reason a 3 month old puppy should have to be PTS for a behavioral problem. That is a load of crap.
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    Junior Member Gingerleah78's Avatar
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    Re: 3 month old Border collie mix, PLEASE HELP

    This is my first time dealing with an actual trainer of any kind we have always trained the dogs ourselves but I have never had a border collie and with the baby I wanted to make sure she was trained correctly, the vet has a trainer on staff so we are definitely going to talk to her. My aunt reminded me of the pitbulls we had when I was a teenager, they were also taken from there mother at a very young age and were very aggressive no one could go near them that was not immediate family but again they were never trained properly so we definitely are going to do everything we can. I wish I knew what Lady was mixed with hopefully the vet can figure it out.

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    Senior Member DogsforMe's Avatar
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    Re: 3 month old Border collie mix, PLEASE HELP

    Lady looks very sweet in your avatar.

    My 1st border collie came to live with us at 5 weeks, 5 days old & consequently so did my son's dog 7.5 yrs later. Both in my siggy. They both had their problems from lack of doggy socialisation. My present dog Tilba came to live with us when she was 11 weeks 5 days old & there was a definite difference.

    I don't remember the 1st 2 having a real biting problem or being aggressive. But they did have problems with other dogs & some people outside the home.

    I would find a good behaviourist, possibly a veterinary behaviourist used to positive methods. You don't want to treat agressive tendancies with agressive training. Your puppy needs consistant trainig. How old is your son. You & if your son is old enough need to remain calm around the pup. Flailing your arms around will only excite her more. She needs boundaries & consistant training. Have you tried hand feeding her her meals. If she bites the hand that feeds her the food is removed for a minute & then returned. She only gets the food when no teeth touch human skin. Check out www.dogstardaily.com Use the search engine to learn about biteinhibition, jumping up, puppy manners. Anything written by Ian Dunbar.
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    Senior Member GottaLuvMutts's Avatar
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    Re: 3 month old Border collie mix, PLEASE HELP

    Please don't listen to the trainer who said to put the dog to sleep. At three months old, the dog just needs firm boundaries, not a needle.

    Honestly, if you had come here before getting the dog and asked whether your situation (kid(s) including a baby, cats, no herding breed experience) was appropriate for a BC pup, most people probably would have cautioned you against getting one. You can't compare them to the other breeds you've owned - they're simply in a league of their own, and few people have an easy time with their first border collie, particularly in the first few weeks. It sounds like all of this is augmented for you since your pup was taken away from the litter too early.

    However, what's done is done. So...the only question remaining is whether it's time to find the dog a more appropriate home (preferably with BC experience - great suggestion Keechak!), or whether you want to stick it out for as long as it takes to train this dog.

    As I read what you've written about biting, growling, attacking, etc., what springs to mind is NILIF. There's a great sticky in the training forum about it, but the basic gist is that dogs want things (food, attention, a walk, a toy, etc.), and when their behavior displeases you, you can withhold these things temporarily. If you're committed to keeping this pup, my advice is to institute a very strict program of NILIF and do it now. Example: Dog would rather bite you than play nicely? Fine, she can spend 3 minutes being ignored by you. Repeat as many times as is necessary to get the message across that you do not enjoy being bitten. Border collies arguably rank #1 in terms of intelligence and trainability, so I'm guessing she'll catch on quickly. The problem is that the naughty ones will use their intelligence against you!

    Also, it really doesn't matter what this dog is mixed with. Will that help you solve this problem? Will it make a difference in whether you keep her or not? Almost a year after adopting my BC mix, I still don't know what she's mixed with. Although I'm curious and would love to give people a firm answer when they ask, it doesn't really matter in the end.

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    Senior Member EarthMonkey's Avatar
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    Re: 3 month old Border collie mix, PLEASE HELP

    Our puppy was removed too early (we believe). He is 11 weeks old and was drawing blood and biting when we first got him. So we have been yelping at him and giving him time out. This worked pretty well; but he kept making mistakes. We watched him react to too much from another dog, he yelps and yelps like he is being horribly injured. So we started doing the same thing as he does and in just a few days of doing it he has really mellowed out his biting. In two and half weeks he has gone from drawing blood regularly to not at all. We are now yiping for all teeth on us including clothes.

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    Junior Member Gingerleah78's Avatar
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    Re: 3 month old Border collie mix, PLEASE HELP

    When I talked to the behaviorist from the vet today she seemed to believe that Lady is more Pitty then BC to begin with but either way does not matter to me. She is going to come to my house to evaluate the dog as well as the vet is going to run a few tests. They are very concerned about her behavior. Today was a good until just a few minutes ago. She jumped on the cat, I got her attention got her to sit and stay, when I went to pet her she bit me. I wonder if she has her days and nights mixed up. I took her on a long walk today but now she is running thru the house like crazy ( I know this normal puppy and I am glad) How can I get her more hyper during the day?

    Thanks DogsforMe, Dogstardaily is great! I am very committed to proving to everyone (vets and current trainer) that Lady just needs a little extra guidance and TLC. Now is there a website to get my 19 month old son to stop biting the cat LOL
    Last edited by Gingerleah78; 11-24-2009 at 08:57 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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