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Help, Dog Aggression

973 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  winniec777
I got a 3yr.old spayed female Border Collie on Saturday (the 28th). The lady i got her from owned her since she was 6 weeks old. Now she said she's NEVER shown aggression before. Well I've only had her a few days and she has already nipped me in the hand. She has major food aggression with me, I put her bowls in my room because at night and when we leave the house she is locked in my bedroom. Its got to the point where sometimes when I entered the room she will just started growling at me. This is not the only time she's got aggressive either. My sister-in-law was just petting her on the couch and she was licking her hand, when she pulled her hand away to make her stop she started growling at her. Then there are times when somebody goes to leave and you try and push her away from the door she will start growling. When we first got her we simply corrected her and moved on. She was just warning, now Its progressed. Instead of growling she's now starting to snap at people. I was wondering if maybe this is caused because the previous owner had her all her life? She's not use to anybody else, and we keep saying give her time, give her time. But today she nipped me in the hand when I was petting her in my room. If I can not get the aggression to stop I will have no choice but give her back to the lady.

She is really sweet any other time, she will lick you, and lay in your lap. Just a normal playful dog, and she loves playing fetch and she never bites you for the toy or when you have dog treats. Its just sometimes out of no where she will decide she wants to growl. My nephews were over (3yr.old twin boys, and a 6yr.old boy) and she never once acted aggressive towards them. Also she has a blue Pet Trainer, I thought it was a clicker but it turns out it makes a very low ear piercing sound. Does anybody know what exactly she would be using something like that before? I've never seen something like this before to train a dog. I do know a lot of people use clicker training though. The lady and her husband worked about 10 hour shifts everyday and thats why she gave her up. So she never really got to see them much, and I don't know If she was getting depressed or aggressive before I got her and they didn't notice or not. Any help would be great! I would love to keep her she is an amazing dog when she wants to be. But I just cant look past this aggression any longer before somebody really gets hurt. :(
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This needs professional help. The sonic trainer is an alternative to a shock trainer although it also comes in sonic + shock combination. If the previous owners were using this, I suspect the dog has many issues.
Professional help and DO NOT LET HER AROUND THE KIDS AGAIN!! A dog that unpredicatable should not be around kids, period.

In the mean time you shouldn't be letting her alone with her food in your room. You are letting her control the thing that is probably most important to her (food) and especially as a new owner to her you want to establish leadership (not dominance, LEADERSHIP). This means food always comes from your hands and she has to do something (even if its a simple sit) to obtain it.

Start teaching her right now that she only gets privelages when you allow it. Read the stickies on impulse control and NILIF.
I'll go ahead and e-mail the lady and tell her about my new findings and her aggression. My mother thinks she was play biting as she was doing it to her as well but she wasn't laying her ears back or growling or anything. She was just jumping around like she wanted to play. We have been working on taking the food away when she does it and making her leave the room. She hasn't growled since, and when I fed her in the morning today she sat outside my door while I got her dog food. Do you think that this method is working? The children were here for around a good 3 hours and she was perfectly fine. The lady also said she played with her grand children. Maybe she likes small kids better than adults? Also she is VERY senstive around the mouth and I think this might be the problem. We were playing ball the other day and when she brought it back it had blood all over it. She doesn't like me touching her mouth at all. I was told she chipped a tooth when she ran in to the ladies coffee table playing fetch. Yet the blood was coming from the other side of her mouth? She constantly chews on the balls, but she has tons of bones she wont touch? Would her teeth problem have anything to do with her aggression?
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Would her teeth problem have anything to do with her aggression?

Of course! Teeth and other health issues are often the root of most aggression issues. That's why a full health screening is the first thing professionals do before starting any behavior modification program.
well we called her and she said she might growl at me around food because they fed her at 7am in the morning and then her and her husband left for work. So she's never had anybody around her food to worry about it. As for the sonic trainer she said she used it for when she was a puppy to teach her to stay off the couch? I looked threw the medical paperwork she gave me, she had a fecal and physical exam last year and she was fine. A friend of mine said it could be her 3 year molars coming in? Is there such a thing, or is she misinformed? Thanks
The molars come in around 6-7 months. You really can't rely on medical results from a year ago. Remember, dogs age 7 years (approx.) for every one of ours. Alot can happen medically in a very short time. If she hasn't had regular teeth cleaning/brushing that's the first thing I'd look for....a cracked tooth could easily make her testy.
Simple rule in our house: blood = vet. I'm sorry you're having trouble. Aggression is so difficult to deal with. If the vet rules out anything physical, would be good to work with a behaviorist. Otherwise the dog is not trustworthy around anyone, which will only lead to a bad ending if not dealt with.
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